nature, plants get nutrients from organic debris that collects at
roots. This can be anything from decaying tree bark to bird
Complex interactions involving live bacteria,
microbes break down this organic matter so the plant can
process is almost impossible with potted plants because potting
mixes are sterilized, killing the bacteria needed to transform
the organic matter. So potted plants rely on the grower to provide the
nutritional elements they need to grow.
The Real Food Plants Need
Don't confuse "Plant Nutrients"
with "Plant Food".
real "food" plants use to grow is the light, water,
and air. See box at right. Nutrients, on the other hand, are
the minerals absorbed at the roots.
If you're not
giving your plants the proper
food they need to grow (light, water, air), your choice of nutrients
Plants manufacture their own "food". Using the
power of the sun, they mix air, light,
and water to make
These carbohydrates are the real
"food" that stimulates new growth. This process is
Nutrition" is the mineral
elements collected by the roots that enhance photosynthesis. These nutritional elements
compensate for lack real food plants use for growth (air, light, and
give your plants that extra shot of energy with more nutrients, make
sure they're getting the
"real food" they need for healthy new growth.
Orchids are much
more finicky about nutrients than houseplants. In nature, houseplants
live on the forest floor where nutrients are
abundant. Their roots grow in a combination of soil, decaying leaves,
animal droppings, etc. These plants have the luxury of picking and
choosing from an "all
you can eat" smorgasboard of available minerals.
on the other hand, grow where moisture and
nutrients can be scarce. To survive in this harsh
environment, they have adapted to living comfortably on a slim diet
So, instead of depending on your fertilizer to get
healthy plants, make sure your orchids are getting the real food
they need - light, water, and air. Plant food helps, but it's
More harm is done from too much fertilizer than not
enough. In fact, I've never seen an
orchid die from lack of fertilizer.
||Nutrition for Orchids
A complete and
program for orchids is easy with hydroponics. Because hydroponics
doesn't rely on the growing media for any nutritional value, everything
your plant needs is packed into the fertilizer - in a form the plant
can use immediately. Simply
add the nutrients to the water and they're absorbed by the plant's root
system. No complicated biology necessary.
a definite rythum or pattern to their growth
habits. The key to a successful nutrition program for orchids is making
to match those rythums.
Start by using a basic "Grow
Formula" that has everything
your plants need for growing
healthy roots and leaves. Apply
Dyna-Gro Grow 7-9-5.)
2. Then, when flower spikes appear, switch
to "Bloom Formula" to encourage bigger
and brighter flowers. Apply every watering. (See Dyna-Gro
3. After the flowers fade away, eliminate fertilizer altogether until
you see new growth again. Your orchid is taking a well deserved rest.
It's that simple.
internal calendars that determines when they bloom. Don't try to
your plants to change their schedule - it won't work! Seasons
vary with each type of orchid.
Some plants bloom
in summer, others prefer winter. What those orchids you
see in the store that are constantly blooming? Commercial growers go to
great lengths to trick them into blooming. No one buys a plant that
doesn't have flowers!
supplements you might want to try.
supplement to be added to Grow or Bloom formulas as a bloom
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is a benefitical element to reduce stress. Add it to
your nutrients to build stronger plants and flowers that resist heat
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the roots! Give the roots a boost with KLN Rooting
nurtrient solutions focus on
leaves, stems and flowers, KLN promotes vigorous roots. Even mature
plants benefit from an occasional KLN treatment.
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