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Thread: Soil mix for really big pot

  1. #1

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    Hello everyone!

    I recently got the idea for getting a big pot (like the ones used for small trees) and putting a few neps in there. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] I'm thinking of putting a mirabilis, a ampullaria, a bicalcarata, and maybe a gracilis or rafflesiana in there, but I'm not sure what type of soil mix I should use. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] I know that nep soil mixes should be fairly open and be able to retain water at the same time, but I'm not sure if the standard nep soil mixes would fare very well in a really big pot (like 2 ft or more in diameter). I need a soil mix that'll last a fairly long time too, since it really would be a pain to replace several cubic feet of soil every year. Cost is also a big factor since I don't want to spend $50 on enough LF sphagnum to fill up just half of the pot. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] I was thinking of a mix with lots of sand and river rocks, as well as charcoal, orchid bark, and coconut fiber. Any advice from anyone here would be greatly appreciated. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]


    Jœl
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    Joel Martínez
    San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    One thing you can do is put an upside down pot in the center of the tub.

    I have never tried a really big planting like this, so I am only thinking hypothetical.

    fir bark breaks down fairly quickly so I would avoid it.
    rocks add alot of weight and will not add to the aeration. (lava rock because it is porous will however. But there are many different kinds of lava rock so caution is needed to make sure it is acceptable to use)
    Coconut husk fibers/chips are good since they break down fairly slowly. Treefern is good also but might be hard to find and expensive.

    My mix would consist of coconut husk chips, chopped NZ or Chilean sphagnum and course perlite with a little sphagnum peat to make it a little more soil like.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    You may consider planting the plants in individual pots submerged in the soil of the big one. Nepenthes do get very big root systems by time and you may run into trouble separating them after a few years.

    A good soil addition is Lecaton, which is used for hydroponics here. It is also quit light, which may be of some concern, does store water and is good for airy soil mixes.

    Joachim

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    I have some neps in some big pots out here in Hawaii. The largest pot I am using is a fifteen gallon pot. I usually put lava rock down in the bottom few inches for drainage. I then mix equal parts of peat and #2 perlite and then add some coconut fiber and a little vermiculite and some small lava rock. It seems to work pretty well in those big pots. If you have access to pumice rock instead of lava rock, that will also work. The large pots are nice for larger neps such as N. bicalcarata, N. truncata, N. truncata x veitchii, N. merrilliana and a few others. Have fun.

    Kim

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    Thanks for the advice! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]


    I was wondering though, how would N longifolia do well in the same soil as N bicalcarata, N ampullaria, and N mirabilis? I want to have Nep species with similar soil, water, and light requirements in this big pot. The pot itself is going to be placed in my backyard porch, and it'll be in the shade for most of the day (less than an hour of direct sun during the early morning hours, but fairly bright shade for the rest of the day). I'm really interested in making this Nepenthes "Bog"! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Jœl
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    Joel Martínez
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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Longifolia would do fine with any soil mix Joel. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] Nepenthes can take most any approved soil mix as long as it is acidic,retains moisture and drains good. I can see this is goona be your lowland pot. All the plants in it should do very well in a shady or dappled sunlight spot. Mirabilis will do good too but make sure your humidity is high enough to support it's papery leaves! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    Actually Nep G, I was talking more about Neps that have similar habitats in the wild. Like for instance bicalcarata, ampullaria, and mirabilis all live in wet soil, and at least the first too also grow in shadier positions. I know that N longifolia also likes shady conditions, but I'm unsure of how much water it likes. I know that it (N longifolia) is related to N sumatrana, and N sumatrana doesn't like it too wet, but I don't know if this means that N longifolia doesn't like it too wet. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] I want to have as many Neps in this pot as I can, but they must have the same basic requirements... that's the problem. I checked Neps of Sumatra, and the only useful information that I found (for my problem that is) is that it's sympatric with N ampullaria, N gracilis, and N rafflesiana. So, Can N longifolia take a lot of water?

    Jœl
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    Joel Martínez
    San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Hmm....I don't see why not. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] It is a fairly easy grower in my expirence and it is just as wet as my Rafflesiana. It grows quite well in my terrarium and it fairly wet. So, IMO it should be fine. I don't see why it wouldn't be unhappy. Any one else have any ideas/advice? Tony? Jeff S.? Joachim? Martin?

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