Using Miracle Grow Performance Organics thinking of switching to flowering tree and shrub formula

rhawes

Mame
Messages
249
Reaction score
79
Location
Lancaster, PA
USDA Zone
7a
Does anybody else use the tree and shrub formula on bonsai. It says can be used in containers. I noticed the tree and shrub has iron added and the performance organics does not have any. Would it be better to buy blood meal or switch to the tree and shrub. Anybody have any ideas or experience using these products?
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,815
Reaction score
11,321
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
Iron, in very small amounts, is vital for plant growth. There's usually plenty in garden soil but little in soiless potting mix like we use. The forms of iron that plants can use are water soluble so they quickly leach out of pots with watering. Iron deficiency turns leaves yellow and is often known as lime induced chlorosis because it is more common with higher pH.
Blood meal has iron but I'm not sure what application rate would give enough for the plants.
Much simpler to switch to a product that already contains all the nutrients necessary. Plants don't care whether their nutrients come from organic or chemical source. That's just human thinking.
 

rhawes

Mame
Messages
249
Reaction score
79
Location
Lancaster, PA
USDA Zone
7a
Hey everybody just thought I would give an update on finding a good fertilizer. Superfly bonsai's granular I started using this year and My trees loved it!!!!! They did awesome on this stuff!!! I have a pink variegated lemon tree that suddenly dropped all its leaves except for one leaf and I could not figure out why no leaves would grow, finally I bought a mineral supplement with iron and sprinkled some pellets on the soil and voila it is growing leaves!!!!! Yeah!!! So iron is especially important in lemon trees I have read. Thanks everyone for the input!!!!
 

Mycin

Mame
Messages
239
Reaction score
303
Location
Chicago
USDA Zone
5b
Iron, in very small amounts, is vital for plant growth. There's usually plenty in garden soil but little in soiless potting mix like we use. The forms of iron that plants can use are water soluble so they quickly leach out of pots with watering. Iron deficiency turns leaves yellow and is often known as lime induced chlorosis because it is more common with higher pH.
Blood meal has iron but I'm not sure what application rate would give enough for the plants.
Much simpler to switch to a product that already contains all the nutrients necessary. Plants don't care whether their nutrients come from organic or chemical source. That's just human thinking.
Sorry to go on a tangent but what are the effects of iron overdose? Too-dark foliage?

In lawncare, I've been told too much chelated iron will just lead to grass that is too dark .. no other ill effects
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,815
Reaction score
11,321
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
Iron is usually implicated as a deficiency. Much more common in the modern soilless potting mixes we use now and known as Iron chlorosis where leaves turn yellow and growth is reduced. Good commercial potting soil has slow release iron added to counteract this problem. Those who make their own soils should be aware of all the possible ramifications of nutrient deficiencies and side effects.

Iron overdose is uncommon but possible. - The symptoms of iron toxicity in soil include bronzing and stippling of leaves. The leaf discoloration is caused by the plant creating enzymes to control free radicals that are present in high iron levels. Some plants that are prone to iron toxicity in soil include tomatoes, basil, phlox and impatiens - no mention of bonsai species????

When it comes to the effect of iron on plant growth, other nutrients come into play as well.
For example, iron and manganese both play an important role in plant growth and development, but often compete for absorption, as an abundance of one of these micronutrients makes the other less available to plant roots. Fertilizers should contain an equal ratio of manganese and iron so both are readily available to plants.
High iron levels often cause manganese deficiency in a plant first, because of the two micronutrients' competitive behavior. Manganese deficiency exhibits similar symptoms as iron deficiency, such as yellowing of leaves, except manganese deficiency affects both young and old foliage, while iron deficiency affects only young foliage. Iron and manganese toxicity have similar symptoms in plants as well.

These are just a couple of the plant growth related interdependencies between nutrients. Making fertilizer sounds simple but there can be many unexpected long and short term ramifications based on nutrient ratios and interdependence.
 

Deep Sea Diver

Masterpiece
Messages
3,010
Reaction score
5,731
Location
Bothell, WA
USDA Zone
8b
Hmm…. I’m actually not sure what to think about your two fertilizer choices. Both seem awful weak in nutrients…. that’s why each are used in container plant mixes and in the landscape, respectively, where one uses less fertilizer due to the inherent nature of these soils….

That leaves me wondering what kind of media you are using for bonsai? If it’s any kind of bonsai media, neither of these fertilizers seems appropriate.

if you are using bonsai media, I’d put both of those two products aside and chose something else more appropriate. At worst these fertilizers are doing little to move your bonsai forward, at worst each are gunking up the pores in your soil.

Here’s the background data on these and three other fertilizers often used in bonsai.

A bit of research shows both the Performance and Tree and shrub formulas are very low nutrient fertilizers.
The Miracle Grow Performance has extremely low amounts of all three NPK nutrients. NPK is 0.19% 0.03% 0.03%
B0597E93-961D-4F5B-9C82-EDBC260B05CF.jpeg

Miracle Gro Tree and Shrub has less Nitrogen and only a tiny bit more Phosphate and Potash….NPK is 0.09% 0.05% 0.07% with 0.07% Fe
E60BEF1F-C963-43E2-82C6-E5F49190DD98.png
In contrast Biogold, which is the standard conservative organic fertilizer used in bonsai, rocks in at an NPK of: 5.5% 6.5% 3.5%….
5B691FF4-DBB0-40EC-A425-DF2F55427C8C.jpeg

Finally Miracid and Osmocote Plus 6 month slow release, on the more liberal end of the bonsai spectrum have NPKs of:

Miracid for acid loving plants NPK:30% 10% 10% with 6 micronutrients, including Fe and Mn.
ED984A4F-437C-4704-A69E-A9957F2D9D27.png

Omocote Plus 6 month slow release NPK: 15% 9% 12% and 8 micronutrients including Fe, Mn
292257FA-5490-48AA-A56E-EAA0DB8C6E61.jpeg

Cheers
DSD sends
 

rhawes

Mame
Messages
249
Reaction score
79
Location
Lancaster, PA
USDA Zone
7a
Hello, I ended up using superfly bonsai organic granule fertilizer. Trees are doing much better. Thank you for the input!! I had to use granules because my dog will snatch up the cubes of organic fertilizer and down them before I can get it out of his mouth LOL!!!
 
Top Bottom