African Violet Soil for my terrs

beetajaneMarch 14, 2011

Okay, beginner here. I was told by garden center that African Violet soil (and I'll mix in some garden charcoal) will work well in my terrariums (one with lid; two open). I was looking for a soil with no vermiculite or perlite. On www.monkeysee.com, there was a demonstration on how to build a terr that included gravel in bottom, then landscape fabric cut to fit over the gravel, then soil and that seems to make sense to me. What do you think about the method and AV soil?

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paul_(z5 MI)

The method described is a very common one. As far as the soil is concerned, that will depend in large part on what type of plants you're thinking of using.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 9:12PM
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beetajane

Got your response after building my three terrs but making one for my sister next weekend so if mix isn't good, please respond again or if you have other input. Here is the plant list. Maidenhair fern, rabbit foot fern, varigated creeping fig, green/white Fittonia, some sort of tree looking low light plant that could be too tall someday, and a "ground cover" that I didn't save the tag for (kind of ferny looking but a clump :o). Guess we'll see if the AV mix will work in time. Ingredients 55-60% Aged Fir (Softwood) Bark, Redwood compost and sand. Making these was an absolute blast!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 1:55PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Interesting sounding mix. I would say it would probably be okay. The only issue might be just how well "ground" the mix is. Very finely ground mixes tend to get compacted very easily and that can interfere with gas exchange in the soil. Larger particals tend not to compact as easily and so the soil remains "airy" far longer.

Most Maidenhairs get quite tall and so you may find it out growing your tank faster than you'd expect. They also require very high humidity, IME, so be aware of that. (Pity they can be so fussy -- they are such beautiful plants!) Do keep an eye on the fig -- they can be 'thugs'. Never tried a rabbits foot fern in a terr -- they generally are too big for what I have in mind. I will be quite interested to hear how yours does for you.

How bout some pics?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 7:49PM
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