FlytrapCare Carnivorous Plant Forums

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Discuss fertilization techniques here. For advanced growers only!

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By davinstewart
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Posts:  91
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
#390859
I've seen a lot of reccommendations for Maxsea fertilizer on this forum and others but almost no mention of any other fertilizer.

My question is ... why Maxsea? It seems just like another fertilizer to me. Is there something special about it?

Thanks for any responses.
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By MaxVft
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#390860
I've been having the same question. MaxSea and Osmocote seem to be super popular with CP growers (including myself).

I think it's because MaxSea is known as a foliar fertilizer and CPs are OK with foliar, but not soil fertilizer. But that's just my opinion.
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By NightRaider
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#390865
I think a large part of it just has to do with the immense amount of data it has to support its safety and effectiveness, as well as how much to dilute it, how often to use it, which plants benefit from it or not, etc. When attempting something as potentially risky as fertilizing these plants, with cultivation practices for arguably all of them still being far from an exact science, and when a single canister of it lasts literally forever, having a decades-long data set as expansive as Maxsea has is hard to argue with, in my opinion at least. Of course there are other factors at work too though, such as being derived from a natural source, the level of trace elements like copper present, and how much urea-based nitrogen it contains. All that is well above my paygrade at the moment though and as best I could tell not nearly as well documented, so after a few weeks of trying to find answers myself I still ended up just pulling the trigger on a can of Maxsea quite a while back, and it hasn't disappointed.

EDIT: I'll add a couple quotes from The Savage Garden regarding this, since they may provide a little bit of insight.
In a section about the standard fertilizers for "Acid-Loving Plants": "I have used it successfully on all Sarracenia species; Darlingtonia; most, but not all Drosera; temperate, acid-loving Pinguicula; most Utricularia; and Dionaea. Avoid using it on Mexican Pinguicula and most Nepenthes."
And as for Maxsea: "...it also includes several minerals not found in most fertilizers, much of them derived from seaweed.", and later "...live sphagnum moss grew profoundly and luxuriously-while all other fertilizers killed live sphagnum. Why this is so remains a total but wonderful mystery."
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By nimbulan
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Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#390870
I think it's mostly just that people have used it so they know it works. And when you buy a container of it, it's pretty much a lifetime supply so why try anything else? Osmocote works great too for certain purposes, and that's recommended simply because it's the best known brand of slow-release pellet fertilizer (though others like Nutricote may actually be superior products.) I personally have also used some air plant/bromeliad fertilizer on various plants with good results, including Sphagnum.
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By Cross
Posts:  1593
Joined:  Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:25 pm
#390875
As far as I am aware, there really is no other to use. Carnivorous plants are really sensitive and other fertilizers will typically kill them.

Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk

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By davinstewart
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Posts:  91
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
#390876
Thanks folks. I honestly didn't even know that The Savage Garden had been revised and now mentions Maxsea by name. That explains it to me and makes me want to buy the book and try Maxsea.

Much appreciated!
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By Cross
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Joined:  Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:25 pm
#390877
The seed bank has where you can get it as a bonus or request a higher amount instead of seed. It's, I believe, a 1/4 tsp a gallon and you spray that on the leaves once a month. I haven't really used it, but people swear by it. I'm waiting for mine to come in any day now.

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By Apollyon
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Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#390882
It's proven to be safe so people use it. I've also heard of people using different types of orchid fertilizers, dynagro/protekt, most anything that is urea free seems to work. Maxsea is good because it works on virtually any kind of carnivorous plant though which makes using it a lot more convenient. Some plants like the pitcher plants (most of them) seem to overall be more tolerant to fertilizers like osmocote. Maxsea is just good as one of those well known one stop shop kind of fertilizers
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By Adrien
Posts:  596
Joined:  Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:13 pm
#390890
It’s safe but there is very little difference according too some experienced growers I’ve talked to. I wouldn’t say it’s worth it, you have to use such a small dosage that you may as well not even use it. Feeding them does way more than ferts ever could imo :p
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By MaxVft
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Joined:  Sat May 08, 2021 4:17 am
#390891
Adrien wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 4:04 pm Feeding them does way more than ferts ever could imo :p
I completely 100 percent agree. And what's the point in growing carnivorous plants when you can't have fun with 'em? :D
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By Rammplins
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Joined:  Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:28 pm
#390892
I use maxsea mostly for feeding VFT and Drosera seedlings. Those are so tiny that its near impossible to feed it any real food, if you do you run the risk of the seedlings developing mold and then the mold can sometimes overtake the seedling. Maxsea completely removes any of those worries, its just a pain to sit there with an eyedropper trying balance a tiny droplet onto an even tinier leaf.
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By Apollyon
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Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#390896
True, it's helpful when you're faced with a large number of them as well. It'd be a full time job feeding bloodworms to hundreds of plants. I also grow a lot with humidity domes. in the beginning I tried feeding them but as Rammplins said, it has a tendency to mold over. It's good for indoor growing and keeps the plants from stagnating from lack of nutrients inside
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By nimbulan
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Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#390897
Adrien wrote:It’s safe but there is very little difference according too some experienced growers I’ve talked to. I wouldn’t say it’s worth it, you have to use such a small dosage that you may as well not even use it. Feeding them does way more than ferts ever could imo :p
You definitely don't need to use it at such a weak concentration. I've fed various plants with full strength (label directions) Maxsea though I've cut it back to half since it is pretty harsh at full strength. Half strength is still 6x as concentrated as is commonly used.

In any case there are various tradeoffs. Liquid fertilizer is much easier and keeps the plants looking clean, but needs to be applied more frequently for good results. However if you spray it rather than using a dropper then you can end up with algae growing on the soil in your pots. Solid food is much more work but doesn't need to applied as often, and you also have to be careful about attracting fungus due to overfeeding or feeding in a high humidity environment.
Rammplins wrote:I use maxsea mostly for feeding VFT and Drosera seedlings. Those are so tiny that its near impossible to feed it any real food, if you do you run the risk of the seedlings developing mold and then the mold can sometimes overtake the seedling. Maxsea completely removes any of those worries, its just a pain to sit there with an eyedropper trying balance a tiny droplet onto an even tinier leaf.
A smaller applicator helps a lot with that. I use an oil applicator bottle with a 20 gauge tip (about 0.5mm diameter.) Just squeeze some air out before you start feeding and the pressure differential will prevent the fertilizer from leaking out with the bottle upside down. From there it's very easy to apply tiny drops to tiny leaves.
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By Rammplins
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Joined:  Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:28 pm
#390899
nimbulan wrote:A smaller applicator helps a lot with that.
Man I feel silly, I have a whole box of needle applicator bottles for plexiglass work. I dont know why I never thought to use one of those instead of my ft long pipette......thank you from the future for the hours you have just saved me.
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By Panman
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Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#390901
I've been using a syringe with a glue applicator tip that I got from Hobby Lobby.
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