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Thread: The effects of substrate

  1. #1
    xantius's Avatar
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    Thumbs up The effects of substrate

    I was packing up plants for shipping today before heading to the Bahamas and decided I'd post a quick informative article for anyone interested.

    The substrate you use for growing your CPs can greatly impact their overall health and appearance. To illustrate, I've attached pictures of two identical plants from the same leaf pullings; P 'weser'.

    In this picture, you will see the difference of them side by side.


    Here is a closeup of the pot on the left. The substrate is a 50/50 sand/vermiculite mixture. Notice how small they grow, almost in a ball shape. Having picked one up for shipping today though, it has produced MANY roots that have grabbed the substrate quite well. The light color of the substrate may actually reflect more light potentially causing the leaf size to be smaller. While these plants may be tiny, they are quite healthy and are dewing prolifically.


    Here is a closeup of the pot on the right. The substrate is a washed Ping Mix (25/25/25/25) sand/peat/perlite/vermiculite). I've found that peaty mixtures create much larger plants, though the lower leaves will eventually shrivel and die because of lack of light and too much moisture close to the substrate. These plants are indeed incredibly healthy.


    In short, while multiple mediums can be used for healthy plants, they may have different effects on them. It's definitely worth trying a variety until you find what your plant grows best in.

    Xantius

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    billylh's Avatar
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    wow, big difference, any other soil mixes you've tested?

    ~billy

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    xantius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billylh View Post
    wow, big difference, any other soil mixes you've tested?

    ~billy
    I've used mystery mix which was simply the soil from pots whose plants didn't make it. It turns out to be TOO peaty and causes mold problems.

    My current Ping mix, which I call New Ping Mix, uses 25/25/25/25 washed peat/sand/vermiculite/APS. Perlite is just too much of a pain so I'm trying to get APS to take its place. So far so good. More experiments needed to be sure though.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. I'm getting the impression that Mexican pings like alkalinity and crushed coral helps with that. But there are other factors, like Iron supplement and drainage and feeding.

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    rattler's Avatar
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    huh......i dont notice much difference in leaf growth when i switch between inorganic and mostly organic mediums....do notice a difference in root growth though....in a peat medium most mexi pings produce few if any roots for me....they float like an island on the soil surface.....in an inorganic mix they produce a more robust root system....
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    xantius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rattler View Post
    huh......i dont notice much difference in leaf growth when i switch between inorganic and mostly organic mediums....do notice a difference in root growth though....in a peat medium most mexi pings produce few if any roots for me....they float like an island on the soil surface.....in an inorganic mix they produce a more robust root system....
    That's true in my experience as well. My latest experiment has been to have a more moist medium below a layer of APS. I'm hoping this will keep mold, etc. to a minimum and encourage at least a little deeper root system. I've had problems with P. ehlersiae (my favorite!) raising off the ground and then drying out its roots. My prize plant just bit the dust because of this...

    Xantius.

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    ellisonk001's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing; very informative!

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    What's APS?
    Hmmmm... using soil from pots from plants that don't make it? Sounds..well....dangerous, since it might've been the soil that killed it in the first place! Seriously, those Pings look goooood!

    Happy Growing!

    Aslan

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