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Invisiblespaceman101
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Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti
    #20415953 - 08/14/14 02:28 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I've been searching the forum and web on and off for some time know trying to find solid information on columnar fertilization. I keep finding largely differing answers so I was hoping some of you guys on here could share some of your insight here in hopes that it will help more than just me.
I was wandering when are the best times for fertilization and does this vary by area and climate?
What are the proper levels of fert that is best to use and what are the correct amounts of each fert compound to look for to help cultivate Trichs with even, thick and regularly expanding new growth?

I've still got a few more smaller questions but I got stoned :towelie:
so I'll post them tomorrow.

Thanks
  Spaceman101


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Invisibleferrel_human
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: spaceman101]
    #20416177 - 08/14/14 03:28 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I usually do a couple of scoops of jobes knockout at the beginning of the growing season. Depending on the size of the pot. Then every once and a while I'll fertilize with Miracle grow bloom booster. I mix like 3 scoops to a 5 gallon bucket full.

If you want big huge amd healthy fatties I notice pot size seems to be a good indicator. Ive always said the bigger the pot the bigger the plant. But thats just me. I am sure someone will chime in to disprove what I have said with some scientific research paper and what not.:rolleyes:


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Offlinenicechrisman
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: spaceman101]
    #20416191 - 08/14/14 03:33 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I just give mine a granular organic meal based fertilizer with stuff like blood meal, bone meal, kelp meal, and all kinds of other good stuff. I also give the ones in pot an application of dolomite lime once a year or so.


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"Cosmic Love is absolutelely ruthless and highly indifferent:
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John C. Lily

 


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Invisibleferrel_human
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: nicechrisman]
    #20416197 - 08/14/14 03:35 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

nicechrisman said:
I just give mine a granular organic meal based fertilizer with stuff like blood meal, bone meal, kelp meal, and all kinds of other good stuff. I also give the ones in pot an application of dolomite lime once a year or so.




Totally forgot dolomite lime. I do that once a season. I use that garden lime from the depot. Lowes has it too.


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Nature is my church and walking through it is gospel. It tells no lies and reveals all to those who look, and listen, closely.
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Invisiblespaceman101
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: ferrel_human]
    #20419844 - 08/14/14 10:56 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Awesome information! I wish I had jobes knockout around here as I've been searching every since you first brought it up and a couple others agreed it worked wonders. I was hoping someone could explain what elements inside the fertilizer is most needed for trichs and L williamsii and what do these components do for the cacti? kinda like I know larger nitrogen levels tent to cause cacti to grow rapidly often causing stretching as well as possibly damage the cacti.


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Invisibleferrel_human
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: spaceman101]
    #20424821 - 08/15/14 11:44 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

That I dont know. Everything I have evwr read says phosphorus is very important in cacti.:shrug:


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Nature is my church and walking through it is gospel. It tells no lies and reveals all to those who look, and listen, closely.
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: ferrel_human] * 1
    #20436118 - 08/18/14 08:50 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I switched this year to a totally different method of feeding my plants (although it only works because I do it manually with a watering can. It may be trickier if you use a hose or some automated watering system): all the water that goes to the plants has some diluted fertilizer. I choose a balanced formula (around 10-10-10 NPK) and dilute it so as to give me ~50 p.p.m. N. With a 10-10-10 that would be 1 ml / l or roughly 2 ml / gallon. Whenever I feel that enough time has passed, I add some more for one watering (every other month or so).

As for brands or types, go to a agricultural supplies company (or find one online) and look for fertilizers used in greenhouse crops, especially the types that have calcium, magnesium and trace elements diluted. They won't have all the nice packaging and sounding names but they'll be a lot cheaper and more balanced.

Plant fertilization is not too different among species or even families. The same principles apply with the differences mostly relating to the speed or vigour of the plant in question. Bear in mind that Trichocerei, especially the ones people like the best here, are fast growers whereas Lophophoras are not - hence, feed accordingly. What makes plants grow is nitrogen, but upping the dose will only work to a certain degree past which it'll get you in trouble. Compact, thick growth is better promoted with soil type, container size and solar exposition rather than feeding.

And don't forget that a graft's behaviour is that of the stock. :wink:


--------------------
Z. in sunny Lisbon, Portugal
Cactus grower particularly fond of north american miniatures.
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Sowing cacti - my way!
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: LSoares]
    #20437184 - 08/18/14 02:32 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I fertilize my cacti with several different fertilizers. Common grocery store fertilizers to houseplants, cannabis grow fertilizers etc.. Everything is ok and I always check NPK-value before I use/buy any of them.

First of all I use rocky and airy coco coir mix for cactus plants.. It's basically non-fertile growing medium. Except few species similar to trichs I give them some organic potting soil as well and it have fertilizers for first month or two. Younger plants benefit longer from potting soil and fertilizers in it. Sometimes it's too strong as fertile soil for cactus.

