Ask a Question forum: Still having problems with soil drying!!!

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Name: Pamela Gregory
Maryland (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
Oct 18, 2016 10:42 AM CST
I did everything I was advised to do I believe. My soil still wont dry fast enough. Maybe I should have mixed it with sand?????
With the understanding Im currently housing my plants in a finshed basement with kitchenette bathroom bedrooms ect, point is its still a basement and damp I guess. I didnt expect the problem and My ideas so far are a large fan I added to the many things surrounding the plants , I always have the 2 small windows open during the day as long as it isnt below 40 degrees and soon we will have many of those days.
So any one with advice would be greatly appreciated! !
Honestly I dont know how to thank everyone one on this forum thats help me and my plants! After the past 6 weeks or little less I have veen coming here we all have done so much and gratefully I believe I finally have a lighting system that will do the trick . I have only lost a crouton due to lighting issue I believe. I lost a zebra plant in this time .too but Im still unsure what happened to him my opinion was he had a disease when I brought him home. In a week of me sitting him in the Window I lost 4 vines along with him. I also have lost a few of my rooted persian shields I'm unsure if that had anything to do with lighting, either, my opinion was it surely didnt help and a few I lost since then I still dont know why . Anyone who knows about persian shields and wouldnt mind messaging me and maybe helping me figure out whats going on with them. That be super awesome too. Im off to a job for a few houts and Ill be back around 4Ish Pm this evening. Again Id greatly appreciate any and all help!!!! Rh5anka and happy planting everyone!!!
Name: Will Creed
Professional interior landscaper
Oct 18, 2016 4:28 PM CST
There are several factors that may be keeping the soil too moist for too long. If you are like most people, your plants may be in pots that are too large. Low light, which seems to be what you have, slows down the growth rate of plants and their use of water. Cool temps also slow growth rate and deter evaporation.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Oct 19, 2016 9:13 AM CST
Will has some good points, especially about evaporation. You could try mixing some perlite in with your potting soil to aid in drainage. And even with open windows, you might not be getting enough air circulation to help with evaporation. Can you set up a little desk top fan to blow on the plants on a low setting?
Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
Oct 19, 2016 9:19 AM CST
Pam, I add 20-50% perlite to my potting soil depending on what I'm planting. So far this is working great, even out door plants dry quickly. I've seen some pro growers use up to 80-90% perlite mix for plants that need to have dry feet.
Spectamur agendo
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
Oct 19, 2016 9:24 AM CST
For my indoor plants, at times I mix in some more perlite, pumice, clay rocks or crushed lava rocks.

I really like the clay rocks and crushed lava rocks, there are many holes around it, air pockets needed by the roots to get air below soil level.

Name: Pamela Gregory
Maryland (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
Oct 19, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Clay rocks sound very useful! Maybe I will look for some this weekend. Thanks!!

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