The nutritional program at Michigan State University is vastly different from the majority of recommendations circulating within the horticultural world about the fertilization of orchids. Several years after the release of their wildly popular original blends comes a new blend called K-Lite.
The K-Lite fertilizer formula (12-1-1-10Ca-3Mg) has been developed in response to studies suggesting excessive potassium, whether applied, obtained from, or accumulated in growing media can have a negative impact on the health of plants, especially in the absence of adequate calcium and magnesium levels. The RO Blend was the first fertilizer to address this, the K-Lite being an improvement on that formula. Some key data which was used to develop this formula is as follows:
- Tissue data analysis from wild collected plants showed that calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations were often greater than that of potassium (K), yet most fertilizers have it the other way around.
- Epiphytic plant tissue and leaf litter analysis revealed that K is relatively uncommon (compared to Ca and Mg) in the tropical rainforest environment, and epiphytes are well adapted for efficiently extracting the very small amount of K which may be available. It has been suggested that such an adaptation may leave some epiphytic species unable to regulate K at the higher concentrations available in fertilizer, or naturally occurring in organic media components like fir bark or coconut husk products.
It is recommended give two to three applications of the fertilizer followed by a generous root drench of water (Fertilize for three weeks, then the 4th week just apply regular water to flush out any salts which may have built up in the pots).
Our packaging is perfect for those with small collections. Each bag contains 8oz. (1/2lb.) of granulated MSU Fertilizer with a measuring scoop included. The package is a metal mylar package with a resealable zipper to ensure no moisture intrusion. Small packages were specifically chosen to allow for cheaper shipping options, to help with storage as well as to reduce any large loss from potential moisture exposure (Those of you who have lost a 5lb bag of fertilizer to moisture intrusion will know just how frustrating this is)
Derived from: ammonium phosphate, boric acid, calcium nitrate, copper sulphate, iron EDTA, magnesium nitrate, manganese sulfate, potassium nitrate, sodium molybdate and zinc sulfate.