This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

May 30, 2013

Using fish fertilizer on your cycads

It's the end of May and it's time to fertilize your cycads, that is, feed them. Cycads only grow in short spurts, once a year, so there is really no point in feeding them any other time. This year I am trying something new - fish fertilizer.

One of my cycad experts in San Diego recommended fish fertilizer. He says that some of his cycads which hadn't grown for years suddenly started putting on amazing growth. You might say, "well, he's growing them in San Diego", but they have been in San Diego all along. Yes, I was convinced to go to Home Depot yesterday and get some fish fertilizer.

I hope the cycads like it, because I don't. Dang, what a smell! It is actually rotted-down fish made into a thick liquid that you mix with water. I made the mistake yesterday of mixing the first batch in the kitchen. Don't do that, the smell is nauseating, and it lingers. I poured it around my cycads yesterday, and will do more after I finish writing this.

Don't apply fish fertilizer if you plan on having guests for a day or two. Unless, of course, those guests are flies, who absolutely love it. It also made my dog crazy, and although she doesn't usually dig, this time she did. I am keeping an eye on her today! She really, really, likes the smell, and if you know anything about dogs, you get an idea of how smelly it is. Did I mention that it's smelly?

I will let you know how the plants like the fish fertilizer. From what I have read, they should love it. Luckily, it's something that would only need to be done once, at about this time of year, while your cycads are flushing. When I'm done I'm going to close the cap on the bottle tightly and store it somewhere away from where I can't smell it.

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