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Thread: Hoffman's Cactus/succulent soil mix

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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    Hoffman's Cactus/succulent soil mix

    Any thoughts on it versus a "homemade" mix?

    I'm new to growing these plants other than one of the random assortment pots you can get as a souvenir in the southwest LOL.

    I recently planted some seeds (not even sure which species, the package was a mix of "easy" plants) in this soil in a Jiffy tray with a dome so I am hoping it works out. Thanks!

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    swords's Avatar
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    Hey Pappy welcome to TF I'm from MN too!

    I would suggest using Shultz Aquatic Plant Soil (which is just clay granules) or Floor Dry from NAPA (which is expanded diatomaceous earth) as the main potting ingredient for your succulents. To that I add some Cherrystone Grit and a very tiny bit of peat/coir just to keep make the soil bind and stay in the pot and not pour out of the holes. You can't see peat in my mixes but it's there - that's how little I use. Succulents grow mainly in mineral substrates with very little organics which dry out very fast. Anytime I've tried to grow succulents in a peat based mix like the "cacti mix" it ended quickly with plants who "melt down" (turn to a pot of slime) by the peat based mix staying too wet. Once I started using mineral based mixes that dry out in 2-3 days I no longer had problems with melting down, plants are grown hard in a feast or famine cycle. They really balloon up at watering time when they grow this way too!

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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info! Glad to see another Minnesotan too!

    At this point I'm going to see what happens and if it doesn't work out I'm going to try my own mix of substrate. I'm misting the soil close to everyday since I was told (or read, rather) that seeds need to be moister than adults. Is that true?

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    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    Hey Pappy welcome to TF I'm from MN too!

    I would suggest using Shultz Aquatic Plant Soil (which is just clay granules) or Floor Dry from NAPA (which is expanded diatomaceous earth) as the main potting ingredient for your succulents. To that I add some Cherrystone Grit and a very tiny bit of peat/coir just to keep make the soil bind and stay in the pot and not pour out of the holes. You can't see peat in my mixes but it's there - that's how little I use. Succulents grow mainly in mineral substrates with very little organics which dry out very fast. Anytime I've tried to grow succulents in a peat based mix like the "cacti mix" it ended quickly with plants who "melt down" (turn to a pot of slime) by the peat based mix staying too wet. Once I started using mineral based mixes that dry out in 2-3 days I no longer had problems with melting down, plants are grown hard in a feast or famine cycle. They really balloon up at watering time when they grow this way too!
    exception to the rule, tropical or epiphytic cacti like dragon fruit enjoy organic material in the soil. For easy cacti I just use miracle gro soil with some extra perlite added. Seedlings love it (remember, seedlings need longer moister times as they're less hardy). Easy cacti seeds might include dragon fruit, bluecandle, and san pedro which would all like that. Good luck!
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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    I think one package did list some species...off the top of my head I remember saguaro and prickly pear...I'm assuming the others were along the same lines as well. Does that still apply to these seedlings?

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    swords's Avatar
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    I've melted down san pederos with peat (30%) and perlite (70%) heavy mix - not that I'm bragging! LOL
    They did make it a whole year + before suddenly deflatng one day and spilling a sea of slime all over. It's so gross when they jiggle and stuff spurts out of em when they're melting!

    I did san pedros and lithops from seed, I put the seed on wet Shultz APS and put the whole pot in a ziplock, leave zipped til they germinate and grow for a month or so and then very slowly open the bag over a months time or so. I did it too quickly and roasted em.

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    Gardening freak! tommyr's Avatar
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    I like Hoffmans' mix but I amend with a bit of perlite at times.
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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    Well, I've already spotted quite a few seedlings emerging so far so I'm assuming it's working!

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