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Pinguicula Soil Mix for Houseplant Settings?

Joined
May 4, 2014
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85
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Near Chicago
I grow my Mexican pinguicula as houseplants. Usually, they do really well and thrive under my conditions. However, this year I have had a few losses to browning heart disease. My soil mix is peat/silica sand/dolomitic lime added. The ratio of peat/sand is ~40/60 with 1/2 tbsp of dolomitic lime per 2 cups of mix. I am thinking about changing to a lighter mix, but I worry it may be too dry for houseplant conditions. Does anyone have experience in growing pings as houseplants and having a very light and airy soil mix? If so, what are your mixes? Would a 20/80 peat/rock-based mix be too dry?

Thanks!
 

DragonsEye

carnivorous plants of the world -- unite!
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Nov 17, 2011
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I have. Couple growing in straight Turface and they're doing fine. Others are in a variety of mixes. Almost all of mine are grown as houseplants. Do lose a couple now and then but overall they don't terribly picky.
 
Joined
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I second what DragonsEye says. I too grow several different Mex Pings like you as houseplants and currently most are in all inorganic mixes, either turface or a sand, perlite, vermiculite (60/20/20 more or less) mix and they all do fine but two pings are growing in a organic cactus mix I bought in the store. On the bag the cactus mix says it contains "40-50% peat humus, sphagnum peat moss, sand, perlite, earthworm castings and dolomitic limestone to adjust pH". It also contains a bunch of different kinds of Ectomycorrhizal and Endomycorrhizal Fungi. The plants growing in the cactus mix are doing just as well as the ones growing in the inorganic mixes, at least for now, time will tell how they do long term.
I have heard of people growing Mexican Pinguicula in sand with a little vermiculite and straight perlite, cat litter, regular potting soil, and dirt dug up from their garden, both with and without inorganics mixed in, so if you want to try a 20/80 peat/sand mix my guess is it will do you just fine, just be careful not to over water and to give them enough light.
 

gill_za

Never Knows Best
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Avoid organics in the soil mix. Organics lead to problems such as what you are describing and others such as proliferation of fungus gnats.
You can use straight Turface as suggested above (John Deere sells it, don't get too fine stuff). Another substitute is PondCare Aquatic Planting Media (APS) which tends to be cleaner, has less TDS when wetted. Some wallmarts have it and it can be used as is.

I have experimented with a variety of mixes that included APS, Sand (never use fine stuff from home depot, find industrial quartz, where each grain is about 2-3mm), Small lava rocks and Perlite in equal ratios or slightly favoring APS. Perlite tends to occasionally induce algal growth so at the end the mixes that had the lest amount of it remained algae and moss free the longest.
I strongly suggest washing your soil components individually with tap water first to remove fine particles and then several times with DI water to lower TDS. Also dont mix stuff too vigorously as sand will grind turface and perlite and produce a lot of fine particles.

Pings benefit from a bit of Red Iron oxide in the soil. And it is also good idea to cover the surface after planting with 1/4" of washed sand to keep moss at bay.
If you are concerned with soil washing out from the pots use a bit of grass shield fabric on the bottom (Home Depot/Wallmart)

Hope it helps.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
192
Avoid organics in the soil mix. Organics lead to problems such as what you are describing and others such as proliferation of fungus gnats.
You can use straight Turface as suggested above (John Deere sells it, don't get too fine stuff). Another substitute is PondCare Aquatic Planting Media (APS) which tends to be cleaner, has less TDS when wetted. Some wallmarts have it and it can be used as is.

I have experimented with a variety of mixes that included APS, Sand (never use fine stuff from home depot, find industrial quartz, where each grain is about 2-3mm), Small lava rocks and Perlite in equal ratios or slightly favoring APS. Perlite tends to occasionally induce algal growth so at the end the mixes that had the lest amount of it remained algae and moss free the longest.
I strongly suggest washing your soil components individually with tap water first to remove fine particles and then several times with DI water to lower TDS. Also dont mix stuff too vigorously as sand will grind turface and perlite and produce a lot of fine particles.

Pings benefit from a bit of Red Iron oxide in the soil. And it is also good idea to cover the surface after planting with 1/4" of washed sand to keep moss at bay.
If you are concerned with soil washing out from the pots use a bit of grass shield fabric on the bottom (Home Depot/Wallmart)

Hope it helps.

I suspect that the chlorosis (white/pale color) common in cultivated pinguicula is a direct result of insufficient iron.
And yeah no matter where you're growing your Mexican pinguicula use as little organic matter as possible. It will work okay, for a while. It does make them weaker and much more prone to disease though.
 
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Joined
Apr 24, 2005
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LE MANS - FRANCE
Bonjour

I use for a lot of my mexican but also my temperate and caraibes this media

-cat litier 50% ( with sometimes acadama)
-river sand 12.5%
-calcareous sand 12.5%
-pouzzolane 12.5%
-vermiculite or perlite 12.5%

for the gypsicole just pure gypsum with river sand 50/50

if you have some possibility , outside when you have no frosts , here in Europe we can get them outside from mid May to mid October

for me the iron oxide has no effect on the ping but also no disadvantage :oops:

jeff
 
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First time I have heard to avoid organics. Wish I had known earlier. I grew my Pinguicula outside but I could never keep them long term. I lost all of mine over the winter.
 
Joined
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Near Chicago
Thank you all for the suggestions. I think I will keep 10-20% peat just for some moisture retention, but I will definitely try a higher mineral-based mix now.

Merci pour ton suggestion, jeff 2! Je parle Français aussi si tu veux parler de plantes.
 

tommyr

Gardening freak!
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Hudson Valley of N.Y.
Mine are in 50/50 peat and perlite in a west window. They do just fine. In the hottest months I close a sheer curtain across the window to reduce the Sun intensity.
 

jimscott

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I've also tried a variety of combinations, including APS. I've pretty much settled in on sand, perlite, and egg shells.
 
Joined
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LE MANS - FRANCE
Bonjour

si ton sable a été roulé par l'eau de rivieres les arêtes seront moins vives et donc abimeront moins tes plantes.

jeff
 
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In case you don't speak French or Google translate doesn't pan out, he said that if the sand was sand that had been smoothed out by ruining water (like a river) then it would be less likely to damage your plant's roots
 
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In case you don't speak French or Google translate doesn't pan out, he said that if the sand was sand that had been smoothed out by ruining water (like a river) then it would be less likely to damage your plant's roots

I speak French, so it was no problem. I understood what he said. Thanks.
 
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