Our Adventure With Victoria 2003
Biostimulants are not snake oil, even though orchid growers' prized SuperThrive looks like it. We may not know yet exactly WHY they work but we do know THAT they work. The two that we use in our Victoria cocktail, "Roots" and "Seamate", are carefully formulated products with solid research to back them up. They provide humic and fulvic acids as well as vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids and enzymes found in their kelp component. These are non-nutritive but allow better metabolism of the nutrients in other ingredients of the cocktail.
It has long been known, though not widely publicized, that Victoria can actually be used as a marker plant for nitrogen, iron and magnesium deficiencies. We found this obscure research AFTER we had thought this might be the case and found Schultz Iron Green. It provides these and is an important ingredient in the cocktail.
We're not sure what fish emulsion brings to the mix but experience tells us it does enhance it. Possibly it's the fact that it's organic and somehow counter-balances the inorganic components of Pondtabbs.
Pondtabbs are, in our opinion, the best aquatic plant tablets available. We have tested them all on waterlilies and Pondtabbs wins hands down. However, Pondtabbs alone (and the others alone) burn Victorias in our sand, especially all babies and adult cruzianas. Still, the cocktail without Pondtabbs is not effective.
We have experimented with all the above ingredients separately and in varying combinations and proportions. They are all necessary and in the proportions given elsewhere on the web site. None can be left out and substitutes aren't recommended. For the record, we have no vested interest in any of the products in the cocktail.
Except in rare circumstances where growers get lucky, either with especially strong individual plants or with a unique set of conditions, failure with Victoria seedlings is almost assured unless this nutrient package is used. If it is used, in combination with the other ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS, success can be achieved at an astounding rate.
Assembling the cocktail ingredients and tools from various suppliers may seem like a total pain in the you-know-what. Measuring and calculating may seem even worse. Feeding this weird concoction every week may not seem worth the effort - unless you really want to grow Victoria babies successfully.
We and several other growers find it very beneficial to continue with the cocktail for adult plants. We especially recommend it for those who haven't been very successful with them in the past or who have less-than-ideal conditions. An alternative may be Pondtabbs Plus, a new product available in 2004, which has some of the components of Seamate built into it. We had very good results testing them on waterlilies in 2003 but will stay with the cocktail combo for our Victorias.
About The Cocktail | Cocktail Ingredients