The Great Soil Debate
Updated with best answers(7-22-14)
So while there is probably no perfect answer to this since different climates and species prefer different mixes I still see such a dizzying array of advice and growers out there doing different things and wanted to get some real world experience from everyone.
I'll start with some observations and questions:
Indian Mixes: Every video or pic I've seen from india looks like they took Grandma's ashes and mixed in sand, fine dust and pebbles. Whats up with that mix? Never looks like there is a drop of moisture in there and I have to say their adeniums look a little weird compared to Adeniums anywhere else. Thin and less vibrant in color.
Thai Mixes: They seem heavy on coco chunks/chips. From 70-100% coco chips with top layer of Coir/soil/manure. Sometimes heavy on small to medium stones mixed with coco chunks. Seems to be the best draining mixes and no one can deny the Thai get great results with their adeniums.
Western Mixes: On this side of the pond I see more of an emphasis on vermiculite and perlite. While these do the job is their a difference between these light weight fillers or just using small pebbles or grit? Then, since adeniums are to be kept on the dry side, extensive use of these very light weight mediums make it easy for plants to be blown over in strong wind.
"Never dry out seedlings" When are they old enough to start completely drying out? What defines adulthood?
If drying out between watering do we water right when it drys out or is the aim to keep dry for a full 48hrs+ to trick the plant into thinking water is scares so it fattens its caudex as drought reserves?
In the case of using full coco chunks in the bottom 50-70% of a pot like many Thai mixes do, are we trying to keep the roots lightly moist with lots of air? If Air flow is good like in Thai mixes wouldn't that allow for almost daily watering in warm sunny weather instead of waiting for long periods of dry out with more compact, smaller particles mixes?
BEST ANSWER: Yes and Yes
Any clarifications, answers, info and real world experience from you guys would be great, Thank you.
This post was edited by jasonwipf on Thu, Oct 16, 14 at 2:23