BioBizz have good organic fertilizers, only 0,5-2ml/1Liter is enough, depends what species you are going to fertilize, use less if you use BioGrow because it have more nitrogen and it can burn example peyote skin if used too much. Bloom-formula have less nitrogen and it can be used more but still it's not free of nitrogen also.

I can say one thing about BioBizz fertilizers; just use it as strength 10-50% for cactus. If there is 3ml/1L "common" then give cactus like +1mL and no more.. Also there are lots of grow fertilizers you can buy from grocery stores, use them also similar way and only lower strength than information next the bottle says.

I have also fertilizer bottle named "Ata 13/14" it is purely PK-fertilizer what I use for cacti but mostly I mix it small amounts to some nitrogen fertilizer. Sometimes I give only PK-fertilizer, more than nitrogen.

What I have find out you can freely use cannabis grow fertilizers for cactus, there are soil fertilizers with different formulas, grow, bloom, etc.. You can also combine the fertilizers(to get proper NPK-value you want) and use only low amount of them. I have like 3 different brands o fertilizers, some have no P, some have no N and so on.. They can be mixed to almost anything you need.

Once you buy bottle or two different fertilizers, they probably are enough for several years.

Sometimes fast growers are easy to fertile when you transplant them.. Just add fertile rich soil as new soil.. It's enough for some time.

I would say based on my experiences, the rule of thumb is: any fertilizers is ok based by brands I have been used so far, no matter of brand much. Only matter is you really should not give too much fertilizing for cactus plants so 10-50% strength is ok of any kind plant fertilizer, you can start from 10% strength and slowly increase it.. Especially if you grow nitrogen lowing trichocereus, you can give pretty much of any fertilizers, still they can get overdose so always cut off the strength to half or lower so your plants don't accidentally got any burns from fertilizers.

I've heard chicken poop are also very good source of fertilizers to most cactus.. I don't know still it's amount, I've never used it myself but one of my friend who grow cactus use chicken poop only and add it one time in season for indoor windowsill cacti.

Thing is; if you want to avoid nasty smell(if cacti are indoors) you should not add chicken poop to every pot at once, only one or two pot at time is ok and smell isn't so overwhelming.

Also I want say about there are as much soil mixes and fertilizers used as much there are cactus collectors so one say "this is perfect" and another have different opinion to fertilizing.. Cacti will going to need fertilizers but overall, you need to learn to fertilize your own cactus the way you see your plants enjoy it..

I like to use BioBizz brand because it's good for soil grow and it's not so strong so accidents is easy to avoid by using own brains when you're add sum fertilizing for plants, cactus doesn't make difference else way than you basically don't need to use fertilizers constantly.. Trichocereus may need fertilizing almost constantly but will do fine by fertilize them only few times in grow season and end well before winter.

I really don't measure my fertilizers much.. I just pour "some" to water and then give it to cactus plants..

If you buy cannabis growing fertilizers for cactus, just make sure you use soil fertilizers, some water grow fertilizers may be very strong and accidents may happen with them. Someone may be different mind about but I suggest to use organic fertilizer always for cactus.

Only thing is I use Bcuzz ATA PK13/14 fertilizer what I use as it is without anything else or I add it to boost BioBizz fertilizing.. Mostly I spray phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) based fertilizer to my cacti when it's night time.. That stuff is very potent and need only 2.5 to 15 ml to 10 litres of nutrient solution. So for cacti it's basically just ~1mL /10 Litre or less.

Late season I don't give nitrogen at all but I may give some P and K by spray of water or simply add it to water I give to my plants.. Ofc slow growers and fast growers I fertile different..

Lophophora: very small amount and rarely
Trichocereus and many others: I fertile almost every time I water but I drop nitrogen totally off at July and start it again at late March or early April.

Bcuzz ATA 13/14 is purely flowering booster fertilizer but suitable for cactus as well, and one liter bottle is enough for few years but with that fertilizer you need nitrogen source somewhere else.

Ofc with these fertilizers I have said I use small grain rocks to get growing medium mineral based enough.. For peyote, ariocarpus and few other slow grower, I have mixed powdered limestone to coco coir to make it more alkaline but with that stuff it's better not to use too much... Otherwise it's very nice and lophs seems to enjoy it more than coco coir only. Also I have some limestone chips in the rock mix I use for plants. Totally I have about 4-6 different type of rocks in growing medium as well.

I keep organic cactus soil away from lophophora plants, using only coco coir. Trichocereus and other columnar and water resistant plants have some organic potting soil in the growing medium mix.. Also fertilizing is different from those two, lophs I don't mind to to water nor give much fertilizers but what comes to other plants I fertile them pretty much over grow season. I have just never count how many times I fertile my trichocereus but in general way more than lophophora or similar tap root cactus what I barely even water.

