mixing cactus and orchid soils

mari66February 17, 2012

Hello been off a while -time to get back to plant care

Not able to find all the soil mixes you all posted-today in Lowe's the guys said mix cactus and orchid soils-so I bought some -hesitant though --I have already mixed Perlite in my MG cactus soil and this is called Better Grow Special Orchid

mix--I really need to decide soon as my Jades are out of the pot as it looked to soggy at trunk-when I dug them out wet at top and dry at bottom Help Please Thanks Mari

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You mix should be 50% pumice, or oyster shell, or perlite, 40% coarse washed construction sand, only 10% organic. Your Jades can stay out of the pot for months, put in a shady place in a dry spot, no soil, until see some roots then pot up, don't over pot them, start them in the smallest pot they will fit into, They like cool weather this is their growing season here in the U.S.. I lost the first message I tried to send so had to start over. Now I know you are going to get some static from my reply expect it, but I have grown mine l for over 25 years in the same pot. They like neglect during the summer months, do not like high humidity and will rot, so you correct this by the soil, and stop watering. Only once a month in hot weather, they are winter growers. Remember this are African plants growin on rocky hillsides in Eastern Africa, so go out and dig up some rocks, not boulders put them in the soil, before you water put a chop stick in the soil it it comes up dry then water, you may use a pencil as well, less water is better. Trim them the first of October so they will flower for Christmas. I will not proof this Im afraid I willl lose it again. Norma

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 8:47PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

orchid mix often contains more bark and perlite than other mixes, but still not enough.
If these were my only options, I would use 75 percent Perlite and 25 percent orchid mix.
That's just a guess without seeing pics of the mix, though.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Thanks Josh
I think I will make a mix tomorrow along those lines
so your saying forgo the cactus mix all together
I did add 25% perlite to it but looks like it needs something more-- I see all the posted pictures and mine
does not come close--I can not find a lot of the stuff you talk about around here-- Local nursery never heard of Turface

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 10:19PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nurseries wouldn't likely carry Turface.
It's used for turf applications, such as golf courses and sports fields, et cetera.
These ingredients can definitely be difficult to find, but keep tryin'! Pumice, lava rock,
granite, quartzite...all great materials to have on hand.

Most Cactus Mix lists peat moss as its primary ingredient, and that isn't acceptable (IMO).

I would try a Perlite heavy mix as a test, water it, and see what you think.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 12:42AM
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Fun Saturday morning 27 degrees out--
Ok back to work--this mix I bought has raw fir bark, hardwood charcoal, and course perlite that is all listed.
the Cactus palm soil has forest products compost, sphagnum peat moss, sand, perlite, a wetting agent and fert. which I added perlite to it (actually that is what I have been using) and to my well plant trained eye ha ha looks like dirt to me--so u see what u are dealing with--not well versed in dirt !!!!
I am ready to go and mix up something any ideas now that I let u know just what this stuff has in it--I will continue to look for your key ingredients as Garden centers are starting to perk up around here, thanks

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 8:22AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Cactus Palm soil sounds like garbage. Forest products compost, peat moss, sand....terrible.
However, the Orchid mix sounds decent. I would still add a mighty amount of Perlite to it, though.
Also, rinse the dust and fine particles from your Perlite. That will improve it as well.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Well I ended up with the grittiest mix I ever had--since I had previously added so much perlite to the c/s soil I did use a little of that too-not much as u said no good--
and did sift perlite --so I will shop around for the good stuff for future--but for now I should be ok
Thanks for all your help-- will post pics soon

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 9:41PM
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