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Thread: Where to find rebutia seed

  1. #9
    swords's Avatar
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    That "Cactus Soil" is some pretty nasty stuff. It's mainly peat/bark based (organics) which is quite rich in fungi flora. I've had everything from plant fungus to actual small mushrooms pop up in pots of it. So it's a good idea to sterilize it in the microwave or the oven before use or the seedling will likely damp off and kick over.

    Also be sure you add lots and lots of perlite or small pumice to it so it's very loose and free draining. Wet it and clamp a handful in your fist when you open your hand the soil ball should fall apart. If it doesn't keep adding pumice or perlite until it does. A compact peaty soil devoid of air that stays wet too long kills their roots really fast.

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    Devon's Avatar
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    ok, thanks a lot. Can I add playsand to it also? would that elp at all? Thanks.

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    swords's Avatar
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    I avoid all sand because the stuff that is available here is all too fine like Play Sand and "desert sand" sold at the flower shops which as I told you about before I had troubl with. Fine sand leads to soil compaction and not soil loosening-that's why I push for more perlite or pumice as the bits are larger and using enough actually opens up the soil. If the sand you have is larger bits 1/16" - 1/8" in size for each grain and not like sea salt in size then I'd try it but I spurn sand myself because it just makes soil dense and hold water too long. Peat/Sand is what people suggest growing sundews and stuff in and curiously, also succulents!? They're from completely different environments yet the same soil mix is usually suggested. There are very few sphagnum peat bogs in the deserts of Namibia.
    The soil is actually almost exclusively crushed quartzite and other minerals.

    I use mainly the Aquatic Plant Soil (baked clay like kitty litter there's no peat or soil in it at all) or Napa Floor Dry from the auto parts store which is actually expanded diatomaceous earth grit. Both of these substances absorb water and release it over the next few days before going dry which is what I want for my cacti and succulent plants - wet just long enough to get a good drink and then dry. I add to this some aquarium gravel to make it heavier and shreded coir to bind the stuff a little bit. But you could also add a small bit of peat. This is just to help bind the minerals together and keep it from falling out of the holes in the pot. The more humid your area is the less water you will need to have the soil retain.

    The reason I personally don't like peat in combination with succulents is that it stays wet a long time, especially if your area is humid but not hot like california or something. I'm in MN if I water a houseplant in december it'll usually still be wet in march! This sort of soil situation is a succulents death trap.
    On the other hand once peat does go dry it's hard to rewet it properly again. You can just set the pot in a bucket of water to fuly rehydrate if your plants are hearty species. However certain succulents that I like to grow are extremely sensitive to overwatering, one actual watering and certain of my mesembs are mushy green history.

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