Best soil for container tropicals (Lychee, Mango, etc)

roachslayer(7b)June 28, 2011

Folks, I have done a lot of reading and studying on the topic of soil mediums for container tropicals. However, I have not conclusively determined this answer.

Is Als Gritty Mix (1-1-1, grit/bark/turface MVP) good for Lychee and/or Mango?

What soil is your containerized lychee/mango/papaya/citrus in?

Looking for actual experience and results to discuss. Not that lychee has the same needs as mango, but I know owners of all these variaous tropicals are in this forum. I'm also planting payapa this week, a plant very prone to root rot.

5-1-1 is extremely hard to come by for some reason (I just cant find supplier of properly sized and composted bark fines in the Seattle area). This might be good as well, but honestly, I can make (and already have) the gritty mix, no prob. My only issue with gritty is, watering is needed more frequently, and its HEAVY if you have large containers, but I believe it solves other problems like deterring fungas gnats, and prevents root rot.

btw, my citrus are ALL in 4-1 CHC/peat, and are thriving. But I dont think that is the way to go for Lychee, etc.

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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Lots of pro's with Al's mix and there are some folks on the Tropical Fruit Forum using it. The ingredients are difficult to obtain in many areas. I've been using coconut choir in most of my mixes with lots of perlite. I keep the mix as light and airy as possible. Many of my plants require a more acidic mix so peat and/or pine bark fines are in the mix.

I have some much in containers that keeping things as simple as possible is a high priority.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 7:01AM
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euqruob(Phoenix, AZ)

I've been using cactus and palm mix, works pretty fine.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 9:49PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

I don't know why you think Citrus and Lychee can't grow in the same soil. In our orchard we have them side by side in a fairly heavy clay. Now I'm not sugggesting that is best for plants grown in cultivation, merely that growing conditions are more important than soil and most plants are in fact quite adaptable as far as the latter is concerned.I wouldn't grow any of these plants in a light, sandy (cactus) mix. If you do you will be watering them constantly and risk a poor harvest. You might like to try some of the new water absorbent granules if you think your mix will dry out too quickly. But most of all in Ohio you will need a lot of heat during the winter.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:31PM
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My citrus and bananas are both in 4-1 CHC/Peat. I suppose Lychee might be ok there too. My papaya however... gritty mix for sure - they are very sensitive to root rot. No probs yet.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:27PM
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getting 3 gallon grafted via air layered lychee tree next week.
advice on soil mix for container? I will put it in little green house after summer, do I still need to cover it? Also, looking for drawft emporer tree.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 9:43PM
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The gritty mix will work well for almost any plant, the only exceptions being certain slow growing desert plants that have very fine root systems.

If lack of moisture retention is a concern, increase the % of turface.

If you really want to see great growth in containers, plant the pot partially submerged into a spot over your garden soil (if you have space of course). Any roots that escape the drainage holes will lead to excellent growth, then in the fall you can safely prune back the roots, bring your pot indoors, then repeat in the spring.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:25PM
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For an update on my discoveries, I did go with chc 4-1 mix for my lychee and gritty mix for my mango. Mango is now dead, I just could not keep up on the constant need for watering, and did not have it automated.

The lychee has done great in chc. It is very sensitive to dry, do not want it to dry out. I killed one even in chc which is awesome at moisture retention. Still, you really gotta keep it watered (conveniently impossible to over water in chc). My lychee would have died quickly like my mango if I did gritty mix.

Not knocking gritty mix. Its good stuff. My young, moisture sensitive papaya loved it. solved my root rot issues on prior papaya attempts in other mediums. Just gotta remember to keep it watered, whatever you put in it!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 11:16PM
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