Great winter growth

Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6November 14, 2013

Ok, giving this a lot of thought. Just to share so others don't have a hard time this winter.
I have been told by some very big nursery growers that Alfalfa is a growth stimulant for plants. Claiming to get two years growth in one year. And given the fact that most of my loss is due to root rot or base rot, decided to give Potassium only to encourage root development. Both of these were purchased in local stores. K-Mart had the Alfalfa 1300 mg. herbal supplement, 300 tablets for about $8. Then Walgreens had the Potassium Gluconate 595 mg. dietary supplement, 300 tablets for about the same cost. So in a 1 liter bottle, 3 tablets of Alfalfa with 1 tablet of Potassium. Mix well, then the next day, added to water can with another 1 liter more water and watered plants as normal. So far so good. Seeing new growth and vigor. After a few watering then back to normal watering.
Hope it helps.

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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

Stush, do you keep a journal of your plant activities? My memory is so bad . . . I have thought I should start an index card for every plant I own - maybe a virtual one, so I could keep track of things like you're doing.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 2:55PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

I put all I have on my computer. I use excel spreadsheets. One is all purchases and where and who. One for this forum and friends and names. One for just my Sansevierias. One for the rest of my plants. Here's how I do it. Every purchase first goes to the 'Plants in 2013' In the columns, Name, how many, price, date, description of purchase, and notes. Then if a Sans, I photograph it and download it into my Sans. workbook. Gifts are in another workbook. First picture of plants as received. Then potted up, then in a year or so. Name, from who, when, and any other notes. I have done this for where I used to work and listed everything you could think of. Makes reordering easy. Schedules, parts. Jobs, starting time, working time, finish time. It's what I have always done. So I continued the same at home. Just a habit I can't quit. Most of my computer is filled with worthless information. But with a fading memory, it sometimes helps.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

I'm impressed and wish I could claim to be as organized as yourself. I do keep an "acquired plants" list that includes from whom/where and when I got it, plus any additional info on the tag, but finding it hard to maintain when I split a plant , give one away or one dies.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 11:12AM
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Laura Robichaud

Stush, I'm looking forward to your findings!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 12:24PM
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stush, i am curious if it can be used on any plants? on tropicals ?
i just searched and see lots of 'alfalfa tea' applications - NPK roughly 5-3-5. mostly using pellets and large quantities and the smell accompanies it all...(cringe??)
so for me supplements in small qty will def be more usable then agro-bags ;).
does the water smell? and how fast do you get results?
normally i don't want my plants to grow fast. but i have a few very young plants that are a pain to take care of when i am away - so, would be nice to grow them up faster to a larger pot! and good rootball is what i need!
i'll get some today to try.
thanks for the tip!

