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Soil and Supplementation Open discussion of soil mixes, supplements, enrichments, fertilizers...fertigation... materials and methods.

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Old 02-10-2013, 06:42 AM
aloepillansii452 aloepillansii452 is offline
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Default General mix for touchy Succulent Plants?

To All,

I've heard it been said, many time that people should use 70%, pumice for example. I was just wondering what the other 30% is? Because I've also heard people say, that soilless mixtures, are best because any soil eventually decomposes and harms the roots. The succulent I was talking about is Aloe Pillansii. I am currently attempting, to root it in pure pumice, but if it gets going I am sure it needs something else than just that in it's mixture.

Thanks in advance to all responses,

With Best Regards,

Joe.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:00 AM
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campverdefela campverdefela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aloepillansii452 View Post
To All,

I've heard it been said, many time that people should use 70%, pumice for example. I was just wondering what the other 30% is? Because I've also heard people say, that soilless mixtures, are best because any soil eventually decomposes and harms the roots. The succulent I was talking about is Aloe Pillansii. I am currently attempting, to root it in pure pumice, but if it gets going I am sure it needs something else than just that in it's mixture.

Thanks in advance to all responses,

With Best Regards,

Joe.
A 50-50 mix is usually a good start. I reserve a higher pumice mix for succulents known to be difficult. As far as soil mixes go, 10 people will give 10 different suggestions.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:45 AM
aloepillansii452 aloepillansii452 is offline
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Thanks for your reply. But when you say 50/50, what is the other 50?

Thanks in advance,

Joe.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:17 PM
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Sandy loam is usually the "other" that is most recommended. You want to stay away from organic components like peat if you can.

I've gone over to the "Tim Harvey" method of 100% pumice for most of my plants. I've only been doing that for 6 months or so, but I've been happy with the results. I'd recommend it especially for species that are very sensitive to overwatering.

Even if I were to go back to a heavier mix I think the highest amount of loam I'd want to add would be 30%. Fifty percent just seems to be asking for trouble, though many people seem to make it work.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:08 PM
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Does a higher percentage mix of pumice (or pure pumice) also help on discouraging insects? My Dudleyas got nailed by cutworms last year and i was using a more organic blend. On the other side does the extra porosity also encourage mealybugs (in that there are more spaces for them to live in)?
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:08 PM
mitsukurina mitsukurina is offline
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I use 100% pumice for everything I grow with the addition of some composted redwood bark for smaller pots that tend to dry out very quickly. My own view is that too much is made of the importance of substrate: so long as it is well-draining, sterile (or relatively so), and light enough to work with I find that many modern substrates work equally well.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:13 PM
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Their is nothing wrong with a 50-50 mix of pumice and a soiless caci mix for most cacti and succulents. When you get above a 6 inch pot then more pumice helps. I used to adjust my mix so that each plant regardless of pot size would get watered once every 6-9 days. That was back in Pittsburgh in my greenhouse, out here in Arizona with this low humidy I find in beneficial to add a little more humus. I grew cacti and various succulents for show for over 20 years, and was pretty successful with it, don't get me wrong, not trying to brag just trying to be helpful.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:22 PM
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I sow all my seeds in 80% pumice and 20% perlite. Fungus gnats are no longer a problem. Root mealybugs are also rarely seen (none for the last 5 years).

T
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:50 AM
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I purchased five Pseudolithos cubiformis that were grown in pure pumice. The plants were fertilized using Nutricoat pellets. I am going them using the same method. I also have some other Pseudolithos plants growing in normal cactus mix. I use 1/3 pumice, 1/3 coarse #12 sand, 1/3 Canadian peat, some 270 day Nutricoat pellets and a little Dolomite Lime for growing cactus, succulents and cycads. I will use the pure pumice and Nutricoat for difficult plants and see if they survive. I think that experimenting with different soil mixtures is good because every grower has different growing conditions. I have pH 7.0 water and should lower the pH to 6.0 using vinegar. I have growing plants for many decades, but have finally realized that using better methods should improve my plant collection. I have been growing my plants with very little fertilizer and have to be careful not to grow them out of character. The plants that I want to grow larger are the ones that I will experiment with new fertilizers and other techniques.
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:53 AM
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From what I can see on ebay pumice is way to expensive where I live when ordering by mail. I'm not sure what pumice looks like. The pictures on ebay are confusing and hardly any look the same on top of it being way over priced. You folks must be able to get it much cheaper than what I see on line.
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:45 PM
kuni12345678 kuni12345678 is offline
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I think that a one cubic foot of pumice costs about $15.00, but the shipping cost is probably $20.00 to where you live. I believe that the plants are much more expensive than $35.00 and you determine if the plants are worth it. I see 3.5 gallons of pumice for sale on eBay for $23.00 delivered to your door. The material was mined in Oregon and screened without any organic matter.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:07 AM
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Default "cactus and succulent mix" kills seedlings

I've stopped using peat-based so-called "cactus and succulent mix" potting soil to start plants from seed because the seedlings invariably wilt and die after germination. Instead, I rely on a 1/2 pumice plus 1/2 native soil from my yard (sandy soil in the rocky foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains of San Bernardino County, CA) to start seeds. I've been able to get native Yucca whipplei seeds harvested from my neighborhood to thrive in that mix, when they would always germinate and die in the commercial mix.

Agave offsets also grow faster and better in the pumice-yard soil mix than in the commercial mix. You could probably substitute any sandy soil for the yard soil, but don't use soil containing peat for seeds, I was told by an experienced succulent grower.
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:43 PM
Dmey Dmey is offline
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i cannot get pumice here in dominican repiblic , no one sells it here that i lnow of and ordering it online costs about 6 dollars per pound. So i have been using crushed brick instead. I havent used it on its own yet. I have mixed it with sand and crushed stones of variious compistions (not known but tested to not be alkaline) and for some i mix a little leaf mold . im thinking of using the crushed brick on its own , like pumice or akadama. It is very humid here, wet and rainy and rot is a very big problem. I think the plants would benefit from it.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:01 AM
kuni12345678 kuni12345678 is offline
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I would use Perlite if you cannot buy Pumice. I use Pumice because it is inexpensive and Perlite is good, but it is very light and tends to blow away.
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