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Monòver

Your soil mix, tell us

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Pal Meir

Looks tasty … ;)

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Phoenikakias
On 7/2/2016, 4:27:31, Mohsen said:

Pal,

i need to find replacement for pine bark...I can't cut them in small prices as it will take forever :( 

YIMG_20160214_113806.thumb.jpg.09eaf669eaIMG_20160214_115700.thumb.jpg.a765704667o Mohsen, are you interested in some pesto made of oyster shells? Some caribbean palms must love it! ;)

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Mohsen
19 hours ago, Phoenikakias said:

YIMG_20160214_113806.thumb.jpg.09eaf669eaIMG_20160214_115700.thumb.jpg.a765704667o Mohsen, are you interested in some pesto made of oyster shells? Some caribbean palms must love it! ;)

seems tasty too :) 

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knell

I received two large bags of pumice today, the final mineral peice of my soil mix puzzle to start my experiments with the Pal Meir method. My adaptation, instead of pine bark and Seramis, is coco croutons and pumice (redwood bark / planting mix for the plants that require extra richness).

Pal's standard soil mix method is amazing and simple: study the palm's habitat, adjust the ratio of chunky organic parts to porous mineral accordingly, while mixing them well to maximize drainage. I think I have that correct...

although I must add that no soil mix will help you without the true passion and dedication that the masters in the forum show through their tireless efforts to grow beautiful palms.

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JT in Japan
On 06/02/2016, 08:46:02, Pal Meir said:

No, no! That’s the same as Kokohum®! It is too fine so that the drainage won’t be fast enough and the soil will become soggy! What you need is a much coarser coir (ca. 1cm).

Here's a question for Pal, or other masters of the soil. I found this product on the Japanese sites, and I'm wondering what it is, and if "Bellabon" is some brand name I've never heard of. Second part of the question is: is "S" size too small for my palms, or should I go one bigger?

The Japanese in the ad says it is "chips from palm fruit" and that it is patented.

JT

57023bf78243b_Screenshot(1)_edited.jpg.7

bellbon-edited.jpg.52b3acf58cf32789e3b53

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Pal Meir
10 minutes ago, JT in Japan said:

Here's a question for Pal, or other masters of the soil. I found this product on the Japanese sites, and I'm wondering what it is, and if "Bellabon" is some brand name I've never heard of. Second part of the question is: is "S" size too small for my palms, or should I go one bigger?

The Japanese in the ad says it is "chips from palm fruit" and that it is patented.

JT

The Japanese text says that it is coconut chips, i.e. coir. I think the M size (ca. 5 mm) looks best for small pots, but the bigger the pots the more coarse coir (L size) you should add.

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Monòver

I am agree,the M size for small pots and L size, big pots.

The first time you use the coconut, you must water a lot. The coconut may have salt, and you must clean this salt with water.

Edited by Monòver

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cassowaryhill
On 14/02/2016, 01:07:45, Mohsen said:

 

IMG_5051.JPG

So looking and learning.. Im realising that Potted palms in organic mixes are killers.. They hold water too much.. 
Iv managed to track down expanded clay pellets in Melbourne.. At one tiny little shop... 

What are you using @Mohsen

 

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_Rob_

Last weekend I found a source of cocos-croutons comparable to the M size in JT's post but slightly more coarse with a little more fibrous material, pressed into bricks similar to the coir bricks!

Best thing was price : 69 cents a brick, and nicely packaged....!! I tested with two bricks, and they provide 6-7 liters each, with excellent drainage for smaller plants. I used 30% cocos croutons, 50% potting mix with Perlite included, 10% fine lava (4-8mm) and 10% pine bark for potting a bunch of Chamaedorea now.

 I feel more tests coming up. Might have to build a house with these, so I have a steady supply :)

Edited by _Rob_

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knell
5 hours ago, _Rob_ said:

Last weekend I found a source of cocos-croutons comparable to the M size in JT's post but slightly more coarse with a little more fibrous material, pressed into bricks similar to the coir bricks!

