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fertilizers

Posted by jplumeria (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 22:40

May be a little early but I have that frequently asked question. What fertilizer is the one who most like to use? I came across this 10-52-10 BLUE fertilizer at the orange county fair that was very good. Please give me your thoughts of what you like to use.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: fertilizers

So many now say NOT to use the high middle number...I like Spray N grow...Seaweed kelp and some good old fashion slow release Osmocote....to each his own and your area though...roxanne


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RE: fertilizers

I use to use Spray n Grow, ST and Seaweed/kelp and bone meal, now I just use a 6 month time released like Magamp and Nutricote and occasionally my plumies get a spraying of SNG and I also use Miracle Grow Liquid bloom formula that comes in the bottles you screw onto the hose adapter. My plumies seem to do just as well.
Good Luck


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RE: fertilizers

I think its not so much what brand you use but how you use it. Routine in my opinion the key. I get better results if I take the recommended volume on a monthly basis and spread it over two applications. example: 3 table spoons of fert per month would be 1.5 table spoons every two weeks, etc.

For the record, I steer clear of very high middle numbers and keep to the basic stuff readily available at box stores or online.


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RE: fertilizers

I like Dynamite All-Purpose Select Plant Food (14-5-10) that feeds up to 9 months and has calcium and micronutrients. I also use Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro (9-3-6) whenever I think the plants need a little extra boost.

-Robert


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I use Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro and ProTekt.


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RE: fertilizers

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 14:53

Foliage pro here as well. I also sprinkle on Miracle Grow slow release that has Calcium. Its got pictures of tomatoes on it and make no mention of "with micros" but it does have magnesium in it also. Available at fine retailers every.......or walmart.

Mike


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RE: fertilizers

I understand about the high middle number but I have been working with a very good hydroponics owner and have used this fertilizer with very good results. Good inflo's and very nice growth. I know we all go with what works for us but it's nice to use what someone else has used with positive results.


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RE: fertilizers

I understand about the high middle number but I have been working with a very good hydroponics owner and have used this fertilizer with very good results. Good inflo's and very nice growth. I know we all go with what works for us but it's nice to use what someone else has used with positive results.


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RE: fertilizers

only organic and all natural products are allowed into my yard and garden. Fish emulsion keeps everything happy along with some nice composted bunny or chicken poop, which we have plenty of lol!
Tally HO!


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RE: fertilizers

So I do understand and I do a lot of the same. But I found this blue tinted fertilizer being sold by this vendor at the Orange County fair who only sales plumeria cuttings and potted plants and sales this 10-52-10 fertilizer and it works great. I know that we all have our own style and personal habits when comes to our plants but what works just works right?


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Exactly, what works for you in your climate under your conditions. Sometimes we just have to experiment to get there.
Tally HO!


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RE: fertilizers

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 21, 13 at 19:51

Let's first look at the role of fertilizers in general. There are 6 factors that affect plant growth and yield; they are: air, water, light, temperature, soil or media, and nutrients. Liebig's Law of Limiting Factors states the most deficient factor limits plant growth and increasing the supply of non-limiting factors will not increase plant growth. Only by increasing most deficient factor will the plant growth increase. There is also an optimum combination of the factors and increasing them, individually or in various combinations, can lead to toxicity for the plant.

From the above, we can say that when any nutritional element is deficient in the soil, plant growth slows. We have a term for this occurrence: environmental dormancy. When the deficient element is restored to adequacy levels the environmental constraint caused by the deficient element is eliminated and plant growth can resumes at a normal rate, as long as there are not additional limiting factors. Continuing to increase the element beyond the adequacy range offers no benefits and can deleteriously affect the plant - often in several ways, depending on the element.

Somewhere along the way, we curiously began to look at fertilizers as miraculous assemblages of growth drugs, and started interpreting the restorative (of normal growth) effect of fertilizer as stimulation beyond what a normal growth rate would be if all nutrients were adequately present in soils. It's no small wonder that we come away with the idea that there are 'miracle concoctions' out there and often end up placing more hope than is reasonable in them. In couplet with the hope for the 'miracle tonic' is 'more must be better'. I'll use the latter idea as the lead-in for my thoughts on high-phosphorous fertilizer blends.

