FOLIAR FEEDING: Controversy Lingers on

Culture Orchid Doctor

by Robert M. [Bert] Hamilton (Compiler)

Originally published in The Orchid Doctor in 1980 and 1988

Posted by Sys Admin over 5 years ago.

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One group believes it works, the other doubts it and both are right to a degree because the run-off to the roots is important; but in 1967 radioactive phosphorus was absorbed by the leaf half an hour after application on large plants, so the assumption is other elements can be absorbed by the same pathway; algae can be a build-up problem on the leaves in foliar feeding. F83-11
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More The Orchid Doctor Articles under the Heading Foliar Feeding

Foliar Feeding Comments
FOLIAR FEEDING: Action Experiments show that 90%, of the total potential foliar absorption occurs within 30 seconds if the leaf is moist. OA80-80 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Benefits Research shows many plants, presumably including orchids, are able to absorb nutrients through their leaves, buds, flowers and fruits. OD72-211Research shows that certain plants are able to absorb certain nutrients through their leaves; heavy waxy layers (cutin) on some plants checks absorption; some growers declare the fertilizer that goes in the pot is the beneficial one. A62-926 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Cattleyas as Subjects Uptake can be vividly demonstrated of radioact ive phosphate moving into the leaf, then to the pseudobulb. A85-974 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Effective or Not? Experiments show that a cattleya hybrid readily absorbed a trace chemical through the leaves which suggests other nutrients will also be absorbed; mid-morning is the best time to apply. AU82-107; A84-210; A86-719 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Experimental Tests Cattleya leaves and roots were compared for absorption of derivatives from phosphoric acid; leaves readily absorbed it and it was transmitted in 24 hours to the pseudobulbs. OBII-209 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Foliar Fertilizers So-called -- How Do They Differ From the Usual Ones? Not much and claims for them are so much hot air, they are almost the same, with an analysis usually above 40 total. A81-266 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Foliar Uptake Absorption of phosphate demonstrated; refer to W2-155 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: In Cattleyas Experiments showed that foliar feeding by absorption through the leaves took place, if at all, at inconsequential rates. A64-391 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: "liquid Sunshine" Formula As used by rhododendron growers: 1 pint corn syrup (Dextrose), 1 pint hot water, 2oz. seaweed liquid concentrated fertilizer, plus trace elements; mix well; use 4ttpg.; has been used successfully on seedlings; fish emulsion may be substituted for the seaweed product. OA82-73; OA83-147 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Not Satisfactory for Orchids Good for tomatoes and plants with pubescent foliage, thin cuticles and many stomata; orchid leaves have thick cuticles usually, few stomata, and are resistant to water loss; their roots are especially adapted for absorption. A65-910 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Sugars Use a mist sprayer to apply a solution containing one tpg. regular fertilizer plus 2 tpg. of sugar at time of spiking; dilute molasses can also be used. OA82-73 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Sugar Sprays These caused cymbidiums to bloom earlier with a stronger solution: 1 pint Karo corn syrup, 4oz. fish emulsion or seaweed+fish fertilizer, 1 teaspoon boric (borassic) acid, 12 oz. water; mix well, use a 4ttpg. as a booster starting in June. OA84-85 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Through Leaves Foliar applications of nutrients can cause salt build-up on leaf surfaces; this supports algae growth; wash off the salt. F79-117 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Through Leaves, Etc. The cuticle areas of (non-orchid?) plants can absorb fertilizer; it can enter easily. C73-106 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: Who Uses It? At Kew it is mostly used in preference to fertilizing in the pots. OR87-7 0
FOLIAR FEEDING: With Water Soluble Fertilizers Use a mister or fine spray, especially on the undersides of leaves; 90% can be absorbed at the proper dilution; do not use in hot sun; do not use on newly potted plants before signs of activity. S114 0

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