LeicesterCP

Where Did Pings Go Wrong?

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So I only have Ping 'Tina' (Mexican Hybrid) in my collection but am looking to add more, sticking with the Mexicans for now.

 

My ping is currently in a potting mix of Perlite and Peat, equal parts, and is doing well - new leaf growth and two flowers.

 

However, I've read so much conflicting info on Pings and wanted the best guidance going forward.

 

I currently grow using the tray method (about an inch of water) - this will be my first winter and I've read some people keep them moist, some people keep them dry, some people keep them the same as through the summer, so whats best?

 

Also, potting mix. I've read they like an airy mix but also with some nutrients - many growing in normal compost, loam based composts, mixes of compost, peat, sand, perlite. Some growing exactly the same as normal house plants with the same watering requirements? Do they need some sort of nutrients or is a peat and perlit mix still OK?

 

I have some fine aquarium gravel (this stuff http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/black-aquarium-gravel ) I can add to my future mixes but should I also add something with nutrients? A bit of John Innes no2? Thinking maybe 1:1:1 Peat, gravel, compost?

 

I am planning also on taking leaf cuttings - can I start these in the same medium as my adult plants? Are there any special requirements?

 

So many variations with pings I'm starting to confuse myself?!

Edited by LeicesterCP

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A lot of questions there :blink:  but to get the ball rolling I'll answer a few based on what I do which may be totally different to anyone else as everybody has their favourite method.

 

Compost: I use a more mineral mix with very little peat or coir and mostly a mixture of cat litter/pumice, fine grit or horticultural sand.

 

Water: I use tray method also but probably only to a depth of about 1cm above base of pot (excluding any "feet"). This is OK for small pots but obviously needs to be more for plants in deep pots. I use rain water only and definitely less in winter.  On hot summer days I could be topping up the tray every few days because of evaporation but in winter this could be every couple of weeks or so.

 

Adding nutrient: Mostly I don't, but have tried a very dilute orchid fertiliser which seemed to give the plants a boost. I found too much made the leaves very green and larger than without fertiliser but soon the tips browned and the leaf deteriorated. If you only have 1 plant probably best to leave the fertiliser out until you have more experience (and spare plants perhaps). I haven't tried any JI so can't comment but again if I was going to try it it would be on spare plants.

 

Leaf pullings: So this is where you'll get your spare plants.  I only take them during winter when many Pings have succulent non-carnivorous leaves. I pull the leaf away and put the ends in Tesco cat litter or perlite, keep it moist and humid, propagators or curry pots in plastic bags come in handy for this.  All being well a new plantlet will appear after a few weeks.  Sometimes the leaf pullings go mouldy and rot but I usually leave them in place because sometimes a new plantlet will eventually appear.  Some species will collapse when repotting and you'll have a hand full of instant leaf pullings to set! (not P tina)

 

Hope that helps.  As Argo said have a look at World of Pinguiculas or read up on Barry Rice's Sarracenia.com

Edited by Gaz
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Finding information on Mexican Ping potting soil is maddening - everyone seems to have their own version.  For what its worth, I use a mostly perlite mix with some aquarium sand and peat thrown in.  Very roughly I'd say 80% Perlite 10-15% peat and the rest sand.  All my mexicans seems fine in that.  I have a Pinguicula moranensis that I got from a non carnivorous nursery that seems to be in a peat mix.  Its entirely anecdotal - but it seems to grow less well than the ones in 'my' mix.   Having said that - I also have a  laueana from a well know UK seller thats in peat/moss and its wonderful.

 

I want to try cat litter when I start to propagate the leaves in the spring.

 

http://www.bonsai4me.co.uk/Basics/Basicscatlitter.htm

 

Was a link I found on this forum that is really rather fantastic.

 
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Gaz and Yunzi

 

Thanks for the thorough replies!

 

I read quite a bit on the use of cat litter in ping soil mixes so might be worth a shot.

 

My Ping 'Tina' looks to have originally come from carniflora and the potting mix seems to be overwhelmingly peat in my case. Think the moral of this story is just to try your own mixes. Amazing that we all have similar mixes for our other CP's and yet the advice on Pings varies hugely from one person to the next.