Among container growers you often find common belief that high-phosphorus (P) content fertilizers are a requirement for promotion of root growth and/or flowering. Fertilizer blends like 15-30-15, and even 10-52-10 are sold under names that imply that you actually NEED these formulas for plants to bloom well and to produce strong roots. Lets examine that idea in a little more depth.

While anecdotal evidence abounds, there is very little scientific evidence to show any need for such products. I've mentioned in other posts that high-P fertilizers are a historical carry-over from when it was most common for plants to be started in outdoor soil beds, the soil in which was usually still quite cold at sowing time. Both the solubility of P and plants' ability to take it up are reduced in cold soils, so it was reasoned that fertilizing with high levels of P insured that at least some would be available during periods of growth in chilled soils.

We know that tissue analysis of leaves, roots, flowers - any of the live tissues of healthy plants will reveal that P is present in tissues at an average of 1/6 that of nitrogen (N) and about 1/4 that of potassium (K). Many plants even contain as much calcium as P. If we know that we cannot expect P to be found in higher concentrations in the roots and blooms than we find in foliage, how can we justify the belief that massive doses of P are important to their formation?

It is well known among experienced growers that withholding N when all other nutrients are available at adequate levels induces bloom production, even on smaller and younger plants. Though plants USE nutrients at approximately a 3:.5:2 ratio (note that N is 6 times the level of P, and K is 4 times the level of P), most greenhouse operations purposely fertilize with something very near a 2:1:2 ratio to limit vegetative growth so they can sell a compact plant sporting pretty blooms to tempt you.

Simply limiting N limits vegetative growth, but it does nothing to limit photosynthesis. The plant keeps making food, but it cannot use it to grow leaves and extend stems because of the lack of N. To where should we imagine the energy goes? It goes into producing blooms and fruit.

What harm might there be in a little extra P in our soils? First consider that the popular 10-52-10 has almost 32 times more P than a huge percentage of plants could ever use. Even 1:1:1 fertilizer formulas like the popular 20-20-20 are already high P formulas because they have 6.25 times more P (in relation to N) than plants require to grow robustly and normally.

Evidence of phosphate overfertilizing usually always includes some degree of leaf chlorosis. P competes with iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) ions for attachment sites and causes antagonistic deficiencies of these micronutrients. Unfortunately, the deficiency of these elements causes interveinal chlorosis (yellowing), and the first thing we normally consider as a fix for yellow leaves is more fertilizer, so we give the plants a good dose of our favorite bloom-bomb which causes, no surprise - worsening of the condition.

I'll close with an anecdote of how I used to fertilize plants with showy blooms before I had a better understanding of the overall picture. I would fertilize with a "bloom-boosting" fertilizer as long as foliage was bright green. As foliage inevitably yellowed, I would then switch to a high N formula until the color returned and start the cycle over again. I THOUGHT that the P was helping produce blooms and the yellowing was caused by a lack of N, which I quickly jumped to correct at the first evidence of yellow. I now understand that the high levels of P were what were causing the yellowing and it wasn't my returning to a high N formula that greened the plant up again, it was the reduction in the level of P in the soil when I stopped using the high-P formulation.

Al


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RE: fertilizers

Hi Tapla (Al) You have some very good information regarding the properties of these fertilizers but I have used the 10-52-10 product with very good success. I have used it for two years now and have not experienced any yellowing on the foliage. I mix I tsp per gallon of water and used it on 200 plants with great results but again we each have our own style. We also like this forum for the first hand experiences of other Plumeria addicts.


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I only use a bloom booster if a plant is getting really tall and leggy and won't bloom. It has to bloom to branch and that sometimes will force it to bloom. I never use it on a regular basis although some people swear that if the plant is getting ready to bloom it increase the amount of blooms and prolongs them.

My staple is Dyna Gro "grow" formula.

