Adeniums forum: Drainage

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Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
Oct 3, 2014 11:19 AM CST

I'm changing my name soon.

Our newest addict, Mike, said---" The pot does look a bit deep, I realize, but I should have included that probably the bottom 1/3 of the container is filled with pea sized river gravel. I did that to help provide more drainage since the pot only has one hole in it. "

OK, there is something that nurserymen know as "Perched Water" Perched just like a bird perched on a limb. It just sits there.

Water in pots does three things, 1. drains 2. evaporates 3. is taken up by the plant, if there are enough roots. Then where is this perched water? Here's an illustration-- You have a big sponge. You run water over it, in the sink--- until it is full, and some dribbles away. After a bit, it's not drooling any more. But, it's full of water! Give it a mash with your hand, and a lot of water will come out. Perched water. Put this sponge on top of another sponge, and the extra---perched water will go down into the bottom sponge.

If the plant is in a deep pot with a thick layer of stones or gravel or something, the water will not drain so well, it will perch. Evaporate from the top, and then you think the mix is dry, but there's still that water in the mix on top of the gravel, which does not wick the water down and out. Easy to over water a plant in this scene.

I've been trying different things to get water to drain well. One is to set the pot in something that will draw out water, like an inch of perlite, making sure the dry perlite is up into the holes in the pot, in contact with the mix. If I find I've over watered a plant, I do this for sure. Perched water likes to fill with organisms that promote rot.

Sometimes I poke a strip of cotton fabric up into the mix through the one hole in the bottom, with the end of the strip coming out of the pot for a few inches. This should wick water down and away.

Root bound is not bad for Adeniums. Over potting, a small plant in a big pot is bad.

Whew, that's about all I can type at this go.

Questions? But I might not be online again until Monday---

Thumb of 2014-10-03/coconut/eb639b

[Last edited by coconut - Oct 3, 2014 12:17 PM (+)]
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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
Oct 3, 2014 11:32 AM CST
good advice.
[Last edited by Dutchlady1 - Oct 3, 2014 2:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
Oct 3, 2014 12:18 PM CST
Hetty, thank you

Questions about watering anyone?
[Last edited by coconut - Oct 6, 2014 8:56 AM (+)]
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