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Potting soil and fertilizer for S. Divinorum? Options
 
#1 Posted : 8/29/2015 5:59:49 PM

Psilosopher


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Hello my dear fellow Nexians!
I have been meaning to start growing Salvia Divinorum for a while, and finally the time has come to get my hands dirty.
In a good week I should receive two established plants (+- 30cm tall), which I will first give a few weeks to settle in and get used to the new conditions. After they have adapted and grown a bit taller I will take a few cuttings and attempt to get those growing as well.

Today I went out to a local garden center to purchase some materials in preparation:
- a few small pots (10cm diameter) for the cuttings
- a few bigger pots (30cm diameter) to repot the cuttings in after they have outgrown the smaller pots
- saucers for underneath the pots
- some bamboo sticks to support the stems once the plants have grown taller
- potting soil
- clay pellets to put in the bottom of the pots to ensure good drainage
- perlite to mix with the potting soil to ensure the mixture is nice and airy (I was recommended vermiculite, but didn't find any at this specific garden center. Perlite should also work fine I've read, and can also come in handy for mushroom projects)

I have no real experience potting and tending to plants, so I had a few questions about the soil and fertilizer:
- I have read that Salvia Divinorum prefers a slightly acidic soil and fertilizer. I have bought potting soil specifically for acid-loving plants, as this seemed preferable to regular potting soil. Can anyone verify that this would be a good soil for my plants?

Quote:

DCM Potting soil Heather , azalea, hydrangea & all acid-loving plants is an excellent, ready-to-use potting soil of professional quality ideal to pot and repot all sorts of acid-loving plants. This potting soil is made up of high quality types of peat and other extra nutrients:

Organic fertilizers that gradually provide nutrients for a calm growth and long blossoming during multiple months. These organic fertilizers are an energy source for numerous bacteria. A good bacterial activity is essential for the development of strong and healthy roots.

Naturally low PH
Modified mixture of types of peat: The modified acidity (pH) of this potting soil ensures that the plants can absorb nutrients optimally for a fresh green leaf color and a rich blossoming during multiple months.

BLACK PEAT

Iron
Plays an important role in the creation of chlorophyll and ensures a deep green leaf color.

For which plants?
All acid-loving plants and many plants of Japanese origin like Heather , azalea, Rhododendron, Skimmia , Blue Hydrangea, Pieris , Pernettya , Camelia, Calluna , Wintergreen , Kalmia , gorse , broom , Magnolia, Witch Hazel , Globe Thistle , Juneberry , Acer palmatum and japonicum.


- I have read that most people use "generic" (whatever that means) fertilizer for Salvia. I've also read that the fertilizer should be acidic or neutral, and that using basic fertilizer can well kill Salvia plants. Can someone with knowledge/experience tell me what I should be looking for when I'm buying fertilizer? I live in Europe and will likely not have any of the popular US brands available, so it would be nice to know more about what nutrients should (not) be in the fertilizer I should be using.

What are the dangers and symptoms of over -and underfeeding fertilizer?
The only thing I know is that yellowing of the leaves is supposedly a symptom of iron deficiency.

Here is my idea of proper plant care for S. Divinorum after a few days of gathering information:
- Allow plants to adjust to new environments, Salvia is sensitive to sudden variations in temperature/humidity, etc.
- Make sure the soil is slightly acidic and airy, well-draining (mixture of acidic potting soil and verm/perlite, clay pellets at the bottom of the pots)
- Suspend pots over bricks to ensure that the bottom drainage holes can also provide plenty oxygen
- Do not overwater, rather wait for soil to dry up inbetween waterings and possibly wait until leaves start to droop ever so slightly before watering again.
- Feed a little bit of fertilizer every third watering
- No long periods of direct sunlight (I am planning on putting my plants in a corner of my indoors verandah which is situated in the northwest of my house. That way it should get plenty indirect light from the windows, but not much direct sunlight)

Any tips and extra information is more than welcome, I am excited to get ready to propagate this plant Thumbs up

UPDATE: Added a picture of my plants on the day I received them. The leaves are drooping a bit, and a few leaves have tiny brown/black edges, but I think they look pretty great considering what they have been through. I have given them a little bit of water and am now letting it adjust to their new conditions:


"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." - Albert Camus
 

Good quality Syrian rue (Peganum harmala) for an incredible price!
 
T.Harper
#2 Posted : 8/31/2015 4:44:08 PM

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Everything you have listed seems on point.

Id stress that give them time to establish and acclimate to the space....Messing with them while they are young---moving around for diff sunlight, under/overwater, taking cuttings, shocking with fertizlierrrr, too much/too little humidity will kill them pretty quickly, but once established they are very strong plants.