I switch around and also use:

Flora Nova Grow 7-4-10
Flora Nova Bloom 4-8-7
Grow More Hawaiian Bud & Bloom 5-50-17
Spray and Grow
Bills Perfect 6-11-5
House and Garden Magic Green
Seaweed Extract Liquified Organic Kelp .1-.1-1.5
Atlantis Fish Emulsion 2-4-0
Root Organics Buddha Bloom- 0.5-5-15
Floralicious Organic Enhancer Bloom 1-1-1
Dyna Gro Bloom 3-12-6
Dyna Gro Pro-Tekt Silicone Spray
Dyna Gro Mag Pro 2-15-4
House & Garden Root Excelurator- this stuff is a mircale tonic to get lots of beautiful new roots after a cutting has calloused and is beginning to root, or after root pruning and re-potting. I started some cuttings in plastic water bottles and I wanted to see if this $$$ stuff really worked. I put it on the bottles in one tub and didn't put it on the others. There is no question it made nice healthy roots grow much faster. They were all in clear bottles so it was easy to observe.


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Hi Al,

Sooo nice to see you and thank you for taking the time to visit and share some great information on fertilizers! ;-)

I also have a storage shed of all sorts of differs types of this and that. I was looking for the best type of fertilizer and I was buying all different kinds.

The only one that I use now and love, is the Foliage Pro by Dyna Gro. I also use the Pro teKt as well and my trees have been very happy for the last few years since I made this change. Some people do have different environments and have problems with to much growth and weighing down their trees, but for me.. I haven't had this issue. My blooms have been beautiful and the overall health speaks volumes.

Using FP makes it easy to fertilize and not worry about what I did last week or how much I added to what. It has all of the essential nutrients and minerals that they Need and I'm a happy camper with this stuff!

Great post.. I like to hear what other use and why.

Thank you Al, for the information... I always reread your information and I always find that I pick up more each time I read it again. So thank you for posting this wonderful information for all of us!

Thank you!

Laura


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RE: fertilizers

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 12:39

Thanks, Laura. If we distill the issue, it comes down to the fact that plants use about 6X as much N as P, so it makes no sense to use a fertilizer that provides more P than N. The excess is waste, it unnecessarily increases the TDS/EC of the soil solution, raises pH, and has no potential to benefit - only to limit. The same is true of all the elements plants normally get from the soil. People readily accept the fact that too much N is limiting, yet won't allow that the high-P formulations have an inherent potential to limit.

This is from Dave Neal, the CEO of Dyna-Gro. I kept it because this question so often comes up. Keep in mind that Dave makes and sells several high-P formulations to meet market demand, so he has no reason to disparage high-P formulations other than being straightforward when answering a question.

From Dave: "You are correct. We market high P fertilizers because people "believe" they need them. As you have noted, our Foliage-Pro does a great job start to finish. However, it is simpler to give the market what they think [my emphasis] they need than to try to reeducate it. There is some evidence to believe that low N helps to convince a plant to stop its vegetative growth and move into its reproductive phase (flowering), but environmental factors are probably more important. P is typically 5th or 6th in order of importance of the six macronutrients. There is little scientific justification for higher P formulas, but marketing does come into play for the vast majority of users who lack any real understanding of plant nutritional requirements. Therefore, the market is flooded with a plethora of snake oil products that provide little benefit and can actually do harm. For example, one exhibitor at a hydroponic trade show had a calcium supplement with 2% calcium derived from calcium chloride. Can you guess what continued application of 2% chloride would do to plants?'

I hope this answers your question and am sorry for (xxxx's) inaccurate response.

Cordially,
Dave Neal, CEO
Dyna-Gro Nutrition Solutions ...."

How much P a plant uses has to do with growth rate, and it would be probable that plants use more nutrients in more southern locales where they might tend to grow faster, but that is still no indication that a higher % of P is required. Plants that grow faster need more of all nutrients, not just P, and the ratio at which those nutrients are used doesn't change. Plants use about 6X as much N as P in Alaska and 6X as much N as P in the deep south - so there is no reason to use formulations that provide P in such excess for container culture anywhere on earth. After the calculations are done in consideration of the fact that P is actually reported on fertilizer labels as P2O5 (so the second number is not the amount of P the fertilizer contains, even the common 1:1:1 ratio fertilizers like 20-20-20 and 14-14-14 are providing more than 2.5X the amount of P your plants can or will use.

