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Just dumb luck, and it's been the best year ever!

Posted by JerryVentura 10 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 7, 11 at 19:00

A little over a year ago when I was re-injured, I decided to focus less on the yard and more on container planting. All my houseplants were in something similar to Al's Gritty Mix, but it was still lacking, stayed a little to soggy. Then I found this site, read all about gritty mix and haven't looked back. My veggies have done the best that they ever have, they actually produced something this year! Even the rabbit's and rats have had something to eat. They are planted in airpots, in a 5-2-1 mix (fir-turface-pumice). Twice a week they get FP, and watered as needed the rest of the week.

So here is where the dumb luck comes in. My houseplants were always just ok, kind of just hanging in there. So back in February I started re-potting all in a 1-1-1 (fir-turface-pumice or perlite). I just went for it, I washed all the soil off every plant and cut half the roots off, even off the big variegated ficus, I was not delicate. The ficus only lost maybe 10 leaves and it's been pushing out leaves like crazy since. Two new plants that were in 6" nursery pots I forgot them on the side of the house and by the time I found them they looked dead (the sm varigated ficus and the croton). Not at the same time, about three months apart, I don't unload plants on that side of the house anymore. So I did the same even know they looked dead, I washed all soil off, cut half the roots off, the croton was actually just three sticks. The ficus came back to life and is beautiful and in the last couple days the croton is pushing out some new growth on all three sticks. The other two ficus's never lost one leaf from this process. I think plants are more resilient than we think. Here's a couple pictures of watering day at my house. There is a lot more plants packed in this group than it looks like.

Mostly houseplants

Mostly houseplants

The plumaria is not a houseplant, and the succulents are not in a gritty mix, the succulents were a gift from a friend and get hug on the outside wall after watering. Everything gets watered once a week right now with FP, the 5th time is just a flush. November I'll cut watering back to every two weeks.

Not one thing has died, and two brought back from the brink of death, I'm telling you it's been great, and worth every penny and worth all that sifting.

Thank you Al, and thank you to all the others who's posts I have learned from.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Just dumb luck, and it's been the best year ever!

Your plants are absolutely breath taking and very happy looking!

Great job and I will bet you are happy you took the plunge. It is always great to see someone benefit from such a wonderful mix!

I too have the San's which I LOVE. I can tell you that my Plumeria are also quite happy in the 1.1.1 mix. They were doing nothing along with all my other plants until I met Al.

Thank you for sharing and thank you Al.


RE: Just dumb luck, and it's been the best year ever!

Mike, I lost about half of those Sans to rot. That one was repotted and has put on a couple new leaves plus one new shoot. I have two more pots of Sans to redo.


RE: Just dumb luck, and it's been the best year ever!

Jerry, how did you do that?

I have no luck with Sans at time because I just can not get the watering right in a cold room. I have no room for mine in a warm room and it only takes watering them once in a cool room and they behave badly.

I have to find warmer conditions for mine this year. I have the same exact ones you do, the very nice variegated ones and I want these to live.


RE: Just dumb luck, and it's been the best year ever!

Mike, my old mix had peat in it, several of my plants had rot problems with that, especially the sans, I probably over watered also. The repotted sans is in fir-turface-pumice, gets watered once a week with FP. The coldest my house gets is maybe 65 during the winter days. I think the sans would do fine with cold as long as the soil doesn't hold to much moisture, I don't think many things like cold and damp.


RE: Just dumb luck, and it's been the best year ever!

Hey Jerry!

The funny thing is that I use the gritty mix and they still died.

I am not sure how long they can dry out for before a next watering. I can't get it right. I either may have let them get too dry and then when watered, the roots were dead before hand.
Or, the temps were just too cold at 55 degrees and the mix that cold with moisture did them in.

I hope I get it this year. Yours is very very nice. My ZZ plant did great in the same enviroment along with all my other plants. I think it would of been too cold for my Jades, even with any type of watering they would of required, so I kept those warm and under lights last year and they did great.


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