Is this soil mix legit?

suivezmoi(8)July 25, 2014

I just ran out of the stuff I had been using (1/2 cacti mix from home depot 1/2 perlite) and figured I would try the succulent mix from the nursery I get everything from. When I opened it, it was really damp and heavy. There is a lot of bark and other stuff in there and from a few posting I have seen there shouldn't be a lot of organic material in the potting soil. I'll take a picture and maybe y'all can tell me if it seems alright. They really know their stuff, and all the plants I get from them are in that same soil and when I post pictures here they always get comments about how healthy the plants look.

I did find this mix on etsy : https://www.etsy.com/listing/159598211/organic-succulent-and-cactus-soil-1?ref=shop_home_active_6

and I was hoping to get an opinion on if this seemed like a good mix, or I should just stick with the 1/2 perlite 1/2 cacti mix I was using. These are the components if you don't want to click the link: Ingredients include: coconut coir, peat moss, perlite, worm castings, forest hummus, bat guano, vermiculite, rocks, General Hydroponics Subculture M (mycorrhizae root inoculate) & dolomite lime.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil Mix

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turtlewalker34205(9)

I use a 2/3 perlite 1/3 peat

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:48AM
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Joe1980(5)

That mix sounds terrible. Too many organic ingredients, and things like worm castings are worse than peat moss. Most all organic ingredients will be a problem, some sooner than others. Pine bark is ok, if sifted correctly, but will decompose eventually, but almost never before you repot anyway. Container growing is VERY different than growing in the ground, and although some will argue, organic material has no place in container growing, with the exception noted above.

Joe

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:36PM
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suivezmoi(8)

This is a picture of the stuff I got from the nursery

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:15PM
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Joe1980(5)

That mix doesn't look good at all. From what I can see, it's got a bunch of sapwood in it, almost like its a bag of yard mulch with a pinch of perlite, some peat moss, and a handful of controlled release fertilizer. That's a bad combination of stuff, especially for succulents.

Joe

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:35PM
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suivezmoi(8)

*sigh* it's upsetting because the nursery knew what I was buying, and they only sell succulents. I am not sure if she gave me the wrong bag or what. Honestly it looks almost exactly like what most of the plants are in when I repot them, so maybe that's just what they use there.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 4:01AM
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Joe1980(5)

Most nurseries and plant shops do use those types of mixes, mainly because most don't know better, and the plants don't stay in their possession very long, so they don't get to deal with the problems that occur when the mix breaks down. I don't know of many plant shops that have employees, or even owners, who seem to know what they're doing, other than ordering plants from a supplier, and reselling them. Most places I go sell succulents that seem to be constantly soaked and in a location with nowhere near the necessary light levels. There is usually a high school kid just watering everything with no regard to what kind of plant it is, of how moist it is to begin with. So, to think they'd know, is giving them too much credit. It is also not cost effective to use a high quality mix.

Joe

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:36AM
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yooperlady(4 Upper Peninsula, MI)

Is vermiculite ever OK for a succulent soil mix?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:08PM
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butterfly4u

Suive,
Try the mix you got from the nursery. If the plants you buy there are all init, it can't be bad right?
See how well it drains.
Only water your plants when you need to.
Give it a try.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:16PM
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Joe1980(5)

Be careful about the idea that because the plants you buy are grown in a particular mix, that it can't be bad. I see plants sold at Walmart where the mix is actually glued in. The plants are alive and look good in it, but that doesn't mean it's not bad. Use that mix at your own risk, but if you do, please remember to look back on this thread, because there's a good chance you will have some problems down the road.

Joe

PS: vermiculite isn't ideal for a gritty type mix

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:02PM
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