Best pre-made soil for jades and other succulents

kaityinoregon(oregon)July 26, 2013

Hello,

I'm pretty new on here. Have been growing orchids for years and am making the switch to succulents, jades specifically. I like the prospect of something a little more architectural.

Anyhoo...... Up until now I have been using black gold cactus potting soil with some extra perlite in it. Is this the best thing to use that is pre-mixed? Or is there a suggestion for something else. I only have a few plants so not sure mixing my own from scratch makes sense. Side note: I live in Oregon so these will be inside my house for most of the year.

Thank you in advance for any insights you might offer!

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kataclysm(Pittsburgh, PA (6b))

I feel your pain.

Sadly, nothing ready-made on the market is really good for jades. Your best bet is to buy one bag of cactus and succulent soil, and one bag of perlite, and mix them together in a 1:1 ratio. It's a bit annoying when you have just a few plants in a small space, but if you want healthy plants, it's your only real option.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 5:29PM
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Laura Robichaud

I know it seems overwhelming to make a gritty mix, but with a bit of legwork to track down the ingredients, there is a big payoff. The jades love it and show you by growing robust. You can put them outside during the summer while not having to worry as much that they'll rot in the rain. The jades reward you by turning beautiful reds and yellows.

Turface can be found at John Deere stores, you can get chicken grit at Tractor Supply and Reptile-bark at Petco. Screen it , mix it and voila!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 9:54AM
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kaityinoregon(oregon)

Thank you for your help. I think I found something good! I used this company to buy my orchid mix and they have a service where they will make a custom blend for you based on your selections.

http://www.repotme.com/orchid-media/

Are there any ' recipes' for gritty mix you would recommend that I could get from this place?

Here is a link that might be useful: Repotme

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:00PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I agree with Laura, Gritty mix or something close to it is worth all the hard work locating the ingredients...you want something that looks similar to this.

I use Equal parts of:

Small pieces of PIne or Fir bark
Turface
Coarse silica sand (not beach or play sand) or Granite chips

You can add some store bought cactus soil to the mix if you want to add a little more water retention to the mix. For some plants that love to stay a little moist or if you can't water as often...I tweak the ingredients according to the type of plants I grow.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:08PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Kaityc,
The link you provided list all of the ingredients you need to make the gritty mix similar to what Pug posted. I'm sure you'll pay extra for them to mix it thou. Use Turface, granite chips, and chopped redwood in a 1:1:1 ratio. Some members also use pumice or lava rock also. I would try to stay away from the fine to small particle sizes. Use the medium sizes if possible.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 8:12AM
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hanzrobo(11)

I truly and honestly believe there is a general confusion about soil. Much information has been traded and repeated and taken as truth.

Things you want from your soil:

1 - Drainage. Doesn't have to flush like your toilet, just drain well.

2 - Aeration. How well does it air out?

3 - Comfort of Roots... Are you torturing your plant?

4 - Nutrition... Is there anything your plant can consume?

Ingredients I use:
-Pre-mixed Potting Soil.
-All-Purpose Sand - not play sand, not beach sand
-Fine Vermiculite
-Perlite
-Volcanic Pumice AKA Dry Stall

Step 1: REMOVE BARK. I begin by sifting my potting soil through a 3/16" sized grate. The main purpose of the sifting is to remove as much of the bark as possible. I watch for twigs and small bark bits that make it through and remove those as I go. Some of the small bits make it into the mix and that's okay because they'll decay pretty quickly. The second purpose of the sifting is that all the chunks of peat (and possibly some clay soil) will get smashed up and your mix will be incredibly fluffy. Also, any foreign objects will be found; nails, bits of wire, human fingers, etc. I use MiracleGro Moisture control mix because of its particular blend and low bark ratio.

Step 2: Add sand. I use about 1/3 the volume of the potting soil. 3 scoops soil - 1 scoop sand

Step 3: Add vermiculite. The vermiculite is about 1/3 the volume of the sand, maybe a little more.

Step 4: Stir it up. Turn all those fines into one blend before you add the grit.

Step 5: Add desired amount of Perlite and Pumice. I use about 3 times more Perlite than pumice. For mesembs and greenhouse plants, I use about 40% grit (perlite, pumice, or your substitutes). For outdoor plants, I use more grit, maybe 60% at most.

I watched all my plants begin to suffer months after employing a very gritty, very sifted mix that included bark. The plants were becoming too dry between waterings and the roots looked tortured and burned. Some of the pots showed evidence that the roots were actively avoiding the bark chunks.

Mesemb Mix - Seed Sowing Mix - Greenhouse Mix

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 4:23PM
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hanzrobo(11)

Outdoor Mix - Okay to get rained on.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 4:24PM
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kaityinoregon(oregon)

I just wanted to share this link I found. The same vendor I mentioned above has a bonsai website with pre made mixes that are the same as gritty mix. I ended up ordering the inorganic mix and will let you guys know what it looks like when it arrives.

Here is a link that might be useful: Repotme bonsai

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Pots_Alot

Costume soils of the new century is in a bag marked Different strokes for different folks

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:27PM
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