Best thing was price : 69 cents a brick, and nicely packaged....!! I tested with two bricks, and they provide 6-7 liters each, with excellent drainage for smaller plants. I used 30% cocos croutons, 50% potting mix with Perlite included, 10% fine lava (4-8mm) and 10% pine bark for potting a bunch of Chamaedorea now.

 I feel more tests coming up. Might have to build a house with these, so I have a steady supply :)

double check the packaging and make sure it has been rinsed of all the salt... i get suspicious of cheap coir. great find!

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_Rob_

Checked today...I had one of the wrappers still in yard...unfortunately there was little to no info on it Knell.

Is it recommended to rinse products like this ?? Is there a way of measuring salts?

Thx

 

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knell
On May 5, 2016 at 9:21:30 AM, _Rob_ said:

Checked today...I had one of the wrappers still in yard...unfortunately there was little to no info on it Knell.

Is it recommended to rinse products like this ?? Is there a way of measuring salts?

Thx

 

i rinse any coir that isnt labeled as rinsed just to be safe, although if it is advertised  for horticultural use it is probably fine

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_Rob_

These compressed chips are designed for bordercover - nevertheless its not specified and i will proceed to rinse. I did manage to secure a small stock and will carry on pioneering in this field :) 

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Patrick Palms

I am having problems finding good Palm Tree Feed?   I read some where that tomato féed is also good for Palns..  Is that true ,    its, for young 2 gallon Washingtonia Robusta

 

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Pal Meir

The ingredients, the mixture, and the proof that the palms love it: :greenthumb::D

5777d86811030_SoilMixLinsigneIMG_877779.

5777d870c7123_N14012016-06-30IMG_877374.

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Monòver

The secret for a strong roots and healthy palm. 

Fast drainage and the Pal Meir mix is perfect.:greenthumb:

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cm05

Wow, I never thought about using a special mix for my palms, I've been using potting soil + perlite. Meanwhile I grow cacti/succulents in a special gritty mix and have plenty of odd ingredients on hand.

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Pal Meir

These are the pots my Lytocaryum weddellianum N°1301 (germination *2013-04-01) was planted in:

(1) 2013-04-07 – 2014-01-19; (2) 2014-01-19 – 2015-05-07; (3) 2015-05-07 – 2016-08-23; (4) 2016-08-23 (4b is used as saucer)

And this is the soil mix for the present pot (4): pine bark 2-8 mm 6/10 + Seramis® 3/10 + LECA 1/10 + LECA layer on the bottom ca. 1.5 cm

57bd79b68d359_N1301fourpotsIMG_8947.thum

 

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stone jaguar

Pal, et al:

Just a few observations on components of mixes for potted palms and so forth;

- Seramis, as far as I know, is not commercially available in the US yet. It is occasionally sold online in small quantities by people who bring it in for specialty carnivorous plant growers, etc from Germany or the UK. It would be great to have a good source of Seramis or, alternately, unfired-laterite granules in the "States for some very picky plants, particularly those originating from the Upper Amazon area and parts of the Choco. Very fine red lava gravel or akadama  for bonsai applications can be a fair substitute. Indeed, as Floribunda an other Hawaiian growers have shown, graded crushed lava in general can be a great standalone medium if fertilization quirks are addressed.

- LECA/hydroton, etc. can be used very successfully in palm mixes over the long-term. Indeed, I use huge amounts of it to grow tropical aroids and orchids. I have successfully grown a few very, very tricky dwarf palms in LECA + coco fiber chunks in large net pots for almost six years. It is not Seramis in appearance nor action but lasts, essentially, a lifetime.

- ALL coco fiber, regardless of the source, should be treated as highly suspect with regard to infused salt. As a rule, I rinse well, then soak for at least least three days with twice daily changes of fresh water before using. Even with this regimen, almost overnight I recently blew the leaves off a batch of rare anthuriums from what appears to have been residual sea salt left in the mix.

- Fine grade, composted, pH adjusted NZ bark from Pinus radiata plantations sold worldwide under the Orchiata "Precision" brand is ready to use out of the bag and is so far superior to other commercially available conifer barks for tropical horticultural use it is startling. I highly recommend it.

