Fertilizing MG's?

Phoenix, AZ

I have a ton of seedlings ready to go outside :) This will be my 1st year of focusing on a MG garden. I have one crazy vine that blooms deep blue profusely! But all the others are new. Do you fertilize yours? I know some vines bloom better when fertilizer is withheld. I have 5 bamboo teepee trellis set up and several wood trellis ready for the big transplant, probably in a week :)

Shepherd, TX(Zone 8b)

It's best not to fertilize, since with morning glories, you'll end up with more leaves and less blooms. I like to start my seeds out with healthy soil, like potting soil, but then not add anything to it over the summer if I can help it, depending on where I transplant to. If you have some really poor soil, I suppose that a hit with 1/2 to 1/4 strength wouldn't hurt, but it's best not to give too much.

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

Fish_knees - there are many different types of nutrients/fertilizers...the macronutients are Nitrogen,Phosphorus and Potassium(expressed as the NPK ratio)...the micronutrients are the trace elements...

Nitrogen present in 'excessive' amounts during the the mid and later phases of the plants growth is the 'fertilizer' that produces alot of foliage,but Phosphorus is usually bloom inducing(bone meal or other high Phosphorus fertilizer)...additionally a shortage of trace elements can impair flowering...

Liquid fish emulsion will provide macronutrients in amounts that won't burn the plant or inhibit flowering,and mushroom compost also has an excellent effect on MG's... liquid kelp is very good for trace elements...so,if you are unsure about using any fertilizers,using the ones that I mentioned might help and won't hurt...This is part of my experience with providing some nutrients for the plants...

Generally speaking I agree with QueenB in that a healthy potting soil is a good bet,and should yield favorable results...although if some plants do not flower,then using some high phosphorus bloom stimulant might help and won't hurt...

TTY,...
Ron

Lubbock, TX(Zone 7a)

Ron, good info on fertilizing MG's. In the absence of fish emulsion, I assume that most of the commercial fertilizers, such as Miracle Grow, that have high Phosphorus content will be OK?

This last year I did it the old fashioned way--------mixed livestock manure into the planting bed before planting and had a great display of Flying Saucer 4" blooms. Heck of a display that looked great from the road 100+ yards away.

As the old saying goes, "A poor boy's got poor ways" !

Perry

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

Hi Perry,

I use supertriplephosphate when I'm intent on getting phosphorus to the plant...the NPK on that is 0-46-0...
Every single plant can have an individualistic response to a set of local growing environmental variables,such as exact growing medium composition in conjunction with varying light,moisture and temperature gradients...I've seen mixed responses...but the miraclegrow may have too much nitrogen for some situations...sometimes the phosphorus seems to override the effects of a higher Nitrogen situation and sometimes not...

The time factor in which plants become 'acclimated' to a particular habitat and pass this response on as a genetic disposition can also vary,but generally I find that plants from seed do best if grown out in the same conditions as the parent plant was grown in...especially if the parent stock has been growing well in a particular location for several or many generations...plants from seed that I have harvested here,tend to do better than plants from seed harvested in a 'different' location...

Alfalfa fed animal manure is usually rich in trace minerals,since alfalfa roots reach deep into the soil to absorb trace minerals...

I use 'regular' compost that I make from kitchen scraps and other organic yard debris...sometimes I use specialized composts made from 'particular' plant(s) and parts...

Although MG's are not as a rule 'fussy' about the soil,some experimentation with enriching the growing medium of some of the plants with 'different' things might yield interesting results...

When I grew MG's as a very young boy,I rarely used any additions to the regular soil that was in the yard,and they always grew and flowered just fine...

TTY,...

Phoenix, AZ

Thanks everyone for your replies :) I'm in Phoenix and the soil is like cement :( I think I'll just treat them to water from my Koi pond every once in a while :)

Lubbock, TX(Zone 7a)

Ron, that's an interesting observation that plants might adapt to the environmental conditions the parents, etc, were raised in. Is this a genetic adaptation that develops over a period of time, i.e., natural selection where the deeper rooted or specific color traits might allow better survival in a dry area?

