Return to the Cacti & Succulents Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
grow already!.......please

Posted by plantlover80 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 19:10

Hello all, I acquired this plant last year fall in a nursery near my work. I cheated by buying one that is a bit mature. since I bought it, it hasnt really grown. Mind you I had this through the wisconsin (5) winter next to the S.E. window. I repotted with new soil(-less leaf compost, general compost, peat, time released fertilizer, limited pea gravel in mix and on top)about 2 months ago into a same size pot. I had about a 1/4 in space in pot all around. The grower/owner/my boss I asked for advice said he plant all his jades in peat and just waters them less. This guy has some pretty damn awesome looking plants! It is now close to the summer. I am looking for advice as to how to help this baby grow to a greater potential. cut away? leave it? fertilize? I have look for info on internet, asked nursery owners and planters. I keep getting mixed answers and I dont want to be confused anymore!!!

Chad


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Hi Chad. I'm new to the forum myself. So firstly, NO PEAT! Everyone here will tell you the same thing. If it totally dries out it no longer absorbs water. Generally a good mix of cactus and succulent mix with perlite is best. And be cautious with watering, it's often said here, if in doubt, don't! I'm sure others will be along soon with more exact advice. Good luck :-)


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Maintain regular watering I'd leave it as is unless something becomes to unsightly for you. They tend to slow down in the heat during summer should pick back up in cooler early fall.
I think you have yourself a Cotyledon as well


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Being in Wisconsin myself, I can assure you the heat (the what?) is not slowing it down. Your mix? That's gonna be trouble in a matter of time, and the longer you wait to change it, the worse it'll get. I have grown jades for about 15 years now, and I used to do what any unknowing plant grower did.....buy Miracle Grow and good to go. Well, not so much. They grew fine for the summer, but stalled out in winter, and never got going the next season either. Turns out the peat in the mix decomposed and turned to mush, and the roots declined in health, which reciprocated to the "above ground" part too.

So then I "wised up" and bought the special cactus & succulent blend. I wasn't very thrilled to run into the same problem as before. Turns out that "cactus & succulent" mix is nothing more than regular mix, with sand in it. Then, when you go to repot, jades seem to have this habit of filling the upper parts of the pot with all their roots, creating a hard packed mass of roots and old peat moss that's impossible to break up. Well, it's because the upper half of the pot drains better, creating better conditions for the roots, and the bottom half stays wet, rotting whatever roots try to take hold.

Then came the day I discovered the gritty mix on this forum. Now, my jades seem to grow all year, happy and healthy. Come repotting time, the pot is filled evenly from top to bottom with nice fluffy feeder roots, and is a breeze to work with.

So, the cliff notes to the book I just wrote: your soil may be causing you some problems. As the organic components break down, they block air flow to the roots, and keep things wet too long.....a sure recipe for disaster. Search this forum with the term "gritty mix", or look into a mix that drains better and allows good air flow.

Joe


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

A grittier mix soil would be better. If you decide to repot into a grit mix it would take a couple weeks to a month for it to recover and would keep the plant and pot on the cooler side during it's recovery time.

You might want to confirm it being a Cotyledon or if it's a Crassula AKA Jade. Cotys are a slower growing member in the Crassulaceae family regardless of the soil it's in with in the same cultivating area and practices.

Also some cots have natural growth restirctions and cant get taller or wider but spread over an area at a max height.



 o
RE: grow already!.......please

okay gritty mix.... understood. does a jade plant not need a soil? forgive me. I can be a smart person on a great amount of things but... no soil? I understand there is fertilizer to be used. Is that for compensation? I have used a cactus and succulent mix before and my cats seem to love it and dig/dump my plants. no-can-do on the c&s mix.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Absolutely you need to fertilize! I think you just answered why yours isn't growing. Even with bagged mix, you eventually need to fertilize, as the controlled release stuff runs out. For the record, most all mixes are soilless, so to answer your question, no, it does not need "soil". I grow mine in turface and crushed quartz grit, and that's it. Do a little poking around here, and you'll be growing jades with the best of 'em in no time; there's quite a few knowledgable people here concerning jades, and everyone is happy to help. I am infatuated with jades, and yours is a nice one, so I'd like to see it thrive.

Joe


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Joe, being your a local and you seem confident I'm gonna try it tomorrow. I have done poking around.I just haven't been trust worthy with different zone advice. Wisconsin has crazy temps, Sun, humidity and droughts.

