Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Orchid Hybrids' started by Jerry/No. CA, Feb 11, 2019.
Using Jerry's Grow?
I'm stunned by how many blooming leads you have on each plant. How did you do this?!?
What was that ?????????????
This is more than impressive! This is... speechless!
Your greenhouse must be a dream!
Lots of light and my fertilizer.
If you added up every flower I had on a cattleya species or hybrid this entire year, I still think it would be less than a single one of the plants. Those are really, really amazing!
Jerry had the brilliant idea of blending methanol with a liquid fertilizer, which, in my mind, added an easily absorbable source of carbon. Don't run out and start adding alcohol to your feeding regimen, as this is only (or at least mostly) effective when growing plants in high-light conditions.
Plant growth rate is basically controlled by water availability, which controls stomatal opening and the associated gas exchange process by which the plant gets its most significant building block, carbon, coming from the air. In sunlight, oxidative processes occur to produce sugars that fuel the growth process.
I speculate that if the sunlight is intense, the production rate can potentially outstrip the "normal" carbon supply, limiting the growth, so the alcohol became a supplemental source.
Think of it as analogous to a runner - the limited ability to absorb and pump oxygen to the muscles pretty much sets a maximum speed any animal can run. Then consider the thoroughbred horse, Secretariat, who outran everyone, and was found to have a heart double the size of a normal horse, so was able to pump more blood and oxygen to its muscles...
The concept is patented, and Jerry gave me permission to produce an MSU-based equivalent many moons ago, but shipping a product with a toxic and flammable ingredient is "an issue", so I never followed through.
That's a fascinating idea. I'd be very interested in trying it, too (for myself, not for commercial purposes). During colder months, lighting is certainly a limitation of mine, but not during warmer months by any means. I never though of plants taking up excess carbon through their roots; I knew plants got the majority of it through CO2, so a liquid source never crossed my mind. Do you have an optimized Methanol concentration that worked the best? If you don't want to disclose any information due to the patent, I understand.
And I could imagine that being difficult to ship and sell due to the chemical properties of MeOH alone... I would happily have bought some if it was available.
Assuming my supposition of the mechanism is even correct, I don't think this is a case of the alcohol being a supplemental, root-absorbable source of carbon at any time. I'd view it more as a last-ditch attempt to find fuel, that only comes into play when the "natural" method is exceeded.
Or... maybe the alcohol just becomes sugar easier.
Maybe Jerry can chime in on the formula.
That could be possible. MeOH is significantly more reduced than CO2, so it may involve itself into sugar production more easily. That would require delving into the biochemical mechanisms, though. Traditionally, CO2 (1 Carbon) reacts with RuBP (5 Carbons) to produce 3-Phosphoglycerate (2x3 Carbon - 6 total), which incorporates the CO2 as a COO- group. I'm trying to trace the mechanism where the COO- is reduced to an -OH or a ketone. At that point, it may be advantageous to start with a further-reduced molecule such as MeOH, but I'm not sure. Mechanisms can get very complex very quickly, so maybe MeOH uses different enzymes or comes into play at a different step in the process. I agree: I'd be interested in what Jerry knows about it.
Whatever it is, it clearly seems to work quite well!