Your soil mix, tell us

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I was reading in the forum different recipes for our palm soil mix.

The palmtalkers are using peat moss, perlite, Seramis, veemiculite, pine bark, etc. With different proportions and mixes.

Tell us your recipe and its advantages.

I am using this soil mix: 50% pine bark, 25% gross peat moss and 25% baked clay.

This is my common mix. It has good drainage and air circulation. My palms grows fast and i can water a lot in summer and feed. And in Winter it is not too moist.

For loving water palms, for example Archontophoenix, my mix is 50% peat moss, 25% pine park, 25% baked clay.

For other palms with root rot problems or dry soil lovers, like Dypsis decipiens, Ravenea glauca, Laccospadix, Chamaerops, my mix is 50% pine bark, 50% baked clay.

Every materials are cheap, very important if you have hundreds of plants in a pots.

This is the materials

IMG-20160125-WA0014.thumb.jpg.3032fe5238

And this is the result: My Carpoxilon macrospermum. The first picture when arrived to my house last year 14 April, 2015 and the other picture two days ago.

IMG-20160125-WA0019.thumb.jpg.aa9df9cf73

IMG-20160125-WA0018.jpg

Edited by Monòver
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I've been using a mixture of Palm and Succulent soil, perlite, and sand that RobustaEnvirons told me about on here. I put even amounts in the pot and then mix it all together. I started growing palms in pots a few months ago and at first I used 100% potting soil and that was a horrible experience.

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Most of mine are in 70/30 (pine bark/sand) custom commercial type mix and for the trachys, sabal minors, rhapidophyllum hystrix, etc I use up to 10% clay loam. This overall is about the best blend I have found for all mine.

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I am using a common mixture from local nursery, but sometimes i had some peat moss or sand.

My dypsis decipiens dont bother about permanently moist soil :rolleyes:

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On 1/25/2016, 2:28:57, Monòver said:

I was reading in the forum different recipes for our palm soil mix.

The palmtalkers are using peat moss, perlite, Seramis, veemiculite, pine bark, etc. With different proportions and mixes.

Tell us your recipe and its advantages.

I am using this soil mix: 50% pine bark, 25% gross peat moss and 25% baked clay.

This is my common mix. It has good drainage and air circulation. My palms grows fast and i can water a lot in summer and feed. And in Winter it is not too moist.

For loving water palms, for example Archontophoenix, my mix is 50% peat moss, 25% pine park, 25% baked clay.

For other palms with root rot problems or dry soil lovers, like Dypsis decipiens, Ravenea glauca, Laccospadix, Chamaerops, my mix is 50% pine bark, 50% baked clay.

Every materials are cheap, very important if you have hundreds of plants in a pots.

This is the materials

IMG-20160125-WA0014.thumb.jpg.3032fe5238

And this is the result: My Carpoxilon macrospermum. The first picture when arrived to my house last year 14 April, 2015 and the other picture two days ago.

IMG-20160125-WA0019.thumb.jpg.aa9df9cf73

IMG-20160125-WA0018.jpg

Nine months!!!:o

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Yes, only nine months. If you have fast drainage, in the growing season you can water every days and put fertilicer with the water. With this, every palms grows like rockets.

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55 minutes ago, Monòver said:

Yes, only nine months. If you have fast drainage, in the growing season you can water every days and put fertilicer with the water. With this, every palms grows like rockets.

Wow, si ya veo. What fertilizer you use?

Edited by foxtail
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What about lava rock to improve drainage?

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Drainage is the most important thing.

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After getting frustrated with pre- mixed potting soil, i started mixing my own, varying the ingredient ratio based on where a particular species originates. Since many of the plants in my collections like or must have well draining soil, 40-70% of the mix starts with Pumice..   why is this stuff so hard to find here in FL. anyway.. Other stuff for drainage includes Calcined clay.. AKA Turface, Gro-Stones, a Pumice-like product made from recycled Glass, and the smallest Lava rock i can find.. or create.

For Organics; Potting soil, compost/ Mushroom compost, Collected leaves/ pine needles, Coffee/ Tea grounds, and occasionally pine or fir bark, ..all dependent on what level of acidity is or isn't needed.

