soil mixes

Barry Meyers-Rice (
Thu, 27 Jan 94 08:54:53 MST

>I've long wondered about whether acid vs. basic makes any difference.
>Years ago it was said that Drosophyllum NEEDED basic soil. I've grown
>it in what I presume to be acid soil with no problems. I mean, do these

I've read it too, but I think it's nonsense. I've never grown it in
anything other than milled _Sphagnum_ (not great results), or sand/peat
(good results) which is what Paul McMillan uses with great results.
Right now I have them in a 5 gallon pail: the top layers are sand/peat,
the bottom is sand/gravel/rocks, and the middle layers grade smoothly
between these mixes.

>ping soil i use is the one recomended for mex pings by the ping
>study group. by volume: 2 parts corse perlite
> 3 parts corse vermiculite

Thanks for this info, Kevin. Does the Ping study group suggest anything
for European-hibernaculum forming species? I am trying some _P.longifolia_.
For now I have them in a pot of vermiculite, with a thin top covering
of sand so I don't lose the hibernacula...

In the spirit of experimentation, I've ordered some Osmunda from Mellingers
to see what that stuff is like. Orchid growers have loved this for a long
time, but I guess it's too expensive now. I'm hoping I may be able to use
some of it for a few epiphytic _Utrics_. I've never seen the stuff!

#125 grit sounds kind of small. The builder's sand I use is called #30
mesh size. Have you seen the white sand used in hotels for cigarette
ash-trays? It's the same thing. Granulated sugar or salt is a good

Thanks for that information about the diatomaceous earth. I was unaware
it was made of silica! I would have thought the shells were made of Calcium
Carbonate, like the rest of the reef-builders in the ocean...

>I had outside made it (except some _P. caerulea_ when the leaf mulch blew
>off). I did have frozen and burst pipes too.
****** ***** *****

Hah hah hah! :) (sorry)

But I left Chicago for a reason!