Which mix for oyster plant, rhoeo tricolor?

aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)August 14, 2012

I searched and searched but there aren't many references to this plant on the forums and none that I could find to clarify which mix it would work best in - gritty or the 5-1-1.

I have a plant that's growing out of the bottom of its pot so it needs some attention, asap. The kids and I all start school in about a week so I need to get all my non-maintenance plant work done asap.

I am aware of the potential for skin irritation with this plant, so I'll take precautions. I didn't know that when I first bought it and repotted it but luckily had no ill effects at all.

Thanks!!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Any good, fast-draining potting medium will do just great. I didn't know about the dermatitis associated with this plant! I've never had any problems, either. But, it's good to know all plants which may have that effect so that we can avoid rubbing our eyes, face, etc. before washing our hands.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:03PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Thanks, I think I'll probably try the 5-1-1. From what I've read it grows pretty fast and will need to be repotted fairly often.

So... that leads to the question: can I sterilize the 5-1-1 in the microwave before I bring it inside? There are some creepy-crawlies in my pine bark, they don't bother me outside but I'd prefer they don't live in my house. If I can't sterilize it in the microwave, would it be because of the perlite or lime? (meaning: if I want to sterilize, should I do the peat moss & bark before adding the other two ingredients?)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:46PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

AHM - If you feel the need to sterilize your soil, you can do it in batches in the microwave if you like. Add moist soil to a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and zap it until it's hot enough to steam, then stir and do it again. That should take care of any unwanted denizens of your soil. ;-)

The 5:1:1 is a very good choice. There are a few plants that are so genetically vigorous that I prefer the 5:1:1 mix even over the gritty mix - mainly because they grow so fast & need to be fully repotted yearly to get the most out of them. Did you know there's a difference between a plant's vigor and its vitality?

Those that have been around the forums a while might notice my regular use of the word 'vitality' when I write. It is actually a plant's vitality that we hold any sway over, not its vigor. 'Vigor' is constant. Mother Nature provides every plant its own, predetermined level of vigor by building it into each plant. Vigor the genetic potential every plant is encoded with, and its measure is the plant's ability to resist stress and strain. Vitality, in contrast, is variable - a dynamic condition that is the measure of a plant's ability to cope with the hand it's dealt, culturally speaking. A good way to look at the difference between vigor and vitality is to look to genetics for the level of vigor and to things cultural for the plant's vitality. It's up to us to provide the cultural conditions that will ensure our plants' vitality. Vigor and vitality are distinctly different, and a good case could be made that they are unrelated, but there is no need to delve deeper into that point. A plant can be very vigorous and still be dying because of poor vitality. Far more often than not the term 'vigor' or 'vigorous' is misapplied, where in their stead the terms 'vital' or 'vitality' would have been more appropriate. Reduced vitality is what we witness when our plants are growing under stress or strain and in decline - under the effects of limiting factors.

I know you've been doing some reading, so I'll leave you another link that discusses how plant growth is limited. It offers a way of looking at growing that I believe is unique - at least I've never seen growing presented as an exercise in eliminating limiting factors to the best of our ability and simply getting out of our plants' way. See what you think if you get a moment.

Al

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:29PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

^ Thanks, Al. I think it's possible that I've stumbled across the link you forgot to post (haha) because I know I've read a bit about the vitality vs. vigor - but if you could get it for me, I'd appreciate it.

It looks like the weather (and husband getting home) will put the actual repotting on hold - the mix is outside and the husband may object if there are any odd smells radiating from the microwave.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:19PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Duh! What a dummy.

Here's the link I forgot.

Sorry!

Al

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:06PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Thanks! I just peeked at that thread and I hadn't seen it. I'm off to read now!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:32PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

I decided to hold off repotting the rhoeo for today because I'm afraid I might have too much fine matter in my 5-1-1.

I posted the question in the thread linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to my thread detailing my foray into Al's Mixes.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 10:41PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I saw the other thread & commented. It's a judgment call - you can always screen some of the fines out if you think there is too much fine material

Al

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:09AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I saw the other thread & commented. It's a judgment call - you can always screen some of the fines out if you think there is too much fine material

Al

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:52AM
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