If a grower believes the high-P formulations are working and doesn't wish to take what I said or what can be gained from a wide variety of sources into consideration, I'm fine with that. What I'm interested in is seeing that growers who aren't so fixed in their methods and beliefs get the information they need to make the decisions that will help them get the most from their growing experience. It's good to remember that as growers, the measure of our proficiency lies in our ability to eliminate things that have the potential to limit our plants. So very often it's the thing we ignore or are simply unaware of that bites hardest.

Al


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loveplants2... what is the difference between Dyna Gro "Grow" and Dyna Gro "Foliage Pro"?


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RE: fertilizers

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 12:47

I can answer for Laura. I'm pretty certain she won't mind.

Both fertilizers use the same list of ingredients, but combine them in a different ratio. NPK is combined in the 9-3-6 in exactly a 3:1:2 ratio. The "Grow" formula (9-7-6) is about a 3 : 2.3 : 2 ratio. The only significant difference is the amount of P (the middle number) in relation to N and K.

When we take a closer look at fertilizer formulations, we quickly come to see that it's not the NPK % that are important - it's the RATIO of the nutrients contained in the fertilizer. The reason fertilizers like 10-52-10 are particularly poor choices for use in containers is they supply P in severe excess (16X more than needed). There is no way the plant can use that much P in relation to the amount of N and K supplied, and that's just one way we can isolate a practice and say with certainty whether it is and isn't appropriate nutritional supplementation. The grower might think it appropriate, but we know through science that it isn't.

In the case of your "Grow" formula, the formulation contains about 2.3X as much P as the plant can or will use. Excesses have the same potential to limit your plants as deficiencies. Not only that, but excess P in the soil solution makes it more difficult for your plants to absorb potassium, iron (especially), zinc, magnesium, and copper; it raises the soil's pH, and it adds to the level of salts in the soil with no potential to be a benefit - only to be a limitation.

Your "Grow" formulation isn't WAY out there like a number of the high-P formulations are, but it does supply P in excess. Is it a REALLY big deal? Probably not in your case because it's not supplying 10-20 times more P than needed than some of the other formulations labeled as "Bloom Boosters" and the like, but the next time I needed a fertilizer, I'd opt for something in closer to a 3:1:2 ratio - like the 9-3-6, for which there are several other reasons for using aside from its very favorable ratio.

Al


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I am sure that the data that you (Al) is supplying is useful but we all seem to have our own Best practices. I can only state that with the 10-52-10 solution I am using in the ratio of one tsp to every gallon of water has not had any ill effects but rather pleasant results. The inflo rate and growth rate has been very good. This is a routine that I have been using for the last three seasons.

With out having the technical backgroundas you may have is why I spend so much time in doing my research and spend the time in making sure I have the best possible mixture of soil for all my potted plants.

I am not trying to discourage anyone from following your advice only trying to state me experience with this type of fertilizer.


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 18:01

When it comes to nutritional supplementation, a very large % of hobby growers are confused by the options and conflicting anecdotal information; but it doesn't have to be that difficult. Sometimes the practices we favor are favored for valid reasons and other times for reasons not scientifically valid. It always behooves us to take some time to sort through our premises and detach anecdote or conjecture from science. That a grower is unable to detect any ill effects or limitations, or sometimes even perceives what he interprets to be favorable effects is still not positive proof that a practice is a good idea. Even what appears to be a positive result of nutrient manipulation can prove to be limiting. Examples include adding Epsom salts w/o adding Ca to help "green up your plants". That practice can cause Ca deficiencies - but you have nice green plants. Adding an Fe supplement to "cure" chlorosis can make your plants very green, but it can also cause a Mn deficiency.

We all make our own choices, but it doesn't make sense, to me, to reject settled science out of hand because we think we are seeing something that seems to refute it. If my observations don't fit what I know to be scientifically true, the first thing I do is rethink my observations until I come up with justification that fits what I can trust to be true.

