Fertilizer salt build up

ramsay22March 19, 2014

I understand that plant fertilizers and tap water eventually cause excessive salt build up in potted plants. Is salt build up lessened or prevented by using liquid organic fertilizers, or is it the same problem whether the fertilizer is organic or synthetic?

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It's the same.

Leach as needed. When I lived in SoCal, had to leach house plants every 6 months.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:27PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's the same. Your plants will thank you by showing better vitality if you use a soil that allows you to flush the soil every time you water. The benefits extend beyond just keeping the level of dissolved solids in check, too. Sols that allow you to water to beyond saturation w/o having to worry about root rot or impaired root function due to the extended soggy soil conditions will be better aerated than heavier (more water retentive) soils and will hold little or no perched water, which is the primary offender. Also, when you flush the soil regularly, it's like hitting the fertilizer 'reset' button. If you're using a fertilizer that doesn't provide nutrients in the ratio at which plants use them, nutrient ratios very quickly become skewed, which leads to a number of problems caused by toxic levels of one or more nutrients causing antagonistic deficiencies of one or more other nutrients. Soil choice, watering habits, and nutrition are very closely linked. Once you use a soil that makes watering and fertilizing a breeze, it's very unlikely you'd ever want to return to soils you have to struggle with in order to keep plants healthy. Once I made the turn, I never once thought of looking back.

Al

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 3:19PM
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