I notice in checking the formula on Miracle Grow Bloom Booster, it shows 10-52-10. Is this 10% nitrogen going to cause excessive growth of foliage, or does it depend on how fertile the soil is? I've got to believe that the Japanese people "feed" their prize plants a good dose of something to get the large blooms on their "show" plants. Joseph, you seem to have had a lot of dealings with some of the Japanese growers. What's your thoughts on this fertilization of MG's?

Guess if plants being adapted to their environments applies, then looks like I am going to have problems! I've got seeds from all over the USA, Mexico and Japan (guess the Mexico seed won't be that much problem since its hot and dry there too) !!!

But ain't it fun to try to raise a few good ones?

Perry





This message was edited Feb 21, 2006 11:53 AM

Thumbnail by Txwillie
Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

Txwillie - Plants from seed may(!) show varying degrees of pre-adaption relative to the growing environment of the parental stock,and the examples that you gave justly illustate this aspect of gradual adaptation to environmental conditions...

Regarding

"...Bloom Booster, it shows 10-52-10. Is this 10% nitrogen going to cause excessive growth of foliage, or does it depend on how fertile the soil is?"

Yes,it depends on how much nitrogen is already present and the various aspects related to the bioavailability(!) of the nitrogen.

Regarding
"...believe that the Japanese people "feed" their prize plants a good dose of something to get the large blooms on their "show" plants."

Remember that the flowers are actually modified leaves,so if leaves need Nitrogen to build protein(amino acids) for their structure,it would seem to be the case that the flower tissue also requires protein(s)/amino acids and if the plant does not have a steady supply of Nitrogen in the medium,then it draws upon the Nitrogen resevoir in the leaves...this can help to cause premature browning of the leaves,which would not make for a very high quality show plant that needs to have nice looking leaves as well as nice show flowers...a Nitrogen source in the growing medium that is not too high,but has a high bioavailabilty factor provides the plant with sufficient Nitrogen to flower nicely,retain nice healthy looking leaves without impairing flowering...



The asagao clubs that are very 'serious' have a tradition of being reluctant to share their best prize seed stock and specialized techniques developed by the particular club to any 'outsiders'..

This can be analagous to the experience of many anthropologists who find that only after a somewhat prolonged period of living with a particular group of people and actually being accepted as one of the 'tribe' are they able to find out that what they were initially told was the standard 'gruel' fed to 'all anthroplogists' as the inside joke of the tribe...
but as far as I know all the stops are pulled out when it comes to biological manipulation of the plants metabolism...plant hormones and other compounds may very well be used to induce and encourage the prize plants seen on display...


"Joseph, you seem to have had a lot of dealings with some of the Japanese growers."
Perhaps Joseph would be able to expound further based upon his correspondence with the Japanese growers...

Regarding "Guess if plants being adapted to their environments applies, then looks like I am going to have problems!"

Not necessarilly because it depends on the adaptational genetic flexibility present in the plant stock that you get,so some seed stock may respond by displaying an immediate and relatively high degree of adaptation to a different set of growing condition variables,whilst others may retain more of a tendency to want to see a 'homestead' environment 'just like 'Ma and Pa' had...

So
"But ain't it fun to try to raise a few good ones?"

Isn't that the 'mischief' that were all up to(!)...


TTY,...

Ron

Lubbock, TX(Zone 7a)

Good explanations, Ron. Sometimes all of this talk about MG's doing good in poor soils and "be careful about applying fertilizer or you get all vine and no flowers" makes us lose track of the nutritional needs of the plant. For a long time I have been aware of the quality protein containing required amino acids needed by livestock. Glad you hit on this point re: plants.