 

Think I will take some leaf pullings in winter and try growing them on in a mix of Perlite, Fine Aquarium Gravel, Cat litter and Peat until I find a winning concoction. All part of the fun I guess!

 

Yunzi do you keep your Pings dry over winter?

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I personally wouldn't use the aquarium gravel you mentioned If you read the description it says something about resin coating to reduce dye leakage. For Mexican pinguicula I use a mix of 2 vermiculite, 2 perlite, 2 sponge rock think the brand is growstones? 1 unipac tana sand (don't use for other cps as it contains some dolimite), 1 fine silver sand (kelkey). They grow a bit more slowly in this mix than say something with organic matter that would have some nutrients in it, but with bigger and much more healthy looking roots. I've used a lot of different mixes in the past and really anything that is moist with some good drainage is fine. I started trialing this all mineral mix when I wanted to start getting into the species that die back to onion like bulbs that like it dry during this period.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards

Mark

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I personally wouldn't use the aquarium gravel you mentioned If you read the description it says something about resin coating to reduce dye leakage. For Mexican pinguicula I use a mix of 2 vermiculite, 2 perlite, 2 sponge rock think the brand is growstones? 1 unipac tana sand (don't use for other cps as it contains some dolimite), 1 fine silver sand (kelkey). They grow a bit more slowly in this mix than say something with organic matter that would have some nutrients in it, but with bigger and much more healthy looking roots. I've used a lot of different mixes in the past and really anything that is moist with some good drainage is fine. I started trialing this all mineral mix when I wanted to start getting into the species that die back to onion like bulbs that like it dry during this period. Hope this helps a bit. Regards Mark

 

Well spotted!

 

Think I'll nip down to Tesco this evening and pick up some of that cat litter. Try a mix of Litter, Perlite and Peat to begin with and then take it from there.

 

Any advice on the moist/dry situation?

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Currently i use 50% vermiculite/perlite, stood in water. Although some are not stood in water, some with peat, some get orchid fertiliser occasionally some are outside in full sun, some fairly shady.

They all grow.

I only stick to a few main rules, two much fertiliser is bad, too much water in winter is bad, dripping water on the center leaves can be really bad.

If you want big green lush looking plants, give a little fertiliser and keep them shady, if you want paler, smaller plants, no fertiliser and keep them brighter...

These guys are barely potted in anything, just a few mill of perlite/vermiculite.

28247335302_913195d30f_z.jpg

Edited by manders
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Thought this might be interesting, same clone under different conditions,

29105476421_4e7fb47fe0_z.jpg

yes but what are the different conditions

Jim

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Thought this might be interesting, same clone under different conditions,

29105476421_4e7fb47fe0_z.jpg

 

Are those in shade manders? If so how much shade are we talking? Look like lovely strong plants.

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Here shows the problem. Using a formula for the media on its own is not the whole story. The conditions (humidity, light level, 'airiness', foliar feed or not, temperature (including extremes/variation), in Winter, in Summer, how much watering, etc) are what should accompany anybody's recommendation for growing media. Growing on a windowsill inside a house will have a lot less humidity than a plant growing in a greenhouse or terrarium. These plants do not have much in the way of roots. The environment above ground is as important as below.

 

My guess for manders plants are left: north/east/west facing windowsill (foliar fed), middle: south facing windowsill (or shaded greenhouse), right: greenhouse (a little shade, little or no feed). Or thereabouts!

 

Also, different plants have different preferences. They come from many different habitats; some grow on cliff faces, some in damp forests. Some are more fussy to grow than others.

Edited by jimfoxy
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Not a bad guess Jimfoxy,

 

Left:  >70% shade hot and humid (with orchids in a greenhouse some fertiliser and a it of peat in the compost)

Middle: around 60% shade, no peat, no fertiliser

Right:  In the garden in full sun.

 

Moranensis types seem very adaptable, most others are similar, but i cant seem to grow gypsicola :(

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