Failure to thrive issues using Gritty Mix
In early spring, after reading much of the information that Al was kind enough to post here on Gritty Mix, I decided I needed to give it a try. I mixed up 1:1:1 rinsed Gran-I-Grit Grower size: screened orchid fur bark: screened Turface. I put different (outdoor) plants in the mix, including a jade plant, a geranium, a 1 ft tall Japanese maple, a Meyer lemon, Christmas cactus, and a bougainvillea. I am fertilizing weekly with Foliage Pro (1 tsp/gal), to which I sometimes add 1/4 tsp of Pro-tekt. My water pH is in the 5.5-6 range. I am using the dowel method to know when to water next.
Despite all of this, none of these plants seem to be thriving. I'm seeing next to no new growth. After months of doing little, the Meyer lemon finally made a crop of flowers, but they all dropped off, no lemons. The temperamental bougainvillea survived the transplant to gritty mix just fine, but isn't growing at all. The Christmas cactus (the only plant I have kept indoors) never seemed to recover from its initial transplant shock, and always looks somewhat wilted.
I have read enough posts in this forum to know that my experience is unusual. People have raved about how well this mix works. I am obviously doing something wrong, but I don't know what it can be. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!