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Hoffman horticultural charcoal for cephalotus soil


Never Knows Best
Hi All,

I would like to find out if anyone had experience using Horticultural Charcoal like the one below as an additive to the soil for Cephs?


Couple of days ago I divided and replanted my Cephalotus in a mix that contained Charcoal (~10%) as per the soil recommendation I have seen on other resources. The soil also contains peat, sand, small orchid park and APS, it is well draining. I never used charcoal in the soil before and since this Ceph is the lone survivor from my old "grand" collection, I would like to keep it happy. Old soil mix was about 2yrs old and plant was overtaken by carpet moss.


P.S. Long time no post. Glad to see some familiar names.
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I, personally, have never heard of charcoal being used for any kind of cp mix, with a possible exception to nepenthes. Hope that helps.
There are a number of complex "recipes" of recommended substrate mixes for Cephalotus that include charcoal. The so-called "Charles Brewer Mix" probably being the best known.

Cephalotus follicularis - compost

Personally I've not found any benefit to such complex mixes. Sand, perlite and peat moss in equal parts by volume work just as well for me. YMMV.
Thank you for the replies. One reason I added charcoal was to "lighten" the soil as my first version of it (which was based on the premixed peat:sand I got online) was not draining at all due to very fine sand and peat particles. The V2 version mix is now 4:2:1:1:1 peat:sand:charcoal:bark:aps. It may be an overkill but I guess I will keep the mix as is and hope that the newly divided plants like it.
I've never used charcoal with ceph's. However, I have used it with orchids and nepenthes, and I know many do. I don't notice any real difference with nepenthes, though in orchids I've noticed that charcoal takes forever to dry out. It is one of the last components to dry, and in cases of root rot it always seems worse around the charcoal when I repot. I know thats a) ironic given it supposedly "purifies" and b) very different from what everyone else experiences, but there it is.

In any event, I tend to avoid it now with orchids. Because of the wetness I've seen, I don't think I'd ever try it with cephalotus.
I have never used it but my thoughts is that it won't make a difference either way. Want the lighten the load do away with sand.
My best mix seems to be peat, perlite and turface.

I have never used orchid bark in my mixes either. Not that any of those are bad. Cephs are less fussy about soil mixes.