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Am I doing something wrong?

Posted by Sbgibbons 9 Lemoore, Ca. (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 23, 14 at 15:41

Is it just me or is it significantly harder to pot a plant using gritty mix? Doing an arrangement that would have usually taken me about 15 minutes, now takes me over an hour - no joke. It's very frustrating. I worked on an arrangement of a sedum, an echeveria, and some string of pearls and every time I got a string of pearls planted and I went to plant another one the one that I already had planted would fall out. I don't know if i am doing it wrong or what! This happened when I was planting a group of treleasei as well.

I have had some sedum treleasei planted in the gritty mix for about three days now and now they have started to yellow a bit and have dropped four leaves. Is that normal? Is it just from the stress from having a root wash and bring repotted? Is there something I can do?

And with my string of pearls.. They have been falling out of the pot repeatedly, which I know is a potting issue on my part but I can't figure out a way to make them stay in the mix. Some are cuttings and some have roots, but they are all pretty small. But since they are falling out it has caused the roots to dry out to a crisp. The root even look dead. I'm not sure... Does anyone know what I can do to make these guys okay?

I planted everything and then watered them using the fertilizer Foliage Pro 936 1/4 tsp per gal of water.

If you have any advice, I would really appreciate it. I'm kinda freaking out and thinking I made a mistake in switching over. Gardening is my escape and right now it's causing me a lot of stress. Lol! Thanks in advance! - Sam. :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Am I doing something wrong?

I didn't start fertilizing mine until they were rooted in the mix. Plus I water with distilled water first to make sure the mix isn't dry. Then follow with mixed fertilizer. My string of pearls I used a pencil to make a hole and put the roots in and covered that seem to help me. So maybe they have fertilizer burn. Hope this helps! Don't get discouraged!! My plants look SOOOO much better!

RE: Am I doing something wrong?

Make sure your soil isn't so gritty that it won't stick together when moist. Make sure you are planting the rooted or unrooted cuttings deep enough so that gravity or the wind can't pull them out. Moisten the substrate either before or immediately after you insert the plants or cuttings. I've had a few plants that keep falling out their pots but usually I can anchor them one way or another until they root. I even have one stapeliad pot that only has perlite for the soil and the plant does just fine, even better than other stapeliads with a more conventional mix.

RE: Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you lilbit for being so encouraging! :) Hmm, I asked in another post and a couple people said to water and fertilize right after planting, which was unlike what I've usually done in the past, but I did it anyway because I obviously don't know what I'm doing with this stuff. When you used the pencil for the string of pearls, whenever you pull the pencil out to put the roots in, doesn't the mix immediately fill the hole you just made? That's the issue I'm having..

I really hope everything does turn out well though. I don't necessarily think it's the gritty mix itself, I mean, everyone has success with it. I think it's something I'm did wrong with the gritty mix. I wish there was a video I would watch or something like that, you know? Lol I hope I didn't leave out an important step while getting materials together and planting. I just hope whatever I did wrong isn't so bad that I can't save them.

Itecato - Thank you for your advice. I'm not sure I know what you mean by 'sticking together when moist.' I put some in my hand and spayed it with a spray bottle and then made a fist and it didn't stay in a ball when I uncurled my hand. Is it supposed to? I thought the point of a gritty mix was to have it be as gritty as possible?

But on a happier note, all of the cacti that I've potted seem to be doing really well and my jade seems to love it as well. So that's good!

Do y'all have any idea that can cause a little yellowing and some leaves to drop with a sedum treleasei?

And one more question- I have an E. Blue Princess that's about to bloom, should I wait to repot until it's done or is it fine to go ahead and repot?

Thanks for all of the help! I appreciate it more than y'all know! - Sam :)

RE: Am I doing something wrong?

When I put my string of pearls in (using pencil method) yes some did fall back in but eventually I would get one that didn't cave in immediately in on its self. Is your mix damp? You have to make sure you sprayed all the dust off your mix. I was told that I should start fertilizing after the new roots started to take hold or when it showed signs of new growth. Once I know that it's rooted (or can see knew growth) I Then I water it with plan distilled water to make sure the roots aren't dry then pour my fertilizer mixture on it. Is your mix damp? I soaked my bark and washed away any fine particles off of everything then I mix it all together and when I repot I usually don't even have to water it because it's already to go. I hope this helps! :)
Hopefully someone who's worked with it longer will chime in. I'm new to it too but can tell you that my plants are doing great in it even my non succulents.

RE: Am I doing something wrong?

I use piece of wire - or paper clip - to make a u-shaped pin to keep string of pearls (or burro's tail) down. Just lay a piece on soil, pin down in middle, cover with some soil, roots will sprout. Works great.


RE: Am I doing something wrong?

That's a GREAT IDEA rina!! I'm gonna have to try that! Thanks for sharing!

RE: Am I doing something wrong?

That is a great idea! Thank you so much Rina.

I rinsed my mix, but I allowed it to dry for a few days before I use it. I will dampen it next time I go to pot something and see if that helps. Thank you for all of your advice :)

RE: Am I doing something wrong?

I have an E. Blue Princess that's about to bloom, should I wait to repot until it's done or is it fine to go ahead and repot?

As long as it looks in good health I would wait for it to finish flowering. Alot of work for a plant to flower may as well enjoy it's labor

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