Mix question

lenle(4)October 24, 2012

I was hoping someone here might be able to tell me what the stone-like objects in this mix are. FWIW, it's Schultz Orchid Mix... but the kind without an ounce of soil in it. Most recently, I've used this mix in combination with perlite and pine bark for my TC's and CC's - and they really seem to be benefiting from it. Since I can't find the same Schultz Mix, I'd like to see if I can at least find something similar to the stones.

Would it be beneficial to add whatever those stones are to my gritty mix as well?


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It's charcoal.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 4:44PM
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I've been assuming the black bits are charcoal. The tan colored stones are what I'm referring to. Could they be pea gravel or some form of lava rock?


    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Looks like bits of #2 gravel to me, and that would be advantageous in a mix for succulents. I am getting #1 and #2 poultry grit from these guys for my mix and it's working well so far in terms of a porosity addition.

And a shoutout to the Teatree for the schoolin'.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 6:32PM
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Thanks! That sounds a good deal closer to what I think it might be. Now I just have to figure out where to find some.

Luckily enough, I can get the poultry grit from my local Tractor Supply - Manna Pro. It's ugly as sin but it gets the job done!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 7:30PM
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Since my last post on this thread, I've had zero luck in securing another bag of this mix (apparently the Schultz mix now has a great deal of soil in it and absolutely no rocks) or in finding any "small" size lava rock. I've also struck out with the gravel.

I plan I taking a trip to Lowes tomorrow AM as they apparently have "pea gravel" in stock. Is this suitable as an additive to succulent mix? Primarally for Christmas/Thanksgiving/Easter cacti (but also maybe Jades)? If I understand it correctly, lava rock is far more porous. I don't think pea gravel is nearly as porous. Also, I have poultry grit which I use for gritty mix, but think its too small to be of any use (at least for the cc/tc/ec mix).

If not pea gravel at Lowes, is there something else I can look into?



    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 10:43PM
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Hi Jeni, I just want to add a new idea here. Soil mixing is a long-term learning process and differs from person to person depending on your environment and care practices. A very gritty mix is great for most succulents but should have smaller particles than orchid mix. Bigger chunks are good as one component, maybe 30-40%.

The main thing I wanted to say is that Epiphytes (TC, CC) are jungle cacti that grow in trees. They root in the rich humus of dead leaves that accumulate in the crotches of trees. For this reason, I use more fines and actual dry leaves in my mix. They basically live in compost. When mine dry out, they show it immediately so I only let them dry out briefly. You could probably grow them in that terrible MG mix with no problems until the junk soil turns to cake.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:27PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

my first thought was Turface when I saw the pic.

I know that Schultz Aquatic media is actually Turface. Are these stones porous?


    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Hey Josh!

It's not Turface. It took a lot of searching, but I did find that it is "volcanic rock". The ingredients are listed as 30 - 40% each of volcanic rock, western fir bark and horticultural charcoal.

On an aside, I stopped at a mom and pop type greenhouse just to see what they had. I was pleasantly surprised to find they had red lava rock, so I bought a bag (Hoffman's). Also picked up a bag of pea gravel. Between the two of them, I think I'm all set.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:58PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Lenle,

I don't know about your question abt the pictured mix.

I would not add this pea gravel to mix for TC or CC, I find (for me) what works best is African Violet mix amended w/ abt 30% or more perlite). Before I learned better I'd used C&S mix w/ perlite for them & it was both too heavy & too lean.

These plants do much better w/ the lighter mix.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 4:49PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Oh, cool! I love red lava rock (Scoria)!

It looks so good with the Fir bark, especially after being watered.
I'm sure you've noticed the red rock dust, so be sure to rinse that lava rock before mixing...
I learned the hard way ;-)


    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:29PM
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I think you might be right, PG, so I probably won't end up using the pea gravel after all. The lava rock looks better and will def. be more porous. Combined with bark fines, the TC/CC/EC really love it. Thanks for the heads up too, Josh! I'll be sure to rinse it. :)


    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:28PM
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