- Crocking pots or putting a deep drainage layer of coarse medium (gravel, LECA, broken clay pots, etc.) has been shown to be a  no-no by any number of respected growers for quite some time. The abrupt change in flow profile creates a water table just above the drainage layer that will result in root rot if the pots are not watered with the greatest of care. Besides the wasted pot space, roots are essentially being "pruned" by terminal rot on a constant basis if kept permanently moist. This is particularly the case in stem succulents. I have grown tens of thousands of seedling and adolescent palms in pots and have never had an issue with not using a drainage layer. If you need to keep media from dribbling out of drainage holes, I recommend a layer of shade cloth cut to appropriate size, or a single, small square of this material if you are only covering a single hole at the bottom of a large ceramic pot. The need for crocking the bottoms of pots is one of the most widely-held, stubbornly-embraced myths of contemporary horticulture.

- I have recently begun experimenting with medium grade Japanese pumice (hyuga at 7-9 mm) as a primary component (>50% by volume) for mixes for notoriously touchy things like Pinanga ridleyana seedlings. This is NOT standard horticultural grade pumice, which is what I base all of my potted palm and succulents mixes on. While relatively costly, is an amazing component for media where you want to be able to flood pots without causing the media to spill out. Definitely worth a look for use with uncooperative species originating from free-draining soils and massive amounts of rainfall as well as rheophytes.

Cheers,

J

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Pal Meir
53 minutes ago, stone jaguar said:

Pal, et al:

Just a few observations on components of mixes for potted palms and so forth;

…………

- Crocking pots or putting a deep drainage layer of coarse medium (gravel, LECA, broken clay pots, etc.) has been shown to be a  no-no by any number of respected growers for quite some time. The abrupt change in flow profile creates a water table just above the drainage layer that will result in root rot if the pots are not watered with the greatest of care. Besides the wasted pot space, roots are essentially being "pruned" by terminal rot on a constant basis if kept permanently moist. This is particularly the case in stem succulents. I have grown tens of thousands of seedling and adolescent palms in pots and have never had an issue with not using a drainage layer. If you need to keep media from dribbling out of drainage holes, I recommend a layer of shade cloth cut to appropriate size, or a single, small square of this material if you are only covering a single hole at the bottom of a large ceramic pot. The need for crocking the bottoms of pots is one of the most widely-held, stubbornly-embraced myths of contemporary horticulture.

…………

Very informative comments! :greenthumb: One top I can’t agree at all is your remark about the LECA layer on the bottom of a pot. I had never the bad experiences you are describing. The LECA layer caused the roots not growing through the holes but through the soil above inside the pot. That was my experience with layers of 1 to 2 cm; cf. also my pics of Lytocaryum insigne roots below.

57bdd15bb6a75_15N14012015-04-26IMG_8268.

57bdd17dc78f6_N14012016-06-30IMG_877374.

And here my latest potting mix which I used today for a repotting of the L insigne N°1401 after only 55 days:

57bdd2c91423e_SoilLinsigne2016-08-24IMG_

57bdd2ceab92a_SoilLinsigne2016-08-24IMG_

And last not least the LECA layer on the bottom: :D

57bdd2d2dca00_SoilLinsigne2016-08-24IMG_

 

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stone jaguar

Really, Pal? I can clearly see the bottom of your pot in a number of spots in that last photo! It looks like it was barely two LECA spheres deep. With expected settling, it is essentially a perfect continuum of your very well thought out main grow mix. Please note that I did specify "deep drainage layer" in the post. From your writings I also surmise you are also obviously very careful and conscientious about how you irrigate and care for your plants. Your example as shown is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a thick drainage layer like many of the "books" and the "experts" on 'net still recommend.

I don't care to get into a debate about the pros and cons of crocking pots since it is settled science as far as I am concerned. People are free to decide whether I am right or wrong on this topic. I know from my library that old school German cacti and succulent growers swore by this practice. I have very knowledgeable orchid growing friends who defend this practice fiercely. A bit of research by those interested into published work over the past decade or so will show that a number of commercial AND amateur nurserymen who have done replicated experiments involving many thousands of plants (e.g. acclaimed American stem succulent breeder and specialist, Dr. Mark Dimmit) have pretty much shown (again) that this is not only unnecessary (orchids) but usually harmful to the root health of potted plants (other ornamentals) in the hands of the home grower.

