Growing tips

Here are some ideas how I growing my mesembs and Haworthias:


Few words about my sowing.


Any reasonable is fine.

I am using my regular “self-forming structure” mix:

10% sandy loam

10% organic material (1:1 leaf mold : coconut coir)

20% coarse sand

40% coarse perlite/charcoal/pumice/lava rock/“Turface”

20% pea-sized gravel


“Turface” is available over US in many specialized stores. I am buying from “Ewing”. 50 lb bag (1.35 cu ft) of Turface MVP at the price $16.20.


I am using “Happy Frog” soil as a leaf mold now.


Update. At the beginning I thought that 100% “Turface” may be rather good substrate both for sowing and growing most of Haworthias, mesembs, cacti. But it turns out that culturing in it require adequate watering. Some species doing well in it, some – O.K, but some could not grow for long period in it and slowly dying. It looks like plants requiring more water suffering the most. Side by side comparison of my regular substrate, 1:1 mixture of my substrate with 100% “Turface” and 100% “Turface” show significantly better results in growth, blooming and general appearance in my original mixture then in 2 other substrates over the course of 3 years (1:1 mixture shows intermediate results). So, unfortunately, I am switching back to my original substrate mixture.



Most plants will do fine in 2.75”, 3.25”, 4.25” or 5” pots. For sowing using 2 1/4" SQ X 2 1/2" DEEP for Haworthias and Conophytums (2 1/4" SQ X 3 1/2" deep for Lithops and other mesembs) ANDERSON DIE &MFG. CO. Good for 25-49 (5X5 or 7X7) seeds, 100 seeds per 2cmX2cm as Hammer suggest in Bauer book - too much in my hands.


Filling pot with regular substrate. 1-1.5 cm on the top - finer substrate. Dry seeds - placing on the top of the soil, covering with the coarse sand ~80-90%. I am not covering with the film/glass, just watering every day. Kipping soil moist, not dump. Germination starts in 2-4 weeks (5-7 days for mesembs).



I am using ~0.1g/liter Miracle Grow tomato plant food 18:18:21 or Jacks Prof 77010 General Purpose Fertilizer, 20-20-20 with pH adjusted to 5.5-6.5 with every watering.



58oF-70oF (15oC-21oC)