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Rockwool of rocky head?


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#1 scott_1971_h

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Posted 20 July 2022 - 05:20 AM

Has anyone had any success starting L.Williamsii with rockwool instead of normal mix? Im thinking it's super low in organics and is fairly readily available...

Well, anyway, I am starting some on it so I'll let you know how it goes.



#2 Skywatcher

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Posted 23 July 2022 - 04:16 PM

I have used rockwool for LW seeds, and found it to be a clean starter medium. I only did this to get grafting sprouts, as it is IMO useless for growing any length of time. The tiny rootlets quickly become so tangled the sprouts cannot be transferred to a better growing material without major damage, which they cannot afford to lose.

 

If you plan to grow them any length of time, I would suggest cutting as much away as is safe, and transplanting before they have developed much root. Just my opinion scott, and if you have success, I would be interested in your ongoing methods.


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#3 scott_1971_h

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Posted 24 July 2022 - 07:36 AM

I have used rockwool for LW seeds, and found it to be a clean starter medium. I only did this to get grafting sprouts, as it is IMO useless for growing any length of time. The tiny rootlets quickly become so tangled the sprouts cannot be transferred to a better growing material without major damage, which they cannot afford to lose.

 

If you plan to grow them any length of time, I would suggest cutting as much away as is safe, and transplanting before they have developed much root. Just my opinion scott, and if you have success, I would be interested in your ongoing methods.

Yes I was going to just sprout the seeds. It might be benificial later, when it starts growing (I'm assuming after a full year) to transplant whole into potting mix as the rock wool would provide good ventilation around the stump and top of the roots (I'm using 36x36mm cubes)


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#4 scott_1971_h

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Posted 30 July 2022 - 08:01 AM

Has anyone had success using a heat mat and 'dome' with Lophopheras/Pedros (or any other cacti?) 


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#5 Skywatcher

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Posted 30 July 2022 - 08:58 AM

My preferred germination method for Lophophora is in an aquarium. It's a small 10 gal with reptile heat mat on the bottom. I cover the bottom of the inside with 1 1/2" of gravel to diffuse the heat. The tank has glass lids, and when some water is added to the gravel, the temperature and humidity remains stable at 90% and between 80-90 F.

 

A reptile heat mat can vary in temperature, and "hot spots" are not uncommon. If used under a layer of some kind of buffering media, it gets evened out and is much safer.

 

I personally like to "burp" the air at least daily for some fresh air exchange.


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#6 scott_1971_h

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Posted 30 July 2022 - 09:40 AM

Except for the gravel, that's what I was going to do. Thanks :-)


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#7 scott_1971_h

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 04:55 AM

I can report that Lophophera at least germinate in rock wool held at 20-25 degrees. 


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#8 scott_1971_h

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 05:27 AM

What does everyone do for potting media for lophophora? I'm thinking 50% commercial cactus mix and 50% perlite. What do you use?



#9 scott_1971_h

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Posted 04 August 2022 - 07:53 AM

I'm thinking cacti mix would be OK for san pedro (and swainsona formosa), but for the ones that are allergic to organic matter I'm thinking this:

 

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#10 Skywatcher

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Posted 04 August 2022 - 03:51 PM

I like a blend of mostly coarse mineral and about 30% of my crappy topsoil here. It is pretty low in organic. I do use a cactus mix that is very low on peat for succulent's and trich's. Perlite is ok to use as an additive, I just dont like it personally because it breaks down and floats.

 

It's not an exact thing for my lophs. I use a shovelful of my rocky topsoil, and add coarse sand, very small gravel, and a material called cinter, which is somewhat like a cross between pumice and lava rock. I take oyster shell and pulverise it and add some of that for lime. I also will toss in a small handful of earthworm castings.

 

For seed germination I do well with the finer siftings of the same mixture.

 

How are the seedlings doing so far?


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#11 scott_1971_h

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Posted 04 August 2022 - 07:47 PM

They are tiny but growing. About the size of the lead in a pencil. Does rock wool have any actual nutes? I'm thinking I might have to add some when they get to be the size of a pencil eraser. Maybe next year. Lophophoras are so slow.....

And where is 'here'? Texas/Arizona?


Edited by scott_1971_h, 04 August 2022 - 07:48 PM.

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#12 Skywatcher

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Posted 04 August 2022 - 09:14 PM

I'm glad they are growing well. To my knowledge, rock wool has no nutrient, its pretty much spun glass. As I said, I have never tried to grow lophs for any length of time on it, but I would consider a very dilute cactus fertilizer after two months. Something with minimal nitrogen like "Cactus Juice".

I live in Southern California, at the base of Angeles Crest mountains.  Basically at the bottom of a mountain.The soil here is composed of big rocks, little rocks, and pulverized rocks. There is very little to no organic material. It has taken me 20 years of adding amendment and mulch to be able to grow anything but scrub brush. 

 

I take the dirt I use for making loph "soil" from the secluded side yard where not much has been done to it. The mineral content is 80-90%.


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#13 scott_1971_h

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Posted 04 August 2022 - 11:32 PM

OK, SoCal would be reasonably cacti friendly. Certainly semi arid. (Similar to here but we have clay. Heavy clay, Ive lost 2 forks because their handles snapped... Its hard work...)

Do lops like worm wee?


Edited by scott_1971_h, 04 August 2022 - 11:39 PM.

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#14 Skywatcher

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 08:58 AM

Not sure what worm wee is, but if you are referring to the earthworm castings the answer is yes, but in light application. Its pretty safe stuff. Most of my cactus like it once a year.


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#15 scott_1971_h

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 09:34 AM

worm wee is the stuff that collects at the bottom of worm farms. It is the liquid fraction of worm castings. I dilute it 10:1 and water on with a can.


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#16 Skywatcher

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 05:52 PM

I totally need to get a worm farm going. It's been on the want to do list for years..........................


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#17 scott_1971_h

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 09:02 PM

You'll be able to see where the condensation dripped off the 'dome'...

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#18 scott_1971_h

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Posted 06 August 2022 - 07:16 PM

If anyone is interested: (Im hoping mine - eventually - regrow after harvest):

https://sacredcacti....og/description/


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#19 scott_1971_h

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Posted 06 August 2022 - 11:07 PM

Incidentally, looking at the above article, I have until now grown mine in relatively shallow containers, but now I'm thinking I'll have to make them normal sized, or even quite deep. I hadn't realised just how deep that taproot is. Maybe thats why my previous efforts grew quickly, then died equally quickly.

 

PS *Quickly, for a lophohophora.


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#20 scott_1971_h

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Posted 07 August 2022 - 05:03 AM

Getting back to the rockwool thing, I guess I could get some hydroponic stuff (I'm unfamiliar with hydroponics) but that may encourage algae to develop. ATM they seem to be going along OK (at the size they are, the draw of nutrient from the rockwool would be zero, or close to it) what do you think?






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