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Trichocereus soil mix


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Hi folks,

I've just acquired a very nice young Trichocereus/Echinopsis terscheckii from The Palm Centre on sale.

It definitely needs repotting, and I want to get it going really well, so I've been nosing around for the "best" soil mix. I've gotten hold of some pumice ("lava rock"), and I've got, I think, the other general ingredients, but a couple of sources recommend including limestone.

Any facts or opinions on this?


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Ok Gaz,

So I tried to find out about its native soil. Not much helpful info out there about that, but it seems to be mineral, volcanic, and there was some mention of limestone. This cactus is big and fast growing, so I really went to town to pretty much make this new pot its permanent home. https://photos.app.goo.gl/L263CTD9YSI96oIB3

For some reason, I have no allowance left for uploading photos, so it's all going to have to be links.

This is the pot - https://photos.app.goo.gl/sW30CNexFEzjv43e2 - it's an awesome hand thrown pan, 13" x 6½", only £15! From here - http://www.thepottingshed.co.uk/

Also, had to bear in mind how once you take a soil and plonk it in a pot, it behaves very differently. Mainly, it holds water much more. So you usually have to take measures to increase the drainage and aeration. You can do this by what you use in the mix, and by using a wick to lower the perched water table.


Soil mix (approx)


1 Part Verve topsoil - yes, from B&Q! I was actually really happy with this because it has an obvious clay content. (I love clay!)

1 Part RHS potting grit

1 Part RHS horticultural grit sand

1 Part Pumice ("lava rock")https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007FPZIBO/ref=pe_3187911_185740111_TE_item &  http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/pumice-bonsai-soil-cactus-soil-alpine-soil

½ Part Tufa


I spent a little while chopping up the lava rock from Amazon with secateurs, whilst spraying it to keep the dust down - https://photos.app.goo.gl/MWg6Jj9zCn8eGz1Z2 . The tufa was already crushed.

This is the end result - https://photos.app.goo.gl/RpRxNflFwpvSR8jx1

So I installed a couple of wicks into the bottom of the pot in case I need them - https://photos.app.goo.gl/QXQ80iy0j0TG0dEV2 . I’ve tried a few different materials for this, and this is the best one I’ve found for mineral soils - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4mm-Nylon-Para-Cord-Many-Colours-High-Quality-Thread-Cord-Jewellery-Camping-/331184078702?var=540381299153 . And put just one crock in the bottom just big enough to cover the hole. No layer of gravel or anything else, as I found out it does not help drainage! believe it or not, it makes it worse, and when the small particles have filtered down through it, it makes no difference. This has been shown by soil science experiments, I can give links for this.

I used this on the roots, first spraying them so it would stick - https://photos.app.goo.gl/9nmclidHjHZ6k9Wh2 & https://photos.app.goo.gl/SOnxEMnVb9OCLKdP2

Everything in place :biggrin: - https://photos.app.goo.gl/bKM4d1KXdAVWaUH22 Since I learnt the true facts about clay pots and soil, I stopped putting a top layer of gravel etc on the soil, as it means the soil takes even longer to dry out. This is a frost-proof pot, so it is non-porous so it won't lose water through the sides or bottom.

Final position :biggrin: - https://photos.app.goo.gl/jVtmV27skxlRD5HA3 - Don't worry, it faces SW and it is the morning!

Here's the whole album - https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZICVUrZl1Xp7rDq63

I just love doing all this stuff!



Edited by Karsty
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