Presentation on theme: "Different Strokes for Different Folks or Custom Planting mixes for your plants."— Presentation transcript:
Different Strokes for Different Folks or Custom Planting mixes for your plants
What I grow: I grow many plants, under lights and in windows. I grow Begonias, Orchids, Gesneriads, Hoyas, Carnivorous Plants, Succulents, and a smattering of other plants, that catch my eye.
How I grow I have 10 light stands, some with 2 shelves, 3 shelves, and 4 shelves. I grow under fluorescent tubes. I have T8, T12, 2 tube, 4 tube, and 6 tube fixtures. I grow in windows. I wick water, over trays, with lighting grids and top water.
What do I grow in? I choose from a variety of aggregates I have 3 basic mix types I use a different mix, according to a plant’s natural habitat, pH preferences, and sensitivity to moisture
Can’t you just grow everything in the same mix? Fibrous rooted, terrestrial plants, need more support (soil), are generally more needy of moisture and feed through their roots. Fibrous rooted epiphytes, usually have adaptations to survive drought, rely less on root feeding, and are used to plenty of air circulation and more sterile conditions
Tuberous plants are often found in rocky areas, with little actual soil, and have very shallow roots. Tuberous plants have adaptations for storing water and food and are less reliant, than tuberless plants on root feeding. Plants that have tubers or rhizomes are prone to rot, when they are dormant, if not kept at the optimum moisture level
Some plants only use their roots as anchorage. Succulents and larger plants need a mix conducive to their watering needs, and your watering habits, since these are not grown on wicks. Hanging baskets dry out quickly and benefit from a more moisture retentive mix. Water and potting mix pH can have a dramatic effect on plant growth and are subject to change, with the use of fertilizers and treatments, by municipal water providers. I find some conventional mixes to be unsighlty.
What do you use? Coir Peat Leca stones Coarse perilite Long-fibered spahgnum moss Turface Quartz sand Orchid Bark
What is that? Coir = Coir is the pulverized husk of coconuts. It is closer to neutral, in pH, more water retentive, and more ecologically sound. Coir needs to be purchased from name brand sources, to eliminate the potential for salt contamination.
Peat = Peat or peat moss is the decayed remains of sphagnum moss. Peat moss is acidic, absorbent, devoid of nutrients, and sterile. Leca stones = Leca stones are fired clay aggregates, that are porous, round in shape, pH neutral and serve to aerate the mix. Leca stones need to be purchased from reputable, hydroponic sources, to avoid problems with high pH.
Coarse perilite = Perilite is a volcanic rock, that is mined, from the earth. The perilite, used in horticulture should be neutral in pH and not release minerals, such as fluoride. Perilite is an aerator and allows water to move freely through and evaporate from the potting mix. Different sizes are suitable for different applications.
Long-fibered sphagnum moss = Long-fibered sphagnum moss is the harvested, living, strand-like, sheets of the living moss, that decomposes and creates peat moss. Long-fibered sphagnum is superior for rooting cutting and even as sole medium, for sensitive species, requiring high humidity. LFS has antiseptic properties, hold lots of air and moisture, resist decay, and lowers pH.
Turface = Turface is a neutral, fired, clay, granule, the size of kitty litter. Turface is useful for gesneriads that grow in rocky soils and as a top dressing. Turface aerates and adds density to the mix. Turface can help anchor outdoor pots, and prevent them blowing over.
Quartz sand = Sand is a poor aerator, in mixes that are not intended to be very wet. Quartz sand is free of minerals and is neutral in pH. Quartz sand works well to give texture and drainage to constantly moist soil, such as with carnivorous plants. Sand is also useful is growing dry-growing plants, like some sinningias, and succulents. It can be used to add density and provide anchorage, in succulent mixes, that are infrequently watered.
Orchid Bark Orchid bark is a wood product, usually from fir trees. Orchid bark is an excellent aerator and resist breakdown. Orchid bark becomes slightly acidic, as it decomposes
Drew’s Epiphyte mix: For potting Columnea, Nematanthus, Drymonia, Begonias, Orchids, and other plants 2 parts coarse #3 perilite 1 parts leca stones (medium) 1 part your standard wicking mix 1 part chopped long-fibered sphagnum moss 1-2 parts orchid bark
Drew’s Rocky Terrestrial Mix: For growing Sinningias, Petrocosmeas, Primulinas, and succulents 1 part leca stones (medium) 1 part Turface Wicking grade perlite 1 part coarse perilite 1 parts your standard wicking mix 1 part quartz sand (#12 or higher grade) This mix will vary, depending on if you are growing desert plants, wicking your plants, or you may need to add lime, for some plants.
For succulents, don’t use the coarse perilite Growing tuberous plants, exposed, is easier in a coarser mix, because the tuber stays cleaner. A tuber is less likely to rot, in this mix.
Drew’s Forest Floor Terrestrial Mix: For potting Saintpaulia, Streptocarpus, rhizomatous, and other plants 1 part base (peat, coir, Promix, Sunshine Mix, etc) 1 1/3 part perilite 1 1/3 cups HollyTone to 10qrts of mix I have also had good results with adding #3 perilite, leca stones, and orchid bark, to some mixes, such as those for Kohlerias. Adding more perilite makes leaving rhizomes in the pot, when they are dormant, easy and eliminates rotting.
Other Mixes Most of what I grow falls under the mixes I have mentioned. I do grow some carnivorous plants in a 40% peat to 60% quartz sand mixture and other plants in just LFS, or LFS and #3 perilite. I also vary on my portions of ingredients depending on the plant type, what’s at hand, and my mood.
Also of Interest: I add HollyTone to my potting mixes. HollyTone and other products, in the Epsoma line, are a source of beneficial organisms and slow-release fertilizer. HollyTone enabled your plants to better utilize fertilizer, b/c they bacteria break down Ammonia and Urea, into Nitrogen forms, plants use to grow. I use an acidifying fertilizer. If you live where the pH of your water is 7.0 or over, you will see improvement, in yellowing plants, if you use a tomato fertilizer or similar, acidifying product.
Violets in particular, have a sweet spot of 6.4 pH, per Marie Burns. Streptocarpus do not require, nor appreciate added lime. They do not grow on or near limestone, in most cases. Potting mixes that are not subjected to wicking and are allowed to dry out, such as in a hanging pot, last longer and need less frequent refreshing. Potting mixes, with several components, don’t require top dressing, if they are fresh, as they look great, at show time or can be used as a top dressing.