Please critique my soil mix for plumeria.

newgen(9 Central California)April 17, 2011

I've been using this mix for over a year for plumerias (which also require well draining soil). Do you guys think it's Ok for other plants too, specifically citrus? The following ingredients are mixed 1:1:1:1

Kellogg's Big R

Turf N Tee

Perlite #3

Horticultural pumice


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HI Newgyn.

If it has been working for your Plumies, why not?

What I would use is a whole different story.

Happy growing


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 12:16PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I think you're definitely on the right track, in that you're including a large fraction of larger particles in your soil. It doesn't really matter how you arrive at a favorable mix of ingredients, as long as you get there. I use something everyone has dubbed 'the gritty mix'. It has all of it's particles in a size range from just under 1/8" to 1/4". Some of the particles have good internal water retention, but are large enough that they don't hold water in the pores between particles. This provides an EXTREMELY favorable root environment and eliminates the cyclic death and regeneration of fine roots that occurs in heavier soils. .... more about it if you wish to investigate.

It's difficult to assess how your soil will work in comparison w/o having a feel for the size of the particles, but as long as you strive to keep the PWT as low as possible & build a soil from ingredients that ensure structural stability/good aeration for the life of the planting, you can't go too far wrong.

For more about the effects of perched water in containers and a general discussion about container soils, follow the link I left below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Click me and I'll take you right to what he was talking about.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 1:37PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Thanks Mike and Al,

I've been reading lots of the posts about the Gritty mix and the 5-1-1. I just want to have 1 mix that works for the majority of my plants. I'm at the crossroads of deciding whether to go all gritty or stay my the "plumeria" mix (which was recommended to me by a few knowledgeable members in the Plumeria forum. I'm still trying to find out which ingredients are more easily obtained, then make my decision.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 2:19AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Citrus and Plumeria will both be happy in the same mix, but the feeding will be different. Al

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:47AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

FWIW - I use the gritty mix for everything that will be in the same soil for more than 1 growth cycle. If you decide to try it, and combine it with Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 for your plumerias, I promise they will love it. ;-)


    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:49AM
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Al is right!

I use the gritty mix for ALL my plumerias and they are always doing very well.
I also use Foliage Pro...


    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 10:32AM
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newgen(9 Central California)

That settles it then. I will do my best to obtain the gritty ingredients.

Just for discussion and any comments, I've included some photos of the "plumeria" mix below. Big R is the bark, Turf N Tee is the compost, the scoop of granite, I ran out of perlite, so have been using granite in its place.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 1:44PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Edit: the scoop is pumice.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 1:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I think Laura, who's a frequent contributor here and who's an even more frequent contributor on the plumeria forum is also in the process of changing here plumies & other long term plantings over to the gritty mix .... so you'll be in good company.

The Big-R bark and granite look ok for the gritty mix. You should be able to find Turface at your nearest Ewing Irrigation or John Deere Landscapes stores.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

Hi Newgen!!! Glad to see you here...

I wanted to say that first of all you are so fortunate to have those ingredients available...since you live on the West Coast you have that great Big R available...i have talked to the gentleman who has that company after i read about this recipe on the Plumeria forum... I cannot get any of these products here on the East Coast...and the amount of $ it would take to ship would be extremly expensive....i would love to be able to find large bags of Pumice as i had to adjust my own recipe to make it close to the items that you have available...
Lava rock was the closest item that i could well a finding hard wood bark...

This is why i have been searching for other ways to make my mix more fast draining....the Plumeria love the mix that you are currently using...however...since i cant make this mix or even try and adjust to make it better for me...i started with the gritty mix...i have repotted some of my Plumeria but not all into the gritty mix.

I have started using Foliage Pro as well...

I hope this helps you...finding the right ingredients really is challenging sometimes..but if you know what you want and why you want it.. it is the greatest reward!! Your Plants and trees will really thank you...

Remember my climate is different from yours..we here on the East Coast have a bigger challenge to keep these Beautiful Plumeria happy!!! Everyone loves to see the sweet rewards of finally seeing those gorgeous blooms...

Waiting for two years for a single bloom is hard to give your trees the best mix will make them produce and continue to grow the best way that they can...

Mike has worked very hard and has had great success with his Plumeria living up in New England using the Gritty Mix.

The best advice that i can give would be to try and see which works for you...

You have the recipe from one of the best!!! This recipe is from Jack from Kimi's Plumeria...

Here for the Gritty Mix you have the recipe from The best... Al !! Who is very knowledgable as up on all you can here..this is why all of my C & S are in the Gritty Mix...i love how it works and the reasons why it works...

I will continue to repot my Plumeria in the Gritty Mix...the ones that are repotted will be very happy campers!!! lol... but i have a few more to 30 or so...LOl...i stopped counting at some point!!!

Good luck with your choice of mix...

I am very happy with the results that i have had already with my Jades and Night Blooming Cereus...they love this wonderful fast draining mix...

Al has been so helpful to me when i first started looking for the ingredients for the gritty mix...even calling around to local dealers and directing me to people who could help me with what i was looking for...

Thank you AL for always helping me and always being there to help us all out with all of our really have been wonderful to us...Thank you again for all of your help!!!

The people here on this forum will also be a great help to you...very friendly and helpful...

Nice to see you here Newgen!!!

If i could post pics...i would...Im still having trouble with Photobucket...

Anyone else having trouble with Photobucket?

I may have to go to another source for my pictures...this has been going on for over a week now...

Take care everyone!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 6:51PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Thanks for your post. I believe I saw some of your plumeria photos, and told myself if plumerias can look that beautiful in VA, then maybe I can get them to be the same as well. I used those photos as inspiration and encouragement. Right now I have several that are sprouting new leaves. I can post up any photos you want for you, I've had no problem with Photobucket. Just email them to me.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 1:55AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone!!!


You are most welcome!!!

Thank you for the kind is always a pleasure when someone can see something special in the beauty of all of the flowers and plants that we all enjoy!!!

I hope that you will be able to find the ingredients that you need...You will love the way your other plants/trees enjoy the gritty mix! The Plumies will like it too!

Thank you for the offer to post my pics...I have been in contact with Photobucket and they say that there has been some mishap....Uggggg! My account is still down and they say to give it a few more days...Im trying to be patient..but really?

My pics are on my computer at out of town now so ill be able to email a pic in a few days...Hopefully Photobucket will be back up for me...or else ill have to go somewhere else...

Good Luck with your new will be happy with this mix!

Take care Newgen!

Have a great day everyone...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 6:41PM
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mauitom61(9a/Heat 11)

Thank you all for your willingness to share your expertise and general knowledge with us. I returned to MI for 5 years from 99 to 04, and brought a plumeria back with me that I had been growing in WV. With the help of supplemental lighting, I had this 5ft tall Pink Pansy in bloom during a MI winter. Unfortunately, it eventually succumbed to death by scales about a year later. :( I have recently returned to plumeria growing now that I'm in PHX AZ. I have 2 Singapore Whites that are producing their first inflorescence' and I have 1 ea of Jungle Jack's Divine and Jungle Jack's Minnie White. Being as I'm in an apt with a balcony, I went for these dwarf varieties (Jungle Jack's).
Because of the wind (tipping) factor and the air/gas permeability factor, I think I will be switching over to terracotta pots.
Blessings- Tom

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 3:15AM
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