What Potting Medium Do You Use?

joshy46013November 30, 2010

Hi Guys,

I'm really experimenting with potting mediums and wondering what kinds you guys use? Right now I'm using

1 part sphagnum moss *long fiber*

1 part orchid mix *hort. charcoal, bark chips and pumice*

1 part perlite

I've had really good luck with this mix so far but I'd like to experiment with other kinds! I'm a bit reluctant to try coco coir on my Hippeastrum, I've heard horror stories, that's why I'm asking you guys ;) You're the experts!


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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

I dislike dirt.

So I use hydroton. Clean, re-usable (once disinfected) and eradication of bugs is made quite easy. I'm harsh on the bugs. I don't like them and they don't like me-- but I like nematodes.

I have a few plants in organic-based medium and they're like an oasis for the bugs. But I have them surrounded. It's only a matter of time before all of my plants go to hydroton.

Off to bed,

Denver Ryan

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 1:53AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Josh and all, this comes up a lot and it seems like one or 2 years ago we had a great discussion about it. Some of the leaders on that thread have left us, left the list or now lurk. I have posted a couple of the links to threads in the message below, just copy and paste them in.

Meanwhile, everyone chime in to answer Joshy's query, but there have been several long excellent threads that could provide great information!

Here are some of the threads:



    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 7:02AM
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betonklotz(7b Baltic Sea coast)

I'm using haweha's solution (see the second on Kristi's links - cocofibre over a Seramis layer [I woundn't call it drainage layer because it rather sucks in water than releases it]) with never watering from the top. Only into the saucer, that's the trick and it works wonders for me.

I tried Jodik's mix on two bulbs and I never know how much I have to water these, the one is doing fine though ... but I'll stay with the cocofirbre. It's easy and cheap and I don't want to use Sphagnum peat to save bog-ecosystems.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 5:15PM
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After reading all past posts on soil and their mixes I came up with one most similar to Jodik and Al's mix but with what I have available in Georgia. The best granite chips I found were in an oil absorber, diatomite based. There is great information in the history of this forum. After one year in this mix the majority of my bulbs grew massive root systems.

AJâÂÂs Soil Mix:
4 cups perlite
4 cups granite chips [GraniGrit - Poultry Grit] [diatomite based oil absorber at an auto parts store]
8 cups Repti-Bark [pine bark]
4 cups Miracle Grow Orchid Mix
Time released fertilizer - Osmocote
Bone Meal or Blood Meal

GraniGrit & Repti-bark pics and discussion
Kitty Litter or Oil Absorber discussion


    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 6:28PM
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Oh I forgot to mention due to my soil mixture I always water with a diluted fertilizer.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 6:32PM
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e36yellowm3(7 Raleigh, NC)

I like dirt.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 7:00PM
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Ha ha ha ha, Alana you are too funny! That was a great response.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 7:08PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

hehe Alana love the response. And you do really well with dirt, too!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 7:37PM
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Hi Guys :)

So I've decided I want to keep my mix as porus as possible to avoid rot, I've grown Hippeastrum in pure coco peat before when I've gotten the boxed kits and I never seemed to have any luck with it, I wonder if it's because I chose to water from the top? I'm worried about the amount of salts and chemicals the can accumulate from exclusive bottom watering, I know that the gas exchange in potting mixes is very important, do the roots get adequate gas exchange with the pure coco? I've seen the wonderful pictuers Hans has posted and I was blown away!

I did for a time use the granite chicken grit posted on the first link provided above, I found it to weigh the medium down a bit but that's because I wasn't using it along with bark to avoid compression, now that the two have come together in my mind I'd like to try it again?

I would also LOVE to try the hydroton, it sounds like a wonderful idea as the plants wont be overwhelmed by water!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 8:45PM
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quail(USDA 9)

I just use a commercial potting mix that drains well and add a time-release organic bulb fertilizer. I have to be careful when watering, especially in the cooler months, but it works quite nicely when it's hot. Need something that doesn't dry out too quickly then. Making my own mix doesn't currently seem as practical since I have a small collection at this point. I like using the granular fertilizer because its easier for me to measure.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 12:20AM
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