Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Wed, 07 May 2008 15:41:53 PDT
Glenn Callcott, the list-owner of the Worsleya list, swears by sulphate 
of potash/potassium sulfate in making his Worsleyas bloom every year, as 
well as grow very healthily. Some one else somewhere says that 
Hippeastrums like it as well. So I searched for it; found regular 
sources for 5 lb and 50 lb bags on eBay. (But the 50 lb source wants 
approx $50 for shipping!) So I decided to do a hunt around the greater 
metropolitan L.A. area, only to discover that, once again, my favorite 
commercial agricultural supply store, that sells in bulk quantities to 
farmers, carries it for only about $25 per 50 lb bag. (They also sell my 
favorite brand, Apex, of time-release fertilizers in various 
formulations, very cheaply.) However all their stores lie on the 
perimeter of the metropolitan area, so they are all 50 miles away from 
me or further. So once a year I make the drive to buy all my bulk 
supplies from them and this year added potassium sulfate to my list. 
We'll see how my Worsleya and Hipps do.

I'm not even going to try Frit. imperialis, no matter how impressive and 
desirable it looks!

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USDA Zone 10a

J.E. Shields wrote:
> Hi all,
> "Potash" literally is the potassium-containing residue after wood is 
> burned.  It is initially potassium oxide, which when mixed with water 
> becomes potassium hydroxide, a very strong alkali.  As it ages in air, it 
> is converted to potassium carbonate by reacting with CO2 in the air.  This 
> is only slightly better than potassium oxide; you still get a very high, 
> alkaline pH when it mixes with water.
> Using "potash" when one means "potassium" (the chemical element) can get 
> you into lots of trouble.  "Sulfate of potash" is correctly called 
> potassium sulfate.  "Muriate of potash" is potassium chloride; all that 
> chloride is not good for some plants.
> You can of course order potassium sulfate from a scientific supply house, 
> at a healthy price per pound.  Try Daigger.com on the WWW.
> Jim Shields

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