As I wrote, it is indeed a "stubbornly-embraced" myth.

Cheers,

J

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Pal Meir

Here still one PS: I did not add the LECA layer for my five Lytocaryum itapebiense seedlings. This had the result that the tips of some lateral roots or even the radicle grow through the holes so that they dried or got broken. For my ten L insigne seedlings I had used the same pots, but with 1 cm LECA layer. Not a single root had grown out of the holes, not a single root dried out or got broken.

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DoomsDave
On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2016‎ ‎2‎:‎32‎:‎54‎, Phoenikakias said:

YIMG_20160214_113806.thumb.jpg.09eaf669eaIMG_20160214_115700.thumb.jpg.a765704667o Mohsen, are you interested in some pesto made of oyster shells? Some caribbean palms must love it! ;)

CRUNCH

CRUNCH!

CRUNCH!!

Oh, yummy! :drool:

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DoomsDave

Hmm.

For what it's worth, I've found that soil for outdoor pots should be very different from indoor pots.

Indoors, the plants don't get the wind (unless the house gets a hole blown in it . . ), or the sun, so faster drainage is much better. More perlite, vermiculite, etc. Even peat works okay because it has less of a chance to dry out. This also applies to greenhouses, in my experience, so I note the posts here with great interest.

Outdoors, on the other hand, water retention is best, but not pure humus. Mix that drains too fast is a recipe for death by dry at my place. Most potted palms in the sun get watered every couple days in the summer, twice a week in the winter unless it (hopefully?) rains. Peat! No! Run screaming! When it gets dry it's the Devil to wet well again. That applies to milled peat moss and whole moss from Sphagnum. I have no experience with "coco peat."

I've had vigorous "rooty" palms root through multiple layers of different stuff and make a "parfait" rootball, of all the different layers. (Not a good practice.) Less vigorous palms will stop at barriers. And, the 800 Pound Gorillas root right into the ground . . . . (unless you put them on the concrete).

Don't reuse old potting mix that's been around more than a year. The humus deteriorates and it's no good any more for outdoor plants.

 

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Pal Meir
29 minutes ago, DoomsDave said:

Hmm.

For what it's worth, I've found that soil for outdoor pots should be very different from indoor pots.

Indoors, the plants don't get the wind (unless the house gets a hole blown in it . . ), or the sun, so faster drainage is much better. More perlite, vermiculite, etc. Even peat works okay because it has less of a chance to dry out. This also applies to greenhouses, in my experience, so I note the posts here with great interest.

Outdoors, on the other hand, water retention is best, but not pure humus. Mix that drains too fast is a recipe for death by dry at my place. Most potted palms in the sun get watered every couple days in the summer, twice a week in the winter unless it (hopefully?) rains. Peat! No! Run screaming! When it gets dry it's the Devil to wet well again. That applies to milled peat moss and whole moss from Sphagnum. I have no experience with "coco peat."

I've had vigorous "rooty" palms root through multiple layers of different stuff and make a "parfait" rootball, of all the different layers. (Not a good practice.) Less vigorous palms will stop at barriers. And, the 800 Pound Gorillas root right into the ground . . . . (unless you put them on the concrete).

Don't reuse old potting mix that's been around more than a year. The humus deteriorates and it's no good any more for outdoor plants.

 

For potted outdoor palms I used mainly a loamy granite grus which held the moisture but had also an excellent drainage:

57bdf0ca2d31c_Archontophoenixwatering198

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DoomsDave
Just now, Pal Meir said:

For potted outdoor palms I used mainly a loamy granite grus which held the moisture but had also an excellent drainage:

57bdf0ca2d31c_Archontophoenixwatering198

You get rain!

Life is just a rainy day to run through . . . . dancing and singing.

MV5BNDE1NjU1MDQ4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODY5

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Pal Meir

An update of my Lytocaryum soil mix ingredients, as the supplier of pine bark (now »3-8mm«) has changed:

57c08055e4b74_SoilIngredientsP1020648.th

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sashaeffer

All this mystery is why I buy palms of any size in the pots they've been growing in. Them getting used to my environment is paramount before potting up when they outgrow their pot.

