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pH adjusting products: Citric Acid, Dolomitic Lime, and Oyster Shell
rePotme now has pH Test Strip Kits in the exact range necessary for testing orchid water, fertilizing solution and mix. Convenient, easy to use, inexpensive and designed for providing the data you and your orchids need. With 15 feet of Test Strip per Kit (roll), you will have plenty to use again and again on multiple pots and over time.
Unlike other testing kits, our pH Kit tests pH from 4.5 to 7.5. Orchid growers typically want their plants to grow in the middle of that range, 5.5 to 6.0 for optimal orchid growth. The green color that will show on the Test Strip marking that range is easy to spot, not yellow and not blue, and the color comparison chart is right on the container for easy comparisons. Knowing pH is one of the most critical factors in successful growing because that gives you insight into the water and media makeup that your orchids live on. "Flying Blind" on these gauges makes no sense when you can simply look and see with our easy to use and inexpensive test kit.
The maintenance of optimal pH allows orchids to consume the nutrients that we give them. We mix fertilizer and water and hope to feed our orchids. Unfortunately, if the pH is too high or too low, the orchids will not be able to consume all the nutrients we are giving them in the fertilizer. This can result in nutrient deficiencies even as we are pouring nutrients on the plants! Types of water and fertilizer both have an effect on PH. So does the mix your plants are in. Our pH test strips are simple, accurate, low cost and with no calibration required.
There are two primary factors at play when it comes to PH, the pH of what is added to the pot (water, fertilizer) and the pH of the orchid mix. After orchid mix has been in a pot with an orchid for awhile there is a lot happening that can have an effect on the pH of the orchid mix. The orchid mix breaks down over time and that causes changes in PH. That is one reason repotting is so important for these beautiful plants. As fertilizer and water are regularly added to the mix, they have their own pH and they leave behind residue. Testing with our Kit can be done several ways and commercial growers of all types of crops, not just orchids, typically will test the pH of the mix in the pot every few weeks. One method we are particularly fond of is the "pour-thru" method since it does not involve disturbing tender orchid roots. About an hour after orchids have been watered, take a plant and pour nice clean water (distilled or RO) through it until a couple of ounces leak from the bottom of the pot. This water, called the "leachate" can then easily be tested for pH using the Test Kit Strip.
Each Kit has 15 feet of Test Strip and is smaller than a deck of cards. The paper is simply pulled out from the roll, torn off and is ready to use. Compare the color of your piece of strip after dipping it into the liquid you are testing to the chart right on the dispenser and you will know exactly what pH your plants are growing in!
At the end of the day it makes sense to keep both the pH of the fertilizing solution and the pH of the orchid mix within the optimal range for nutrient absorption. For most orchids we recommend a pH between 5.5 and 6.0. To lower PH, use Citric Acid. To raise pH use Lime or Oyster Shell. If the orchid mix pH is too high, micronutrient deficiency can occur. Conversely, if the pH of the orchid mix becomes too low, micronutrient toxicity can occur.
For more information on water quality, please see the article originally printed in Phalaenopsis and the AOS bulletin which is reprinted here with permission Part 2 - Water Quality. The entire 4 part article on orchid nutrition is available from our FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer page.
Store in a cool, dry place. Keep out of reach of children.
“This fall I religiously followed your advice, creating an environment of shortened
days and lower temps in order to encourage blooming...I was successful. FINALLY!! Thank you, thank you!!
Both of my plants decided to bloom and they look beautiful. I wanted to share the good news and
my gratitude with you. Thanks again!”Laurie J.
“The potting medium you sent is gorgeous!! It's superior to the bark I've been
buying at Lowe's. I can't imagine what (my orchids) will do when I put them in your potting mix. It even
smells fresh!! Many, many thanks. I'll be ordering from you again.”
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