Color Coded Liquid Fertilizer in Wicked African Violets

Posted by Bruce Pearson on 1/25/2017 to General
Color Coded Liquid Fertilizer Trying to combat algae growth in the wells of my wicked plants, I dye my fertilizer. This helps cut down the sunlight in the cup and helps inhibit algal growth. But if you grow with several different fertilizer formulas, unless you label each plant it can get confusing as to what you have done. If you are like me, you cannot go back two hours later and be sure which plant got which fertilizer and be sure. Obviously I am assuming you have more than a handful of plants. I usually mix up a batch of fertilizer and bottle it in 2 liter plastic soda bottles. Labeling a bottle or two is not a problem, but when you want to use the same bottle with a different formula it can be frustrating. It is tiring running out to the garage and hunting down more bottles. The “solution” (no pun intended) is to dye the liquid fertilizer solution using food coloring. I have done this for almost two years and can see no ill effects on the plants or color being affected on the blossoms. I use blue dye for growing, red dye for blossoming, and mix the two for misc. formula (gives me a sort of purple color). I use deli cups for my wells and the various colors are more attractive than the clear solution that usually shows algae. You can scatter plants helter/skelter on your benches and know at a glance what each plant is receiving. The bright colors to me are not unattractive. Heck it may be a great decorating feature. Another note, food coloring at our grocery store is inexpensive in the tiny bottles, and a little goes a long way. It is even less expensive buying 32 ounce bottles at Restaurant Depot for under $3. I have just purchased the second bottle of blue in two years. Larger sizes can be found at various specialty grocers or baking supply stores.

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