Hi I\'m new and peperomia question

Edmonton, Canada

Hi guys. My name is Mike, and I live in Edmonton Canada. Been growing tropicals and lightly researching plants and soil science for 20 yrs. I love rock dust and interested in organics. I'm developing a real interest in gathering materials from nature/the forest/river like bark and sand and clay, to use in my growing.

My Question:

I found some peperomia marmorius/caperata leaves at the green house and walmart and rooted them and transfered to promix, then homemade potting mix with a bit of clay in it.

I have an old book from the 70's that says homemade potting mix with 1 part builders sand, 1 part garden soil hi in clay content, 1 part humus"(generally sold in the form of rotted compost or peatmoss)" is a good mix for most house plants, but i think they have different soil in NY where the book was written. The book also says that pepromias "grow best in bright light and a mixture of 2 parts clay to one each of sand and humus. Allow the mixture to dry out between waterings." So i thought id give them a bit of clay, but admittedly i am now a bit confused about the watering.

They are limping along and i am thinking of tranferring to non organic 15 yr old miracle grow or schultz tropical potting soil and just giving them npk fertilizer, for a while. I would rather do organics and have most of the common houseplant soil ingerdients as well as seaweed and rock dust and aged compost, but don't want to spend any money on this.

They are in a north window with a reflective white house next door, some of them are under cheap 4 ft flourescents.
But i will probably put them outside for the next 2 months.

I'm looking for advice on a course of action to get these plants growing bigtime, or at least normally. Sorry if this was a little long and i will also search the site for aditional info.

Thanks and have a nice day

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Potting mixes tend to hold more water than they release, not sure I like peat-turns rock hard if there isn't enough moisture, so you get Catch 22. There may be info in the Plantfiles that give you better ideas- sorry I don't grow pepperomias...welcome to the forum, and wish I could help more. I do know bagged soils this year are being churned out super fast, so make your adjustments more to what you need than who bags it. For me, I see clay in my sandy loam as something for the plants roots to hold onto. When potting water plants we use a cleaned clay in net baskets to sink into the water- gives roots a place to bind to and root firm.
There isn't a lot of activity in the forums these days, so don't despair if no one else sees ya, just bust on into our Propagation chat thread, and maybe some folks closer to you will know how to answer better.

Edmonton, Canada

Cool, thanks Kittriana

Edmonton, Canada

Plant roses in the ground?

Fort Worth, TX

I live in Texas. Peperomia looks like something I'd have to water a lot, although it is a beautiful plant. Best planting mix I found this year was a Miracle Gro Organic from Costco - and it's fabulous. Mixing my own, I would be going to the rock yard to buy the sand, although I do make my own compost, and clay, if I dug up my yard for all my pots I wouldn't have a yard, I use Black Velvet topsoil from lowes and mix that with sand and lighter compost, but it isn't a great mix, partly because I haven't had time to turn the compost pile in 2 years. (might take a backhoe.)

on planting roses in dirt, I make a 10 to 12 inch cutting and stick it 6 inches into the ground or into a pot in my garden area where it will get watered in November and if it is a good sturdy variety, well I have a 20 year old Queen Elizabeth that started that way, and I'll be starting a new bush from her in November or December.

Take this with a large geographical grain of salt, I'm in North Texas. And I think Peperomia might need to be inside during the winter.

Edmonton, Canada

Thanks for the reply, Gypsi. I did indeed try out the miracle grow or schults..can't remember which. But the plants in it are growing bigger than in my own concoction. I tried to identify the ingredients and it looked like little dark brown grey black wood chips about 1/4 inch long 1/16th of an inch wide, that and powder - it was pretty old.

Ran out of nitrogen I think though, because the leaves are lighter than the plants in the clay based mixture - twice the size though. But yeah - the clay seems to grow a darker leave - even after two years without fertilizer - just some fishtank water for the most part, and not very dirty at that. I think I used yellow grey clay.

Also i have discovered that you can put some clay and or dirt in your potting mix - which i think adds nutrition and cation exchange capacity (to store nutrients and maybe buffer things). Don't panic if it doesn't drain, include compost and rock dust, I had some old potting mix included with peat and small ammount perlite, let it sit open, and in a week (by my experience, maybe longer) it will drain. My drainage time started at over a minute in a 4 inch pot, and after a week, it poured right through on the first pass, and took about 20 seconds to drain the second watering. Thats a week after the ingredients mingled.

This is my second attempt at using clay/clayey dirt. The last one was a year ago and after the succulent potting mix sat around for months, it was able to drain very well. This was after i tried adding continually more drainage promoting material, and barely achieving the first pour through of water to dran in 1-2 mins, imediately followed by another pour thhrough which would take about 3 minutes to drain if i remember correctly. But the big point is, given time, this soil with clay (i think the compost and rock dust all reacted) developed adequate drainage.

I just thought I'd try to quickly include some details, as i haven't heard much about this.

Fort Worth, TX

Clay holds nutrients very well, drains eventually, and if it's under the foundation of your house, shrinks when it dries out and damages foundation and house. I know this part real well, it is a significant ingredient in local soils and watering the clay is all that has preserved my current foundation, as it plumps when it is watered.

nitrogen does cause greening and rapid growth, insufficient nitrogen yellow leaves and slower growth. I think.

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