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Thread: Pings as Houseplants

  1. #1
    Mossy Girl's Avatar
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    Question Pings as Houseplants

    I'm looking into getting Mexican pings to be kept on windowsill. I have a nice little south western window that gets 3-4 hours of direct sunlight in the summer and more in the winter. I know P. 'piroutte' and P. moranensis will be good species to keep in that way. I also have my eye on P. esseriana, P. jaumavensis, and P. 'florian' for later. This will be my first experience with pings, so I'm looking for experience and pointers. I haven't found as much information about pings online as I have for Sars, flytraps, and Drosera. They don't seem to be as popular. :/

    What kind of soils should I use? I've read that equal parts peat, sand, and perlite or pumice would be good for a windowsill ping. Do I need crushed coral? I have aragonite sand that I've used in my aquariums. Is that okay to use to keep the soil pH up? It's a rather fine sand.

    What kind of pots should I use? I've read everything from the tray method to african violet pots. Any experience with either of these? Is one better or worse? This windowsill is in a well-traveled part of the house, so appearance is a consideration here.

    Should I put them outside to induce their dormant state? And how would I do that? Or can I just keep them on that windowsill? My inside temp varies from about 78F in the summer down to 63F at night in the winter. I imagine right next to the wind it will get cooler.

    Thanks for your help!
    -- Elizabeth

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  2. #2
    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    yes. they would be excellent candidates for the windowsill; bright light in the morning, shade in the afternoon would do best though.
    with regards to soil, they arent too picky. you could grow them on lace rock even if you desire. peat is actually a minor composite of ping media, and is mostly used for water retention. crushed coral would be a plus, but not absolutely necessary for the plants you are growing.

    a decent staple media with what you have is 1:2:1:1 (perlite:sandumice (crushed): argonnite sand)- the media should be wet/damp, the plant should not. ping roots are very superficial, almost threadlike, so having a fine grained media would be best. too bulky, and the plant's roots will just touch air and wont be able to draw water. as for planting pings, just pop them on the media. no need for digging....they can take care of themselves.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Cool and dry for the winter.

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    Mark Wilson's Avatar
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    I have 3 P.gypsicola plants growing on a piece of lavarock in a small glass bowl in a east facing window.They are basically green but have flowered so they must like it.

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    Maiden's Avatar
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    I grow all my mexican pings in a terrarium. At 90%RH, i water the plants once a month.

    I have to try the 'house plants' method.

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    Mossy Girl's Avatar
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    Amphi, that is great to know about the media. I was worried that the aragonite sand would compact too much. I should be able to get all of those components at Lowes. Also great to know about planting them. I probably would have tried to dig a little hole in the sand and be worried when I saw the tiny little roots.

    Jim, that describes my house, so I think I'll be fine for dormancy haha.

    Mark, I've seen neat pictures of pings growing on rocks. They might have actually been your pictures. I'd like to try that one day. I love the look of epilithic plants. But I gotta get the basics down first.

    Maiden, I'll let you know how it goes. I know I've seen more than a few example of healthy plants on windowsills. I just don't have room for terrariums. All of those spaces are taken up by aquariums!

    I'm excited to get this started!!

    EDIT: One thing I forgot to ask is about how tall should the pots be? Or is this something that is going to vary depending how dry my house is?
    Last edited by Mossy Girl; 07-28-2013 at 08:27 AM. Reason: Forgot something
    -- Elizabeth

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    As a general rule, the more media the better. However, Mexican pings aren't big in the root development department, so that isn't terribly important to them. Most of mine are in 1.5" pots.

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    I had issues watering my Pings (Pirouette and Laueana) so I got a nice 1.5 inch deep bonsai pot and keep it in a tray on my windowsill. The pot has two big holes in the bottom and my pings seem to be really happy in it.

    I also bought a small bag of Ping mix soil from the same place I bought my Pirouette (figured the soil would feel like home to Piro since it originally grew from that mix)!

    So far, both Pings are doing great despite me dropping them once last month. They're great houseplants and I have a lead thumb so that's saying a lot! Haha!

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