Fertilizing

Fish oil emulsions, seaweed mixtures and any of the rich inorganic fertilizer formulations such as Rapid Gro or Miracid can be used to fertilize carnivorous plants. Organic fertizers such as fish oil emulsion in small growing areas or terrariums can cause devastating fungal infections. We strongly recommend that organic fertilizers not be used in small or confined areas.

Various growers recommend different dilutions for the inorganic fertilizers. The recommendations are confusing because the dilution that works for one grower is detrimental to the plants when tried by another. Frequently the deleterious effects of fertilizing results from the addition of nutrients which the planting medium already has in sufficient quantities. We have tried different fertilizers at various concentrations in a variety of planting media and can recommend diluting the fertilizer about 8 times the label recommendation. To our knowledge growers diluting at this rate have not experienced any untoward effects. For example, if the label calls for 5 teaspoons (25 ml) of fertilizer per gallon or liter of water, Va this rate is 2/3 of a teaspoon (3 ml) per gallon or liter. [One tablespoon (Tbsp.) is equal to 3 teaspoons (tsp) and 1 teaspoon is equal to 5 milliliters (ml).]

Application of fertilizer

The fertilizer solution is applied once every 3-4 weeks to the soil during the growing season. The solution can be sprayed on the leaves of some species, a process called foliar feeding. Some of the fertilizer solution can be placed in the pitchers of Nepenthes, Sarracenia, Heliamphora and Cephalotus.

Plants should not be fed and fertilized at the same time. One or the other is done, but not both. If plants are foliarly fed, no fertilizer should be placed in the soil.

The addition of fertilizer to the water of aquatic species usually results in algae growth which can be troublesome. To avoid this problem use microorganisms to feed the plants.

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