I can remember when I was a kid, my mother always had beautiful flowers and she didn't use a lot of commercial fertilizers on them. Used cow manure on everything except the roses and she did buy some bone meal for them. Also there were no nurseries where you could buy a flat of petunias and have instant beauty. Every thing was raised from seed, most of which was ordered from far off places. Boy, would she have been amazed at the wide variety of plants we can find and research on the Internet today !!!

Shepherd, TX(Zone 8b)

It sounds like the superbloom stuff would work for me. We tested the soil here, and it's moderately acidic with next to no nitrogen and low phosphorus. We've also recently started a compost barrel using household scraps, so I may experiment between that and the superbloom to see what the difference is. I know the JMGs aren't too happy with the soil in the yard, but most other species absolutely love it.

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

I can try to glean information but like Ron sez it is hard to get.

Joseph

Aschaffenburg, Germany

Flat of petunias? What did you mean by that Txwillie??? Sorry, foreigner...

Martin

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

Martin, in case Txwillie doesn't see this...A flat of petunias or any flower is a number of plants in separate small cell packs in one tray, usually about 48 plants total called a "flat"

Here in my area of PA they run any where from 10-15 dollars.

Aschaffenburg, Germany

Thanks for the information...that's quite a few 48...

Winston Salem, NC

Great ideas about morning glories. Would be a great plant for seed swaps. But do you ever find that MG become invasive? I know I've run into problems with them in community gardens. Also, what about Moonflowers. I like to grow morning glories and moonflowers together but have much better luck with Morning Glories. Any secrets out there?

Louisville, KY

This lattice fence has bright red fujis (non invasive Japanese MGs) in the morning and giant beautiful moon flowers at night. This was this morning and I'll try to get a shot tonight when the MGs close and the moons open. I say do it. It's a winning combination. and the smell of the moonflowers at night is just this (*) close to heaven. Good luck.

Thumbnail by Soulja
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Shawna - Well ... isn't that a sight for sore eyes! BEAUTIFUL combo you have there! Funny you posted this as I just started seeds for my next grow-out and on both sides of my arbor I planted Moonflower and Lady Yaguruma's Kaleidoscope seeds. I figured those two together would look awesome growing up and over the arbor from both sides. I just hope they germinate and have warm enough weather here to grow, grow, grow, and blooooooom! I love your horizontal trellis along your walkway! Cool idea! I should just study the interesting garden beds that you do for ideas. I find that I like similar plants and garden areas! So glad to see you enjoying the MGs! :-)

Louisville, KY

well girlfriend here's the big fence with the Big Daddy Mad Brazilian from seeds you gave me! I put all my mornings MGs on Carol's thread if you care to jump over there. I gave you a big shout out. so thanks for all the goodies Becky!

Thumbnail by Soulja
Louisville, KY

this is a beautiful bloom from your strip mix pack

Thumbnail by Soulja
Louisville, KY

one more. This came from Emma Grace via you or Karen....

worth enlarging.

Thumbnail by Soulja
Louisville, KY

some fancy ones with good ol' Grandpa Otts volunteers

Thumbnail by Soulja
Louisville, KY

aw heck this is really the last one (((cuz i thought of you with this.

Thumbnail by Soulja
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Oooooooh! How lovely they ALL are!!!! I love your fence with all the vines growing on it! And that last one of what looks like a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly is a wonderful photo! Great shots all of them! Thanks for posting such gorgeous photos! I saw these photos and more on Carol's thread (#39) about a half hour ago! LOL! I do read that thread ocassionally, but am just a lurker. When I skimmed it, the MG photos you posted caught my eye! ;-) Thanks for posting them over here, too! You do have a great photographic eye!

This message was edited Aug 22, 2008 8:43 PM

Louisville, KY


thanks!!! I lurk here too and love skimming for great photos & inspiration from all of you too. GREAT blooms for 2008. =D

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

sawpalm - I was reading this thread again, and upon reading your question ...

