Ask Al a Question forum: Need help asap please!

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Oct 28, 2010 9:51 AM CST
I live in Miami and went to buy your "recipe" for planting my Desert Roses. I couldn't find anything and I was told to get cactus soil by a Master Gardner at the store. It does contain Canadian Spaghnum Peat, horticultural perlite, sand, limestone and dolomite. I was planning on using coconut chips and perlite to make the mix more resistant to our rainy weather. Please let me know what you think. I was really gung-ho on trying your mix but no luck and I even went to Homestead and it's full of nurseries. Silvina Confused
Nov 1, 2010 10:42 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Hi, Silvina,

Al isn't here much. So sorry no one has spoken to you. I found Cactus mix to be very unsuitable for Adeniums.

If you can find a farm store, coarse grit, fo chickens/turkeys is good, about 30% of your mix.

Final mix for permanent plants.....1/3 perlite, 1/3 ProMix and 1/3rd poultry grit. You can find poultry grit at any farm supply store. If you can't find poultry grit, aquarium gravel is the same thing, just more expensive. If neither poultry grit or perlite is available, then a bag of pea gravel from Lowe's would work. I'm sure you see where this is going. Make sure water doesn't stand in the mix. Point is, we use what we have available. Think drainage, drainage, and more drainage.

Adeniums need water but cannot stand in water.

Hope this helps!

Nov 1, 2010 10:43 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Oh, come join us at:

Nov 10, 2010 12:20 AM CST
Hi, Melissa thanks for replying. Just started with the desert rose and am loving it. VERY new to all this. I planted the ones I have with equal parts Turface, fir bark and crushed gravel. I'm in Miami so it pours here and although the plants are on the patio, the rain still gets them. I enjoy these forums very much. Thanks for your help.

Nov 10, 2010 9:49 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Silvina, Adeniums are fine with rain, water flushing through. Water that sits in the pot is another thing entirely, and not good. Unless the plants are leafless, I wouldn't worry about rain.

Go to, look all the way at the bottom, and join a group called ADENIUM. Great bunch, and questions are more than welcome. Plus, you can learn a lot just reading what everyone discusses. If all the emails are too much, you can get a daily digest, but that doesn't show photos.

OK, have fun when you can,

MelissaThumb of 2010-11-10/coconut/27dff0

Jan 22, 2014 4:02 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
Crushed gravel is good.

I bought #2 poultry grit at a feed store, and specified GRANITE. They gave me crushed shells, I guess oyster shells.

Check the bag before they put it in your trunk!

I bought "fine pine bark nuggets" at Lowes and then screened out big pieces and most fine pieces. It was dry and clean and had only a little powder. $4.20 per bag (2 cubic feet) and WELL WORTH IT.

"Bark Mulch" from Home depot was filthy logyard trash: stones, mud and sticks along with the bark powder and huge bark chunks. Worst, it was damp and smelled fermented. $3.50 per bag (2 cubic feet) and NOT WORTH IT.

Just once, I found some very nice bark SHREDS at a fancy nursery. There was very little powder and no chips larger than I wanted. Best of all, most of it was chips or shreds: much longer than they were wide or thick. I think that gives a more open structure than spherical or cubical nuggets. It was twice the price of lesser bark products: $7.70 or $8 per bag (2 cubic feet) . It would be worth it to me for some plants, but that nursery went out of business.

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