The only fertilizer I use is worm poop & worm poop tea, my plants always seem to be very happy with this.



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slewb
#3 Posted : 9/7/2015 2:19:12 AM

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If the plants are already established, I wouldn't put them through the stress of two transfers. Rather than putting them in your 10cm pots and then transferring to 30cm I would say just put them straight into the 30cm (or bigger, if possible) pots and save yourself and your plants the trouble down the line.
 
#4 Posted : 9/12/2015 11:57:04 AM

Psilosopher


Posts: 205
Joined: 30-Jul-2012
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Location: International waters
Thanks a lot for the helpful replies. My plants arrived today, and are looking excellent considering they've been in transit for 5 days (pics will follow later) Love

slewb wrote:
If the plants are already established, I wouldn't put them through the stress of two transfers. Rather than putting them in your 10cm pots and then transferring to 30cm I would say just put them straight into the 30cm (or bigger, if possible) pots and save yourself and your plants the trouble down the line.

The plants were shipped to me in 10cm pots, so I do not need to do two transfers, only one. I am going to first let them adjust to my conditions, and after a few weeks take a cutting or two and repot them in my 30cm pots.

T.Harper wrote:
Everything you have listed seems on point.

Id stress that give them time to establish and acclimate to the space....Messing with them while they are young---moving around for diff sunlight, under/overwater, taking cuttings, shocking with fertizlierrrr, too much/too little humidity will kill them pretty quickly, but once established they are very strong plants.

The only fertilizer I use is worm poop & worm poop tea, my plants always seem to be very happy with this.


Sounds great, I will go look for some worm castings then.
Can you tell me how you make the tea (just simmer some castings for a few minutes?), how much you use at a time, and your frequency of feeding it?

Thanks again Thumbs up
"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." - Albert Camus
 
T.Harper
#5 Posted : 9/12/2015 4:06:58 PM

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ॐ wrote:

Sounds great, I will go look for some worm castings then.
Can you tell me how you make the tea (just simmer some castings for a few minutes?), how much you use at a time, and your frequency of feeding it?



I have a bottles of the tea from our worm bins, the liquid ends up at the bottom of the bins. You could just add the castings into water and let it soak, i personally would avoid any heat. Find you local compost freak and they may have a few extra gallons of worm tea sitting in their garage unused.

Worm compost bins are really easy to make and a great way to compost indoors and you get some of the richest and balanced materials to mix into soils.
http://www.homecompostin...com/wormcomposting.html

I watered down tea, half a cup of tea to gallon of water, and add it every couple of months to the Salvia plants. They love it.







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#6 Posted : 9/12/2015 7:26:34 PM

Psilosopher


Posts: 205
Joined: 30-Jul-2012
Last visit: 23-Dec-2019
Location: International waters
Thanks for the explanation, and for sharing the measurements you use. I will definitely look into the worm tea, sounds great! Smile

I updated my first post with a few pictures of the plants as I received them. The leaves are drooping a bit, but I'm sure they will adjust and perk back up after a few days Smile
"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." - Albert Camus
 
fathomlessness
#7 Posted : 9/4/2019 2:52:36 PM

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Another thread here where a person suggest using straight perlite/vermiculite in a hydroponicesque set up with pots. This i think is a superb idea to combat soil borne disease that are dependant on organic matter because perlite/vermiculite is non-nutritious to insects such as gnats and whitefly. Vermiculite i might add has an astonishing capacity to hold nutrients (far superior than that of regular soil or humus). For clean environments a little coir and compost addition couldnt hurt.
 
JP
#8 Posted : 9/5/2019 4:45:11 AM

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I have had good results with daily foliar feeding with seaweed, about 1/4 strength. I also let the soil get pretty dry between waterings. I don’t worry about soil acidity, but water and feed with around 5 pH. I feed with seaweed and miracle grow.


It’s amazing how fast this plant will get root rot when soil isn’t quick draining or overwatered, coir is very good in the mix and also helps because of the drastic color change from hydrated and dehydrated. I use fox farm ocean, coir, perlite. 60/20/20 ratio.

When planting rooted cutting I like to start them in clear solo cup that to which I have made large slices to the slides and bottom, I make 4 cuts down the sides almost from top to bottom this will help increase the amount of oxygen the roots get which salvia seem to really like. I’ve seen suggested that adding dried grass cuttings to the soil would increase the amount of oxygen, but have yet to experiment with this.

I top my plant early to start bushy growth.
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