Nomen, yeah I can deal with the month icu after repotting. Id rather have it thrive then idle.it'll catch up with the season.
Misselle- yeah no peat I understand but through the years before not knowing soil configuration I used a lot of peat based soils and they never declined until now.so I can say I am not anti-peat.Give me a chance to change the median and I might sing a different tune.
Chad


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Next question. If there is not a soaking agent in the plant median, won't the fertilized drain through wastefully?


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Turface is the ingredient in my mix that holds the moisture, which equates to holding nutrients. I know, it's a bit hard to imagine this gravel mix working, and I've once been skeptical, but trust me, it works. If you are truly interested in taking the gritty mix plunge, and need to locate the ingredients, let me know, and I will try and help. I'm not sure where in Wisconsin you are, but I'm about 50 miles north-west of Milwaukee, so SE Wisconsin basically. I have sources for the turface and grit readily available. I do not currently have a source for pine bark fines though, which is part of the "original" gritty mix recipe, but I don't use pine bark anymore.

As for our climate, yes, it's tough sometimes. Heck, it's mid June and I can't leave my jades out overnight yet because it's too cold. I've been taking them in and out for a month now. Humidity is surprisingly low this year, but so are the temps, not hitting 80 more than a few times, and not looking like it will for a while yet. With that said, a well drained potting mix goes a LONG way in preventing root rot or root die off due to cool temperatures and soil that stays wet too long.

Joe

P.S. Feel free to email me for ingredient sources or other stuff, because I'm more than happy to help.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

That looks like a Crassula arborescens, or silver dollar jade to me. In my limited experience they grow more slowly than the more common C. ovata. I agree to get the peat out of your mix, your nursery friend may use it successfully, but he/she is growing under controlled nursery conditions and not for the long-term.
Cheers,
Breton

This post was edited by breton2 on Fri, Jun 13, 14 at 20:04


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Yes you would be correct on the plant being a Crassula arborescens "silver dollar jade". Sorry I just realized that I didn't state that in my message. I have the day off so I'm going to run around to places I was investigating last night on the web to acquire the closest necessary ingredients.
Any recommended fertilizers I should use later on? I have been using the miracle grow C&S liquid with water for all of my succulents for the past couple years. It seems to be working fine but again I don't have the greatest lighting nor the long and feasible weather. Also I was researching the whole Napa automotive grit through the forum. It looks like it would work but would you recommend the turface over that?


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Joe, I am about half, 2/3 the way between you. Washington county. Pretty close. Where exactly did you get your mix?


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

I got the turface from Reinders in Elm Grove, on Watertown Plank and Elm Grove Rd. You'll want the MVP type, and its something like $13 for 50#. Make sure you sift out the small particles with window screen, preferably aluminum screen.

The grit I use is #2 Cherrystone poultry grit, which can be had from Farm & Fleet. I believe Waukesha would be closest; I got mine at the Watertown one. Unfortunately, the Fleet Farms in the area don't carry it anymore. This stuff is a nice purple color.

I'll be experimenting with adding lava rock pebbles to my mix now, but I haven't done so yet, so I can't advise on anything concerning that except where I just bought some from. To avoid frustration, I would call any places you intend to go to first, but the places I listed should be good to go.

For fertilizer, I can only recommend Dynagro Foliage Pro 9-3-6 which is a complete fertilizer, which is a must. MG fertilizer is missing some micros, so you'd have to add them; much easier to use the FP. Nobody around here has anything like it, so I get mine off Amazon. 32oz lasts me for years, and I use it on everything. For $23, it is easily worth the money. Order now, and you'll have it next week.

Joe


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

alrighty, I found both close together. in Waukesha. Looks like the elm grove is closed or something "not on the website"
Fleet and Farm-poultry grit #2 50# @ $7.99 (42 bags in stock)
Reinders-Turface 50# @ $11.06

With the sifting out the turface- how much will i loose for usage? was wondering if i should get two bags. I am going to repot all of my jades then. There are a couple small babies I have. not sure if I should put those in the grit just yet

Chad


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Hi Chad,
You really don't lose a whole lot, one bag would be enough.

You may want to post pictures of the little ones, but I move many plants into the gritty at a very young age with no problem.

one more thing..
You may want to post a picture of this plant in a new thread , asking for an ID since there is some uncertainty about what it is, just so you know and can provide proper care down the road. The gritty mix will be good for it no matter what kind of plant it is , that's for sure. :-)


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Jojo, Thanks for the info. I do know what the plant is. It is a Crassula arborescens "silver dollar jade". That I am certain of. It actually came with a description rather than plain old "succulent" like most stores.