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Pal Meir
4 minutes ago, sashaeffer said:

All this mystery is why I buy palms of any size in the pots they've been growing in. Them getting used to my environment is paramount before potting up when they outgrow their pot.

I think that is at first the best way. :greenthumb: But the problem you have with your (countless) palms seems to me to be more one of the way you water them (too little?) … :indifferent:

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sashaeffer

I realize that just because they come in their pots watering must be modified possibly as well. Usually depending if palm will be a indoor palm or outdoor palm.

When it comes to watering, growth rate (in my mind) also is considered..  It's always on ongoing learning experience.

 

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Pal Meir
24 minutes ago, sashaeffer said:

I realize that just because they come in their pots watering must be modified possibly as well. Usually depending if palm will be a indoor palm or outdoor palm.

When it comes to watering, growth rate (in my mind) also is considered..  It's always on ongoing learning experience.

Most soils of commercial growers may be good or ideal for professional greenhouse conditions, but not for a normal living room in temperate regions … :bemused:

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stone jaguar
3 hours ago, Pal Meir said:

Most soils of commercial growers may be good or ideal for professional greenhouse conditions, but not for a normal living room in temperate regions … :bemused:

It is just that simple.

Honestly, Pal, this quote needs to be front and center on the introduction to this board. It is key to success with non-traditional palm species in pot culture indoors.

J

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Pal Meir

This 30 years old Chamaerops humilis bonsai (which had lost almost all its roots some time ago) got a new pot (inside 18x18x23 cm) with a »special« soil:

1 cm marble pebbles on the bottom + 20 cm LECA + 2 cm marble pebbles on the surface + moss for new roots from the main stem

57c45554307c3_Chamaerops_19862016-08-29P

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Brian F. Austin
On 8/24/2016, 2:09:35, Pal Meir said:

For potted outdoor palms I used mainly a loamy granite grus which held the moisture but had also an excellent drainage:

57bdf0ca2d31c_Archontophoenixwatering198

Bumping an old thread here... I thought this tidbit about outdoor pots is important.

i have access to plenty of decomposed granite. Which I think is the same  as loamy granite grus. What would be a good mixture to grow P. Dactylifera and W. Filifera outdoors? They would be in a similar sized pot as in the photo above, but clay.

I have access to decomposed granite, pumice, coco bricks, finished cow compost. Pine bark seems to be hard to find. Thanks!

Edited by Brian F. Austin

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Monòver

I don't know how is descomposed granite. But for this strong palms, growing outdoors may be 75% coco bricks and 25% pumice will be a good choice. I don't like compost or manure in pot soils, but if it is full descomposed, may be you can put a litle bit.

Edited by Monòver
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Phoenikakias

I have grown in yogourt cups without drilled drainage holes Livistona inermis (it is supposedely a  difficult palm to be cultivated)  using as substrate finely granulated zeolite, perlite and a prise of pine bark and coir. Everything is about medium for the cultivation indoors.

IMG_20170410_184608.thumb.jpg.ca7599800bIMG_20170410_184354.thumb.jpg.115c8409cdIMG_20170410_184412.thumb.jpg.9bbfedea96

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Pal Meir
2 hours ago, Phoenikakias said:

I have grown in yogourt cups without drilled drainage holes Livistona inermis (it is supposedely a  difficult palm to be cultivated)  using as substrate finely granulated zeolite, perlite and a prise of pine bark and coir. Everything is about medium for the cultivation indoors.

I would drill some holes in the pots. L inermis is growing on steep slopes in pure rock and full sun:

5920651c69eb9_Livistonainermis79N09-1212

5920651f94d2e_Livistonainermis79D09-2302

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Phoenikakias

On long term of course. I wanted only to show that with a proper substrate (and the controled conditons inside a room) one can grow also an infamous for its drainage needs species in a pot without drainage openings (yet). It remained without openings because seeds had been sown for germination in this very same pot.

Edited by Phoenikakias
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GottmitAlex

It's called "Black magic". My B. Alfredii seedlings like it.  They're potted outdoors and I water them every three days.

k0kn6e.jpg

4hw7sh.jpg

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