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Thread: Schultz APS, watering and succulent phase

  1. #1
    "Oh, now he's a philosophizer" Baylorguy's Avatar
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    Schultz APS, watering and succulent phase

    I need some people with experience to give me some advice. I recently changed to Schultz APS with a bit of sand mixed in for my mexican pings. Though a couple of them seem to be doing just fine, many others look average at best. Right now I am watering them on the tray method once the tray dries out, but I noticed that at times the APS seems to dry out much faster than soil (this makes sense).

    That being said, my first concern is watering. With APS, should I be only top watering, or is the tray method ok? How do I know how much is enough water?

    Second, I have never been through the succulent phase with mexican pings. I hear mixed advice; some keep them wet year round while others reduce watering. Which is it and when should I start changing the way I am growing them (if I need to). Just for some brief information, I have them growing under 6 T12 bulbs on about a 15 hour photoperiod. My sundews and nepenthes are thriving, but most of my mexican pings seem to be struggling. I thought they were supposed to be some of the easiest to grow!

    Thanks!

    Phil

  2. #2
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Tray method means you have a pots in a tray or dish and kept standing water in the tray. The water gets there, either through top watering the pots or filling the tray directly (bottom watering?). It doesn't matter really. The only important part is to have some standing water in the tray.

    During the spring/summer phase I normally have no more than 1 inch of water in the trays (usually 1/2 inch) and let it dry out before adding more. Once in a while I'll let them stand dry a couple days before re-watering.

    During the fall/winter succulent phase I'll have 1/4 inch of water and let it dry out 2 days to one week between waterings.

    P. gypsicola you do not want to water at all when it is in the succulent phase.

    The only difference I've seen between top watering the pots and filling the tray directly is that top watering fosters moss growth.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    "Oh, now he's a philosophizer" Baylorguy's Avatar
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    Thanks NAN -

    My question stemmed from the fact that it seems APS does not absorb water as well as peat. My concern was due to mexican pings having short root systems. So, my concern is whether or not the water will make its way up to the roots if I simply put water in the tray rather than top watering.

    Thanks.

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    rattler's Avatar
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    why your getting mixed answers for keeping them constantly wet versus drying them out is because not everything works for everyone, what works for you wont necessarily work for your neighbor down the street.....

    im one that keeps them wet all the time but one thing you have to keep in mind, if you grow Mexi Pings wet all the time in peat than move them to APS your going to have issues......in my case Pings grown wet all the time in Peat have a very under developed root system, and seem to soak up most their moisture from air born roots via the high humidity at soil level......your right in your observation that APS doesnt soak up as much water as peat but it soaks up plenty so long as your pings have a decent root system and if the root system is lacking they are going to struggle for a bit until they enlarge their root system.......to help th transition i have been adding a lil peat to the APS for the first potting.....maybe 1 part peat to 4 parts APS


    BTW.....i dont see any point in adding sand to APS..........
    cervid serial killer
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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    APS is partially absorbant like kitty litter. Take a dry pot of APS, add water to the tray. A hour or two later scrap off the top layer and the stuff underneath will be darkened with moisture that was wicked up.

    Sand will fill in the gaps between the chunks of APS and help facilitate the wicking action through surface tension and capillary effects. Peat will do the same as well as retain moisture and provide nutrients as it decays.

    I was going to add to my previous post as Sheridan pointed out to monitor and modify as your situation requires but didn't as I figured it goes without saying.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    rattler's Avatar
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    no worries i toss the "not everything works for everyone" statement to most all posts by ppl with under a year on this site
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
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    Mark Wilson's Avatar
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    I ues the sand APS and did have an issue earlier in the year.I was keeping my gypsicolas in about 1" of water and staretd losing a few because of crown rot. I started just top watering them and letting the water accumulate in the shoe box and kept the water at a very low level.They have been doing great and no losses since then. I attribute my losses to warmer summer conditions and higher humidity
    Mark W.

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    For me, I used to encounter problem of root rot when I top water the APS when I only saw the top layer become light brown colour. In fact, the APS store very lots of water in the middle as well as the bottom layer.

    The nature of APS is very good evaporation and absorption rate depends on the air humidity.
    So be care not to top water very frequently.

    I control the air humidity and the frequency the watering, and find it is good to avoid rotting when compared peat moss.

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