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  • Writer's pictureadrianne

Adventures In Gardening

In my spare time (hahaha) I like to putter around in my greenhouse and care for my succulents. And while I’m still Not A Green Thumb, I’m researching and learning more & more. For instance, I’ve learned that succulents hate to sit in wet soil, root & stem rot is the biggest killer of succulents, and most commercial potting mixes—even the Cacti & Succulent Soil—are not optimal for succulents because they hold in too much moisture and take too long to dry out.

Succulents are scrappy little plants, and they will live and grow even in sub-par conditions, as evidenced by my little collection surviving with the care of my limited knowledge. But I want my plants to thrive, so I’ve been reading & researching and trying different mixes. One that showed promise was a mixture of 3 parts soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 part coarse sand. While it drained pretty quickly, it stayed wet too long.

I stumbled recently upon a recipe for a “Gritty Mix” that is actually a soilless mix. After reading everything I could find on it, I decided to give it a try. There’s three ingredients, mixed in equal parts. I won’t bore you with the details of each individual part; suffice to say you end up with a mix that is light & porous and won’t clump around tender roots and smother them.

There‘s some variations to the mix, but here are the ingredients of my mix and where I found them:

  1. Repti-Bark (ordered from Chewy)

  2. Poultry Grit (Tractor Supply)

  3. Floor Dri (Napa Auto Parts)


When mixed, it looks like this:


This evening, I repotted a few plants. First up was this guy, and I know he looks rough. I bought him at Kroger at the end of the season, and he looked even worse then. I had doubts that he would make it, so I’m actually pleased at the progress he’s made. Time to give him a boost.

I watered him a few days ago, and you can see his soil still looks wet.


I removed the loose dirt and then gently washed the remaining dirt off the roots. They looked good-no sign of rot-and surprise! He’s put out a new little rosette on his stem!


Before adding the new mix to his pot, I cut a small piece of screen to cover the drain hole so it doesn’t wash out.


He’s repotted now, and we’ll see what happens. Happy Plant=Happy Plant Momma

I repotted a few other plants as well.




My plan is to repot everything before I move it all outside in the Spring. I’m hoping to locate a more economical source for the bark before then. It has to be a certain size, and even the pine bark mini-nuggets sold at HD are too large. I need whats called Pine Bark Fines, and I haven’t located a source for that yet.

That wraps up this episode of Adventures In Gardening With Not A Green Thumb. If you’d like more info on the Gritty Mix, send me a message. I’m always happy to share.






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