Plant philosophy
Plant growth boosters in practice
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Plant growth boosters in practice

Hello Planty Folks! I want to tell you all about the fertilisers and other liquid support I’ve been using last year – 2021. I figured the best way to do that is to divide them into three groups according to their function: fertilisers, boosters and rooting solutions. In the fertiliser group I will describe nutrients in hydroponic and soil together, because most of them I use for both purposes. The exception is my basic growth solution that can be used only to support a hydroponic cultivation. I use various fertilisers and I think that after almost five years of growing plants, I’ve gained a pretty vast knowledge about plant support solutions. As I grow over 250 plants in my house, I need more than just one fertiliser, but I’m trying to choose as little as possible and be as efficient as possible.

Let’s get to it:


Fertilisers

Foliage, soil, hydroponic

I use fertilisers all year around, because my plants don’t go to sleep. During the chilly, dark and short days in the cold season, I keep them in a growth tent and a cabinet under a battery of grow lights. I use various fertilisers depending on the season, and type of plant and type of medium that it is growing in.

As I keep my plants in various mediums, to keep the procedure simple, I really do like to use a foliar fertiliser. The one I’ve used so far has its pros and cons and I will tell you about it first.

Fish-mix

Biobizz

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This particular Biobizz product is an infusion of organic fish emulsion from the North Sea, mixed together with extract of 100% organic Dutch sugar beet. The manufacturer promises growth acceleration of all living organisms in the substrate and stimulation in the production of microorganisms and useful bacteria in all types of soil and coco-based substrates. Note: it doesn’t contain synthetic preservatives.

HOW TO USE IT: You can use it alone or with other Biobizz products like All-Mix or Light-Mix. It can be used as a water solution for foliage spraying or traditional – watering the medium.

Generally, it is indicated to use 1-4 ml per 1 l of water. I used 3ml of Biobizz per 1l od water. The plants that I keep in the soil got the nutrients during the watering once a month. Anthuriums that I keep in sphagnum moss – foliar spray. Note : you really shouldn’t use it after the mix has been sitting 6 hours…once I forgot to pour it away, and oh dear…you don’t want to know.

PROS: It is easy to measure out the right dose and apply once you have a dispenser 😉 (it doesn’t come in the package). I also give it a big thumbs up for the foliar option. It is very efficient, I still have about 3/4 of the bottle after a year. The roots got stronger, and the leaves – bigger.

CONS: The smell lingers for hours, and it is not pleasant. The sphagnum moss in my Anthuriums either way got tons of algae and I had to change the surface layer every two months, otherwise the roots were getting suffocated. It did not stimulate flowering in any of my plants.

CONCLUSIONS AFTER 1 YEAR: Not worth it, although I will give it one more try (one more year, as I have a lot of it).

Nirvana

Advanced nutrients

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: First of all It is all organic, so first plus for that. It contains pre-digested whey protein. Enzymatically-hydrolyzed whey protein ensures that flower-boosting amino acids cysteine and tryptophan are preserved in the biologically-active “L” form. The solution contains also surfactants from a Chilean Soap Bark and Yucca. A surfactant is a compound that reduces the “surface tension” of liquids so they and whatever they contain more easily enter your plants via roots and leaves (like soap on dirt ;)). The surfactants help to transfer nutrients into a plant cell.

Another important group of ingredients are “azomite” . These include calcium oxide, carbon, iron, hydrogen, silica, gold, magnesium, nitrogen, sulfur, magnesium oxide, antimony, chromium, cobalt, boron, molybdenum, copper, phosphorus pentoxide, manganese, indium, silver, zinc and dozens of others.

Nirvana has also a yeast component that contains 22 essential amino acids that build plant proteins, and it’s also loaded with B vitamins. B vitamins are particularly useful for cloning, seedlings, transplanting, motherplants and gardens.

Last but not least, the growth enhancer – bat guano that contains nitrogen, trace elements, amino acids, nucleic acids, proteins and minerals.

The manufacturer promises larger and more potent flowers!

HOW TO USE IT: 2ml per 1l. Depending on a substrate, they have various frequency recommendations. You can use it in hydro, and other mediums which is pretty cool.

