Dr. Jim Chan of Martinez, Calif. is a retired industrial chemist who has started using AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer 4-3-3 on his orchids.
“I have been interested in raising orchids since I was a boy growing up in Singapore,” Chan said.
Chan, who considers himself an orchid hobbyist or enthusiast, owns a 40-foot by 40-foot greenhouse in which he raises several varieties of orchids. He grows several other types outdoors as well. “I am also involved in hybridizing orchids, mainly cattleya orchids,” he said. In addition to the orchids, Chan also grows approximately 100 fruit trees, including persimmon, pear, apples, plums and others.
Chan holds a doctoral degree in chemistry. His career includes research in pesticide chemistry, research as a lubricant chemist and tribologist at Chevron and adjunct chemistry professor at a local college. “I had been using chemical fertilizers because this was the recommended, and only, way to fertilize orchid plants,” Chan said.
“Not many orchid growers use fish emulsion fertilizers, and there is a concern that fish emulsion promotes bacterial and fungal infestations. But using AGGRAND 4-3-3 along with an antifungal apparently eliminated possible bacterial and fungal infestations,” Chan said.
A friend gave Chan a sample of an expensive imported fertilizer from China to try. It was a fish emulsion formula that contained kelp and it worked well. Chan began creating it at home. However, it was difficult and costly to make himself.
Chan did the research and discovered AGGRAND natural fertilizers online. He made contact with the company and was referred to a Dealer. “AGGRAND’s 4-3-3 fish emulsion interested me greatly. It is formulated with kelp, which would add an excellent ‘wetter-sticker,’ or surfactant-like, property to the product,” he said.
Last August, a friend gave Chan a dozen very large phalaenopsis orchids. “These plants were in very poor condition, and the potting mix had deteriorated,” Chan said. “The plants needed immediate repotting.”
He cleaned the plants, cutting off almost all of the roots and repotted them in clean bark. Within a few days, he sprayed them with AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer diluted to approximately .5 percent to 1 percent.
“Typically, when transplanting mature phalaenopsis orchids, they experience transplanting stress and require some time before new roots are formed,” Chan said. “If chemical fertilizers are used the plants show chemical burns, resulting in dessication of the leaves and rots, often setting back their growth and development. Experiencing this, we do not fertilize our newly repotted plants until they are well established.”
Chan noticed during the following days and weeks after repotting and fertilizing with AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer the newly repotted plants did very well and put out new leaves as large as the original leaves. “This is quite surprising as the plants showed no shock stress from repotting.”
The orchids sent out new roots that were large and thick – which proved another surprise to Chan. “Some ingredient in the fish emulsion, kelp, or both, may have stimulated the newly-potted plants, protecting them from the stress.”
Chan will conduct further tests on his orchids in the spring using AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer and Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash. Chan’s tests will include comparison of foliar versus root, and foliar plus root feedings, to see which stimulates orchid growth best.
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