Soil questions

spikef35September 2, 2014

I'm using potting soil and perlite on my cacti and succulents do I need to change soil because this will cause rot or can I keep using it

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You have to be careful when watering using that type of soil. Cacti and succulents need to have the soil flushed too but usually the threat of rot impairs us from doing that because they will be TOO damp for TOO long. If you're careful watering you will be fine until salts build up because of not being able to flush the soil properly. EVENTUALLY they're will be a problem. That's why I switched to the gritty mix. My plants would do fine for awhile and then just go down hill. Since I switched to the gritty mix, I can water without fear of rot. And flush the mix without worry. Hope this helps you :)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 12:46PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Spikef22, so far that's what I've been using & it's been working fine I've used others brands of mix that had various other types of amendments such as small bits & pieces of pumice stone & a little peat moss and that work really good too.
For example, I had a cacti that I previously kept in the mixture you mentioned and you know that plant (cacti) never grew an inch for over 5 to 8 years, then I put it in the mixture I mentioned and it began to grow quickly.

Some times we have to experiment with different soils for different types of cacti & succulents.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 12:48PM
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So should I go back to cactus soil or use potting soil and perlite

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:20PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Spike, I personally have never used grits in my mix probably because I Haven't ran into any before, I'm sure it is a good idea but like I said, I haven't used it for that reason. I will say this, once I find it I will give it a try, cuz I experiment with different soils looking for the best results available for my plants.

LilBit, hope you had a fabulous labor day weekend too , I noticed your post later on so I'm catching up here ð and by the way, where do you get your gritty mix at? I know I've seen others mention it but like I said, have never seen it.

So spike, back to your question, to use or not to use, cacti soil & perlite mixed together or not. I would say yes, at least I do. Use what you have and experiment. I use it.

(Not saying lilbit is wrong either.) I'm sure her mix is working fine too, I just have to find some grits in my area.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:36PM
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I'm going to use potting soil cacti soil and perlite

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:48PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

Like I said on your other thread, in my incredibly soggy summers even the soil mixed heavily with perlite does not dry out. It works fine during the dryer parts of the year, but I can't get through a summer with it. All of my plants are outside. See my typical summer afternoon in Florida below.

This mix - either potting, garden or cactus soil with perlite - may work like a charm for you. That's great for you and your plants. Look at Greg's plants. They sure do not suffer (I'm jealous! LOL). When we lived in New Mexico, we plunked everything in the ground and they did well with no amendments. We moved to Ohio and I killed everything I planted - even in pots.

Don't worry yourself too much. Just keep an eye on your plants - ok, that's where I obsess! You'll know if the soil needs changed.

Have fun with your plants!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 3:50PM
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Hi Greg! I had to work ALL WEEKEND! :( so needless to say, my Labor Day weekend sucked! Lol. How was yours? As for the grit, I got mine at a feed store. If you get it there make sure it doesn't have calcium added. Cherry stone #2 is an alternative if you can't find the exact one Al posted. I use the Cherrystone #2 bcuz I couldn't find it. I use Al's recipe of 1/3 of Turface MVP, grit, and I had trouble finding the right bark (I think that was bcuz I was confused on the bark fines at the time lol) so I use repti bark. The smaller bags have smaller sized bark. I was trying to go the cheaper route and got the BIG bag (more for your money) but I have to put it through the blender. Lol hope this helps you! My succulents AND the ordinary house plants I've transplanted so far LOVE it! Have a great day! My break is over! :(

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 6:36PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

Hey. Lilbit! I also use repti-bark. How does that work in the blender? I was thinking of doing the same when I last purchased the larger bag and have larger chunks.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Make sure it's a blender that you don't care if you do break. I broke my last one making my second batch but I don't use blenders so it wasn't a big loss, I was just upset I couldn't make MORE mix lol! But I just bought a cheapy from Walmart and kept the receipt that way if it breaks i just keep exchanging it lol!!! But it works good. I fill it to almost 1/2 way and put it on high for ten seconds then take it off the bottom part and give it a shake, put it back on for another 10 seconds and then start sifting. I keep MOST of the bark that screens through for cuttings (along with the small pieces of Turface and grit). You will get a few STUBBORN pieces that feel like they're ALMOST PETRIFIED LOL, I pull those out and run them through the next batch and if it seems they just won't break down I throw them out in the garden. I'm getting faster at doing it but I will say the first time I was at it for quite some time! Pretty much ALL day. But I made enough to fill a BIG tote. Hope this helps you! :)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 11:51PM
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