House plant medium

ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)January 26, 2013

I am wondering if I could grow a newly purchased house plant in equal portions of perlite, chicken grit, bark pieces and decorative rocks (approx 1/4" to 1/2" size)?

I've read about Al's gritty mix but cannot get my hands on turface yet.

The plant I purchased is a tri colored hoya.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi, (I grow Hoyas too). Are you thinking of the decorative rocks in the mix or on top as top dressing? ID skip them entirely, the other components sound OK.

I don't use gritty mix, this seems a bit too lean IMO for Hoyas, I'd add some mix if it were mine.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 9:57AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

I was thinking of using the decorative rock mixed in with the other ingredients...but at the bottom would be fine too. I've always used potting soil in my plants but bought this really cheap tough looking plant from a sales table. It should not be too difficult nurturing it back to health but I just needed a bit of a winter project to see what a soil less mix would do for a plant.

Thank you for the advice pirate girl.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

The decorative rocks won't be decorative at the bottom of the pot, or do anything beneficial for the plant. I love rocks too, and have them in pots (on the surface) and throughout the outside beds.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 12:13PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello!

The chicken grit and the decorative rocks will serve the same function in the mix -
durability, drainage, and reduced overall water-holding capacity - so I would just use
one or the other, preferably the chicken grit.

Perlite doesn't hold as much moisture as Turface, so I'd go slightly heavier on the Perlite.

This will make a lean mix, so add a bit of slow-release fertilizer. You'll also want a
fertilizer to apply regularly after the plant is established.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 3:16PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Well it is a clear pot in which you will see the decorate rock if it is in the pot. Also, I wanted to show the girl scouts the roots structure through the clear bowl. I think I will give it a try and see what happens.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:34PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

With this added info, I totally agree!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:33AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

You're welcome, I do hope the clear bowl has a drainage hole, if not there will likely be problems.

It's STILL going to be too lean for Hoyas which I do grow, I'd suggest adding some potting soil (like 1/4 African violet mix).

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:14PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Where do you live (nearest large city), LL?

Al

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:25PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Thanks everyone. Al, I live in Bismarck, ND.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:12PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hmmmm - the only distributor of Turface that Profile Corp lists in ND is in Fargo (Tessman Seed). Ever travel there or know someone who does?

Other places to try are golf courses, companies that construct athletic fields, schools ...... in fact, I called Tessman Seed and they said they sell to Bismark schools, so if you wanted to do a little sleuthing, you might come up with a source where you live.

Al

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hmmmm - the only distributor of Turface that Profile Corp lists in ND is in Fargo (Tessman Seed). Ever travel there or know someone who does?

Other places to try are golf courses, companies that construct athletic fields, schools ...... in fact, I called Tessman Seed and they said they sell to Bismark schools, so if you wanted to do a little sleuthing, you might come up with a source where you live.

Al

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:49PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Thanks Al! What I gather from using your mix is that you are pretty much growing plants similar to hydroponics...right? I've read a lot of your posts and know I need to give it a whirl. I will give Tessman's a call.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:07PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

All growing in containers is closer to hydroponics than to growing in the garden, so it makes sense that a modified set of rules needs to be employed if you want to do best by your plants. I think you do move maybe another number closer to hydroponics on a scale of 1-10 when you use a soil that is purposed toward ensuring better aeration and reduced water retention, but it's hard to see that as anything but a positive if you're approaching the whole exercise of growing from the perspective of what offers the plant the best opportunity to grow as close as possible to its genetic potential.

I called Tessman's, and they have it (Turface MVP), but being it's such a jaunt, I'd feel better if you heard it straight from the horse's mouth. ;-)

Let me know if there's anything you think I can help with ....

Al

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:20PM
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