succulents/cactus

I read the following from here some time ago: "Soil Mixes: It is very important that the medium or soil used for growing cacti & succulents is a fast draining mix. Please do not use potting soil! Your plants will be grateful. Potting soil retains to much moisture and does not allow the plants to dry out quickly. Cacti & succulents like to be thoroughly watered and then allowed to dry out between watering. Some department stores & home garden centers sell premixed "Cactus Soil" but I would recommend using either Scotts Metro-Mix 360 or 510 OR Premier's Pro-Gro 550. With this as a start you will then want to add pumice, perlite, and or coarse builders sand Do not use **play sand** or beach sand.) This will improve drainage even more."
and wonder what the difference between consruction sand and **play sand**. I also have a beautiful ceramic pot with no drain hole that i would like to use to plant an haworthia or Christmas cactus and wonder if it would need rocks or something in the bottom ... i used to know, but i'm getting to where i can't remember. i have to collect informtion and put everthing in the computer so i can refer to it otherwise i forget, and don't seem to have this subject covered. i used to come here a lot, but am just recently lurking and posting again, and have different server than i used to have, and coming back couldn't remember how to sign my posts. I am Leona and think i had to sign as Lee H because there was another Lee on board. but not sure. anyway, since i had to change my e-mail to Leo as lee was already taken, guess i will start signing as just Leo. Thanks for any help..Leo
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On 8 Aug 2004 07:50:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@1starnet.com (Lee) wrote:

I use Scotts cactus mix for all my succulents and they have done exceptionally well. Not sure what the difference between play sand and builders sand, but I would guess the builders sand is more course. I would use beach sand, but only that made from fresh waters and then the sand is baked for an hour at 300 degrees.
The fastest way to kill a Christmas cactus is to allow it to sit in water. This plant needs quick drainage. Use your ceramic pot for something else.
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Never put a succulent plant in any pot without drainage holes. Just putting gravel in the bottom isn't good enough. If you must use a ceramic container, drainage holes are even more important.
Stagnant wet soil will quickly kill the roots and eventually the whole plant.
The best cactus soil is mostly drainage material in proportion to humus and if what you buy as cactus soil is dark & humusy it is not at all good for succulents.
Most succulent plants in the wild grow in a very gravelly mix or little soil at all in rocky areas.
Builder's sand is made up of angular granules that allow water to pass through. "Play sand" is beach sand that has rounded granules that compact and hold water and is not good for potting soil. If in doubt, look at the material under a hand lens.

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Drill some holes in it with a masonry drill bit.
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<< wonder what the difference between construction sand and **play sand**. >>
Play sand is too fine. You can also use pool filter sand or chicken grit.
<< I also have a beautiful ceramic pot with no drain hole that i would like to use to plant an haworthia or Christmas cactus >>
Take it to a tile store or stonemason and have them drill a one inch hole in it.
Iris, Central NY, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40 "If we see light at the end of the tunnel, It's the light of the oncoming train." Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
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Oh, play sand you're so fine. You're so fine you're on my mind. Hey, play sand. Hey, play sand.
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Its not just that its so fine. Its the shape of the granules too.

sand**. >>

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Thanks to all of you for your responce. I went up this afternoon and got a bag of consruction sand and will get a hole put in the planter. Leo

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Actually, it would have been better if you got something coarser to add to the soil than just sand such as turfoos, aquarium gravel, etc.

hole
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