mycorrhiza

Michaela(z6+ TN)April 9, 2013

Has anyone here ever used mycorrhiza on their sansevierias? It is a fungus that aids in plant growth. It comes in powder form and applied to the roots, or mixed in the potting soil. Many wildflowers will not bloom without the presence of mycorrhiza in the soil. Lady Slipper orchids are notorious for dying after digging in the wild and replanting in a 'tame' garden. Trout lilies will seemingly not bloom w/o micorrhiza in the soil. I'm a sucker for things like this and I found some online for $16/pound so I thought I'd try it this year.

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barbmock

We have pink Lady Slippers in this area, and I have heard that they can't be transplanted. I think they are protected anyway and you shouldn't "rescue" them. This fungus must be the reason they are so picky.

Let us know how it works with your sans.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 7:25PM
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mdahms1979

I can tell you that I killed about 80% of my orchid collection ( probably 250 dead) after applying a mycorrhizal fungi drench. That was when I learned that if it is not broken then don't fix it! Anyways Sansevieria are not at all hard to grow nor are they fragil or needy plants, no need to baby them.

Mike

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 6:26PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

Oooooh - good point. Very sorry about your bad experience. Thank you for this message, Mike.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 6:34PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

Mike,

A few years ago, after a major university study, it was found that the purchased mycorrhizae species disappeared once the native stuff appeared or was found by the plant's root system. I, too, have used the purchased mycorrhizae without real difference or success.

While most plants have an associated mycorrhizal system, I have my doubts that it would be necessary to add it to the potting mixture.

Michael
Interlaken NY Z6

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 7:10AM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

Truth be known, I wanted the micorrhiza fo aid my native wildflowers several species of which seem to 'want' this fungus which is apparently lacking in the soils around my house where my wildflowers grow. I would probably do better mulching with oak leaves, but that is not a practical solution. I was also going to dust the roots of some sansevierias to see it it helped them any while I was at it.
I am getting the strong idea from everyone that my 1 pound of fungus dust would be better served kept in a coffee can on my chemical shelf as a monument to another one of my bone-head ideas. Ha!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

michaela,
Not bone head at all. I would tell you to try and see. But on a small controlled scale. I could never grow Lady slippers and they were expensive. I didn't have any problems with the Trout lilies seem to be ok. They grow and bloom but just keep coming back the same. Never multi-plying. But again these are way cheaper than the Lady Slippers.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 4:28PM
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mdahms1979

It's well documented that many tree seedlings and wildflowers for that matter, grow much stronger and faster when they developed a mycorrhizal relationship. I just think that this is completely lost when you consider plants in pot culture. There is no competition, no need for a massive spreading root system to gather water and nutrients. As long as you care for your plants properly they should grow just fine. Also the use of chemical fertilizers will not be beneficial to the health of soil micro-organisms either so developing and maintaining this symbiosis in a pot could pose problems. I do remember having the job of watering the Coleus plants in the lab that were part of a mychrrizal fungi experiment so it is possible to grow potted plants this way. I think starting a cutting and inoculating it would be more successful than inoculation of a more mature plant.

Now if you are going to seed an area with wildflowers or plant a bunch of tree seedlings then I think you are onto something. If you decide to try a Sansevieria remember what I said and what Stush recommended. Choose a single plant or divisions and experiment on those. Believe me it's absolutely heartbreaking to watch your collection of plants melt away due to a massive root rot epidemic.

Mike

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 4:36PM
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