Adeniums forum: Newby - Best Potting Soil?

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 1283, Replies: 34 » Jump to the end

treehugger100
Jul 20, 2015 1:01 PM CST
My first Adenium should arrive next week bare root. I am so excited!!! I have read a lot of different advice about what potting medium to use. I am in PA so will over- winter indoors. What do you find successful?
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Image
Dutchlady1
Jul 20, 2015 1:13 PM CST
Welcome to the Adenium world, Treehugger100.
The mix needs to be fast draining and porous; I recommend a good quality potting soil (or cactus soil) mixed with one third to half perlite. No soil with 'water crystals' or whatever they call that. You don't want it to HOLD water.

treehugger100
Jul 20, 2015 1:43 PM CST
Hi Again, Dutchlady! Add perlite TO the cactus soil? That would drain fast, alright. Thank You!
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Image
Dutchlady1
Jul 20, 2015 1:47 PM CST
If using cactus soil not as much perlite as when you're using a regular potting soil. Just make sure it doesn't HOLD water.

treehugger100
Jul 20, 2015 4:13 PM CST
What about kitty litter clay? Is that basically the same as perlite?
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Image
Dutchlady1
Jul 20, 2015 6:26 PM CST
per·lite

noun
a form of obsidian characterized by spherlulites formed by cracking of the volcanic glass during cooling, used as insulation or in plant growth media.

so no - not the same as kitty litter clay.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Jul 20, 2015 10:36 PM CST
I use cactus soil and then I mix in pumice, a little compost, akadama and kanuma soil. Akadama and kanuma I found at a Japanese store that grows bonsai, it makes it easy for me to visually see if the soil is still wet or dry. Akadama and kanuma gets into a lighter color as it dries out, plus it is quite coarse so as I mix it in with cactus soil, really makes it quite well draining.

But pretty much cactus soil with added perlite and pumice will work quite well too.
Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
Wet Tropical AHS Zone 12
Adeniums Tropicals Morning Glories Container Gardener Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Dog Lover Cat Lover Bee Lover Vegetable Grower Butterflies Permaculture
Image
Rainbow
Jul 21, 2015 1:02 PM CST
Hi Tarev, first time I heard of akadama and kanuma so I researched...which led me to forums discussing cat litter, diatomaceous earth, turface, and pumice, to name a few, as substitutes in the search for media for bonsai. I'm all ears!

I thought bagged cactus mix would be sufficiently well-draining and would not need amending with perlite and/or other media...guess not. Shrug! Maybe it depends on own cultural practices and climate.

And so...the great soil debate continues... Whistling
-Kadie
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Jul 21, 2015 1:17 PM CST
Hi Kadie,

Yes, sometimes I find some cactus soil in bag is not the way I like it to be, and having found those other types of coarse media, it makes my media open and well draining. I use it also for the other types of succulents and majority of them stays outdoors even when we have wet winters, so this type of media mix makes it really well draining.

So it will vary how we define what is best for each of our growing environments.
Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
Wet Tropical AHS Zone 12
Adeniums Tropicals Morning Glories Container Gardener Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Dog Lover Cat Lover Bee Lover Vegetable Grower Butterflies Permaculture
Image
Rainbow
Jul 21, 2015 1:54 PM CST
Yes, growing environments make a lot of difference in culturing. When I first started growing adeniums from seed I shied away from using perlite because of those floating white pieces. I grew my seedlings in almost pure organic matter.

First two months of their lives my seedlings were drenched almost every day from rains (our two wettest months of the year). They loved it and thrived. But to my horror, I found rhino beetle larvae in the little 4" pots. They were eating the decaying matter of the organics in my soil. So I unpotted and washed off the media. As I was learning more about adenium culture, I was experimenting with potting media, so I tried perlite in my mix. No more larvae...the white perlite deterred the beetles.

Another benefit I discovered in using perlite is that it provided for a lot of aeration, allowing the roots to get more oxygen from the rainwater and the roots and plant to grow faster. Still don't care for the floating debris on top, but such is life.

