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Thread: Advice on mineral soils

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    Advice on mineral soils

    I have been on planning on changing my mexican Pinguicula soil to a pure mineral base. I am currently using the sarracenia northwest mix which contains sand, peat and perlite. It just seems a little too wet. After reading as many posts I can on this forum on pure mineral mixes I am still confused which one to go with. I am growing my pings under 7 4 ft sunblaster t5's hight output. I have read that the addition of dolomite and iron oxide is a great benefit. Can some of you folks share your pure mineral soil recipes? Thanks!

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    I use pure Turface "Infield Conditioner" ( http://www.turface.com/turface-produ...d-conditioners ) for all my Mexican Pinguicula. I have not had a single issue with these plants since switching to this media and there was a noticeable difference in the overall health and condition of the plants within one season after switching to it. I've experimented with other mixes both with and without Turface as an ingredient and the plants are far happier just using it by itself without any other amendments. I've found that mixes containing peat or lfs stay far too wet for most of them during the growing season, exceptions to this are plants in the P.moranensis complex and P.moctezumae (these plants also do not seem to need an obligatory dormancy), which seem to want slightly wetter conditions for active growth as well as their dormancy period. I've since started keeping these particular plants in a separate tray from the rest and periodically watering them during the winter while none of the others are given water for 2 to 3 months. I've found Turface to be ideal for all species as long as the individual species seasonal moisture requirements are taken into consideration.

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    I've used many different all-mineral substrates to grow Mexican Pinguicula: Aragonite, coral sand, gypsum, washed silica sand (various grit sizes), charcoal, perlite, pumice, vermiculite, Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil (APS), sintered clay pellets, and plain kitty litter. All of these substrates, and others, including various combinations/mixtures of all of these, have all been suitable to cultivate Mexican Pinguicula plants, including just putting them into transparent plastic 'rocks' glasses, without any media at all.

    Some species/hybrids appear to benefit from media with calcium in them, including crushed eggshells or oyster shells - others, not so much. I particularly like adding some iron oxide powder (like that used for ceramic glazes), to all media. Also, I generally add dried, ground, insect powder to the media surface, when potting plants, and periodically to the leaves, thereafter. Including some RootShield (Trichoderma harzianum), dusted on the media surface or mixed into the powdered insect feed.

    One thing my cultivation method prefers, which is contrary to many other growers. I like to use strong fluorescent lighting, with lights on for 24/7/365 and a strong attempt to maintain the water levels in plastic trays, near the surface of the media, year-'round.

    A common misconception, reinforced by several popular books about CP, is that Mexican Pinguicula are dormant in the winter. They are never, truly "dormant". Some are heterophyllous, and some are homophyllous. Heterophyllous plants produce two different leaf forms, depending on the season/environmental clues, though none ever stop growing, with many of these heterophyllous plants blooming from both summer and winter growth phases, while others regularly blooming from either their summer or winter growth phases. There are a few possible exceptions - perhaps Pinguicula medusina is one; though I suspect even they're still growing, even when they look like little dead balls/bulbs.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 11-11-2014 at 11:12 AM.
    Joseph Clemens
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    w03's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity, do you use all-mineral media for P. hemiepiphytica and P.emarginata as well? Eric Patrat apparently uses organic mixes for these two, but I am unsure of the rationale behind doing so.
    "Potential has a shelf life." -Margaret Atwood
    My meager growlist

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    I use all Turface on all my plants. I just keep some a bit wetter than others in winter.

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    Finally found some Turface about a year ago and I just love the stuff, would highly recommend getting some.

    Another great addition if you can find it is 1/8"ish lava rock, it can be hard to find but it works really well for helping the medium dry and it does not float.

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by w03 View Post
    Just out of curiosity, do you use all-mineral media for P. hemiepiphytica and P.emarginata as well? Eric Patrat apparently uses organic mixes for these two, but I am unsure of the rationale behind doing so.
    Yes, I have had excellent success growing both P. hemiepiphytica and P. emarginata in all-mineral media. Using the same methods I use for most of the Mexican Pinguicula.

    BTW, turface and Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil are exactly the same thing. Schultz also sells the same product under the name "Multi-Purpose Soil Conditioner".
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 11-09-2014 at 11:46 AM.
    Joseph Clemens
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    Cthulhu, could you share your watering cycle with Turface please ?

    I also use near 100% mineral mix for my pings. They sit in 4 inches plastic pot but still, with Turface, the middle of the pot seem to always remain wet. Do you see this too ?

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