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Thread: Abalone shell planting: anyone know how?

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    白人看不懂 Drosera36's Avatar
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    Abalone shell planting: anyone know how?

    In Pete's book, there are several references to planting Mexican Pinguicula in abalone shells, but he never shows quite how to do it. Has anyone here ever done this, or asked Pete how he does it? Would it be something like putting LFS on the bottom, then fill it with the mix, and water occasionally? There are some holes in the shell, so drainage should be ok.

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    I'd say you have it right there! Perhaps the shell is placed in a saucer so that the water goes thru the drainage holes?
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    白人看不懂 Drosera36's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how that would affect the shell, but I 'spose that could work. In pics I've seen of his nursery, the shells are just hanging by hooks, so I guess he top-waters them. Would any calcium actually come outta the shell?

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    Metal King
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    You'd think so- I hope someone gives a definitive answer here, as I've only recently gotten pretty "into" Pings and want to try some "mounted" specimens, like the lava rock ones shown in SG too-

    I would imagine the lava rock "method"- one would put the rock in a tray, leaving only the very bottm of the rock, away from the plant submerged??

    From my Pings that I have growing now, they really don't seem to need an actually soaking wet medium, as long as there's water somewheres under the plant mine seem happy (and I'm only talking about P.moranensis and P.ehlersiae here, I'm SURE there's plenty that would not enjoy the same conditions)

    Not trying to jack yer thread, but I figure the other Ping ideas in SG fit in on this same topic
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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    The holes in abalone are used for breathing and the nature of the animal dictates that as they grow those closer to the center seal over so the only open ones are usually the last 4-6 which are at the top/outer edge. Not really a place to be draining water.

    I have never tried abalone shell as I would figure you need a really large one unless growing in a greenhouse with a constant and consisent water supply. The tray method might work but you would need to drill holes in the cupped end of the shell. Plus, the minimal depth of that cupped area dictate they you will not be able to use much media so the risk of drying out increases.

    My suggestion would be to use LFS alone as a media since even a little of it will retain moistre for extended periods. Water only often enough to keep the moss from drying out.

    For the lava rock you need to do a little work as well. I believe Vic Brown did a thread on this at CPUK so you might want to look there as well. IN a nut shell you are going to need saftey goggles, a drill with a bit that can handle rock and maybe a cold-chisel. Us the drill to make a pilot hole that should run to, what you will use as, the bottom of the rock. This hole should be about the diameter of a pencil. Next use a larger bit (3cm diameter bore) or the chisel to make a larger pocket around the pilot hole in the top of the rock and extending about half way down into the rock. When you are using the dripp it helps to keep the rock and bit submerged, just do not put the whole drill under water. Once you have tour holes all made you pack the small pilot hole with LFS and then fill the large hole with media. Plant up and set it on the tray, the LFS wicks the water to the media.
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    pingman's Avatar
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    From my Pings that I have growing now, they really don't seem to need an actually soaking wet medium, as long as there's water somewheres under the plant mine seem happy (and I'm only talking about P.moranensis and P.ehlersiae here, I'm SURE there's plenty that would not enjoy the same conditions)
    You're right that most Pings do not require wet "soaking in water" conditions. As long as you don't let the medium dry out, most pings are happy. I agree you may want to try LFS as it will wick up water and retain moisture nicely.

    Peter.
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    You would probably want to be sure to boil the shell for a while first to cut down the salt content--

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    Metal King
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    Thanks fellows, I've always wanted to try the lava rocks (abalone shells ain't too common in the Niagara area)

    Now I know they need a wick-hole (which is what I always imagined, since the photos in SG have a dry looking rock sitting on black photo-velvet) I'll just wait til I find the exact right piece of rock and go from there
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