Quote:

ferrel_human said:
If you want big huge amd healthy fatties I notice pot size seems to be a good indicator. Ive always said the bigger the pot the bigger the plant. But thats just me. I am sure someone will chime in to disprove what I have said with some scientific research paper and what not.:rolleyes:




To certain point of cactus life, size of pot really matters, especially with big columnars. Older they are, more stunted they go if pot stay small. Small cobulars do fine in small pots tho. Easier to collect more specimens as well.


Edited by intelligentlife (08/18/14 03:34 PM)


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Invisiblespaceman101
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: intelligentlife]
    #20438705 - 08/18/14 08:21 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Awesome thank you so much for explaining some of these things I've been trying to grasp. I'm hoping to keep this thread going so many of the more experienced growers can get on here and share what they've learned with people starting this hobby.

I read where you wrote that you mist at night time with a light phosphorus and potassium mix and this interests me. I've been misting my trichs at night with water and I've actually noticed more growth than before I started.

Could you explain a little more about this and I was wandering if you used granular fertilizer do you always have to be sure that it doesn't come in contact with the cacti or it's roots? Stupid question I know but I just keep wandering about all these things because I can't seem to find a solid agreed upon answer. I hope you keep posting here intelligentlife you seem to have a good grasp on cacti needs and how to explain to people that take a lil longer to grasp these things and I've noticed your English has gotten even better since I first seen you posting here.:super:


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Invisiblekarode13MFacebook
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: spaceman101]
    #20438952 - 08/18/14 08:56 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

if you used granular fertilizer do you always have to be sure that it doesn't come in contact with the cacti or it's roots? Stupid question





That's not a stupid question at all. It's a good one.


You should always avoid applying any granular fertiliser to the foliage or main part of any plant as it can cause fertiliser burns, this is especially true with commercial fertilisers. If you get it on the plant then you just hose it off as soon as possible.

As for incorporating granular fertilisers into the soil. The key is applying the correct amount of fertiliser, always follow directions, to avoid burning your plants. Too much can kill or burn the plant, less isn't a bad thing. You can always add more but it's hard to fix a burnt plant.

The pellets or granules can be in contact with the roots when it's incorporated with the soil so long as it's at a rate that wont burn the plant. This rate will be determined by the product you use. As a general rule you should use any new fertiliser at quarter strength.



Here's what I use:


Quote:

karode13 said:


All I use on my Trichocereus are:

Blood and bone (bonemeal)
Fish emulsion fertilisers
Seaweed extract.
The rare water with a general tree and shrub fertiliser with trace elements.

*Also apply a handful of Dolomite lime to soil surface of each Trichocereus pot at the beginning of the groing season and lightly fork in. They use a bit of Mg and Ca.


All of those should be readily available at any decent nursery/hardware store.





Lophophora I fertilse with fish emulsion, seaweed extract and repot every 2 years incorporating fresh soil that contains a slow release fertilser.






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OfflineJAVA
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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: karode13]
    #20440858 - 08/19/14 04:15 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Fertilizing depends on the substrate that you use AND on the nutriënt content inside that cacti. There are special labs that do leaf analysis to determine the %CaO, %MgO, NPK inside. Maybe these data are already on the internet.

As a rule of thumb, I use 15% potting soil + 85% gravel as substrate and use once 1g/L ammonium sulphate at the start of the growing season. Every 2 weeks I give them liquid Orchid fertilizer. (since Orchids grown in trees they are sensitive for too much nutriënts, like Cacti): this works.

In the winter I don't give them water anymore. They boost again at the start of the new growing season.


Without knowing what there is already inside your soil, it's impossible to give advice.

Fertilizing is not needed for young cacti, only the older ones.


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Re: Understanding proper fertilization for columnar and globular cacti [Re: JAVA]
    #20441342 - 08/19/14 09:11 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Something most people don't consider/comment on the fact that at different times of the year cacti can benefit from different amounts of NPK similar to cannabis cycle.
During the summer which has high sunlight even compact globular cacti benefit from a higher nitrogen content without having etiolated growth; 3:1:2 being the ratio to shoot far to prevent any lockout. DO NOT USE THIS more than once a year if your globular cactus is not in very mineral mix as the nutrient salts will build up in organic material and cause unwanted growth patterns.
During spring and fall a lower nitrogen content with higher P and K is recommended. Careful with extremely high P content as plants can only use up so much and the rest will remain in the soil building up with each fertilizing.
When approaching winter you should flush the soil to remove any salt buildup; don't fertilize the last two or more waterings. And do not water during the winter unless there is extremely wrinkling of the skin. If there is only water a small amount.

You can keep it simple and use a balanced fertilizer the entire year and the cacti will grow just as nice. Remember to also include micro-nutrients especially if your in a inorganic mix.

You can go even simpler and use a rock mix and not even need add nutrients :lophcrankey:

PS. I keep it simple with just a 1:3:4 fertilizer at 1/2 strength every few watering to prevent salt buildup and due to the fact that its what I have available. I wish I could have added more nitrogen especially during this hot summer to have an extra boost in growth; there is always next year.


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Edited by modern.shaman (08/19/14 09:34 AM)


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