What’s the deal with Maxsea fertilizer?
Whether you’re in the Philippines or not, if you’ve been researching carnivorous plants then you’ve probably read that you’re not supposed to fertilize them. This is somewhat true.
You’re not supposed to fertilize them because they get their nutrients from the bugs they catch. However, there’s a kind of fertilizer that you can use, just in tiny amounts: Maxsea fertilizer.
It’s like a vitamin for carnivorous plants: you don’t need to use it, but when used correctly, they provide a great boost for any carnivorous plant’s growth.
This guide aims to help you understand what it is, where you can buy Maxsea fertilizer, and how to use it for your carnivorous babies.
What is Maxsea fertilizer?
Maxsea fertilizer is a water-soluble blend of seaweed and primary plant foods designed to be readily absorbed by plants.
What I and many other growers use is Maxsea All Purpose 16-16-16 plant food.
According to its label, it’s designed for all-year-round use on all plants and is an ideal formula for the growth cycle of annuals (plants that only live for one year).
If you want to use it for regular plants, you can!
Proper dilution ratio
Make sure that you mix only one-fourth (1/4) tsps. worth of the fertilizer into a gallon of low ppm water (rain, distilled, or aircon water are examples).
What I do is use a thoroughly cleaned and repurposed fabric conditioner gallon container, then mix in 1/4 tsps of Maxsea using a measuring spoon used for baking. I shake the container to mix, then fill a spray bottle with the diluted solution.
If you want to get properly diluted Maxsea that’s ready to use instead of mixing it yourself, I still have some available for sale in convenient ready-to-use 250ml spray bottles.
Take note, I don’t measure ppm when I dilute Maxsea, so if you ask me how much ppm the solution should be, I don’t know. As long as you use 1/4 tsps per gallon, you’re ok!
Using Maxsea fertilizer
Spraying fertilizer onto just the plant itself (leaves and stem) is called foliar feeding. Like in the video below, I just lightly mist my plants, not too close, not too far.
It won’t harm the plant if a bit of the Maxsea touches the media. I just eyeball things and sometimes top water the media to help avoid Maxsea buildup, which often causes pesky algae.
I also spray inside one or two of the pitchers of my nepenthes and sarracenia. Sometimes I use a dropper to apply a bit of Maxsea on a leaf of seedling venus flytraps, flowering drosera, or juvenile pitchers.
When to use Maxsea fertilizer
You can overdo Maxsea if you’re not careful, which is why it’s recommended to only spray it onto your carnivorous plants twice a month. I spray mine every other Friday, and I know some who spray every payday.
Try not to drench carnivorous plants when spraying!
As long as you remember not to overdo it, you’re ok! If you’re in doubt, less is more.
Patience is key, with or without Maxsea
Using Maxsea can definitely speed up the growth of your carnivorous plants. Still, keep in mind that by nature, carnivorous plants grow slowly. Some grow even more slower than others, depending on their cultivar (like D.M. Korean Melody Shark). Annual plants like byblis grow quite quickly and grow even bigger with Maxsea, but this is because their lifespan is only one year.
My byblis growing with Maxsea
Observation is key in checking the growth of your carnivorous plants. However, if you think your plants aren’t growing, try to take pictures every week to track them. You’d be surprised at how much they can grow without you noticing, and more so with Maxsea!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in a comment—but please make sure it’s a question not already answered here or in my other carnivorous plant guides.
I post about flytraps, sundews, nepenthes, and more!
I post about plants for sale, like Byblis, droseras, and Venus flytraps, as well as carnivorous plant gardening items like media (sphagnum moss, rinsed cocopeat mix) and yes, Maxsea fertilizer.