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Thread: Winter blooms and growth

  1. #9
    justjack's Avatar
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    Swords, gnarly plants you've got there, love 'em!
    I've got some baby toes (fenestaria) that are getting pretty big. I've had them for two years at least and are the first ones I haven't killed. They're getting big but haven't bloomed ever. They're in a 2' terra cotta pot.
    I want to repot, but am scared silly of touching them. I don't even have the guts to try to take a cutting off one of the dangly growths that look like they might jump off on their own. I would love some advice, including soil recipe, if possible. I would also looooove a cutting off that branching stapelia!
    Good growing, Jack
    "Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead, American Anthropologist

  2. #10
    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks all!

    I should have some weird succulents for trade when the weather gets good in spring if anyone wants to do CPs for some succulents. Check my growlist, things in the succulent section that are marked with an " * " aren't up for trade at the moment but if all goes well maybe in the future.

    Jack I use the same soil for all my succulents and cacti, Napa Floor Dry (product #8822) and quartzite cherrystone grit (turkey/chicken feed grit), with a very small amount of peat or coco coir blended so the rocks won't fall out of the pots drainage holes. You can't see any peat in my pots because I add so little it's almost none but it's enough to bind the minerals which is all I want the peat to do, not retain water at all. I used to use pure Shultz Aquatic Plant Soil (baked clay grit) but it was more expensive and the succulents seem to like the Napa more because of the likely high mineral content. Napa is expanded diatomaceous earth - like rock popcorn or perlite but colored naturally.

    If you do buy Napa beware not to use it on anything like CPs or acid loving plants. I wiped out 3 dews in 3 days potting them 50/50 peat & Napa. The succulents love it however use the SHultz APS on the CPs if you want clay grit.

  3. #11
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Aw... Well, can't win them all. If I ever find some I'll try to get one of my chemistry-oriented friends to check it out for me. Did you ever try the vinegar test?
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  4. #12
    swords's Avatar
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    Don't be afraid to repot succulents are remarkably resilient. Some things to remember:

    1) repot into dry soil, don't use a moist soil. Use a soil that will dry out completely within a few days. 25/75 peat & perlite might work good but I avoid peat as much as possible since it doesn't seem to dry out in my area. Fine for house ferns and things but it's a succulent killer for me.

    2) do not water "water it in" after repotting you can mist the toes off if you like but use a hand mister and just enough to clean the above ground fleshy bits.

    3) don't water the actual pot for at least 3 weeks but you can mist the fleshy bits once every day or two if you want so long as the water dries up rather quickly.

    4) when you do begin watering a month or so after repotting do so lightly, just a splash the first time to "wake up" the roots, don't flood the pot. The next time in a week or so you can add a little more. remember these plants Mesembs (south african succulents) are asleep in the heat of our summer so don't water them heavily at that time or they will rot since they aren't using the water all that much at that time of year.

    With mesembs like ithops, conophytums, fenestria & frithia (often confused with one another), gibbeums, titanopsis, aloinopsis... it's often best to not water until they look wrinkly and pull into the soil a bit. If they look fat and plump then don't water the plant. If you do water a fat plant sometimes they'll split open revealing their jelly filled insides. This doesn't usually kill the plant but it looks bad for a whole year or more until new bodies grow in it's place.

    ---------- Post added at 11:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:30 PM ----------

    I haven't tried putting vinegar on it - it's supposed to foam or fizzle isn't it?

  5. #13
    justjack's Avatar
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    What's the vinegar test?
    Good growing, Jack
    "Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead, American Anthropologist

  6. #14
    swords's Avatar
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    IIRC if you pour vinegar on limestone or other high Ph mineral rocks it will fizzle because of the conflict between the two.

    I don't have an aquarium testing kit since I don't keep aquatic plants anymore but I would be willing to bet this NAPA stuff has a Ph of 8 or maybe higher. Which is fine for succulents but not for things like sundews because a Ph 8 is about 4000 times more alkaline than a boggy Ph 4. No wonder the poor dews I tested in it just melted like a snowman in July! If you want an all purpose media that can be used for both go with the Shultz Aquatic Plant Soil since it's inert like the quartzite turkey grit and aquarium pea gravel.

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