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Hey everybody, I've been using a Miracle-Gro brand orchid fertilizer on my plants for a few months and the results seem a bit dubious. I diluted the fert to approx 1/4 strength and have been using it every 2 weeks as a foliar feed and a little bit through the soil. I'm wondering if anyone has noticed smaller pitchers from this. I've also used it on my pings and some of them seem to be producing smaller leaves. It's almost like the plants grow too fast to fully develop, if that makes sense. The only plant I can see absolutely positive results from is my spathulata x hamata, the rest seem to be making smaller pitchers. I'm planning on switching to Maxsea if it ever gets here! Has anyone else experienced this?!
 
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No product made by Miracle Gro should ever come within 50 feet of your CPs; this stuff is poison to insectivores.
 

Not a Number

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With all the over-use of fertilizers this is something I have been anticipating happening.

It has been well documented that over-fertilizing Nepenthes will lead to smaller pitcher growth and eventually to the lack of pitcher growth all together with just the development of the photosynthetic leaves.

http://www.carnivorousplants.org/cp/CarnivoryCosts.php

Then we have the carnivores that hedge their bets all the time. Nepenthes has large leaf petioles for direct photosynthesis since the pitchers perform little if any photosynthesis. If the temperature is too warm or too cold, the soil too dry, or plant is has been fertilized too much, Nepenthes plants abort production of traps on new leaves and live like a normal plant. Aquatic Utricularia uses its stems for photosynthesis and they can become rather leaf-like. Terrestrial Utricularia and Genlisea with their underground leaves develop leaf-like protuberances above ground for photosynthesis. Are these plants cheating or what? As any crook will tell you, they are just trying to make a living.

A 30-10-10 fertilizer is pretty high in Nitrogen. 16 is usually the highest recommended amount. Try diluting 1/16th and feeding once a month. I would stop fertilizing until better pitcher growth occurs.

Peter D'Amato;s current recommendation is the Maxsea 16-16-16 product at 0.25-0.75 teaspoon per gallon once a month. Maybe every two weeks. Start at the lesser amounts and monitor growth.
 

Plant Planter

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With all the over-use of fertilizers this is something I have been anticipating happening.

It has been well documented that over-fertilizing Nepenthes will lead to smaller pitcher growth and eventually to the lack of pitcher growth all together with just the development of the photosynthetic leaves...

And it's obvious why. Nepenthes only make pitchers so that they can gather nutrients. If they get enough nutrients, why waste energy making traps? It's just like how a well-fed Venus flytrap will stop making traps. Unfortunately for us, these plants make traps for survival purposes and not just for aesthetics.
 
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I know normal Miracle-Gro is bad for CPs but I thought the orchid fertilizer would be ok for the Neps. I'm definitely not going to fertilize for a while and, when I do, it will be with Maxsea. The only reason I used the 30-10-10 is that I've seen it recommended in various places, obviously it is not working for my plants.
 
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A 30-10-10 fertilizer is pretty high in Nitrogen. 16 is usually the highest recommended amount. Try diluting 1/16th and feeding once a month. I would stop fertilizing until better pitcher growth occurs.

Peter D'Amato;s current recommendation is the Maxsea 16-16-16 product at 0.25-0.75 teaspoon per gallon once a month. Maybe every two weeks. Start at the lesser amounts and monitor growth.

I have used 1:4 strength 30:10:10 fertilizer for years and haven't experienced any problems. Also, D'Amato still recommends it in his revised The Savage Garden, as well as MaxSea (it being more effective, in his estimation, than 30:10:10, on live sphagnum moss) . . .
 
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One thing I've been doing these days (because I'm lazy) is setting the fertilizer bottle to "stream" and shooting a shot of fertilizer into the pitchers (and not flushing it through the soil). This way the nep still thinks it's getting it's nutes through the pitcher and so far none of them have quit pitchering due to this.

Just FYI: I use Grow More brand urea free orchid fertilizer 20-10-20 formula mostly though I do have a container of the bloom formula as well. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...ps,246&rh=i:aps,k:grow more orchid fertilizer
 

chibae

An orchid fancier with a CP problem
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I know normal Miracle-Gro is bad for CPs but I thought the orchid fertilizer would be ok for the Neps. I'm definitely not going to fertilize for a while and, when I do, it will be with Maxsea. The only reason I used the 30-10-10 is that I've seen it recommended in various places, obviously it is not working for my plants.

I don't let Miracle-Gro anywhere near my orchids, or any of my plants for that matter. While my orchids get a varied diet of MSU cal-mag, peter's 20-20-20 and a urea free foliar fert. The cps only get a very diluted feed of the urea free foliar fert, fish pellets and real bugs.
 
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Yeah glad I realized what was going on before the damage was irreversible. I just figured 30-10-10 would all be the same regardless of brand. Won't be using that stuff again!!
 
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