Re: fertilizing 1st year Cyp seedlings

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Abgeschickt von Uta von Rad am 21 Oktober, 2005 um 10:37:30

Antwort auf: fertilizing 1st year Cyp seedlings von Stephen Vella am 20 Oktober, 2005 um 00:50:20:

Hi Stephen;

... again I would advise to follow the advise in Camiel's paper... but to be a bit more specific on your questions:

"Is fertilizing 1st year deflasked Cyp seedlings a good idea? There seem to be mixed messages in regard to this topic."

It depends entirely on the substrate you use. I fertilize all my seedlings except for acaule. If you use organics in the substrate (which I would advise against!!!!) then maybe you shouldn't?

"I am aware of the dilution rates of 1/10 stenghths and use of Osmocote. Stay away from organic fertilizers and urea. And always leach out the potting mix between fertilizing. But when it comes to applying them should one consider the make up of the potting mixes? Ones with pure inorganics compared to ones with 10% organics (coir, bark no humus)...can they both do with fertilizing?...or not bother fertilizing the mixes containing organic?"

I have seen the magnitude of first year out of flask seedlings die quickly in substrate mixes that contain organics. So I do not use organics for seedlings anymore. Actually I only use very little organics for my adult plants. I do use a thin layer of firr duff as a top dressing even for my seedlings, but nothing anywhere near the roots. I would very strongly advise you to do it that way! Then you can fertilize from the start of the season onwards. Can't tell you how to handle seedlings with organics.

"...and should one consider the more hungry species...? What are the more hungry species?"

You may fertilize the "hungry" species more but you don't have to. I would say the hungry species are formosanum, japonicum, fasciolatum, reginae, maybe californicum and flavum. But don't overdo it. I fertilize all my seedlings the same and I don't see any lack in the hungry ones.

"And some say "don't fertilize, as mine all died"....may be from other cultural reasons or are some species sensitive to fertilizers?..and I know not to fertilize C.acaule and C.arietinum."

It is always cultivation and substrate mixes... I know one person who even managed to keep acaule alive for three years with a bit of fertilizer (but after 3 years the plant died). I fertilize arietinum and it is still o.k. (3 years old now). I do not think any species of Cypripedium is super sensitive to fertilizer. The problem is that more fertilizer means not only more growth of the plant but also of fungi! So there is always the threat of plants dying from fugal infections because of more fertilizer...

"Also, when to apply the fertilizers, can one apply them as the buds are bursting or when fully leafed out?"

I fertilize from the beginning of the growth season until end of August.




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