Soil for C& S trough

breton2July 10, 2012

Hello all

I started planting a new trough tonight. I used a 1:1 ratio of container soil and small grit ( 2-4 mm). I have since noticed that the the container soil contains calcined clay to 'help maintain soil humidity"...okay. It also contains peat, humus, compost, sand, and perlite (not in that order). I am now concerned this soil may hodl too much water for my shallow trough. Plants to be potted in this trough are Rosularias, a Jovibarba heuffelii, Opuntia fragilis, a Sedum dasyphyllum, an Orostachys spinosa, and a Trichocerues inermis. Trough is about 5 inches deep. I'm in coastal zone 6. I am at a bit of a loss as to what soil to put in this trough, even the C& S soil I've been able to find locally is peat=based,,

So, should I use the soil I have, or try something else?



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Use the soil you have, but cut it with lots of grit / perlite and make sure your drainage holes are unblocked.

The second cactus, do you mean Echinocereus inermis?

That sounds like a nice combination of plants - will it winter outside entrough?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:51PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

It is good to get the larger perlite. Sometimes that perlite that they sell is like sand. We often use a humus at 1/3 the total content. Many of us don't like peat moss because it can become hydrophobic once it dries out and ages.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:21AM
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Thanks Jeff. I used 50% soil, 50% grit. Thinks that's enough? I put a piece of landscape fabric over the three large drainage holes. And yes, I did mean Echinocereus's since been identified as E. triglochidiatus v. inermis, hence my late-night jumbling of syllables.... I'll post a picture of it once it is complete....maybe today if my baby boy cooperates!

The perlite was included in the mix I purchased, it's about 2-4 mm pieces. And I also don't like to use peat moss, but it is impossible to buy and potting soil around here without it...still looking!!!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:25AM
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No, I don't - that would be 60/70% grit / perlite and 30/40 % soil, IMO, particularly since it's a trough. I've not used landscape fabric as a hole cover, but would have thought it would be not as good as a square of window screen, but it will drain.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Thanks Jeff. I added a bunch of perlite to the mix and repotted the trough...only to find that the last plant to go in, an Orostachys spinosa had root mealies. This is despite the soapy water soaking I gave it last week. So of to the soaker for it, and the trough is not yet finished. The mosquitoes and darkness drove me indoors last night before I could finish it..

Tonight, perhaps, it will be completed...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:07AM
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When I have a plant that has mealy bugs and I think the plant is going to die, I wash it, roots and all, in a solution of 1 part bleach, Clorox, and 15 parts water and then rinse in clear water and let dry and re-pot. I've had 100% success with any plants I've done this with. In fact if I buy a new African violet I take off some leaves to start new plants and wash them like this and throw away the new plant. Stops me from getting other people's bugs.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Is that some sort of embalming method (Crassula Mummies!) or does the plant not die 100% of the time?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:46PM
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I'd remove the root ball, or most of it, getting rid of all of the soil and some of the roots, anyway, and then an alcohol bath for the roots to kill the mealies.

Who wants root mealies? I'll be able to show them to you soon, too.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Yep, I did actually remove most of the soil and roots, and gave it an alcohol bath too. Don't know why forgot about that method, I've used it in the past... Trough might actually get completed today!

Will remember the bleach soak, thanks for the idea, Ron!

Happy succulenting, everyone!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:52AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

If you start with an orchid mix for soil one will not get the peat, I THINK. I usually make up the soil portion to avoid the peat.. I use bark Fines and native soil.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:31PM
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UPDATE for Jeff
I can't believe it , but my Echinocereus inermis rotted out completely in my trough in September, despite the 60-70% grit content. Argh! Even most of the offsets had rot into their bases by the time I noticed.. A few offsets have survived, we'll see if they survive the winter. The rest of the plants look okay, though several O. spinosa rosettes didn't survive the root mealy treatment...

happy growing...

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:19PM
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