PROS: Very easy to dose (again, if you have a syringe ;)), no smell, it is a multitasker :D.

CONS: Did not notice…

CONCLUSIONS AFTER 1 YEAR: As to the flowering…wow. I have to tell you, that when I’ve started to grow my Hoyas with Nirvana, even the small ones got buds in a month. I kid you not. So far I’m amazed by this product. I’ve also noticed a much bigger leaves and roots in my Anthuriums, as they are easy to observe. My Anthuriums grow in kokedamas, and the roots literally broke through the coconut shell. They are white with a pink hue and very fluffy. I’m truly amazed.

Grow with the flow

PLNTS

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Now a more low profile, cheaper fertiliser, that I received from PLNTS. It is also 100% organic like the provious ones. The manufacturer promises that this solution will keep your plants going strong, giving them the help they need to stay in tip-top condition. It is non-toxic (Hello animal owners!). It’s super concentrated, so it should be very efficient. It is suitable for all indoor plants – although I’m not sure what that means, because Aroids are not always doing good in home conditions. I would for – common plants.

It contains Nitrogen, Phosphorus peroxide, Potassium oxide, Calcium oxide, Magnesium oxide. So it has basic + ingredients for a good growth.

HOW TO USE IT: Recommended feeding – every two weeks. 8ml per 1l of water. Between October and February – 4ml. The PLNTS Nutrition is also very suitable for semi hydro.

PROS: Transparent bottle, so you can see how much is left. The cap is baby safe and it is also a doser, very handy.

CONS: Not so efficient after all ;). So far I can’t see visible improvement of the condition of my commoners, but the trial continue.

CONCLUSIONS AFTER 3 MONTHS: Will continue to test, it is too early to judge.

Hydro growth

Hesi

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The manufacturer claims that HESI Hydro Growth vital components are fully adapted to the growth phase! And let me tell you, they are.

COMPOSITION: 

NPK 3 + 2 + 4

Nitrogen 2,6% N,

Phosphorus 1,9% P2O5,

Potassium 3,6% K2O, 


Other: magnesium, calcium, sulphate and trace elements: iron, manganese, 
zinc, copper, boron and molybdenum,
plus vitamins B1, B2, B3, plant sugars and amino acids.

HOW TO USE IT: Dosage: 5 ml per 1l of nutrient solution.

CONCLUSIONS AFTER 1 YEAR: This is so far my number one hydro fertiliser. It keeps the pH stable for over 4 weeks which is pretty amazing. The plants grow really fast under the grow light. I didn’t have any root rot or other problems while using this product both with PON and Seramis.

Hydro A+B

Plagron

It contains all trace elements in a chelated form. Hydro A is rich in calcium which helps the plant against heat stress. Hydro B contains magnesium which enhances the production of chlorophyll. They complement each other resulting in a complete combination of nutrients.

HOW TO USE IT: Shake well before use. Add a maximum of 2.5 ml Hydro A per 1 litre of water (1:400). With every application of Hydro A use the same quantity of Hydro B. I use this solution each time the plants are irrigated.

COMPONENTS:

Hydro A
NPK (3-0-1)
Ca 4.2%
MgO 0.4%


Hydro B
NPK (1-3-6)
MgO 1.4%

CONCLUSIONS AFTER 3 MONTHS: I’ve started to use it recently and it is more tricky to achieve the desirable conductivity so far, but it is doable. It is not so quick as with Hesi, and I did make a mistake at the first feed. I almost lost my Anthurium seedlings. I think that it is less stable with the pH than Hesi, but it is too early to say for sure.


Boosters

My set of vitamins for plants

This year I’ve used only two supplements for plant growth as I focused more on the grow lights and the cabinet. But, in my humble opinion, those two are essential for growing Aroids indoors.

Boom boom spray

Biotabs

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Boom boom spray is vegan and organic. It contains with 100% natural amino acids, peptides, glucides & minerals. First od all it has a major anti-stress effect and it is perfect for the after-shipping stress, but also stress caused by extreme cold, extreme heat, low light levels, dehydration, or draught (hello Ficuses). The manufacturer promises also a nutritional effect. The booster gives the plants a nitrogen boost which increases the photosynthetic capacity of the plant and enhances absorption of minerals.  

