Two Canes

loni_in_eekApril 10, 2007

I have a cutting rooting in plain peat moss. I believe it has rooted because when I pull on it ever so slightly, it doesn't give. What is the best medium. I have regular potting soil I can put it in. I think this is an old fashion type of angelwing. The leaves are the size of my hand. The leaves have perked up which tells me its happy right now. But I want it to GROW. I have it in a 4" pot. My first cane started to wither and hide and slump. But when I put it in peat moss amended with cactus soil it started to look happy and even regained its pretty green color. I think this one is a flamingo cane. But it hasn't changed size. I did see something coming out the root/node of the parent plant. A sprout? Back to the old fashion cane, should I leave it in the peat moss or move it to a more heavier textured soil? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Loni

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hcmcdole(z7)

Most people do not grow begonias in pure peat moss (holds too much moisture which can lead to rot easily plus it is very acidic). Sand will help on drainage but it is heavy to transport (Perlite has much larger granules than sand and is very lightweight).

A good soilless mix with generous amounts of Perlite is what I use in all my mixes now. I generally use a 70/30 to 50/50 mix of Miracle Gro (any good mix should work) potting soil and Perlite for the last few years.

I have gotten some begonias from growers where the mix looks like shredded bark for very fast drainage. I have used this in the past for propagation and may try that again this summer.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:59AM
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loni_in_eek

Thanks Butch. I was so curious, I unearthed a portion and the bottom is nothing BUT roots only they are each a few millimeters long. I will move it to something dryer. I will look for african violet soil as I don't have perlite handy. Why do you think one of the canes (flamingo) got happy when I put it in peat/cactus soil from regular potting soil? My option now is to put it back in potting soil until I can find sand and pertlite. Always interesting to learn new things about the plants I love.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 2:25PM
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hcmcdole(z7)

The cane in peat/cactus soil is probably a lot faster draining than your other soil (peat moss, right?). Peat moss is a good additive but should never be used on its own (stays too wet once it gets wet). Reminds me of clay - hard to get wet once it is dried out, but hard to dry out once it is wet. Oxymoron or contradiction?

I met a man down in Columbus, GA last year that started most of his canes in a pure sand bed (he said it was washed river sand but I wouldn't know the difference) in the floor of his small greenhouse. I have started a few leafs, rhizomes in sand after that but it dries out too fast. I think an additive of peat would benefit this set up.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 3:43PM
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loni_in_eek

I bought some potting bark today. Should I mix in regular potting soil? Also they are of different brands, will that matter? Its a silly question but thought it would be noteworthy. I could mix all 3 together, peat moss, bark and soil. Reason I'm so anxious for a solution is because I've got 6 more angelwings in the mail. I absolutely love all kinds of angelwings but I don't know if they'll love me (or my soil).

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 11:11PM
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hcmcdole(z7)

A mix of "good" potting soil, peat moss (go easy on this ingredient), and bark would be beneficial. The bark should really help in aeration and fast drainage.

I stay away from the cheapest potting soils from experiences in the past (decades ago). Back then (and maybe today as well) the cheapest potting soils would absorb water and stay water logged for days or weeks which is certain doom for most houseplants.

I used to mix Hoffman's peat moss, Perlite, and Vermculite but that is time consuming and I don't even know if Hoffman's is still around. Then I started using Jungle Growth potting soil from Home Depot but they quit stocking it for a while so I switched to Miracle-Gro which I can get very large bags of it at Sam's or Home Depot. Perlite is much cheaper (about half the price) if you can find a place that carries the extra large bags (14 cubic feet which is equivalent to about 7 or 8 large bags of it at Home Depot, Lowe's, or Wal-Mart).

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 8:30AM
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