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Name: Tina Horn
Upper Darby,Pa. (Zone 7a)
Please help my lil Meyer? Lots of ?
Nov 14, 2016 5:27 PM CST
|I got a little twig in March,by Oct.it had tons of roots & after I brought it indoors in Nov.it STARTED to bud. Buds are starting to open.I keep it under 125 watt cfl bulb(4600K) Will it keep any fruit? I heard of pitting hard charcoal at roots to help drainage? I hear turface is great for drainage but I can't find any anywhere? Ideas? I really could use help? Didn't ad but a few grains of chicken fertilizer in summer.Please help me with drainage problem indoors? Sand or lots of pearlite don't seem to help indoors? What's a good substitute for turface to keep good drainage ? Really need help with potted in apt. That gets no good sun,& drainage? Had no problem outdoors .Summer temps ran high 90s & loved sun & hear,need help indoors w drainage & cfl light ? Really appreciate any advise to help potted meyer? I mist to keep branches moist?
I really appreciate all advise 👍🏻 Summer I just love for my plants & my body.Im 60 & a chronic pain patient .I feel better in warm weather & plants Love the summer ❤️It's our time of yr.Wish it lasted longer !!
Nov 14, 2016 5:54 PM CST
|Wow, you really have grown that baby well. Good job! On the budding and flowering, you should go ahead and enjoy the lovely scented flowers, but do NOT let them set fruit. The plant is much too small to support fruit just yet. Give it at least another year's growth outside next summer and maybe next fall let it make one or two fruits.
As far as drainage, as long as the pot has a drain hole, and water comes out there when you water it thoroughly, that's all it needs. Don't forget in winter, low light indoors and lower temperatures you will need to water much less often.
"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Nov 14, 2016 7:04 PM CST
|Hi Tina. Welcome to NGA!
I don't think sand is coarse enough to improve drainage in potting soils. Even a bag labelled "coarse sand" tends to be mostly medium size. You want "grit" size and larger stuff to open up a potting mix.
Crushed stone, if coarse enough, and free of excessive dust, would be a good addition. Ideally, crushed stone would be double-screened to remove too-small-sand and too-large fine gravel.
A bag of #2 chicken grit would be perfect: the crushed granite kind, not crushed shells.
Coarse Perlite is good, and more easily found than most things.
I like shredded bark that I buy cheap as mulch (but I look for clean, dry bags), then screen repeatedly to extract the shreds around 1/10th inch in size, or 2-3 mm.
Another thing to consider is the quality of any bagged "potting soil" that you buy. My Home Depot will sell any brownish junk as "potting soil" - buyer beware! If watering the pot does not rapidly give you water flowing out the bottom, it drains slowly and retains a lot of water. Some plants can survive "wet feet" but not most. Roots need air.
If Air can't diffuse through air-filled pores and crevices in the soil, it will "try" to diffuse through the water-saturated soil mix. Well, oxygen diffuses through air 10,000 times faster than through water or waterlogged soil. That factor of 10,000 is enough to suffocate the roots of most plants. The roots die, then rot.
I think that cheap "potting mix" uses a lot of fine brown peat. TOO FINE! The pro mixes like Sunshine, Fafard, Black Kow and Pro-Mix use higher-quality long-fiber sphagnum moss plus other things to keep it well "lofted" and full of big crevices ("macro pores") which release water and fill with air.
Those professional mixes are worth it for potted plants you don't want to lose. If you're using cheaper, finer, water-logging mixes, it's up to you to mix in enough amendments to make it drain fast.
When you water a plant, think of yourself as filling a jug that the plant's roots sit in. If water goes in but doesn't come out the bottom, the mix is probably saturated with water and devoid of air. Too bad we can't hear the roots screaming and banging on the sides of the pot as they (quietly) drown.
I think that cuttings in water don;t drown because a glass of water can circulate and convect. That would mix the (aerated) surface air down to the roots. But excess water in potting mix is bound to the fine fibers by capillary force so it can't "circulate".
For the entrapped water to escape, there have to be "pores" or voids in the mix large enough that capillary films don't fill up the entire void space. Soil scientists call those "mesopores", which hold some water by capillary action, but release the rest of the weater to gravity or root hairs - say 30-75 microns or 0.03 - 0.075 mm.
"Macropores" are larger, and most of their water tends to be pulled down and out by gravity (leaving a big opening for air to diffuse through rapidly).
When you add gritty amendments to a soil or a mix, you are really "adding air" by creating macropores that don;t go away after a few waterings. The grit "props up" the finer stuff, especially if it is fibrous, leaving voids large enough that capillary water doesn't fill them full.
Just because it ISN'T complicated doesn't mean I can't MAKE it complicated!
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Nov 15, 2016 6:41 AM CST
|Ditto to: dyzzypyxxy: and then prepare to pot slightly bigger in spring with good quality mix. Just spend a couple bucks and buy a good one, don't worry with mixing your own.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
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