This year, following something Meg and a couple other forum members had mentioned in a prior thread, i also decided to experiment with specific soil mixes and add chunks of Limestone to the soil mix i made for all of my 1-3 gal Coccothrinax, and crushed several pieces of Serpentine i had and added it to the mix i made for my seedling Cop. cowellii. Also like using rock dust and  stuff like silica Clay occasionally.

After years of note taking, i stopped using stuff like Manure, Sand..of any grade, Perlite, and Peat moss. Perlite floats/blows away, Manure is generally to rich/retains too much moisture, Sand..  Too wet/dry, not enough air space/compaction, Heavy..forget it, and Peat Moss.. Don't get me started.

As complicated as some of my mixes sound, the idea is to try and simulate favored soil conditions as best as possible.

A couple examples:

Berberis haematocarpa, Bursera, Alluadia dumosa, Delonix decaryi/ pumila: 50% Pumice, 30% calcined Clay, 10% Gro Stones, 10% organic (potting Soil)

Hoya/ Epi Cacti: 40% Pumice, 30% chunk Coir, 10% Oak Leaves 10% Gro stones, 10% Potting soil.

Pinanga coronata, Chamaedorea, rich-soil lovers: 40% Pumice or Gro Stones, 40% Organics, 20% Calcined clay. Maybe some crushed leaves/ grounds if they like/require the extra acid.

 

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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Peat is greate, so log it does not drie up completely! And sometimes it gets very wet in a moist enviroment. Coir is better in this respect and it lets itself become moist again nicely. I use coir in every mix but for the very intolerant spp. It gets mixed up wiith perlite also easily with less floating effect of latter.  So in the regeular soil mix I use coir, organic soil, perlite (not the peaty one for indoor palms but rather suitable for outdoor plants), pine bark, zeolite and pumice. I can not tell exactly the ratio of each used ingredient, because everything is done empirically. For some desert palms or palms producing initially a long sinker, I prefer using solely pumice in deep pots, which are placed on a grid above soil level; this way I can water them every day, even when exposed to winter temps. 

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@Silas_Sancona what is the granulometry of the pumice you use? Pumice is GREAT so long it is well rinsed and it could be the absolute medium, if it were available in various sizes.

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It seems here in Australia (I can only speak for around Brisbane) that we seem really restricted to the ingredients available to make a good soil mix. We have the usual perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, coir etc. I've never seen any lava rocks, clay pellets or even any sort of loam. I've asked at a few landscape centres and the only thing they had was brickies loam which looked like a horrible sand/cement mix. What do others here in OZ use for their mixes and am I just looking in the wrong places. When I visited Hong Kong recently they had large and small bags of all sort of useful ingredients at the famous flower market.

Great thread by the way!

 

Regards Neil

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On 1/25/2016 10:48:20, nitsua0895 said:

I've been using a mixture of Palm and Succulent soil, perlite, and sand that RobustaEnvirons told me about on here. I put even amounts in the pot and then mix it all together. I started growing palms in pots a few months ago and at first I used 100% potting soil and that was a horrible experience.

So far the worst potting soil I've made was mixed with corse sand. It sucks so bad!

Usually I just buy "SuperSoil" for palm and cactus. If I want more drainage and faster drying soil, I just mix pumice or perlite with it. Easy and simple. Get ir done!!

 

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100% marble pebbles; here an example with Chamaerops hum. var. cerifera 11 years old:

56a8e0ae62fd8_Chamaeropscerifera2015-04-

PS: recommended not for all palms, :P but very good for Chamaerops as "real" bonsai. :greenthumb:

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Oops, the bonsai is already 12 years old, germinated in spring 2003.

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53 minutes ago, Danilopez89 said:

So far the worst potting soil I've made was mixed with corse sand. It sucks so bad!

Usually I just buy "SuperSoil" for palm and cactus. If I want more drainage and faster drying soil, I just mix pumice or perlite with it. Easy and simple. Get ir done!!

 

Well there is always the question how coarse is 'coarse'. But generally I share a similar experience. Sand can be heavy and to saline and basic. It works fine outdoors when mixed with clayish, compacted soil but not so on pot. The most spectacular growth by me was achieved with the use of REALLY coarse, not commercially gathered,  river sand, but it concerned phoenix hybrids, which are in every case vigorous growers and not at all picky about the soil composition. On the contrary however with 'sandy' zeolite; it lets itself ideally mixed with composted soil.

