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how do greenhouses water their cacti/succulents?

Posted by petrushka z7b (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 10:10

does anybody know what is the set-up?
it can't be individual drip,right? too may small pots!
can't be misting - humidity too high.
then what? could it be wicking mats? individual drip for very large plants?
i recently bought sev plants all planted in coir peat in plastic pots with lots of holes in the bottom - exactly like they use for water-wicks. hawortia, gollum jade, hybrid aloe. and they all had very nice roots too when i repotted - that is after sev months of watering by hand - and i checked to water when coir peat got dry - it took some time! but roots were good.
i found some obscure reference to wicking succulents in the greenhouse - but cannot find anything more detailed.
has anybody seen/used wicking set-up?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: how do greenhouses water their cacti/succulents?

If nothing else, im sure you could call them/another succulent green house and ask?

It would have to be some sort of automated system on all but the smallest houses. Manually watering all those plants n would be quite labor intensive.

RE: how do greenhouses water their cacti/succulents?

  • Posted by nil13 z21 Mt. Washington L (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 22:21

I don't know what big operations do but why couldn't it be misting? I think misting is a great way to deliver a small amount of water evenly. You just don't leave it on very long and don't run it every 15 min. Misting once a day in the morning works great for me for a wide variety of plants.

RE: how do greenhouses water their cacti/succulents?

well, i can't mist my furniture and floors ;).
but i can set up a wicking mat even on a small scale. so that's what i am trying to find out about.
i don't know of any greenhouses to call that possibly use wicks/wicking mats for cacti/succulents. but i read that some do wicking extensively - but can't locate their web-site at the moment.

i did find references to growing succulents on wicking mats in sev places. but no detail on what species, etc.
on DavesG forum smbody asked a question about it and got an answer, but i don't have access to it to find out.
but obviously it's possible and i want to find out how.

Here is a link that might be useful: dutch growers using wicking with peaty soil mix

RE: how do greenhouses water their cacti/succulents?

so i set up a wicking mat for my hawortias and a small golum jade. and just put clay pots on top of it without wicks. the pots were absorbing thru the bottom.
for large sans i used top wicking method: wrapped a braded thick nylon wick around the top of the pot in contact with soil and then covered it with 1/2" of gravel. and dropped the other end in the bottle with water.
one plant got 1 qt bottle , the larger one got 2qt bottle.
both absorbed all water in 2mo at about 65F in low light and are doing good.

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