Newbie needs soil help(killing plants)

Discussion in 'Araceae' started by emandeli, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. emandeli

    emandeli Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
    Totally ignorant/newbie mistakes and need advice please!

    I fllowed some advice online (not here) for some tropical plant (Aroids) by mixing a small portion of coconut coir with a whole bunch of perlite, a little bit of orchid potting mix that has bark, charcoal and pumice in it. But then I ran out and couldn’t find extra so I just bought course orchid bark and then mix it with some of the coir, pumice etc but Was hoping it could do until I could get some potting soil that would work. My small town does not have anything.

    Since putting plants in it they are now dying. Here are things I noticed or are wondering:
    -drying out too fast in certain areas.
    -too gritty/ I think it has too much perlite in it and not enough potting soil stuff?
    -didn’t amend (ie lime?) for adding coir or bark, did this ruin them?
    -It’s not holding together well enough but what it was in was too sticky and never drying out ( purchased like that).

    Could anybody help me please? I feel so done with this all and it’s upsetting to know I’ve done it to them. I have a bunch of other ones that it’s not quite right either.

    Is There a brand of indoor potting soil that is good for aroids? Is there a soil recipe that I can make Bigger amounts but key to frequently purchased or easier to find ingredients? Any help is appreciated thank you.

    ** I am not sure how to put pictures right in my post yet. So I’ve tried to attach them
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,667
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    I would have just bought a basic potting medium I had heard or seen somebody not with a vested interest say was a good brand, stuck them in that. Otherwise the general appearance of your plants now is of ones that are being kept too wet. And maybe too cold. But it is also true that the potting medium shot looks like the mix has never been moistened all the way through. With uneven drying not being my immediate expectation.
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,615
    Likes Received:
    442
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    emandeli likes this.
  4. bihai

    bihai Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    FL USA
    You are talking about the standard mix I use for almost all of my aroids that are epiphytic. I use equal parts of pumice (or coarse perlite), chopped coconut husk, orchid bark, charcoal, and depending on the plant I am potting up, I may also add Aliflor (LECA) or crushed lava rock. I will sometimes add an equal part of a soil free potting mix (like Promix or Jungle Growth) and sometimes not. I might add powdered Dolomite for plants that I know typically grow on Karst.This mix was developed to give the epiphytic roots of plants that might normally not be growing in a substrate (but might be growing attached to a rock face, a tree or some other support as an epiphyte) a loose porous mix to help prevent root rot from the overwatering that most houseplant growers tend to do. I water my plants in these mixes DAILY. The mix you use needs to be tailored to YOUR growing and watering practices. If you know how you water, if you tend to overwater, you need lighter mix. If you tend to underwater, maybe you need a mix that holds more water longer. There is no 'ONE MIX" for everyone. Each grower has to experiment and find what works best for them in their growing environment with their own normal practices.
     
    Tom Hulse likes this.
  5. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Marysville, WA USA
    That's really good advice, bihai. Emandeli, for me personally, I divide aroids up into two main groups: The first group is common, less-expensive types I grow in the regular dry portion of my house. They get my basic houseplant soil mix with a little extra drainage material, and I try to tune the mix to only water once a week. But the second group of rare or difficult aroids I grow in higher, artificial humidity and use fast-draining mixes. The type of plant and type of pot will also affect the watering frequency, but I shoot for twice a week watering on the second group.
    Keep in mind when you move up to the fast draining mix that almost ALL your nutrients have to be available in liquid form when water. The soil gets washed too often to break down, for instance, urea-based nitrogen in cheaper fertilizers or standard organic fertilizers. So brighter light and better fertilizer will really up your game now that you've graduated to a fast-draining mix. :)
     
  6. bihai

    bihai Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    FL USA
    Here is an example for you. This is an Anthurium veitchii, which is a highly epiphytic species. I have two of these mounted, one on a large bore 12 ft tall coir mat wrapped totem, and one in the V of a Bauhinia tree. I also have 5 specimens growing like this one. All of these are the progeny of a single plant that I have had for almost 20 years. This one grows in a greenhouse in epiphytic mix on a coir lined basket. The roots have left the basket, like epiphytes will. Until the coir liner deteriorates, I will do nothing. Because this is how the plant wants to be. When it gets too ratty, I will get another coir liner, fill it with epiphytic mix, and attach it to the bottom of this one. Basically just for support. I water almost daily, with a hose. First photo, basket, 2nd, top growth.
    The second plant in the 3rd photo is an Anthurium radicans x luxurians. This is a terrestrial hybrid, made from 2 terrestrial species. It grows in a regular container with a mix that starts as the porous mix, but has more added actual potting mix. It gets watered almost daily in SUMMER, when the temps are 90F and water gets used up. In winter, every 3 or so days.
    The last photo is one of my Anthurium reflexinerviums. These plants, I keep potted in nothing by Aliflor (LECA) and crushed lava rock. Why? Because in nature, this plant is a lithophyte. It grows on Karst, and if its roots get smothered in too much soil, it will do ok for a while, but will eventually start to decline from root rot. (I learned this by experience). These get watered daily. Water that the roots want, they take. The rest drains off.

    And Tom is 100% correct. Liquid fertilizer is optimum. Select one that supplies all of the trace and micronutrients, not something like Miracle Grow.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page