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safe fertilizer..

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Mikeysmama, Nov 12, 2019.

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  1. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

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    One of my biggest issues with bought plants is not knowing what they are growing in. Im trying to educate myself as much as possible. So I'll take any info on fertilizers and or store bought plants.. What are the little white things in the dirt, and are they harmful? How long does fertilizer last and can I feed him new shoots/leaves from the store bought dirt. Is all miracle grow safe? I found a grape ivy that is perfect for the encloser, the green house said they use miracle grow, do I need to ask specifically what kind?
  2. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hard to exactly say, but those little white things (if round/oval) are possibly slow release fertilizers - and are most probably harmful if ingested. Slow release ferts that you csn see last pretty long, designed to slowly break down over time.

    Miracle Gro usually mixed up, is applied as a liquid to both the leaves & root system. From their info - Miracle-Gro is absorbed through the plants leaves and roots. The plant then uses the nutrients that Miracle-Gro provides as food. This will then result with the plant having a more extensive root system, which helps it take in ground water. It will also result in larger amounts of foliage and blooms on the plant.

    The best thing is get as clean a plant as you can, remove all the dirt by rinsing in water & re-transplant into clean fresh soil. It’s always safer to start new plants from cuttings.

    Bottom line - unless it’s a freshly new grown plant - fertilizers last for a period of time in the plant system.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Any store bought decorative plants (plants not intended for human consumption) are grown with systemic pesticides that can last a year in their tissues. All you can do is replant it and wait a year or more to feed anything from it. I find it best to grow things from seed myself, or take cuttings from long established plants to either feed out, or start growing myself.

    The little white things are usually perlite. Tortoises like to eat it for some reason and it lines their intestinal tract like sand and eventually kills them.

    Most any fertilizer is fine, as long as the tortoise doesn't have direct access to it. Also be sure there are no other additives like weed killers or pesticides. "Weed n' feed" for example, is a no go. Plants must have fertilizer to grow. They assimilate the nutrients into their tissues as needed and this is normal and not harmful to herbivores. What you don't want is a little pile of granulated fertilizer that the tortoise can walk up to and start eating.

    What is "grape ivy"? Are you talking about regular grape vine? That should be safe because the grapes that eventually form are intended for human consumption.

    These are great questions. I'm sure many people reading will learn something from the answers given.
  4. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

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    ok, i may just have to start growing what I can..I'm just impatient lol. Grape ivy is also called oak leaf ivy, not grape vine as in the fruit they can eat very little grapes but is recommended bit to because of sugar content
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  5. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

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    I think tort forum needs to start a plant exchange lol
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  6. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    My neighborhood does it every spring. I take butterfly bush starts and coral bells to trade
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  7. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Amen to that. The questions are great and the answers too.
  8. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

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    I figure if I'm going to have him got 80 years i should probably learn a thing or two lol
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  9. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Don't give them any ideas...lol
  10. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

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    lol, it would be a huge help
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  11. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    And teach your family so the little darling winds up being an heirloom you can pass on.
  12. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

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    oh yes, my son gets an ear full lol
  13. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Mine too but he's middle age so I have to bug the grandchildren too. Hehehe...
  14. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like so much fun...and a different way to talk with my neighbors that I'm close to somewhat personally. We've lived together in the same area for several years. Attend each other's yardsales, help each other out in the winter, etc...
  15. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who's yard is full of plantain weed...I go weed her yard when needed lol
  16. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    She'll love you for that. Get them by the roots. I love wild violets so I just move as many little ones into an area. They take over and make a nice looking ground cover.
  17. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

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    that's my plan, I want to try and transplant as much as I can in the spring
  18. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    What do you all think of bone meal as fertilizer?
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  19. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Well, it sure is organic & I would posit pretty safe around reptiles..

    Bone meal is a mixture of finely and coarsely ground animal bones and slaughter-house waste products. It is used as an organic fertilizer for plants and as a nutritional supplement for animals. As a slow-release fertilizer, bone meal is primarily used as a source of phosphorus and protein.
  20. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I've got a few HUGE Rose of Sharon hibiscus bushes. I'd be happy to send some cuttings to transplant to anybody who wanted some as long as you cover the shipping. I'm not sure if you could transplant them successfully in the wintertime though I've never tried.
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