Plumeria In Al's Gritty Mix question

powderpuffMarch 20, 2013

I know that it has been said on here repeatedly to use Dyna-Gro Grow, which I have always used... BUT I also use organics and other plant foods, some that I paid A LOT of money for. Can we use those on with the gritty mix too?

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krismast(6 S.E. PA)

As far as I know any fertilizer can be used with the gritty mix. So long as you water properly to keep fertilizer from building up in the soil! Also it's best to use a diluted mixture more often, otherwise it doesn't seem to last as long in the gritty mix.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:54PM
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I say use what you have already spent your money on. Plumerias are generally very forgiving regarding fertilization. Who knows what the results will be until you experiment with it. Good luck

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:42PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Powderpuff - you will get the best results when using the gritty mix and other well-aerated soils if you use a soluble fertilizer that supplies nutrients in a ratio as close as possible to that at which the plant uses the nutrients, fertilizing frequently with doses lower than the recommended maximum dose prescribed on the fertilizers label.

It's very difficult to know how forgiving a plant might be of less than optimal nutritional supplementation unless there is at least a lose control. Often what's left lying on the table comes in the form of lost potential that can't be seen or measured. For instance, I did an experiment that involved growing a number of cuttings from the same plants (coleus, snapdragon, and Luma apiculata - I forget the common name). The plants grown in a mix where CHCs predominated only grew to be about half the size over the course of a summer as plants grown in a mix predominated by pine bark. The plants looked reasonably healthy, but their size in relation to other plants (same genetic material) clearly indicated there was a significant loss of potential that would never have been revealed except by my past experience OR by the fact there was a basis for comparison in place.

Using a fertilizer, or a soil, or subjecting a plant to anything less than ideal conditions is certain to result in lost potential - that is unavoidable. No one can really say how much lost potential there will be, or if you'll even be able to quantify it. It's not a question of it being right or wrong, or of you being judged for what you decide to use for a nutrient supplement. Other than wanting the best for you, no one should care. Weigh how badly you want to use what you have against how important it is to you that you feel like you're doing all you can to ensure your plants get the chance to grow as close as possible to their genetic potential and you should have your answer.

What are the NPK %s of the other fertilizer you're contemplating - does it list the N source in the 'ingredients'?

Best luck!!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 7:44PM
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I use Dyana Gro "Grow" as my staple. However when they were in the ground and in pots with soil mix in them I also used some of the following and I want to make sure these are okay with the Gritty Mix.

Flora Nova Grow 7-4-10
Flora Nova Bloom 4-8-7
Grow More Hawaiian Bud & Bloom 5-50-17
Spray and Grow
Bills Perfect 6-11-5
House and Garden Magic Green
Seaweed Extract Liquified Organic Kelp .1-.1-1.5
Atlantis Fish Emulsion 2-4-0
Root Organics Buddha Bloom- 0.5-5-15
Floralicious Organic Enhancer Bloom 1-1-1
Dyna Gro Bloom 3-12-6
Dyna Gro Pro-Tekt Silicone Spray
Dyna Gro Mag Pro 2-15-4
House & Garden Root Excelurator

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:38PM
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Al... I orderedsome Dyna Gro Foliage Pro. All trees have now been repotted in your mix except for 3. I ran out of mix and now need to sift more fines, and get more grit and Turface to finish. When moving them out of the garage, a couple of them weren't planted deep enough and plopped out of their pots. They already had lots of beautiful new white roots. So far, looks good. Will see how it works out when the torrential late summer rains come daily.

Thank you for all of your help!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:00PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If you have cuttings with new root systems, or you recently bare-rooted and root-pruned a plant and are concerned about it toppling, try anchoring it with a few inexpensive spring clamps and some jute or sisal twine.

You'll like the results you get from the 9-3-6. It really is a superb choice for a huge % of the plants we grow. I use it for everything, only adding a little Pro-TeKt for some plants. I know I said it recently, not sure if it was to you or not, but I wouldn't worry about prolonged rain if you screened the gritty mix to remove the fines. I leave my cacti/succulents/pines out in rain for a week straight with never a hint of a problem. When you don't have a soggy layer of soil at the bottom of the pot, it's VERY difficult for any of the damping off fungi to get a toehold.

If you ARE worried about plants when it's raining. Look at the following picture to see how much perched water you can remove by simply putting a block under your pots to tip them. See illustration B vs A. Or use a wick! See E. There is no harm in sticking a wick in a drain hole if you're using the gritty mix, if you have any concern at all about the soil staying too wet.

Best luck to you!! Keep us posted - it sounds like you're off to a good start, other than the toppled plants.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Powder..

Sorry to here about your toppled trees.. I know that really upset you. That is one thing I worry about when I'm moving my trees in and out from the house. I will carry as many as I can and while I'm taking them out, I'm thinking what if I drop one.. Yikes, I would be so upset with myself. Hopefully, your trees will be just fine.

Like Al mentioned and also Bill. They both like to anchor to the container. If I don't have any place to add rebar and secure. You could drill holes right under the lip of the container ( like where Al secures with grips ) then take twine or something to tie off the bottom limbs to the three areas that you drill holes in the pots. Kind of like drilling holes at 2 , 6 ,10 o'clock position. This will secure the tree if it is two large for other ways to secure the tree. Then I would make sure they are secure from the wind and or not being to top heavy. That is where the rebar works wonders.. ;-)

Good luck and let us know how you like the foliage pro. I'm sure you will love it!

Take care,


    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 12:25AM
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Thank you Lara. I may do that with some of them. When they plopped out there was no harm done. They just leaned over in the pot. I had planted those 2 shallow. I was actually glad because I got a peak at the root system and was THRILLED to see lots of new white roots all over the place which told me they like Al's gritty mix and the Root Excelerator was working wonders like it always does.

The holes and twine sound easy. I will do that on some of the taller ones, or heavier ones until their roots get established in the mix. Thank you, you are always so helpful and you and Al both explain things so well!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 1:52PM
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You can find decent plastic vice grip style clamps in the bulk bins in packs of 8 for just a few dollars at places like Northern Tool. They are plastic and have soft pressure points to help hold the string on a curved surface. I also use a soldering iron to melt small holes (under 3/8") in plastic pots just below the lip for tie downs. The plastic is less likely to crack/sun rot after prolonged use in my conditions.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Thanks everyone for the help and suggestions. Most of the smaller ones seem stable right now. I'm going to anchor some of the larger ones to make sure they don't topple if it gets windy.

I'm sure once the roots get established and fill the pot this isn't an issue but I just pruned roots and potted them all in Al's mix so some that didn't have a lot of roots for the mix to fill in around are a bit wobbly.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:57PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Powder..

Glad to help!! ;-)

It is important to secure the trees when you rootprune to keep them sturdy unitl they grow more roots to anchor themselves in their new container.

Sounds like you are doing a great job!!



    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:43PM
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