If I had been using 10-52-10 and my plants looked good, and I had only just discovered that plants use 6X more N than P, my first thought would be, "My plants must look good in spite of what I'm doing, not because of what I'm doing. I wonder what will happen when I change my strategy so I'm supplying an amount of P appropriately commensurate with the amount of N & K I'm supplying?"

In hindsight, and because I've seen the results of paring back the P supplied to about 1/6 that of N, I can say the difference is very notable, but it's a difference you might not notice unless you have a basis for comparison. Lost potential is a very difficult thing to quantify in plants, but it's very real ..... and lost potential is lost forever - it can never be regained. This is stuff that can be learned from even simple books on plant nutrition or greenhouse management. It's nothing new to the growing community, it's just not widely discussed among hobby growers.

There are many hundreds of growers that post regularly here at GW that use 9-3-6 or other 3:1:2 ratio fertilizers for their blooming plants, and I've never seen it mentioned that it causes any diminishment in the volume of blooms. If we decide to put our faith in anecdote, that would be as good a place as any to start, and it would illustrate clearly that the excessively high-P "bloom booster" fertilizers are unnecessary, at best. At worst, the evidence is scientifically clear and has been brought to light in this and other threads that discuss nutrition.

If anyone is happy with what they're doing - I'm glad for them. As I noted, I'm not interested in trying to change someone's mind when they're dug in. I'm more interested in reaching others who aren't so settled in their ways or totally convinced that what they're doing can't be improved upon. There is nothing I said that isn't perfectly logical or can't be confirmed with a minimal amount of research.

Al


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Jplumeria, I think you were polite enough to read and acknowledge the information in spite of a couple of unnecessary little digs. A big part of what we do on this forum is share information, points of view, and experiences which enriches us all. Thank you for posting what you have found to work.


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"Conditions of high humidity, cold and a low transpiration rates may result in calcium deficiency."

Most plant studies are done on food crops. I can find "studies" done by individuals/groups but no scientific papers published on plumeria nutritional needs. Research money is never in abundance. Building, equipping and staffing labs is very expensive so you do research for who pays. I do not see plumeria growers, hobbyists or sellers pouring out millions of dollars for this research. If anyone can point me to these published scientific papers dealing with nutrition in plumeria I will be happy to read them.

Growing corn to feed a hungry world is a lot different than growing plants as a hobby. The nutrition needs are different. The nutrition needs of a mature tree are different from those of a sapling. The nutrition needs of a cactus are very different from the needs of a brugmansia that blooms 4-5 times per year and grows 6-10` in one season.

To even suggest that we have a complete understanding of plant nutrition is absurd.

As in most of life anecdotal information is often all that is available. Even in the medical profession. Therefore, it behooves me to get information on growing plumeria, or amporhs or cactus or whatever, from people who actually grow them and have experience with them.

OK, make the snide remarks now.
Tally HO!

Here is a link that might be useful: Plumeria society research bulletin


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RE: fertilizers

For any of you using Foliage Pro, how many of you are doing foliar feeding as well - specifically Coco Wet + Bills + Spray N Grow?

I'm not sure that I need these since the Foliage Pro is a complete fertilizer - is it just overkill?

Also, does it burn the leaves if not careful about sunlight afterwards? Does it kill beneficial insects if accidentally aprayed?

This post was edited by elucas101 on Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 12:28


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 14:53

Beachplant has made some statements that shouldn't be taken as true w/o qualification. The nutritional needs of all plants are very similar, in that the amount of nutrients they use in relation to other nutrients is surprisingly consistent (the ratio). IOW, you're not going to find a plant anywhere that actually uses more P than N. On average, plants use from 13-19 parts of P for every 100 parts of N. That's only a 6% spread, which isn't much. Genetically vigorous plants need MORE nutrients, but they don't need them in a markedly different ratio, and the nutritional needs of seedlings/saplings don't vary significantly from those of an adult tree except by volume - not by ratio.

