Test results of Essential Growth Hormone,
Companion anti-fungal inoculate and Worm Tea
Den Cathy Beck was the orchid chosen. It is a miniature orchid growing to only 5-6 inches. It produces flowers on plants as small as 2 inches and flowers have a half life of 60 days. It is one of many exceptional Dendrobium developed by the University of Hawaii.
We imported a plug tray from Hawaii. This plug tray was 10 x 20 inches and had 98 plants. Each plant was about the size of a one inch pot. The plants were potted into 2 inch pots and distributed to the members. About 50 were left for the nursery to flower. It can flower anytime in the year, but the best flowering Season is Sept-Dec for this orchid.
We started using Essentials Growth hormone after the plants were distributed. The product was used at the rate of 1 tsp per quart sprayed with a garden sprayer every 14 days.
We use it mixed in a solution of Worm Tea, Companion and Essentials. In a gallon of non-chlorinated water we use 3 oz of Worm Tea; 1/4 oz of Companion; 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of Essentials
Worm tea is the natural microbes from a worm bed. It is these microbes that enable a plant to absorb fertilizers. The microbes enable the roots to retain water longer. It has the added benefit of being a natural pesticide.
Companion is Bracillus bacteria and a systemic fungicide against black rot and root rot. It acts as an inoculate immunizing the plant against fungal attack rather than a fungicide to kill an infection. The best cure is to prevent the disease in the first place.
All three do different things beneficial to the overall health of the plant. They are compatible and can be mixed for a time saving application.
The are all natural products and safe for humans, pets and the environment.
Here are the results as of August 2008 after only 3 months.
Several plants were so small and leafless as to be one step short of the burn pile. They were potted and surprisingly not a single plant died of the 50 we kept. Survival of 100% is rare on any plant. Photo May 21, 2008
All have grown tremendously. The root balls were about the size of a large marble on arrival and normally rot off upon re-potting. Today the plants are pot bound in the 2 inch pots from new roots.
All the plants have doubled in size. In the last 3 days 13 of the 50 plants have put up flower spikes and it is still early in the flowering season for this orchid. In the photo, you can see 3-4 flower spikes and the rest appeared the day after the photo was taken. I now expect all the orchids to flower this season. Photo Aug, 16, 2008
Essentials has become a permanent part of our maintenance routine.
Mounted orchids benefited greatly from Essentials. Summer is re-potting time for Cattleya in Florida. Many times pots are overgrown and divided into several smaller plants. Normally this slows growth for a while and delays flowering.
These photo were a plant cut into three pieces, one potted and these two mounted. This was done the last week in June. The cuttings were soaked in the worm tea, Companion and Essentials mixture and sprayed every 14 days after that.
In only 5 weeks, the two pieces mounted in the photo each had new roots grow five inches onto the wood mount. (Note the roots hanging over the side were from the original cutting – the roots attached to the wood are new). One of the two produced these beautiful flowers and the other is in sheath.