Repotting frequently

just_startin_outMay 2, 2013

As my name suggests, I'm just starting out. I'm loving everything I'm doing and find that I've got some skill (or luck) with plants. I tend to be rather fussy and anxious with my plants, but I prefer to think of it as 'loving.'

Recently, I've started some house plant gardening groups at the adult day program (severe and persistent mental illness) that I work at. We've been attempting to revive a bunch of plants the building has neglected. In my best attempts at researching 'well draining soils' I've made some mistakes. As much as I'd like to find turface to make Al's mix, I can't, and I'm afraid I potted some plants in a dangerous mix. I've repotted some divided snake plants and dracaena marginatas in 1:1:1 peat/perlite/vermiculite. I"ve read a thread about how this is not a good mix. So question 1 - given the fact that I can't find the appropriate ingredients for Al's mix, what is the next best recipe? Question 2 - Since I JUST repotted these plants, what danger is there in repotting them AGAIN in the right mix?

Thanks!

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi & Nice work you're trying to do w/ the patients, I respect the effort that likely takes.

Fussy & anxious aren't great for plants (especially if also done w/ frequent watering). Also fussy/anxious isn't helpful to patients w/ mental illness who often have more of that than helpful to begin with).

That 1-1-1 (commonly called soilless mix) mix isn't that awful for Houseplants, they'll be OK (likely fine). But not for succulents like Snake plants. Both peat & vermiculite hold water so that will likely keep the mix too wet.

For succulents, just use any mix you can find (AV mix or Cactus & Succulent mix, even if MG's) w/ extra 50% perlite & that will make it fast draining enough.

Often w/ plant care, the less the better.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 1:55PM
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petrushka

I've kept a lot of my plants going for years perfectly well in standard potting mixes - snake plants, ficuses, the list is long. but I am an under-waterer and I do not repot often - the root mass is dense, so peat and moisture is not a problem at all.
and I am not planning to repot any in gritty or 511 either.
so relax, and if in doubt, cut some with perlite/orchid bark mix. and do not water to dripping every time. let them dry up , check with a chopstick/skewer : like a cake test, if it's moist - do not water. and you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 8:55PM
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