This post was edited by petrushka on Sun, Nov 17, 13 at 11:05

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Very un-scientific of me to feed all my plants with this. I started with only a few, and when I saw great results, I used it on all my plants. A good root system is the most important thing you can have on house plants. It is where the failures come in at. Too much or too little watering. So I figured to add the Potassium element to it. My thanksgiving cactus is large healthy and blooming it's head off. No loss when moving it from out side to inside. My Stapelias have perked up and restarted blooming. It sounds too good to be true but it is the long term results that mater. I posted it because I was having a good results and may help others during this bad time of year. But caution beware, too much of anything is bad. Must be used in small amounts. I have heard of adding an aspirin in the mix but I haven't did this yet. Comes from the old tale of aspirin in Christmas tree water to help the tree absorb the water. I also heard that aspirin is in root tone but not sure of that.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 3:28PM
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why un-scientific? it seems alfalfa tea is being used quite a lot for outside applications. 'smells like barn' comments though everywhere...?
i actually started putting aspirin in water for plants that have some not identifiable (for me at least) problems - spots,etc. they say it helps the plants to repell insects,etc and grow healthier. nor sure if it's helping...but there was actually a study it seems.
i have cactus fert that contain low-nitro and high PK - for roots. i use that for succulents/root growth.
but mostly roots grow when there is bottom heat. are you giving bottom heat too for young plants?
how soon do you see growth after watering in alfalfa?
i'm going to get the pills tomorrow, swear! i have 5 pots of young alo polly that i grew from bulbils - they need a fix!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Scientific way is to have two identical groups that you feed one with the special fix and the other regular. After 1 week, check results, then in two weeks, and so on. After 1 week, it seems that the leaves looked better, greener and so on so I just gave it to all of them.
No I don't have bottom heat. Good idea, but didn't spend the money on heat pads. I had a idea of a candle under my big fish tank which I keep plants in. But too afraid of fire. May still consider it thou.
I didn't notice any bad smell from the supplements. A alfalfa hay smell just a little is ok. No where near the smell of my compost tea. I added rabbit feed. Closest I could get to alfalfa at the time. Very bad barnyard smell. Outside use only.
Any who use this, let us know your results.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Thank you Stush! I'm going to give this a whirl!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 2:49PM
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I just came across this post and this sounds like it may be what I need. I have a few little sans that need a boost, along with a few new baby jades that could use the help. I just ordered the tablets and prepared a 2 liter soda bottle by cleaning it out and drilling holes in the lid. I anxiously await trying this!!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 8:49PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

What makes this good, is this is a low dose fertilizer. Alfalfa has a natural growth stimulant also the potassium to stop the root rot which is most common this time of year. All my Sans are in fine condition but spring time is when I will take photos and see the real difference. Seeing pups during winter is a real treat.
I did experience some loss. Two Huernia experienced root rot when the temps dropped to 10 degrees. Window had a slight leak. I planted the tops again and seems ok. Temps must be above 60 degrees. I think Jades and Aloe can take lower temps. Let me know what happens to you.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 11:31AM
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i am going to try this come march on some of my younger plants, including sans!
actually, i am going to start now on my corms/bulbs: i'll use it for amaryllis, begonias, african mask and caladiums - all that need to start developing roots.

This post was edited by petrushka on Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 8:52

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:19PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

If there is a feed store near you, see about buying a bag of Alfalfa meal or Alfalfa bitts. It will be cheaper and a bit more smellier. Great to use out side. A handful in the ground before planting bulbs, or roots.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:55AM
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smirk-smirk...feed stores?! wo-ah! i am in the middle of the mega-city! if i can't carry it in a pocket i shouldn't buy it!
i do load up like a mule for 'garden weights training' from time to time ;), but storing anything is a MAJOR problem. so my puny alfalfa bottle with pills will have to do for now. even that might turn out too smelly for DH! we'll see ;).
with corms/bulbs i can always put it in an enclosure for the beginning treatment. warmer weather for ventilation will help too - which means at least 60s outside - i have a lot of tropicals that dislike cold drafts.
limitations, limitations...dancing on the pinhead develops virtuosity ...and miniaturization ;).
i have severely cut down my older huge leaves in 2 sans pots, leaving mostly younger shoots from past summer.
i am actually hoping to reduce them in size and then combine 2 into 1. it's ANOTHER experiment...
i do want fat wide leaves however - so alfalfa with good light on the balcony in summer should be good.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 9:46AM
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I been following this thread since you started posting it. Please give us an update on using Alfalfa tablets and Potassium tablets.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 6:20AM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Too early yet. I was going to take pictures next month when I take them out of the enclousure I made for them. I have a few hahnii that didn't pup but started stacking. I got one Gold hahnii that grew a side shoot from the middle of the mess of leaves that it grew. It is the strangest think I ever saw.
Sadly I did loose one plant. A well grown hardy Agave Quadracolor. I think it was under watered then too late to water. Never had this happen to me before. I am at a loss. The entire crown was rotted.
I don't water them with this mixture all the time. Just once in a while. Like once a month, a little to each plant.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:11PM
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