May update

I’ve mixed together one part bone meal with one part blood meal for my organic fertilizer this year. I put a big spoonful into these imported tea bags.

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I mixed up some new soil for my tropicals this year the mix is 50% Dry Stall pumice, 25% Turface, and 25% pine bark.The thinking here is that the large percentage of pumice will keep the root ball well aerated, the Turface holds the moisture, and the pine bark has a high cation exchange capacity as well as holding a little more moisture. A lot has been said about the evils of Turface, but I think the problem with it creating a poor root system or having dry spots is from using it for too much of the mix. I can’t recall the exact number, but I think the company themselves recommend only using Turface for 10-20% of the growing medium.

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My bougainvillea that I’ve been growing out needed repotting. It wasn’t in dire need, but by the end of the year it would be. It’s been in this pot and soil mix for nearly two years now.

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I combed the roots out, cut the big ones off and/or back, then rinsed most of the old soil off. Once it was potted I put some of the fertilizer tea bags on the soil, sat it on the underside of the branch, and watered it thoroughly. This is right before I rinsed the roots out. Not bad for a root system created with a hodgepodge of leftover soil ingredients (Turface, diatomaceous earth, quartzite grit, lava rock, and pine bark).

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The bougie hasn’t sulked a bit after repotting. I hope this reinvigorates the plant. I haven’t cut anything off of it for almost two years in an effort to fatten it up. I think it’s gained quite a bit of mass in that time. I didn’t document this one very well so the best I can do for a before picture is this (it’s the little stick in the middle).

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I wish I could just plant it in the ground, but it’s not bad for growing out in a pot.

Published by

Charles Willis

Bonsai!

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