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6 minutes ago, Phoenikakias said:

Well there is always the question how coarse is 'coarse'. But generally I share a similar experience. Sand can be heavy and to saline and basic. It works fine outdoors when mixed with clayish, compacted soil but not so on pot. The most spectacular growth by me was achieved with the use of REALLY coarse, not commercially gathered,  river sand, but it concerned phoenix hybrids, which are in every case vigorous growers and not at all picky about the soil composition. On the contrary however with 'sandy' zeolite; it lets itself ideally mixed with composted soil.

I agree 100% with you. I used "corse sand" to make a raised planting bed for my CIDP. It works great in there for some reason. Not so much in pots...

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IMG_20160127_372.thumb.jpg.def5a81a22dea

I agree 100% with you. I used "corse sand" to make a raised planting bed for my CIDP. It works great in there for some reason. Not so much in pots...

 

The ants love the corse sand. I've had ant problems ever since I brought in all that sand. But I've learned to live with them and don't even bother with them. Sometimes they nest near or under some palms or plants and doesn't seem to bother them. I think they might benefit the soil some how...:indifferent:

 

 

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Whatever mix is used, the keyword is MIX. All the components should be mixed up very well, otherwise when its time to pot up, the rootball falls apart due to bands of perlite that weren't mixed in properly earlier. Seen it happen :D

 

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1 hour ago, Pando said:

Whatever mix is used, the keyword is MIX. All the components should be mixed up very well, otherwise when its time to pot up, the rootball falls apart due to bands of perlite that weren't mixed in properly earlier. Seen it happen :D

 

The greatest part of the total time I spend for the preparation of the mix, is related to the mixing action. And it is so time consuming (when it comes to bulky quantity), that I think of buying a bigger cement mixer.

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7 hours ago, Phoenikakias said:

@Silas_Sancona what is the granulometry of the pumice you use? Pumice is GREAT so long it is well rinsed and it could be the absolute medium, if it were available in various sizes.

Konstantinos,

Usually just purchase pre- packaged Pumice which varies in size. Saw  you had mentioned Zeolite.. something i haven't yet experimented with. Totally agree that in some cases, one could use a soil mix of nearly 90%+ Pumice.. read something recently regarding Cacti having better developed root systems/ better overall health when grown in exactly that kind of mix.

As for Peat, the " dries out/shrinks and is hard to re-wet/ can retain too much moisture under varying circumstances has been my biggest gripe and why i started using Coir which i find is much more consistent + the added bonus of Coir possessing some degree of natural components that help combat soil born pathogens.  Still, Peat has it's place since some plants absolutely must have it for the acidity it provides.

The one thing i forgot to add before is that, even though i have had a lot of success using varying soil mix formulas, i have no doubt lost things. Sometimes a great mix is just too good.

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I'm lazy. I use this for palms & citrus. Drains really well & doesn't dry out like potting mix...

 

4103_MG_GardenSoil_FULLSIZE_720x405.jpg

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15 hours ago, Laaz said:

I'm lazy. I use this for palms & citrus. Drains really well & doesn't dry out like potting mix...

 

4103_MG_GardenSoil_FULLSIZE_720x405.jpg

This potting mix is a good option if you only have a few small palms, but for big pots or great number of palms, i think will be expensive.

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$7.97 for a 2 cubic foot bag.

 

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2 hours ago, Laaz said:

$7.97 for a 2 cubic foot bag.

 

I am spanish and i do not now what is a cubic foot:(

Lol

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Heres my potting mix I make, One bag of good organic potting soil, 2 cubic Foot for $6.00 and one bag 1 cubic foot of Organic compost with steer manure for $1.50, all from the big box stores.  This way it feeds and give lots of air to the soil and keeps the pots from getting to heavy. 

If you don’t like pea moss in your soil than use coconut bark, plants love the stuff. 

