Jump to content
southlatropical

??Lutz fertilizer spikes??

Recommended Posts

southlatropical

Being new to palms, I am looking for an idiot proof method to keep my plants looking good without overfertilizing. Are the Lutz fert spikes a good buy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
doubravsky
Being new to palms, I am looking for an idiot proof method to keep my plants looking good without overfertilizing. Are the Lutz fert spikes a good buy?

I've used them.. and they seem ok. Since switching to drip irrigation I stopped using them in favor of liquid fert... but last year they seemed to keep my queens green.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tad

I think agriform is a better product, personally, and better pricing too...for me anyway!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
southlatropical

Thanks for the help everyone. I could not find the Agriform pellets formulated for palms. Are you using the general purpose ones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phil

We get questions from time to time about the Lutz spikes. The theory is nice: put them in and forget about it....for a time. And, a lot of people like the ease and convenience of these things. But, when you think about the physiology of a palm, I think it has some downsides and risks. First, the roots have to go to the fertilizer spike. This means that some roots will not see the fertilizer. Or, you have to put in a lot of spikes. Second, as the spike disolves, there is a potential for too much fertilizer for the soil's water content. This could result in burn and I've seen many examples of this. Say you don't water for a while. The fertilizer is still there and the concentration increases in that area. "Hot spots" develope. If it's beyond a critical concentration, burn results. Third, it's a gamble as to when to do it again. Sometimes spikes last for years, other times they dissolve quickly. Who knows? They're hidden down below. The theory behind Lutz is "you get the spikes down deep where the roots need it". In part, this might be true. But, it comes with risks and millions of growers have success with surface fertilizers with less risk. I like the safe method of timed-released pellets (Osmocote, Nutricote) scattered lightly over the entire root area with ample water. (note, quick release fertilizers pose their own burn potential) Or, go organic. I think surface applications in general are safer and more under your control.

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
southlatropical
We get questions from time to time about the Lutz spikes. The theory is nice: put them in and forget about it....for a time. And, a lot of people like the ease and convenience of these things. But, when you think about the physiology of a palm, I think it has some downsides and risks. First, the roots have to go to the fertilizer spike. This means that some roots will not see the fertilizer. Or, you have to put in a lot of spikes. Second, as the spike disolves, there is a potential for too much fertilizer for the soil's water content. This could result in burn and I've seen many examples of this. Say you don't water for a while. The fertilizer is still there and the concentration increases in that area. "Hot spots" develope. If it's beyond a critical concentration, burn results. Third, it's a gamble as to when to do it again. Sometimes spikes last for years, other times they dissolve quickly. Who knows? They're hidden down below. The theory behind Lutz is "you get the spikes down deep where the roots need it". In part, this might be true. But, it comes with risks and millions of growers have success with surface fertilizers with less risk. I like the safe method of timed-released pellets (Osmocote, Nutricote) scattered lightly over the entire root area with ample water. (note, quick release fertilizers pose their own burn potential) Or, go organic. I think surface applications in general are safer and more under your control.

Phil

Thank you Phil. Very informative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JEFF IN MODESTO

I have " Frizzle top " problems with my King palms that are grown to close to my cheaply built cement walkway.

It seems the cement leaches into the soil... causing problems.

I use Lutz mangenese stakes and notice an improvement by the time the next leaf is out.

I just wish they carried these stakes at our local lowes... Shipping make there costs a bit much....but I still buy em.

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tad
Thanks for the help everyone. I could not find the Agriform pellets formulated for palms. Are you using the general purpose ones?

I guess so, these are what we use in the field, work like a champ!

post-18-1210723534_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn

I’ve never tried the spikes, but they seem expensive and don’t cover as much area. I use Lesco palm fertilizer I got from the Lesco dealer in Harahan. I’ve never had a problem with over fertilizing and I fertilized the $hit out of my palms four times a year for the first few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
_Keith

I have never used Palm fert spikes, but I have used the Citrus spikes a couple of times with good success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tad

these things cost like a nickel each, they work great for our one gallon field plantings, I like the micro package. we still use other ferts but this is what goes into the ground with every palm planted here in the field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rsproule
We get questions from time to time about the Lutz spikes. The theory is nice: put them in and forget about it....for a time. And, a lot of people like the ease and convenience of these things. But, when you think about the physiology of a palm, I think it has some downsides and risks. First, the roots have to go to the fertilizer spike. This means that some roots will not see the fertilizer. Or, you have to put in a lot of spikes. Second, as the spike disolves, there is a potential for too much fertilizer for the soil's water content. This could result in burn and I've seen many examples of this. Say you don't water for a while. The fertilizer is still there and the concentration increases in that area. "Hot spots" develope. If it's beyond a critical concentration, burn results. Third, it's a gamble as to when to do it again. Sometimes spikes last for years, other times they dissolve quickly. Who knows? They're hidden down below. The theory behind Lutz is "you get the spikes down deep where the roots need it". In part, this might be true. But, it comes with risks and millions of growers have success with surface fertilizers with less risk. I like the safe method of timed-released pellets (Osmocote, Nutricote) scattered lightly over the entire root area with ample water. (note, quick release fertilizers pose their own burn potential) Or, go organic. I think surface applications in general are safer and more under your control.

