Coleus forum: Moisture Control potting soil or crystals good for coleus growing?

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Name: Judy
central Md
coleup
Jun 3, 2010 8:46 PM CST
I plan to be away for a week os so several times this summer so I thought Id try some moisture control for my coleus all of which I grow in pots or containers of various sizes.

Knowing that coleus prefer to dry a little between waterings, I mixed ProMix half and half with Miraclegrow Moisture control potting soil and potted some up about a month ago.

The weather here(Wash, DC area) has been so weird rain and temp-wise that I am beginning to regret my choice as I can"t read my pots for moisture like I used to as they feel heavy all the time . Too much moisture retention for coleus? I've had some leaf drop and it seems growth is also very slow to take place while cuttins from the new mother plants have really taken off(different soil).

Your experiences and thoughts? Thanks.

Judy

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Name: Sidney McCollum
Okeechobee, Fl (Zone 10a)
Giving Audubon Sanct. Tours Soon.
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Sugarweed
Jun 4, 2010 9:50 PM CST
Judy,
That's the right thing in my book. Here in NE Fl we have 90% sand and the water just waves at my roots.
I like the water retaining polymers used in Miracle-Gro and many other moisture control.
Judy are you leaving those pots in full sun? shade? etc.
They should be alright for a week. Mine are spoiled. I have a timed sprinkler system that re waters for 3 or 5 minutes about 5 hrs before sunset.
The coleus that grow on the SE side of the house get at least 6 hrs in the morning sun. They really like the afternoon shower.
Hope that helps.
Sidney Whistling
Life isn't about how you survived the storm, It's about how you danced in the rain!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Jun 7, 2010 4:40 AM CST
I have used the Soil Moist crystals with success. They can buy you time between waterings, for sure. But I think they can make it harder to decide when they need more water, too. It varies so much with sun exposure, size of the pot, size of the plants...

Does the moisture control soil contain the same type of crystals? Someone told me that the soil is sprayed with something to help hold moisture. I've never used it.

Karen
Name: Sidney McCollum
Okeechobee, Fl (Zone 10a)
Giving Audubon Sanct. Tours Soon.
Charter ATP Member
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Sugarweed
Jun 7, 2010 8:56 PM CST
Karen,
I believe what they spray is an Acrylic Polymer akin to water crystals.
The first time I ever got Aquasorb in bulk I got some powder.
I believe the DOT uses a similar powder to mix with seed, ground newspaper, this powder and water.
They can seed large areas in just a little amount of time. The newspaper is a 'mulch' and the rest are self explanatory.
Hope this helps.
Sidney Whistling
Life isn't about how you survived the storm, It's about how you danced in the rain!
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Jul 11, 2011 3:17 PM CST

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for years I have used polymer gels with my cuttings, seeds... and in every single container... just love them!!... with the cuttings & seeds I put them in the very bottom of the cell so it's like bottom watering.. keeps a more even moisture level I think

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