Pot-less cactus dilemma

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Victoria
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Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Victoria » Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:53 pm

I had the exciting arrival of a parcel full of cacti from Cactology today but then realised I have a bit of a problem.

My bag of John Innes is too damp to pot them up into, the only dry substrate I have is peat, so should I:

a) Pot them up in peat and change it before watering season begins
b) Leave them as they are without pots while I dry out some John Innes
c) Pot them in the John Innes but keep them warm, however the only place I can do this is in my (heated) shed which is not well lit.

Your best opinions please!

Thanks
Victoria

BCSS Member since 2005. My collection has been somewhat neglected since starting a PhD but I am particularly keen on Crassulaceae, succulent Pelargoniums and South African bulbs.
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Phil_SK
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Phil_SK » Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:57 pm

b if JI is your normal soil. Nowt wrong with peat per se (apart from ecological unsoundness and low pH which doean't suit some plants) especially if mixed with grit or similar to improve the drainage.
Phil Crewe, BCSS 38143. Mostly S. American cacti, esp. Lobivia, Sulcorebutia and little Opuntia
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Phil_SK » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:09 pm

I was there on Saturday and there was a nice group of Sulcorebutia set aside to be posted - could they have been yours?
Phil Crewe, BCSS 38143. Mostly S. American cacti, esp. Lobivia, Sulcorebutia and little Opuntia
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Victoria
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Victoria » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:44 pm

Might have been, did get some nice Sulcorebutia amongst plenty of other super things. Just been having quick peek at them even though can't pot them up tonight, isn't funny how you can never get things back in the box as neatly as they were packed? I now have cacti spread on dinner table instead.

Think I will go ahead and dry out some JI, saves repotting later, house to self tomorrow so no complaints about smell of baking soil in oven!

Also one of the Neoporteria I got has couple of flower buds, is this normal for this time of year? some nice fruits on another. Very pleased with all of them, shame it too far to visit in person but then again I doubt I would have stayed in budget!
Victoria

BCSS Member since 2005. My collection has been somewhat neglected since starting a PhD but I am particularly keen on Crassulaceae, succulent Pelargoniums and South African bulbs.
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Vladimir » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:49 pm

YOu could leave them without any soil at all before watering begins if you like. Or dry the mix you plan on using and put them in when ready - that would be in a week or so. Keep plants in the same conditions you are planning to put them in when in pots - that likely be cold, dry and sunny.
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Julie » Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:18 pm

I'd wait too. If they are dry, surely they can't know what kind of soil they are in, or even if they are naked. Now is a good time to take a pic of roots if you ike, so you can compare then when you repot later, and see if there's more or less root. I took a pic of mine bare root not for any scientific reason, but just because... you don't see them in the raw very often.

I put my lithops on a tea tray with their labels for a couple of days, until I'd sieved and sterilised some garden grit for a temporary home. You get to admire the whole plant for a little while! :D
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Vic » Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:18 pm

No rush to pot them up Victoria, I regularly leave plants bare-rooted sometimes for a couple of weeks until I get around to potting them. They won't be in active growth now and not until the spring, so I'd just prepare some JI with grit etc. and leave until it is dry, turn it over reguarly so the mix underneath gets to dry also and then use.
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by David_L » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:12 pm

I was hoping to receive a parcel from Cactology myself today. John tells me he posted it on Tuesday. Hopefully it will arrive safely tomorrow.I put some JI in a bucket in the Greenhouse to dry out a week ago in anticipation. There's forethought for you! If there isn't enough to go round or I haven't enough pots of the right size, I'll leave them open and dry in the greenhouse till I'm ready. They'll be fine at this time of the year and it's preferable to using wet compost. If I get anything I'm suspicious of the roots of they can be potted in dry Seramis or Tesco's finest (cat litter!)until Spring.
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Chris43 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:14 pm

I've ordered a number of plants from John, still waiting to know the delivery cost, else I'll take a trip up the M6. But this is a good early warning to get some compost prepared and reasonably dry.
Thanks all.
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Victoria
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Re: Pot-less cactus dilemma

Post by Victoria » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:18 pm

Yes I should have had more forethought to get compost ready but they arrived a bit quick. Glad to hear they should be ok left potless for a little while, I thought this would be the case but wanted to be sure.

Just had a count up and think I will need new pots too! now to find a space in the greenhouse to squeeze them...

Thanks for all your help.
Victoria

BCSS Member since 2005. My collection has been somewhat neglected since starting a PhD but I am particularly keen on Crassulaceae, succulent Pelargoniums and South African bulbs.
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