Soilless Mix - How does it work?

americangolden(ZONE 5B)November 27, 2011

I've been doing some reading the last few days on Al's gritty mix along with other gritty mix's. I understand the concept and how it helps prevent root rot by not letting water sit in the pot, however, what I don't understand is how the plants are able to have all the nutrients they need with no soil. Unless I have missed something; correct me if I'm wrong, there is no soil in the gritty mix.

Enlighten me on how my Jade plants will survive this way before I make the go ahead on re potting them all this spring. If you are unable to explain it in a post, a link to a website which does explain it would be proficient. Thanks again Garden Web. I look forward to reading your responses.

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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

American, when you water you want to water with your fertilizer, fish emulsion, sea weed, SuperThrive etc, that will provide your plant with the nutrients they need.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 9:18PM
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americangolden(ZONE 5B)

If I am understanding what you are saying correctly, you need to use fertilizer every time you water to replace the nutrients that would be found in the soil?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 10:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

You don't need to fertilize that often.
But you can if you want to. Soil-less mixes will hold a certain amount of nutrients,
but those nutrients are also more readily flushed with each watering. That's why a
lot of folks like to use dilute amounts of fertilizer, applied with each watering -
a flushing and a fertilization at the same time.

I tend to fertilize my succulents only a handful of times a year, and very lightly during the Winter.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 10:52PM
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americangolden(ZONE 5B)

Makes sense to me now. Could you post a recommended dose of water/fertilizer to do with each watering or what would you recommend doing?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Here's a wealth of material regarding the use of fertilizers for potted plants. Note there are links in this thread to earlier discussions on the same topic.

My jade plants are pretty young - all but 2 were started from cuttings this past spring. I've been using Foliage-Pro mixed at 1/8 tsp per gal for each watering. This is working for my plants in my conditions at this time. You'll probably get as many different recommendations as people that you ask...

I trust you'll find the link below to be informative.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizer Program for Containerized Plants III

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 12:11PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Tim is right on.

I, too, use Foliage Pro at 1/8 teaspoon per gallon during the Winter.
However, I honestly don't get around to fertilizing each time I water.

During the Summer, I fertilize at 1/4 teaspoon per gallon as often as I remember ;-)

This is for succulents, mind you. Other plants are fertilized once a week or
every other week at much higher concentrations.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 12:45PM
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americangolden(ZONE 5B)

Thank you for your informative posts. If anyone else has anything to add i'd enjoy reading it. Now I am going to read that article you linked. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:43PM
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