I, too, have found that sometimes Moonflowers don't sprout quite as quickly or easily as most other MGs. Not sure why. Though I have had them grow just fine here. This year I've not been as lucky to get my Moonflower vines going. But ... I am also going to give it a go again! So my attitude is ... go for it! The results might be better than you even imagined! :-)

Jacksonville, AR(Zone 7b)

Beautiful blooms Shawna. Great to see you posting again.

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

sawpalm - There have been threads devoted to controlling growth and preventing invasiveness...and maybe it is time for you to revive the topic by posing the question as the start of your own new thread...(!)

Here is a thread on limiting MG from spreading that I intentionally posted to one of the Free Forums
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/886233/
in response to additional information that was requested in the ID forum


There is a FAQ's thread
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/824965/
where Becky,Bluespiral and others spent alot of time organizing and linking to previous threads devoted to particular topics... provided as a courtesy for everyones (hopeful ) easy reference...

There is also the general MG thread
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/893018/
where the generalized photos are usually posted and where many different topics are initiated to explore (in even further detail) within the threads devoted to those specific topics...

Shawna - Thanks for dropping in with your steadfast contributions and for cluing us in as to where we can hope to locate most of your more recent MG photos...(!)

Do you fertilize your MG's at all with any type of supplementation (?)...or does the topsoil in your yard naturally provide for all of their nutritional needs...(?)


TTY,...

Ron



This message was edited Aug 23, 2008 9:45 AM

Louisville, KY

Hey Ron!
This message was edited Aug 24, 2008 2:13 AM

This message was edited Aug 24, 2008 2:16 AM

Thumbnail by Soulja
Louisville, KY

patootie! for you.

Thumbnail by Soulja
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Shawna - All the vines are growing in pots? Not the ground? Inquiring minds want to know! ;-)

Louisville, KY

no only a couple are in pots and they're doing much worse than the ones in the ground..... i did make a new thread so go there with your favorites from this season and make it kaleidoscopically (omg that IS a word!) colorful!

Jacksonville, AR(Zone 7b)

A lovely bouquet for me. Thank you Shawna.

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

I inoculated my JMG seedlings with mycorrhizal fungi this year and have not had to resort to high P fertilizers. I use one that has a 2 for Phosphorus and the plants are doing awesome things in terms of vitality and flowering. I have read that if you use a high P fertilizer it inhibits the development/infection of the soil mycorrhizal fungi and plant symbiosis.

Joseph

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Joseph - Is this a product that you purchased or a mix you developed?

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

I purchased the mycorrhizae product from an online garden supply company. It was "Rooters Mycorrhizae" endo/ecto mycorrhizae blend. I used a slow release organic fertilizer halfway through the season; I placed some worm castings in each container at the beginning of the season. I may try some other soil fungal product next year, just to experiment.

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Interesting information Joseph! Thanks for sharing your experiment results with us, too. Something else to look into! :-)

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

Joseph - Thank you for resurrecting the original topic of this thread and re-directing the focus...as we have learned that what specifics may get frowned upon today,can often become of keen interest several years down the road...

The rhizosphere environment can get complicated...whether you like it or not...it is what IS happening...NOW...

The various species of fungi that form relationships in a wild environment are often not present in a less than a totally wild environment...the fungi are often very dependent upon the leaf material that covers the surface of the ground in a cold compost environment...this is why certain trees die when the forest around them is virtually cleared,because when the surface roots are deprived of the leaf mold covering,they starve...so if you rake your leaves or otherwise remove the material that would form the cold compost...the fungus will be severely impaired and / or not present...additionally some species of fungi are very particular as to exactly what material they will thrive in...

The different species of plants form symbiotic relationships with different species of fungi...some plants are very 'flexible' in being relatively non-specific as to rhizosphere relationships in contrast to plant species which have a high degree of specificity as to the fungal and microbial species with which it will be able to form symbiotic relationships...

The products containing fungi may or may not contain the fungi that each plant species likes...in fact a product that enhances the proliferation of certain species may help the plants that work well with it,but may be an inhibiting factor for the higher plant species that do not particularly like the fungal and / microbial species that are being enhanced...