4- 4 in. pots
2-10 in. pots
2-6 in. pots
plus this little guy that I dont know what it is I gleaned from work roots and all (Aeonium or something). I think it would like the grit too :-)

Chad


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

It does resemble the silver dollar now that you mention it. Just so you know, labels aren't always right, especially from big box stores, so I always google when I get home just to be sure. :-)

The others should be fine to move into a gritty mix! And it should work well for them too. The nice thing about the mix is it can be adjusted for different needs. Joe can help more with that for your area. Where I am it is DRY and HOT lol... so I make mine to hold a little more moisture. Just remember any time you re pot or pot up... it should only be 1-2 inches bigger than the pot it was in. This keeps them from staying wet too long.

The smaller one in the pic does look a little like an Aeonium. Does it have tiny teeth along the edge of the leaf?

JoJo


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Also..
If you have a garden or flower beds, the fines that you sift out can be tossed in there. :-)


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

How much turface you lose to sifting varies, but typically I've lost maybe 25% of the bag. For $11, I'm perfectly OK with that. 1 bag will go a long way, so start there. Make sure you remove ALL of the old soil from the roots too, which is very important. I like to use a 1 gallon ice cream bucket full of water. I dunk the root ball in and use my fingers to finesse the old soil away from the roots. It'll feel like you are brutalizing the poor thing at times, but it'll recover.

I've traditionally used a 50/50 mix of turface and grit, and have done OK, but I am going to reduce the turface from now on because it currently holds a bit too much moisture. In fact, enough to kill a desert rose. I'd maybe go 1 part turface to 2 parts grit at the low end, maybe 2 parts turface to 3 parts grit would be ideal.

For watering I just plug the drain hole on the pot, and fill it up, wait a minute, and let it drain. This method thoroughly waters and flushes the mix. Don't fertilize after the repot work though. The less stuff in the water, the better the roots absorb it, so skip on the fertilizer for the first few waterings. Your first watering you should use the kitchen sink sprayer or the hose shower setting, to flush out any dust in the mix.

Also, you may need to stake your plants to keep them straight and supported. I just stick a skewer next the the trunk, and kind of twist it into the mix. Avoid wind and anything else the makes the plant wiggle in the mix, as that slows root recovery. It'll take a few weeks to recover, so don't be alarmed by no leaf growth, or shriveling leaves due to drought stress. Its not shriveling because of a water shortage, but rather due to the fine feeder roots being damaged.

Joe


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

One more thing.. let them sit a few days for the roots to callous after re potting before watering.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Okay, I have all of them repotted. I stopped at the window repair store on the way home and they gave me an aluminum screen for free.
I used a ratio 2:1 poultry grit/ turface. Hopefully that works well. Ill get the fertilizer that was suggested in a bit.

I also repotted my pony tail palm in the grit mix too.

### So I Shouldn't Water Them For How Long? ###

Hey JoJo, yes the plant does have little teeth all around the edges. Its weird though cause of the long stemmed one with how it sprawled upward and not a base of leaves.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 13, 14 at 16:00

C. arborescens is very slow even in optimal conditions. It's simply not a fast grower.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

The ponytail palm will be right at home in that mix. As for watering, I can't advise on that, as I don't follow that logic when using gritty mix. I've always watered right away and it's been fine. Just make sure you pay lots of attention now, because your watering habits will change now. Don't be fooled by the dry surface, it stays damp deeper longer than you think. I like to scratch down maybe an inch or so in a small pot, a couple inches in deeper pots. If it's all dry, then you are ok to water. I gauge by the color of the turface, and you'll know what I mean. Some poke a wood skewer into the soil, but I never really got going on that. With the ratio you used, you will be hard pressed to overwater. Like I said, I have my mix at 50/50 and it's holding water too long. I don't water but once a week, and it needs to be more often then that.

Now, don't forget about the fertilizer. You'll need to fertilize every time you water now. I use 1/2 tsp per gallon of Foliage Pro at all times, of course not until a few waterings after a repot. Good work, good luck, and keep us posted.

Joe


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Wow!
You were busy today! LOL!
Great Job and your plants will thank you!

As for watering.. It's best to wait 4 or 5 days after disturbing roots to water to avoid rot.
Even with the gritty mix that's what I follow, but it is up to you.

