NOTICE:  MagAmp is no longer available! (August 1, 2013)

             We have known that the day would be coming and it is now here. Our supplier will not provide any more.  We will use all available MagAmp in complimentary packets sent with each of our plants and hope to have a replacement before we run out.  We are now running trials on a promising replacement for MagAmp and invite those interested in participating in our trials to contact me at david.f@fukubonsai.com 

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FERTILIZING; 
Revised recommendations!

                PLANTS NEED FERTILIZER IN PROPORTION TO ITS RATE OF GROWTH!   Plants growing outdoors in 5,000 to 10,000 foot-candles of light in full sun will grow more quickly and require more and stronger fertilizer.  But within 12" of a window, the light level may be only 400 foot-candles. Next to a computer,  the light level may be only 50 foot-candles and the plants are barely surviving.  If you have very poor low-light growing conditions,  fertilize only with very, very weak fertilizer!  Resign yourself to having a plant that will survive but not flourish!  Consider getting two or more plants and rotate them to an optimum growing area where there is good light and supplemental humidity. 

                Historically, there are two types of Fuku-Bonsai customers.  Those who enjoy growing our slower-growing Hawaiian Lava Plantings, and the increasing number who are creating an ideal growing environment and are growing and training our faster growing potted bonsai!  Our revised fertilizing recommendations address the needs of each group.

 

Schultz 5.5oz Plant Food.jpg (14605 bytes)

     Add 4 to 12  drops in a gallon
of distilled water and soak-
saturate once per week. Use the
weaker amount if you have low
light conditions and the higher
amount (or possibly even stronger)  if you have very bright growing conditions. 

 

BASIC FERTILIZER RECOMMENDATION
Use "enriched water!"

        We recommend SCHULTZ LIQUID PLANT FOOD which is available throughout the US.  It is relatively inexpensive and available in small convenient 5.5 ounce bottles.  The Schultz slogan is:  "7 DROPS PER QUART OF WATER EVERY TIME YOU WATER EVERYTHING YOU GROW!"

       Plants need fertilizer in proportion to its growth rate and plants grow faster in warm temperatures and with a lot of light.  In cooler climates in winter, keep plants above 60F. If in lower light, the plant will just barely survive and fertilizing it will likely burn the roots and kill the plant! 

       When plants are growing in very low light,  7 drops per quart (28 drops per gallon) is too strong to dip-saturate each time you water!  DO NOT FOLLOW THE SCHULTZ RECOMMENDATIONS!

         Add 4 to 12 drops per gallon of distilled water. Pour the "enriched water" into a bowl and soak their rock planting or potted Fuku-Bonsai (with water up to the pot rim) for 30 minutes to get full saturation.   Leave some water in the saucer for Dwarf Schefflera and add a bit of water mid-week. Excess water remaining is poured back into the bottle for reuse. For Brassaia, water only when the plant is drying out and do not over-water.

 

                 "Enriched water"  is a very diluted fertilizer used every time you water!  It's like the natural trees that continually take up tiny amounts of dissolved nutrients.  This concept is far superior to fertilizing periodically because most fail to fertilize until a plant starts looking ragged, then tends to over-fertilize. This effectively kills the tree by burning the roots!

 

THE FOLLOWING FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY.
MagAmp is no longer available.

 

MagAmp 6-40-6 
(magnesium ammonium phosphate) Coarse grade - 1 year release

                MagAmp is a unique palletized fertilizer that reliably releases a tiny amount of nutrients over a long period of time for ideal growth. This is due to the chemical composition rather than less dependable coatings. The relatively low nitrogen and high phosphorus ratios produces durable drought-resistant growth recommended for orchids, houseplants, and our TRUE INDOOR BONSAI.

                Fuku-Bonsai has been using MagAmp in our nursery production since 1973. It is only available to distributors in minimum pallet or container quantities.  In regions such as Hilo where there is a large orchid industry that needs dependable nutrient release it is available to professional growers in 50-pound sacks. We have received permission from Sumitomo Corporation of America to repackage to make this ideal product available to our customers.

                "ENRICHED WATER" for dip-saturation of lava plantings or potted plants in moderate indoor light. Add one tablespoon of coarse MagAmp to one quart of water. Pour water into a bowl, soak the rock planting or potted plant (up to the pot rim) for 30 minutes or more. Extra water can be poured back into the water container and reused. Add new water to fill the jar. In areas of hard water, use distilled or reverse osmosis water.

                INCORPORATION INTO POTTING MEDIA. For stronger growth of potted plants growing in high-light combination indoor-outdoor environments during the warmer seasons. 4" pots: Bury a total of 1/2 tsp. of MagAmp in 4 corners.  8" pots: Bury a total of 1 tsp of MagAmp in 4 corners. 12" pots: Bury a total of 1 tablespoon in several holes in the media.  Repeat every 6 months for overlapping continuing fertilizer release.

                MagAmp is a registered trademark of Sumitomo Corporation of America. More information can be found at: http://www.sumitomocorp.com/industry/features/ff_magamp.html    Actual N-P-K and Magnesium analysis will vary slightly depending upon the natural components during manufacturing.

 

FIRST AID FOR OVER FERTILIZING

               Many people who have poor growing conditions fantasize that they will magically grow lush beautiful bonsai and think the magic bullet is fertilizer. They reason if a little is good, than a lot is great!  Unfortunately, the plants too often are over-fertilized!  Roots are being killed and the plant die if you don't move quickly! 

                First, trim off at least half of the oldest leaves to reduce plant load. 

                Second, wash off as much fertilizer as possible in the sink with luke-warm running water (if it's a lava planting).  If you can still see the fertilizer, pick out and remove as much as possible.  Soak potted plants in water up to the rim and drain out.  Soak again and repeat several times in an effort to leach out as much of the fertilizer as possible.   In extreme cases, it may be necessary to remove all soil and completely replace with new soil!

                Third,  place the plant into a high-humidity environment and seal it.  Small plants can go into a polybag, Ziploc baggie, or wide-mouth jar.  Larger plants could use an aquarium converted into a terrarium with the top sealed with a glass panel or taped plastic film.  Watch the newest leaf and hope that it will grow strongly and that new roots will develop. This sometimes works as it reduces the load and the roots get a chance to develop.  The enclosed air also tends to stabilize the temperatures.

                Fertilizers usually have "N-P-K" ratings that show the percentages of the primary nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash.  AVOID HIGH NITROGEN fertilizers which cause a lot of green growth at the expense of weak roots. 

               THE BASIC RECOMMENDATION:  If you're not sure and if you've had the plant for less than six months,  don't fertilize.

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This series of articles will attempt to explain the various factors affecting plants.  This will continually be amended to include recommendations or suggestions of how to improve your environment to get the best possible growth. Continue to:

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