seanabc
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:33 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Fertilizer ratios for Orange seedlings

I know someone who can make up fertilizer for me to whatever ratio I need. I'm just wondering if anyone can advise me on what would be the best formula for Orange seedlings? I've been looking around the web and I found one place that recommended 8-3-9 or 8-2-10 with at least 3% magnesium. Does that sound right?

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

seanabc,

I don't really have much experience with Citrus. I do have a flat of seeds right now but I'm still learning about them too. The "Clementines" I have seem to utilize the seed as a food store and it has lasted several weeks so far. Until that seed is exhausted you probably don't need to worry too much about fertilizer.

If you are past that point then you are right to begin some sort of fertilization. I don't think I would worry too much about ratios right now. Get started with whatever you already have on hand while you can look into their specific needs.

Are there any southern gardeners out there who have more experience with Citrus? Sean, I would be interested in seeing a photo or two if you get the opportunity.

Norm

seanabc
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:33 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

[img]https://bonsai3.net/images/ORANGE04.jpg[/img]

Hi Norm,
Here is the pic of my orange seedlings. The one on the right is nearly three months now. The other two are less than three weeks old. I think they're both growing from the same pip as they're so close together and popped up within a day of each other. It's interesting that the pips were all planted at the same time. It just shows that you can never be sure how long it'll take a seed to germinate.

My reason about asking about the correct fertilizer mix is because of the previous eucalyptus seedlings which I was growing. They were doing fine until I gave them a little fertilizer. I read later that Australian plants don't like phosphorus! I don't want to repeat this mistake with my orange seedlings.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

seanabc,

Thanks for the picture. I know what you mean about more than one plant emerging from a single seed I have a few of those too. Apparently some varieties of Citrus are polyembryonic, produce more than one potential plant. I was not familiar with this phenomenon before.
[url=https://img441.imageshack.us/my.php?image=clementineeh4.jpg][img]https://img441.imageshack.us/img441/5213/clementineeh4.th.jpg[/img][/url]
I did some research regarding fertilization and found that the general guidelines are high N, low P and moderate K. Something along the lines of a 5-1-3 ratio. I'm referring to the ratio now not a specific strength. You could end up with 15-3-9. Make sure you chose something with a good assortment of micro-nutrients.

Norm

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

I'll just throw my two bits in here:

these fertilzer ratios sound like they are coming from synthetic fertilzers. Now if you choose to use them, that's your perogative but, synthetic fertilzers can burn plants, they do nothing to improve the soil that the trees are growing in and the kill flora and fauna living in the soil that can and often do benefit your tree in many ways.

Many people do just fine using synthetic fertilizers but, if you use organic fertilizers you won't have to fertilize as often, your tree will be much more able to fend of disease and you will actually save money in the long run, because a lot of synthetic fertilizer is water soluble and is just washed away.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Opa,
these fertilzer ratios sound like they are coming from synthetic fertilzers.
Perhaps, but not necessarily so. I have seen (and even used :shock: ) natural products that list N-P-K ratios in the same manner as synthetics.

Norm

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

You are right but, the NPK ratios that I have seen in here like 5-10-_ would be synthetic.

Another thing about organic fertilizers. They contain a lower concentration of the needed macronutrients and are usually quoted as decimals like 02-.14-.36 .

And the really great thing about organics is that they don't just contain macrontrients they also contain micronutrients.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Opa,
the NPK ratios that I have seen in here like 5-10-_ would be synthetic... Another thing about organic fertilizers. They contain a lower concentration of the needed macronutrients and are usually quoted as decimals like 02-.14-.36 .
There are natural products that have been blended and contain all three of the "big three nutrients" rated in whole numbers. I have used a product from Epsoma that is rated at 5-3-3. On a philosophical level I like that this is derived from natural ingredients but it has a tendency to clog my medium. In bonsai culture I strive to maintain a free draining medium and this type of dry, powdery material is not conducive to that end. I would really like to find a natural product that is balanced and granular that does not break down immediately and clog my medium, do you have any suggestions?

And the really great thing about organics is that they don't just contain macrontrients they also contain micronutrients.
I have in front of me packaging from Peters 20-20-20, it lists the micro-nutrients included as Magnesium, Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum and Zinc. Perhaps these are not the full compliment and perhaps they are not derived from the sources you would wish but to imply that synthetics lack micro-nutrients is simply not accurate.

Norm

seanabc
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:33 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

This is kind of off-topic but I've been reading a bit about the difference between polyembryonic and monoembryonic seeds and it seems that the polyembryonic ones are clones of the mother tree whereas the monoembryonic one is a hybrid.

I was wondering why the two new seedlings looked different to the older one and that seems to be the reason for it.

tejada
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:05 pm
Location: Chicago

HI! Im new to this forum and it is filled with so much information. I love it. I just started this experiment with a citrus seedling. I would like this to someday be a Bonsai. Any suggestions? Here are some pics of my young orange citrus. I just repotted it to this pot by itself. My wife loves oranges and just happened to take a seed and plant it on one of the many houseplants, so I have and decided to take this further.

im trying to attach some pics ..

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

tejada,

Welcome, we don't host pictures here but all is not lost.

Go to [url]https://imageshack.us/[/url]

"Browse" to the location on your PC where the image resides

Then click the "Host it" button

After the file is done uploading choose the appropriate image code from the list, "thumbnail for forums" is good

Left click on the code to highlight the code

Then right click and COPY the code.

Come back here and right click and PASTE the code into your next post.


Norm

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”