growing in sand alone?

malsyamSeptember 21, 2011

Hi, has anyone had any success growing hippies in sand alone?

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Several on the list grow them hydroponically...and others in totally inorganic mixes (heavy in sand, perlite, grit, etc).

Hmmm...interesting thought.
K

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:31AM
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malsyam

I've come across a church yard where the gardener has grown white hippies with only builders' sand. Malaysia is hot, so I reckon with watering once a day, they might actually like a cool, sandy medium?

Gardener doesn't do anything, like dormant periods in the fridge, yet they're blooming non stop!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 1:38AM
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joshy46013

I can't use only sand, it causes my bulbs to rot, holds too much water as the air space between particles is incredibly small creating a not so great amount of air exchange.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 10:28PM
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bronxfigs

What about growing these bulbs in TURFACE-MVP, which is a fired-clay product that looks like 1/4" pottery chips. This produce soaks in moisture, -like a clay flower pot- but allows air to get to the root zone. There are other clay "pebbles" used for hydroponics out there also. I wonder if these will be good for Hipp. growing?

Frank

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 7:49AM
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dondeldux

Frank,

You might find this interesting...

Donna

http://www.landspro.com/forums/showthread.php?5354-Growing-Hippeastrum-Hydroponically

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 3:10PM
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malsyam

sorry, couldn't access that forum? Has anybody else tried? What does it say anyway? Would love to know more, please.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 6:36AM
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dondeldux

If you hi-light the above link, (turns blue) it automatically shows in your google search bar at the top of your screen..just press search and it should take you right there...if it doesn't work for you I'll try something else...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 8:54AM
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pizzuti(5A)

@BronxFigs

I would start off in regular potting soil (mixed with a lightener like vermiculite, ideally) to start, if you want reliable results, then experiment with extras or when you get the hang of it.

Everything I have read about them is that they like highly-organic soil.

I think they are heavy feeders and it's hard for me to see how sand, clay chips, etc would hold fertilizer for them without burning the roots.

Maybe in a more humid climate they can grow in a dry medium. Here in CO where the air is not humid, they like highly-organic soil, such as 50% peat, which can hold a lot of water even though it also holds a lot of air.

I have found that the hippeastrums can get very dry and don't mind, but that the ones that are grown in clay pots (even with regular soil) are still a bit too dry for them because it wicks the moisture away. I think of them as liking to grow in airy soil that is theoretically moist enough that the pockets of air would have condensation on the inside of them.

Also keep in mind that when they are growing flowers, they need a HUGE amount of water because that stem is completely filled with water and can grow a couple inches a day. If you ever cut off a firm hippeastrum stem, you will find that water literally pours out of it. Let it dry out and it becomes a whithered shoestring-like string of fibers a fraction of its former weight; clearly the vast majority of it is water. So blooming time is a short period when they need much more water than they do at all other times, and I would think it's important to have them in a medium that can accommodate that.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 5:30AM
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malsyam

Thanks Pizzuti. I've potted up mine in a moisture rich garden loam as well as some in sand alone. I water them all daily in the morning. Our rainfall is pretty heavy throughout the yr. At the tail end of the yr - last 3 mths is our monsoon. Lots of rain there! 80 ins a whole yr in fact. Most of it just pours out at this time.

I'll await to see which one of these medium produces the scapes. So far, despite dormant periods in the fridge for a whole mth and in darkness in the store room for some, I see only leaves and no scapes. But I'm hopeful, yet!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:27AM
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