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Old 22-02-2003, 06:15 PM
Jim Landers
 
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Default Phal blooming question

Charles, DynaGro is an excellent fertilizer, so I don't think it is the
problem
at the strength you're using it. These questions may answer some of your
questions:

1. What kind of potting medium do you use?

2. How often do you repot your plants?

3. Have you considered using DynaGro Grow half the year, or mixing
Grow and Bloom half and half to arrive at a more balanced fertilizer?

4. What shape are your roots in? Do you have good root balls, or are the
roots
black on the ends & stunted?

We've got people on this forum who get good results with all kinds of
potting
mediums. The thing is, the medium you use determines the method of watering,
how often you change it, etc. If you don't change your medium once every
twelve to eighteen months, the amount of fertilizer you use becomes
important.
Every time you fertilizer, you're adding salts to your medium. If you repot
often,
it's a moot point. If you haven't repotted your plants since you bought
them,
it matters a lot. You're not using too much fertilizer, per se, but if
you're using
bark or gravel or some other well-drained medium, I'd suggest you rinse it
before
you fertilize it. This leeches out accumulating salts. After rinsing, wait
until the pot stops dripping, and then fertilize. If you're using moss, cut
down on
your fertilizer (1/8 of a teaspoon per gallon). Moss is like a sponge. It
not only
holds a ton of water for it's weight, it stores fertilizer, too. If you use
real dilute
fertilizer with it, it will last longer.

If your roots are good, the problem is elsewhere. Maybe your plants need
more nitrogen. This could especially be true if your using bark. In fact, if
you've got your plants in bark, I'd use Grow at least half the year after
they've
bloomed and are setting leaves until just before blooming season. Or I'd
switch to a balanced fertilizer.

I was curious when you said your giving your plants 2,000 ft candles. What
kind
of fluorescents are you using? I use GroLux wide spectrums which I believe
are
about 1800 when they're new and have had good results with them; although
we have people on this forum who get good results with shop lights.

How many hours are you giving your plants. I give mine 14 hours. I don't
think
I'd give them less than 12, and I'd forget about trying to change the
amount with the season. That may be necessary for some orchids, but I don't
think Phals are that sensitive. If your leaves turn red, that could be a
sign of too much light, and you may want to try a plant with reddish leaves
in a spot that gets a little less light (east facing
window would be good).

What kind of water are you using: Tap? R/O? Dehumidifier and what's its pH?
These seem like nitpicking little questions, but really hard water will put
a lot
of calcium carbonate in your pot real fast. It won't kill your plants right
away,
but as it builds up it will slow 'em down. Changing medium once a year
corrects
for a world of sins and keeps you in touch with your plants' roots. FWIW.
Jim








and how often do you repot
your plants? ,
unless you're
"Charles Peters" wrote in message
...
I'm fairly new to all of this, have only been growing for three or four
years, under lights. I've noticed that while my phals bloom each year,
with each year the spikes are shorter and the blooms less spectacular. I
grow under fluors at about 2000 ftc's and use Dynagrow/Blm, 1/4
tsp/gallon each week. Any thoughts as to why I seem to be left with a
bunch of shrinking phals? Thanks.