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Thread: Experimental growing Cephalotus in beach dune sand

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    mobile's Avatar
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    Experimental growing Cephalotus in beach dune sand

    As I'm sure many seasoned Cephalotus growers will agree, this species is not very particular on what medium it grows in. There are lots of different mixes around, containing lots of different ingredients and ratios, such as peat, sand, perlite, leaf mould, live moss, dried moss, charcoal etc etc. I have tried many mixes and to be honest I cannot differentiate any discernible differences in growth rate or colouration. If you look at pictures of this species growing in habitat you will find it in anything between heavy humus soil to white sand. The species grows in coastal areas and one medium ingredient I have seen mentioned a few times is beach sand but I can't find any articles about anyone actually growing a plant using this, though there is undoubtedly someone using it as it is mentioned HERE. So, to satisfy my own curiosity I have decided to give it a try. I live next to the sea, so I took a walk to the local sand dunes and collected a small amount of sand from the banks where tall grasses (I think they are grasses?) grow. The tide does not reach this height, though undoubtedly it receives spray from the sea. I noticed that there was a line which below grew no grasses, so I took from above there, in amongst the grasses. I have a few 'expendible' seedling from last year so used one of these for this experiment. I will periodically update this post with the progress. The pot is filled with a 50/50 mix of peat and dune sand, with a top 1cm layer of just dune sand. The seedling was taken from its existing pot with a plug of moss peat and planted into the sand, with the lower part of the plug coming into contact with the peat/sand mix below.




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    Neat, I can't wait to see updates!

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    While I was doing my research for the little Ceph wall, I ended up with the same information. So many different mediums have been tried with ok-good results IF the watering was right for the medium used. I have divisions from the same Ceph growing in the same conditions and one is just doing better than the other. Gotta love this plant Maybe my 50/50 mix was 40/60 in one of the pots! Either way I blame my watering.

    I see no reason this would not work out well. The Ceph's on the top parts of the hills were growing with the grassy plants, I've since forgotten there name. If you look into some of the habitat photo there are few species of plants growing in that area. Mostly the grassy stuff.

    Should be interesting to follow.

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    I to don't think you ought to have any issues growing it in that media. I'm not quite sure where all the myths come from about this plant being finicky. I've grown a few in intermediate conditions and others in clear LL conditions, blasting them with light and watering them when I remembered to. Can't wait to see some pictures in 6-12 months. Do you plan on root feeding?

    This thread may be of some relevance.

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    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F R e N c H 3 z View Post
    This thread may be of some relevance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    That is the white sand that I refer to. Thank you for the link.

    ---------- Post added at 06:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:18 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by F R e N c H 3 z View Post
    Do you plan on root feeding?
    I'm undecided whether I will root feed this one or not. I do root feed my other Cephalotus from time to time.

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    Took a sample 5ml sand and added 50ml of deionised water. After 13 hours the water conductivity was 0.05EC. The pH of the water after two days is 7. This stuff is better than the washed horticultural sand I buy

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    Phill Mann once showed me photo's of a Cephalotus growing and thriving right smack in the middle of a cow pie in Australia, so I think the species is ammenable to many substrates. One of the most interesting concepts regarding the culture of this genus came from an Australian grower that found a way to encourage a mycorhizal association that allowed him to produce a multiheaded flowering plant within a season from a single cutting taken at the start of the season using pine sawdust for a medium. Experimentation is at the heart of advancing growing techniques. Growers should never assume any cultivation advice is Gospel and always seek to go where no one has gone before. Keep us posted as to how your experiment progresses!
    "Grow More, Share More"

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