Products that contain a 'cocktail' of various innoculants may produce organisms that compete with each other and with 'something' eventually winning out...what wins out may or may not be symbiotically compatible with a particular higher plant species...or the environment simply may not be structured to support the fungal and microbial relations for a particular higher plant species...rarely can you please everybody...whatever gets 'pleased' is sure to 'displease' something else...that's life...

The special fungal relationships are not the only living organisms involved in modulating the root environment based upon the root secretions from the plant being fed upon by various microbes and the byproducts of microbial metabolism influencing the rhizosphere...

Mycorrhization Helper Bacteria (MHB) are microbes that are in the rhizosphere and are beneficial in addition to symbiotic fungal relationships...

Plants can develop very individualistic relationships with microbial colonies in the rhizosphere...

The tricky part of this is that is can be difficult to determine if the proper symbiotic microbial relationships are in place due to the various 'unnatural' conditions that humans confer upon their environments...

The short story is that if the full multiple organismic relationships are present and there is the 'right' NPK ratio,then supplementation may be unnecessary...

The perfect relationships are very often not present,especially in container grown plants and if you want to insure that the plants are pumped with phosphorus then high phosphorus dosing is the only surefire way to achieve it...

High levels of rhizosphere phosphorus does inhibit and / or prevent the mycorrhization although different plants vary in the degree to which mycorrhization symbiosis is necessary...there is no mycorrhization in hydroponics...and Mycorrhization Helper Bacteria (MHB) and related microbes may be able to substitute for fungal symbiosis...

There is plenty of room for gaining additional knowledge of the complexity of the potential microbial rhizosphere relationships...

Let us know if your plants seem to like the particular fungal enhancers in your local environment...

TTY,...

Ron

P.S. - There is an analagous situation in relation to human intestinal bacteria and pro-biotic products for human supplementation...different people are designed to want to see certain intestinal flora and apparently the only way to know which particular combination of species is best suited to your individual system is to try everything...and even then the time factor that it takes for initial colonization and re-colonization coupled with all of the immediate and long term metabolic effects leaves a theoretical and practical quandary...

E.G., are the current good effects experienced the result of the temporary interaction of the new metabolites (of the new product) with the residual older metabolites (of the former product)...which when the temporary interaction resolves,the new product which made things temporarily better,will then progress to make things worse...ad infinitum...

You can choose to ignore 'better' if you achieve 'good enough'...and if it ain't broke,don't fix it...(!)

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

Ron,

Thanks much for adding to my comments, quite inspiring verbs to grow by.

I agree about the species of mycorrhizal fungi in commercial products. I have seen in the literature that the most common Arbuscular-Mycorrhizal (AM) fungal species is Glomus intraradices but some products have a boatload of species with the hope of matching the right fungus with the plant. I learned from a USDA scientist who conducts research on AM fungi and he said any AM product ought to be ok, but to watch out for high phosphorus fertilizers and not use them, for reasons stated above. He said to look for references to endomycorrhizal fungi on product labeling because most plants except for some pine species will respond to this type of soil fungi.

I used to change the soil in my containers every year thinking the plants would do better with the new substrate. I have converted to the "no-till" method of growing plants because I learned that disturbing the soil by excessively digging or disturbing the soil column has quite a deleterious effect on the AM fungi in the root zone or rhizosphere.

The whole topic I find quite fascinating. The Internet is full of information on this subject. You gave us a great introduction to it, Ron!

Joseph

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Fabulous thread guys! Ron and Joseph, your posts on mycorrhizal fungi are particularly informative and thought provoking...

Joanne

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

Here's a link for some further reading on the soil fungi:

http://www.ibiblio.org/london/orgfarm/faqs/fungi-faq.html

Unfortunately none of the links at the bottom of the page work.

Here is a link to great reading on the subject.

http://www.parco1.com/text/mycorrhiza/Mycorrhiza%20Primer.pdf



This message was edited Aug 24, 2008 8:33 AM

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