HOW TO USE IT: 5ml per 1l of water. Use the solution within 6 hours.

For indoor use: Spray the plants until dripping wet. Preferably do this just after the lights go on. 

For outdoor use: Spray the plants early in the morning.  

Mother plants: Spray the plants 2 days before you make cuttings. 

Cuttings: Spray the cuttings two days after they are rooted. 

Changing pots: Spray the plants immediately after they are transplanted.  

Stressed plants: Spray plants once and if necessary, repeat once more after 5 days. 

COMPOSITION: Organic Matter 45% 
Organic Nitrogen (N) 5% 
Soluble Peptides & Plant Amino Acids 30% 
Glucides 10%

PROS: It is very well absorbed and it begins to have an effect after only two hours. It can be used with all other fertilisers – for soil, coco and hydroponics. BoomBoomSpray is safe for plants, animals and humans. 

CONS: None?

CONCLUSIONS AFTER 1 YEAR: This is my golden product of the year. It is quite pricy for the volume, but it is very efficient. I still have the small bottle. It saved all of my imports this year and some of them were in a horrible state. I can vouch for this one.

Sensi Cal Mag Extra

Advanced nutrients

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The manufacturer is as always not modest and describes it as an abundance of chelated calcium, magnesium and iron that will make wonders to the plant general health. Sensi Cal Mag Extra

HOW TO USE IT: 2 ml per 1l to correct deficiencies. Repeat after 1 week, if necessary. Suitable for hydro, foliar spray, as a part of regular soil feeding program.

CONCLUSIONS AFTER 1 YEAR: Very good for Philodendrons, especially with good old Micans (that pushed huge leaves after that). Secondly, I think that this is what helps my stubborn albino Syngonium Emerald Gem to push some green out – not sure though, still in a test phase.


Rooting solution

Support for cuttings and more

The queen is only one ;). I mean, maybe not, but I am very happy with this one so far. There is a lot of mixed feelings about Rhizotonic, but I think that I know why, so read along and fix your usage if you are against this product.

Rhizotonic

Canna

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: CANNA RHIZOTONIC is a powerful, algae based, vegetative stimulator for plant roots, but it also enhances overall plant growth and metabolism the plant (due to the development of the roots). It contains multiple vitamins and is 100% natural. It suppose to stimulate new root growth on cuttings and transplants.
Besides stimulating root growth on plants it also stimulates new root growth on cuttings and transplants. The minerals and vitamins stimulate the production of hormones and root growth, thus providing beautiful, strong white roots.

So, to summup – it is especially useful during the first weeks of a plant’s life, since young plants are the most vulnerable, but it also stimulates further root development, increases the plant’s resistance to diseases and promotes its inner and outer strength. I use it also in the recovery process of any stressed plant or cutting (then it is best to use it as a foliar spray).

HOW TO USE IT: Shake bottle well before use. 4ml per 1lof water (1:250). All you need to do is spray the cultivation medium 1-6 times daily (yes, that often! Not just once, it is very important if you want to actually have the results).

A very interesting application for the garden enthusiasts (season is coming!): it can speed up the germination process when used to soak seeds prior to planting. You can soak the seeds in a diluted solution (40ml/10 litre) and it will soften up the seed skin, making it easier for the seed to burst and germinate.

Another useful application is rising the pH. Use it as a foliar spray to rise the pH in hydro cultivation.

You can of course use Rhizotonic regardless of the type of medium. It is suitable for cultivation in potting mix and hydro culture. When re-potting, you can pre-treat the growing medium with this solution – I find it very handy.

And a very, very imprint note: set the pH of the nutrient reservoir after adding Rhizotonic as it will slightly increase the pH. I think that most of the lack of satisfaction with Rhizotonic is caused by non-compliance with this rule.

PROS: Easy dosage, no smell, very efficient.

CONS: The need to adjust the pH is a bit of a pain.

CONCLUSIONS AFTER 1 YEAR: I love it. I use it mostly when repotting plants and for the propagation in the Aeropropagator and it makes wonders with the root growth. Definitely stays for 2022.

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