fertiliers are confusing grr

plumeriahiloMay 26, 2010

i just got some miracle bloom boosterit is 15-30-15 which is ok for the hoyas and ive been reading about the beer fert im just worried about it molding has that happened to any of you

now i also have plumeria will that help them be a more regular bloom

and i was reading the box it does't say how often to use it you need to take a course in chemistry to undestand

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Fertilizers are confusing! I heard at a recent orchid society lecture that the whole bloom booster thing is not really proven to work. It was suggested to use a tomato fertilizer instead with numbers like 15-15-30 instead of the bloom booster types that would have numbers like 15-30-15. Because tomato fertilizers are geared towards growth and flower/fruit production they are perfect for flowering plants.
Michigan State University makes a very popular fertilizer for well/tap or RO water, this is probably the most used or talked about fertilizer among orchids growers. Google MSU fertilizer.
I have started using liquid organic fertilizer that I get from a hydroponics store. The numbers are 8-6-6 and I believe it is made from sheep manure, fish and sugar beets. So far so good but it may be more expensive than dry powdered fertilizers in the long run. A few of my plants that seemed to be slightly yellow turned a nice green once they were fed with the organic fertilizer.

I have never used the beer fertilizer but I have read some very positive claims. Maybe a small test batch to try on a test subject is in order?


    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 2:41PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I use a 9-3-6 fertilizer (Foliage Pro).

Apparently, plants use N-P-K at a ratio of 3-1-2.
Therefore, selecting a fertilizer in this proportion will eliminate waste/excess.
I fertilize rather lightly, as I don't like the thought of flushing fertilizers into
the environment.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 12:14PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I also use the same thing Josh uses...I fertilize at 1/2 strength or a little less every 5-7 days during the growing season and 1/4 strength during the semi dormant months.I use 1/2 tsp. per gallon of water...I've had very good success with this fertilizer and use it for all my plants in containers.

I know that there are other great fertilizers out there, but for me this has worked very well and is very economical because I use very little...so a quart lasts me a long time. Only draw back for me is its not available locally...but easily obtainable online.

Foliage Pro comparative study

Here is a link that might be useful: Dyna Gro Foliage Pro post...

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 3:31PM
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I too have heard that in African Violets bloom boosters aren't really proven to work and can cause markings on leaves, never had it happen tho but I've rarely used boosters.

I do use beer fert (1 can beer, 1 cup epson salts, 1/2 cup ammonia, 2 cup water - I do not add molassas) once every 2 weeks for at least a year on my hoyas, thanksgiving and orchid cactus. They all grow well and faster than they did for me before it, most that are old enough to bloom (except the fishtail) bloom on a regular basis. I've only tried VF-11 and Schultz Orchid and Schults African Violet on the hoyas previously but now stick with the beer fert instead because it works for me. I haven't tried any of the other fertilizers suggested tho hopefully will one day. I have NEVER had a mold or bug issue with the beer fert, plus the plants it is used on all summer outside.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:24AM
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