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When to water newly planted offsets

Posted by kwie2011 8a w. OR (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 22:21

I planted some Bantel's Sensation offsets in a mix of 75% pumice to 25% cactus mix. The offsets are 4-6 inches tall. I broke them off the rhizomes of the parent plants, let them callous several days, then planted them in dry mix. Each plant had 1 or 2, 1/2" to 1" roots on the rhizome.

I waited a few days, then gave them a light watering to feed those little roots. I then waited maybe ten days before watering lightly again. They are outside in the heat (what we call heat in w. Oregon, anyway), so two weeks later, stupidly convinced those little roots had taken hold, I watered them again when I noticed the leaves weren't turgid. A few days later I checked the leaves thinking they'd be nice and firm, but nope. Uh oh. They bent too easily. Concerned, I dug into the mix and found all the !@#$ roots gone. The rhizomes are still firm. No sign of rot there, but the roots clearly rotted.

Obviously I over watered them. In soil, I can easily gauge when a plant needs water. I can feel when the soil is completely dry. Not so easy to tell when using this mix. Won't be so easy when I get a batch of gritty mix made either. So, my questions are:

1) How the @#$% do I know when to water my plants now?

2) Are these guys likely to survive since they've probably lost 30-60% of their stored water?

Grrrr...!@#$%&*! beating my head against a wall.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: When to water newly planted offsets

Don't beat yourself up over this. I have very much trouble with this one. The more variegated the plant, the harder it seems to do. I would plant in pure perlite in a clear plastic cup. With stem all the way down so when it starts to root, you can see it. Keep water away. Mist the leaves but don't wet the soil. Keep from sum but bright shade is ok. Even when you see roots, months later, still hold off any fertilizer till next year when they start to grow.
I leave the pups on the mother plant for as long as possible. They grow faster and stronger.

RE: When to water newly planted offsets

Thank you, Stush. A clear plastic cup - simple, yet genius. I might do that for all my un-rooted or newly rooted plants. Absolutely brilliant.

Spray the leaves? Can Sans absorb water that way?

RE: When to water newly planted offsets

All plants can but those with hard skin like our Sans does very little. Nature's way of keeping them thru the long hot dry summers in Africia.

RE: When to water newly planted offsets

don't beat yourself up. I have amazing luck propagating sans by pups. All my sans r grown indoors as I live in a second floor apartment!. now I don't use anything special for soil. all I buy is that peat based promix!!! but then in a storage tote I mix it with a crap load of perlite to make the soil way light! adds amazing drainage! now all I do is simply break a pup off once its atleast a third the size of the mother..(or father lol) and plant it up immediately and I water them in IMMEDIATELY just like any other plant division! I grow birdsnest sans (the original green variety with silver marks) and I haven't had a problem yet! I don't do anything special as u can see. and my plants r amazing! pupping like mad all in promix amended with perlite!. I don't buy into those no sans in peat based mix myth lol. I have had the same sans indoors for four yrs now, same soil mix. I got more now then I know what to do with, they key I found-keep it simple-keep soil basic and light and fluffy. keep the plants dry-I break off a pup, grab a 4 inch pot. throw in some perlite/promix mix. plant the pup in. water it immediately after planting, drain good. then I set the pups in with my other sans. key is let ur plants dry out between soakings. I wait till all pots feel light, then water till water pours out the bottom of the pots then wait till pots r light again and repeat lol. voila! no need to get so technical with soil or when to water lol. just remember don't get water into the rosette and let ur plants dry out between soakings. I fertilize mine with a DILUTE solution at every watering just like any other houseplant. and like I said my sans have never been better!

RE: When to water newly planted offsets

It sounds like the little roots shriveled up from being too dry, they couldn't have rotted in dry soil. These plants are as thirsty as any others when it's hot.

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