-Kadie
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Jul 21, 2015 3:29 PM CST
Agree with perlite, as good as it is in aeration, it floats, so if I happen to run out of kanuma and akadama, I have pumice here, does same aeration and does not float.
Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
Wet Tropical AHS Zone 12
Adeniums Tropicals Morning Glories Container Gardener Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Dog Lover Cat Lover Bee Lover Vegetable Grower Butterflies Permaculture
Image
Rainbow
Jul 21, 2015 3:44 PM CST
(Footnote to my comment above.)

When "pushed" (given lots of rainwater, nutrients, an organic-rich soil with microbial activity, aeration, light, and warmth), adeniums will grow fast within the first 3 to 5 years. After that, their growth slows.

My goal is to grow a fat caudex early on, then when mature and growth slows down my potting media will be switched to a bonsai media to maintain form.

Although it is not even a year old yet, this obesum, in an 8” bowl, could be switched to bonsai media now to restrict its growth, but I’ll wait. It had been subjected to root cropping and several up-pottings that flowering was delayed. Really want to see the flowers on this one.
Thumb of 2015-07-21/BabyK/0a296b

Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
Wet Tropical AHS Zone 12
Adeniums Tropicals Morning Glories Container Gardener Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Dog Lover Cat Lover Bee Lover Vegetable Grower Butterflies Permaculture
Image
Rainbow
Jul 21, 2015 4:32 PM CST
tarev said:Agree with perlite, as good as it is in aeration, it floats, so if I happen to run out of kanuma and akadama, I have pumice here, does same aeration and does not float.

Thank You! I will continue to use perlite because it deters the rhino beetles from depositing their larvae into my pots. Green Grin!
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Jul 21, 2015 7:03 PM CST
BabyK, I don't like using perlite either. So, I have switched to crushed granite or chicken grit. It's usually found inexpensively at feed and seed stores here. Pumice, if found locally here, is a bit pricey. As for the kitty litter, which is usually calcined clay (make sure it's non-clumping), when used in potting media, is for moisture retention in a fast draining soil. It will help to keep the roots moist, but not wet, while still allowing the mix to drain quickly. Come to think of it, usually potting soil is not used when calcined clay is added to potting media, unless it's a chunky mix like orchid mix.
Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
Wet Tropical AHS Zone 12
Adeniums Tropicals Morning Glories Container Gardener Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Dog Lover Cat Lover Bee Lover Vegetable Grower Butterflies Permaculture
Image
Rainbow
Jul 21, 2015 8:36 PM CST
Deborah, thanks for the tips. Availability and price certainly are considerations when looking for bonsai media for my adeniums. Smiling
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Jul 22, 2015 11:58 AM CST
Oh Deebie, thanks for the tip about chicken grit, I need to repot my Adenium. I bought some pumice, and I like it a lot because it helps keep the pot heavy enough so they don't tip over, seems to work like perlite, but no "floaters" problem which drove me crazy (no Rhino Beetles here in Seattle!) But pumice is $$$. However I have a bag of granite chicken grit in the garage I can use, I think it is #2. Super cheap. Which size do you use?
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
Jul 22, 2015 12:03 PM CST
Tell me what the advantage of pumice is compared to coarse sand.
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: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Jul 22, 2015 12:48 PM CST
Sand oftentimes does a cement effect after it dries out, then it is harder to let water drain out and it will suffocate the roots. Pumice is coarser, and lightens up 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
Jul 22, 2015 1:11 PM CST
I have used pumice in my dental practice for over 40 years. It is used to polish acrylic appliances (ortho. retainers, dentures, partials). I used two grades and both were far finer than the finest sand. You are using a far different pumice. I have never seen sand act like cement. Its just........sand. It drains the same after one day or one year. I have never seen a "cement" beach. 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: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Jul 22, 2015 2:18 PM CST
You are comparing pure sand without any other organic stuff and that is freely moving in a beach. It is different when it is in a container and gets compacted in time.

You asked for the difference and that is what happens. It varies depending on the prevailing weather conditions too in our gardens. As it is, what works for my area, may not necessarily happen in yours.

The pumice we use is not like what you use for your dental practice for sure, it comes in different sizes/textures. I find mine in gardening stores.

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Adeniums forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Baja_Costero and is called "Agave"