Edited by Palm crazy
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3 hours ago, Monòver said:

I am spanish and i do not now what is a cubic foot:(

Lol

Different metric system, being related to imperial (British) one. Equals about 300 lt

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22 minutes ago, Phoenikakias said:

Different metric system, being related to imperial (British) one. Equals about 300 lt

Thanks!!! 

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I think 1 cubic foot is rather close to 30 liters (28,32 liters to be exact). 1 foot equals approximately 30cm.

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22 minutes ago, Hamal said:

I think 1 cubic foot is rather close to 30 liters (28,32 liters to be exact). 1 foot equals approximately 30cm.

We have a problem with cubic foot:floor:

Ok, 30 lliters. Thanks!

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;)

 

xlxv95.jpg

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I'd be interested to learn if anyone uses or knows of good uses for the bonsai supplements know as akadama, or red rock. I can't ever find the oft-recommended coire or Miracle-grow or pumice, etc. that are mentioned often on PT, but I see akadama at every shop I visit. Any recos for me?

Jt

image.jpg.7f4294852d8f454f2820c495cef0b2

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I have not used akadama myself, but I have been following the bonsai community in Germany, because I decided to follow their recommendations of using 4-8mm crushed baked clay, pumice or lava combined with about 20% pine bark or peat moss. They say akadama can be used, but it will eventually decompose into clay (which in very small amounts is probably OK, but should be avoided in general). Especially in colder climates, the decomposition occurs even faster. So they recommend to repot every 2-3 years if you decide to use akadama.

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The three main ingredients of my “standard” soil mix (only!) for small potted palms that require a fast drainage, and one example for a special palm (Syagrus insignis): Pine bark 2-8mm, Seramis® (baked loamy clay), LECA.

56ae1ec1893a5_23IngredientsP1010003.thum

56ae1ec63570d_14SoilSyagrusinsignis.thum

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On 1/27/2016, 8:28:28, Danilopez89 said:

IMG_20160127_372.thumb.jpg.def5a81a22dea

I agree 100% with you. I used "corse sand" to make a raised planting bed for my CIDP. It works great in there for some reason. Not so much in pots...

 

The ants love the corse sand. I've had ant problems ever since I brought in all that sand. But I've learned to live with them and don't even bother with them. Sometimes they nest near or under some palms or plants and doesn't seem to bother them. I think they might benefit the soil some how...:indifferent:

 

 

Is that a coco in the far right corner near the CIDP? :) 

If so that is a GREAT spot to get one to a good size to fend for its self. :greenthumb:

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4 hours ago, Josh-O said:

Is that a coco in the far right corner near the CIDP? :) 

If so that is a GREAT spot to get one to a good size to fend for its self. :greenthumb:

It is a coco. Its Actually two cocos. 

I originally planted 3 coconuts. I planted them October 2014. One died after the cold week we had in late December 2014.

These two made it to Summer 2015. I wasn't careful enough and at some point  my sprinklers began to spray them directly and they died.

That's a nice spot to try and grow coconuts in my yard. Gets plenty of winter sun and those walls make it a nice microclimate I think. 

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Once that CIDP starts moving your going to need a bigger yard... :o

evcg46.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Laaz
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22 hours ago, Laaz said:

Once that CIDP starts moving your going to need a bigger yard... :o

If that CIDP had been planted in a pot, you could move it easily into your living room:

56afe54e488ea_PhoenixcanariensisFrankfur

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Most times i use compressed coco peat. I'am not sure what it is they sell it as bricks here in Holland. You only have to add water and it wil expand in to quite some medium that looks and feels like the coco peat sold in bags. The biggest diffrence being there seems to be no fertlizer at al in there, witch i think is a good thing.   To this I usualy add some perlite, sand or normal potting soil depending on where the palm comes from. Dreir Climates meanes more perlite and palms that like haevier soil get more sand and potting soil. This way you get a very light weight mixture that never stays wet for to long and is easy to water when dried out. A problem i experienced with normal potting soil a lot is that once it is dry it's very hard to get it wet again.

When i transplant a palm i put it in this mix without any fertilizer only some palm booster for rooting. When it starts showing some growth i add some specialized palm fertilizer. 

But i'am still experimenting with differend mixtures until i find the most ideal one.

Akadama i only know from the aquarium hobby. When breeding shrimps it is used to stabelize the ph.

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