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InvisibleMycOhunter

Registered: 03/05/09
Posts: 649
Question for the cacti growers
    #11321339 - 10/25/09 11:29 PM (7 years, 11 months ago)

I used to put rocks, pebbles on top of my cacti but I would experience more problems with bugs this way, especially pill bugs.

I would always let the soil dry out between watering but the pill bug problems only stopped once I removed the pebbles.

So my question is what are the benefits of doing this?


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OfflineCactusdan
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Registered: 10/11/07
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Re: Question for the cacti growers [Re: MycOhunter]
    #11321574 - 10/26/09 12:12 AM (7 years, 11 months ago)

I have never noticed a problem with the addition of pebbles, however since I have started focusing on globulars recently I have started using mineral based soil which gives the awesome appearance of a desert floor, and is very dry.



Basically aesthetics are the only real benefit I've noticed with the addition of pebbles.

PS. That T. Pseudopectinatus has flower buds forming, so hopefully I'll get some pics in a week or two (the flowers are double the size of the diameter)


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InvisibleBrainiac
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Re: Question for the cacti growers [Re: Cactusdan]
    #11321594 - 10/26/09 12:17 AM (7 years, 11 months ago)

As long as you water from below..... You could try dusting the rocks with some DE....


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OfflinetheMallacht
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Registered: 04/25/09
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Re: Question for the cacti growers [Re: Brainiac]
    #11321721 - 10/26/09 12:42 AM (7 years, 11 months ago)

I've found that the addition of pebbles actually makes it so that you DON'T have to water from below.... They can actually take water hitting them relatively hard, and it doesn't disturb the soil surface at all... IME


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InvisiblePoC
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Re: Question for the cacti growers [Re: Brainiac]
    #11321739 - 10/26/09 12:47 AM (7 years, 11 months ago)

A top dressing of pebbles can be good to bury the stem of the cactus a little, since the water just runs off into the soil layer.  Some cacti are especially prone to rot by their crowns so a REALLY fast draining top layer is sometimes a good idea.  One cactus I have that I've read is really sensitive this way is Mammillaria pennisponosa because of the feathery parts that can trap in moisture:



I don't usually add a pebble layer to my cacti because it makes it a little harder to visually tell how moist the pot is.  It also sometimes makes it harder for me to judge by weight because the pot is often a lot heavier after pebbles are added.  I think it does look nice, though, and it has its practical uses.

EDIT: About the watering from below comment, I think he meant in terms of not getting the DE wet, since it loses its effectiveness when wet.


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Edited by PoC (10/26/09 12:48 AM)


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InvisibleBrainiac
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Re: Question for the cacti growers [Re: PoC]
    #11321787 - 10/26/09 12:55 AM (7 years, 11 months ago)

Sorry I was talking about the sand washing out....


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Invisiblescruffymafia
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Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 2,233
Loc: Wonderland
Re: Question for the cacti growers [Re: Brainiac]
    #11321991 - 10/26/09 01:35 AM (7 years, 11 months ago)

I never use pebbles, they inhibit the natural perspiration process of the soil as pebbles are not very hydraulically conductive - this can cause all sorts of problems..

I use unwashed sedimentary sand i collect from a local river, it is extremely porous, well draining, nutrient and mineral packed - plus it looks great. Mix it with some top soil and filtered peat and you have a near perfect substrate for desert cacti.


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InvisibleMycOhunter

Registered: 03/05/09
Posts: 649
Re: Question for the cacti growers [Re: scruffymafia]
    #11322517 - 10/26/09 04:49 AM (7 years, 11 months ago)

Thanks for the replies guys, my curiosity has been cured.


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