Houseplants forum: What is the best soil to use for sansevieria?

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Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 12, 2014 7:23 PM CST
I seem to be finding all sort of differing opinions on what is best to use. I would think something that drains well so it doesn't drown in dense wet soil. I have one that needs repotting soon, and I want to split it up a bit as well.
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 12, 2014 8:09 PM CST
Would a sandier mix with rock work well? Like from a rocky beach (about 1/4" rocks)

Dog Lover
Leda
Feb 12, 2014 10:32 PM CST
Welcome!
I grow most everything in what works for my African Violets.
Here is the recipe:
1 part Pearlite
1 part Vermiculite
1 part Canadian Sphagnum moss
1 part Houseplant soil

This gives moisture and drainage. I have 6 growing in this (and 2 growing in plain old general potting soil. I added them to an old pot with some vacant spots.) Fortunately, this plant is very easy to grow and cleans the air!
Hope this helps.
Leda
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Feb 13, 2014 8:07 AM CST
A chunky, airy mix with no tiny particles is good, that's what all of my plants are in. Roots need oxygen and moisture at the same time to function (and to not rot.)

Leda, vermiculite in pots can cause problems, it collapses.
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Dog Lover
Leda
Feb 13, 2014 8:16 AM CST
Tiffany, @purpleinopp
Thank you for the tip on Vermiculite. I do notice the soil mark goes down after I water it, is that what you mean? What does this do to the plant? I'm all ears! I'm all ears! I'm all ears!

I love friends who help me understand more about soil and plants. Lovey dubby

Thanks,
Leda
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Feb 13, 2014 8:19 AM CST
Zorki: Welcome! to All Things Plants from me too!

I use a light, fast draining, chunky potting mix which is a combination of potting soil and orchid bark mix. I'd be wary of using sand from the beach because of the salt content.

By the way, we have a lot of Sansevieria listings in the database: http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=Sansevieria
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Feb 13, 2014 8:40 AM CST
Good point, Lin!

Leda, yes when particles collapse into each other, it fills any tiny spaces that previously had air, essentially suffocating the roots. For a while, things will be OK, then a decline as roots can't get any air except at the very outer edge of the root ball, along the sides and bottom of the pot. That's not a normal root structure, but often found when repotting plants - a hollow sphere.

I'm not much of a seed starter except to scatter them on the ground, but vermiculite has a large following from the seed-starting crowd. It's usually cautioned to not pack it down, and to moisten it carefully, not pouring water which can also cause it to compact/collapse (which is also advice I'd give for potting/repotting plants even if the mix has no vermiculite in it.)

When roots have plenty of oxygen *while* they are moist, theoretically they can't rot, and in practice, this holds true unless you are really pouring water on there constantly, and usually with the aid of a usually-full drip saucer.

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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 13, 2014 10:14 AM CST
I agree, a well-draining mix is the important aspect. For most of my tropical plants I use a mix of 1/3 potting mix, 1/3 'Black Kow', and 1/3 coarse perlite. IF the potting mix does not have slow-release fertilizer, I will add a handful of Osmocote 14-14-14 per 2-3 gallon of mix. If I have some old Douglas fir bark mixture, I will add a handful per gallon. The fir bark mix will open up the potting soil so that it won't be quite as dense. I find that none of the available potting mixes have enough perlite, thus the addition of the coarse perlite.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

Dog Lover
Leda
Feb 13, 2014 11:02 AM CST
Tiffany @purpleinopp,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I am learning more and more, just when I thought my brain was full! Rolling on the floor laughing Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing (I have a birthday coming up so trying to keep all this new stuff in my brain.)
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
Image
Zorki
Feb 13, 2014 5:21 PM CST
Lin, what ratio do you use of orchid bark? That seems like the best option for my budget right now Smiling Unfortunately, my only source for anything right now is Lowes (I can't seem to find any kind of local nursery or garden store that is still in business!).

Any suggestions on slow release fertilizers? Or are they sort of general use?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Feb 13, 2014 6:42 PM CST
Joe: I'm "older" and lazy LOL and I don't measure anything, I have a big 5 gal bucket and I just dump in some potting soil and then orchid bark mix and with gloved hands just fold and mix it up to whatever consistency looks good to my eyes. Green Grin! I used to add perlite to my mix but I don't bother anymore as the orchid bark mix is fairly chunky allowing for good drainage ... and I also live in an area with fairly high humidity year round which keeps things moist.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Feb 13, 2014 6:54 PM CST
Lowe's will have orchid mix, if you go that route. Like Lin, I don't measure too much, just look for the mix I feel is right. Potting mixes at Lowe's will have some perlite and most orchid mixes you will find there will also have some perlite, perhaps some coconut fiber, and Douglas fir bark. The orchid mix will be a pretty small bag, so just get a bag of potting soil that is perhaps 3x as large and you should be fine. Get a small bag of Osmacote (they probably won't have but the one, general purpose kind), to save yourself from fertilizing often with water soluble fertilizer.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
Image
Zorki
Feb 13, 2014 7:32 PM CST
Would I just mix the osmacote into the mix?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Feb 13, 2014 9:09 PM CST
Yep, just mix it in and then plant. You can use this same mix for practically any houseplant except plants such as succulents, though even those can be grown successfully in it so long as water is curtailed.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
Image
Zorki
Feb 13, 2014 9:42 PM CST
Lin, we're pretty humid here as well. Surrounded by the Atlantic, Chesapeake, and a couple rivers. I hate the dry air winter brings! And that sounds like most of my cooking! Just add until the nose or eyes agree :)

Ken, good to know Smiling Thanks!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Feb 14, 2014 8:08 AM CST
Happy birthday, Leda! ...and happy Val' day!
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.

Dog Lover
Leda
Feb 14, 2014 11:03 AM CST
Tiffany @purpleinopp,

My birthday is next week, but thank you! How did you know? I probably need to check my profile. On the other hand I did mention my head being full at my age. Rolling on the floor laughing I don't feel 61 until I move. Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing Hilarious!

Happy Valentines Day to you too. Lovey dubby
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
Image
Zorki
Feb 16, 2014 1:03 AM CST
Thanks for the tips. Going to give the orchid bark a go when I get a chance to hit Lowe's again.

Leda, you're only as old as your mind :)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Feb 16, 2014 7:35 AM CST
The mind is not the problem, it is the wear and tear on the body. I'm 70+ and feel it! Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
Image
Zorki
Feb 16, 2014 7:52 PM CST
Mind over body! I worked for a retirement home for a while, gave me a whole different perspective on aging. Though, some days, my body feels 80... and I'm only 24! Arthritis is a nightmare!

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