Elucas - there is nothing wrong with wanting to squeeze all the vitality you can from your plants. Keep in mind that the most efficient pathway for nutrients to enter the plant is through the roots. We know that Mother Nature doesn't foliar feed, except in unusual cases where plants have evolved to take up nutrients from splashing water or other sources, so it's fair to say that if you see a significant improvement in vitality after foliar feeding, something is probably amiss with what nutrients are available in the rhizosphere. This would be true of plants grown in the ground or in containers.

I think foliar feeding is most effective when something is nutritionally lacking and that specific nutrient can be targeted, or when the plant is growing so rapidly that it can't take up nutrients fast enough to meet growth demands (not usually a problem - especially for containerized plants.

Foliar feeding CAN cause burning of foliage if the amount of dissolved solids in the solution is too high, or you spray at the wrong time, but if you are careful, it shouldn't be a problem.

If the pH of your soil/soil solution is favorable, and you're using a good fertilizer that contains all the nutrients plants normally take from the soil, and in a favorable ratio, it's unlikely that you'll be able to see any difference if you decide to spray nutrients on the foliage. In the case where the fertilizer you are using has a badly skewed ratio and is making it difficult for the plant to absorb certain other nutrients (creating antagonistic deficiencies or pH problems), foliar feeding might help. In cases where growers are using a heavy soil that forces you to water in sips, which ensures that fertilizer ratios in the soil solution will quickly become skewed, it also might be helpful. Honestly though, the effort might better be spent on correcting the cultural problems that lead to the deficiencies and the need for foliar applications.

Al


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 14:54

Deleted duplication -

This post was edited by tapla on Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 16:21


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RE: fertilizers

Thank you for the clarification Al, that makes sense! I have been using the Foliage Pro and I'm very happy with it. I use ProTekt too, but that's it. I really like to keep it as simple as possible!


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 16:36

There is a lot to be said for keeping things simple and getting the basics down before we start trying to fine tune things. Over the years, I've helped thousands of growers learn to get more gratification for their efforts, and there is no question that the largest strides are made as a result of getting the soil choice and watering habits to the point where they are not seriously limiting root health. Once you reach that point, you're also able to water so your fertilizer ratio doesn't quickly become badly skewed.

If you get the soil and light right, and a good nutritional supplementation program in place, there isn't much you can't grow well - with minimal effort. Once you're on sure footing with the basics is the time to start trying to fine tune things - otherwise it's like trying to play ice hockey before you learn how to skate. ;-)

Al


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Hello Everyone!

Emily... I just water the plants with the FP and don't foliar feed them at all. At times I may spray them with FE to keep the critters away, but really don't worry about doing much else since everything that is needed is in the Foliage Pro. It is convenient for me since I'm gone so often for work and then when I am home, I have many plants to tend too. I am like you.. I like to keep it simple! ;-)

Interesting information here.. Thanks Al for answering Powderpuff for me. I have been so busy that I haven't been here for a few days. You know that I would never mind you helping out someone for me. I think that my answer might have been a little longer tho. Lol.. I do appreciate you helping!!!

So much info and always good to read...

Thanks for your help!

Have a great night Everyone!

Laura


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RE: fertilizers

Thank you AL. I have used Foliage Pro in the past but recall seeing posted here to use the "Grow" formula with the Gritty Mix. I like to switch around once in a while and use the others to increase the blooms, enhance the colors and prolong the blooming period. Until they get a spike, I almost always use just Dyna Gro.and once in awhile Seaweed or Fish emulsion. I'm really hoping the Gritty doesn't stay too wet with the torrential rain for days we get down here in FL. I repotted all of them in it, still have 11 new ones to do once this late season cold front gets out of here this weekend. I think I can finally move them back out and LEAVE them out this time.

elucas.... I have Foliage Pro, Bills & Coco Wet but it's a pain to use and not sure it really helps all that much, I'll use it up but doubt I will repurchase. I always did it in the evening here in FL to avoid sunburn and never had any problems with it.


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RE: fertilizers

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 28, 13 at 16:18

I've left my succulents, cacti, & pine trees (pines hate wet feet) in a week of rain with no problems (in the gritty mix). If you screened it to remove the fines, you should be good.

Al


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