Phil

Phil,

Do you have to pull back the mulch before you apply a time-release surface fertilizer? My palms have about 3" of wood chip mulch over the root area. I water on top of the mulch regularly. Will the fertlizer work it's way down to the plant?

Thanks

Ryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kris

For me its the Di Amonium Phosphate granual or cryastal form works like a charm.i add one tea's spoon for one bucket of water ! and i do not get here Palm or cycas designated fertilizers..

love,

Kris :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David_Sweden

My ~10 years old Kentia seems to suffer from potassium (and a bit of magnesium) deficiency. The short version of my question is: Just as well as using potassium/magnesium spike, can't I switch to a fertilizer with more K instead?
post-10152-0-47890500-1401789981_thumb.j
My Kentia has been that way for at least 5 years, I don't think it's gotten any worse over those years. The brown tips are even more likely from very salty soil, occasional dryness and maybe radiators. I just recently learned how to water and leach properly and that alone seems to get it in better vigor. I'm thinking an increase in potassium (and magnesium) for at least a year wouldn't hurt though. Some say the yellow spotting will not be reversed by increased potassium, som say it will (e g Lütz), and some say yellow spotting is not a main symptom on Howea (brown tips are the main symptom) but it does have an obvious case of these spots. Fronds from the last year look fine.

I've been using ordinary liquid fert which has NPK 3-0.6-2.5. I read at most places that N/K ratio of 1 is the best but e g junglemusic write that 3:1:2 is also ok, so I can't see that my fertilizer is so bad for palms in general. "Palm Focus" has 2.1-0.9-3.6 i e 70% more K than N.

Even if I do buy spikes, I assume I will have to use some ordinary fertilizer as well, since the spike contains only a few things (including some nitrogen), so all in all, with spikes, from the plant's point of view, it would be like using one fertilizer with more K I think. And I don't think the spikes are true "slow release" (not covered by any shell).

5 "spikes" cost only $6 from Lütz's site but they offer only expedited shipping which costs $110 to Europe! There are not a lot of palm fertilizers to choose from either but Palm Focus I can get here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ahicks51

My ~10 years old Kentia seems to suffer from potassium (and a bit of magnesium) deficiency. The short version of my question is: Just as well as using potassium/magnesium spike, can't I switch to a fertilizer with more K instead?

Sure! But I would double-check for mites; sometimes a minor mite problem will manifest with similar problems.

From a nutrient standpoint, you have several options:

1) Flush with fresh water, then start a new fertilizer regimen.

2) Top-dress: remove the top 2-3" of soil, particularly if there's a salt crust, and put on fresh, clean soil. That'll knock back some of the salts.

3) Repot, doing your best to remove as much of the old soil as you reasonably can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David_Sweden

Thanks, good to get some support for my thoughts.

I just bought a ½L bottle of Palm Focus, might as well use it for at least a year, and I calculated it will last about 4 years if I use it just for the Kentia. Also just bought a Foxtail seedling and read it easily gets K deficiency so those two I'll give this fert.

I already did (1) and (2) two months ago but I flushed it only once, might as well do it more properly now. Will pot up next spring probably but most people say you shouldn't remove much soil then for palms.

Interesting about the mites. It had mites for 3 seasons until 3 years ago but nets only on 1-2 fronds. Still the mottling is all over all leaves older than 1 year and rather coarse, looks very much like this:

K%20def%20on%20Dictyosperma.jpg

(but most leaves are much darker, spots visible clearly mainly when sun behind).

More or less on topic: Has anyone read any convincing description of why slow-release or controlled-release fert should be better than plain liquid? Read statement that liquid fert burns roots more, but can't see how, I'm thinking encapsulated fert can only be released when soil is moist i e same as for liquid fert (if not, then it's really bad since you shouldn't fertilize dry soil), and they seem to think liquid ferts come like a rush, a short peak, but why should it do that, can't the roots just consume whatever they need at a normal pace?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...