The plants you have may have stretched for the sun, with the long stems. Not sure though.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Here's a pick of the group I repotted today minus the jade I am rooting and the hosta. My favorite is the Hummel Sunset in back next to the silver dollar. It went green over the winter but it was yellow with green tips last year.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

That's a nice little collection you have there. Did you say hosta? Did you put it in gritty mix? If so, that might be a first.

On a side note, seeing you live over in Washington county, I assume you are aware of "The Flower Source" in Germantown?

Joe


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Yep yep, I keep finding all kinds of plants and housing them. The better half says I am the humane society for plants. She says I have a problem.

Yes indeed on the Flower Source. I fell in love with that place. I spend a good amount of time in there on a weekly basis. They know me by name.. Only place that carries the uncommon plants.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Anything can go in gritty mix. ;-) I have mint, chives, rosemary, and catnip all in the same pot, of gritty mix.

Chad,
That's funny!
It's a good human society. ;-)


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

I picked up all kinds of not so common jades over there, and some hanging baskets to keep my wife happy. No more Flower Source for a long while, because I too am told I have a problem, but it doesn't get too bad until fall, when I have to cram them all in the sunny windows. That's when the complaining starts. I just tell her they're like my little pets, only they don't need a litter box or leave lawn cigars laying around the yard. Luckily, my 9 year old daughter is all into growing stuff now too, so it's something we can do together, and my wife loves that.

Joe


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Aw... that's great!

I'm lucky enough that most gets to stay out all winter with just a little protection here and there.
My son has been my garden buddy since he could crawl. His birthday was just a few days ago..and he got succulents from me. lol.. fishing tackle from dad. He's 17 now, but still loves his plants, and that leaves a good feeling in my heart. It's good for kids to learn to love all living things.

Sounds like you need a green house. ;-)


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Awe JoJo! I just bought a rosemary plant a month ago. Now I have to repot that tomorrow in a grit. More work.

I have a spider plant that was my mom's. When she passed last year I snagged that up quick. She loved that plant. How well do you think that would grow in a grit? That's special I don't want to kill it.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Sorry I know it's not a succulent. Had to post it though


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Just a note though, for non-succulents I wouldn't go with the same 2 parts grit to 1 part turface though. I'd go to 50/50. Tropicals aren't so appreciative of drying out like succulents are. I don't have but a few tropical types, as I am actually into tree form plants and not so much foliage plants. My ficus alii is in a 50/50 mix, in a 10" pot, and does well. I have a Norfolk Island pine that is still young, in a 5" pot, with 2 parts turface to 1 part grit, because I believe they like to keep moist.

That's the beauty of this gritty mix; you can mix as you see fit for each plant, or plant group. The biggest perk though is how easy repotting is. Not to mention it looks pleasing to the eye.

Joe


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Actually now that I think about it, I can't do the gritty mix.it will be too heavy. If set it on a shelf it will not get the best lighting and the three musketeer cats will chew it right up. It's safe and sound floating in the air.


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

It is a beautiful plant and if it is happy.. leave it as it is. I don't have house plants, so clueless as to their care all together. And no worries, I don't mind a non succulent thrown in here and there. ;-)

As for the Rosemary.. you don't have to re pot it , but gritty does work well for it if you decide to. ;-) Mine has been in it for almost 2 yrs now out on the front patio. But for the rosemary it is made a little different, It's turface, a little pumice and bark, equal parts. I like that the weight of it keeps it from blowing away during our monsoons which will start soon!


 o
RE: grow already!.......please

Just a follow up. A lot of people usually don't do it and it's like a movie without the ending.

All the plants are doing well.most have growth, Some don't. None have died. I haven't been able to purchase the fertilizer so i have been using the miracle gro c & s liquid I've had for right now (better than nothing). I will say though, it can be a pain in the ass to water these in the grit mix. I have resorted to a old mixing bowl, submerging them and taking out after a few minutes. The grit doesn't look like it retains water how I thought it would. Luckily their succulents.

I will have to keep a close eye on the tropicals that I transplanted. I think those will be my "Paul Revere" of anything to go wrong.

The pony tail plant seems to really like it :-) and my slow growing c. arborescens had a few more growths

I brought most back in the house to their southern window. They were getting burnt out there (other than the c.arborescens). Going to have to do more research on all that. Thanks everyone for the info. Any more advise is welcomed


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Cacti & Succulents Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here