Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio

Using RapidGro

September 10, 2012

Category: Growing Daffodils

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I received flowers from the florist a few days ago, and had an interesting conversation with the gentleman who delivered them.  At one time, the company included a nursery and a florist’s shop.  I suspect the gentleman who delivered the flowers was the founder.  He told me he was 81, and is called Papa Jay, and still likes to keep his hand in the business.

Anyway, he saw all my bulbs on the garage floor and he told me he used to do all the displays of potted bulbs for his firm at the big Cincinnati Flower and Garden Show.  He said the trick to keeping the flowers fresh through0ut the show was to use ice to water them.  So you folks who plant in pots can try it.  🙂

He also said the trick to getting big, colorful blooms was to soak the bulb for 20 minutes before planting in a solution of RapidGro.  He said the flowers would not only be bigger, but would have deeper color.  Has anyone heard of this, or tried it?  I’m going to try it on a red cup.  Soak half the bulbs and plant them in adjacent rows to see if there’s a difference next spring.

Mary Lou

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9 Responses to Using RapidGro

  1. Brenda Lyon, Australia
    September 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Do you have another name for RapidGro or do you know the composition

  2. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio
    Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio
    September 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I don’t know, but I will check the composition when I buy some in the next day or two.  I tried to google it, but couldn’t find anything.  If all else fails, I’ll go look up Papa Jay to find out! 🙂

  3. Vijay Chandhok, Pennsylvania
    September 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Looks like a generic term, Google Search says it is available in Walmart, will have to check it out.


  4. Melissa Reading, California
    September 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    The formulation for Miracle Gro All Purpose Water Soluable Plant Food is 24-8-16, according to

    Oops, that was Miracle-Gro, not the desired Rapid Gro.


    Here’s a link to an old newspaper ad,8445710

    which tells us that the composition of Rapid Gro was 23-19-17


  5. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    September 11, 2012 at 2:39 am

    This seems like a novel idea to me and it is so easy if it works but it poses a few questions. What is the dilution rate before 20 minute dip? How can it possibly work better than simply applying the fertiliser to the pots when roots have formed or when growth has started ?  Does it perhaps stimulate root growth?  Maybe you need to extend your trial Mary Lou to include normal application of the fertiliser – and then measure the length, weight or volume of the roots in each case!!! A nice little project to keep you out of mischief!! I’ll be interested in the results.


  6. Sue Luken, Indiana
    Sue Luken, Indiana
    September 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Some time ago, I carried home a  5 LB plastic container of RA- PID-GRO Concentrate 23-19-17 with FORTI-5 Micro-Nutrients to UNLOCK EXTRA VIGOR.  On the back, for Bulbs it says, “Submerge bulbs in solution and soak for one hour, just prior to planting.”  It doesn’t say what the solution rate is, but the regular MIXING RATE (unless otherwise noted) is ONE heaping TABLESPOON to ONE GALLON of WATER.

    The micronutrients are

    Boron …   .02%

    Copper…..   .05%

    Iron…  .10%

    Manganese (Chelated)…  .05%

    Zinc (Chelated) ….  ,05%



  7. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio
    Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio
    September 12, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Sue, thanks for the further information about using Rapid-Gro. 

    Mary Lou

  8. Keith Kridler, Texas
    Keith Kridler, Texas
    September 12, 2012 at 4:34 am

    We have been soaking bulbs that come out of storage for years in a half strength liquid fertilizer formula before we plant the bulbs. We normally dig our bulbs in May and June and store them in a building. By the time you re-plant bulbs they have LOTS of dead loose scales. In Texas our soils might be really dry when we plant or at the very least barely damp. By soaking them before planting the bulbs are triggered to start rooting out quicker.
    We always use high micro nutrient fertilizers or we add these to the liquid fertilizer that we have purchased. I normally use a 20-20-20 for a liquid fertilizer boost so that some of the N-P-K will be rapidly available for plants that we use this liquid fertilizer on.
    Depending on the variety of bulbs we might also use a systemic fungicide if we are planting when the soils are still going to be hot!
    For cleanliness, I fill a five gallon bucket up with a single variety of bulbs, mix up a new/FRESH batch of fertilizer water and soak these bulbs while I am planting a bucket of bulbs that have just finished soaking. NEVER use the same batch of water/fertilizer soaking water on a SECOND batch of bulbs! Bad things happen and or grow in old bath water!
    I dump out the used fertilizer water mix on my other species of potted plants or out in some of the flower beds for our perennials. Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas We are STILL having really high heat days this fall.

  9. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio
    Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio
    September 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Keith, it’s great to hear from someone who has actually used the technique.  Thanks for your good directions.

    Mary Lou