Friday, November 16, 2012

Watering & Feeding of my Auriculas in Sweden.

Here I’m only writing about my watering and feeding scheme I use for my pot grown auriculas, those in borders get some general purpose granular feed once a year (normally spring) and I do not water them, they only receive natural rainfall.

Auriculas in pots:
I begin watering my auriculas in early spring, just after they have defrosted. I only water those that are on the dry side, the majority are moist enough when they defrost. I give a little water only to those that are dry, just enough to keep them moist.
When they show signs of growth I start to feed them with a diluted liquid general purpose feed. (N. 7%. P. 3%. K. 6%) I use only 50% of the recommended dose; I have found that a full strength dose encourages too much leaf growth, which is often weak and sometimes distorted.
I continue this feeding and watering scheme until they have finished blooming. I do sometimes increase the strength of the dose to 75% for some of my doubles, particularly those that are very often what I call only half doubles i.e. Albert Bailey, Cinnamon & Hopleys Coffee; I’ve found that the little extra feed helps the blooms to develop better.
After blooming I reduce the dose to 25% strength, until they are repotted or until July.  After then I stop feeding and I return to water only.
Some books and websites suggest using a tomato feed (N. 5.2%. P. 5%. K. 10%) as the higher potash content helps flowering. I have tried the tomato feeds available here in Sweden, but up to now have not seen any difference, I will continue my experiments with this and let you know how it goes.
Next week I will be writing about the benefits and drawbacks of using either clay or plastic pots. 

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