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If you are looking for the best aroid propagation soil, then you will find it here.
So you’ve decided its time to propagate your plant. You strategically plan where to make your cuts, break out your garden shears and snip away. Now depending on your preference, you are either propagating in water or soil. Water is an easy choice that doesn’t take much thought. Water is water. As long as the water is clean, you’re good to go. If you prefer soil, however, it requires more thought. Soil is not just soil. Using inappropriate soil can quickly kill your delicate propagations. If the soil is too moist, your plant will rot into a gooey black mush and die. If the soil is too dry, your plant will wilt away, turn to a crisp and die. Now imagine you’re propagating your prized Monstera Albo. Nerve-racking, isn’t it? Worry no longer. We’re going to tell you how to make the best aroid propagation soil for all your plants.
Why use soil to propagate Aroids?
There are essentially two schools of thought for propagating cuttings. Water or using a medium like soil, sphagnum moss, or even perlite. For the sake of simplicity, you can successfully propagate MOST aroid cuttings using only water. When propagating in water, you can watch the roots develop and monitor the cutting for possible rot. There is a caveat. If you foresee this plant eventually being potted in soil, then water propagation may not be the best method. Roots acclimated to water have an adjustment period when finally placed in soil. Some plants also seem to refuse to root in water (ahem…Monstera Peru). Water propagation is still a great method, and has circumstances where it can excel over soil. Overall, however, we’ve seen more vigorous root and plant growth when propagated in soil.
What makes a good aroid propagation soil?
You might be wondering, “why cant I just use my usual aroid soil mix to propagate my cuttings?”. Great question. You can successfully propagate cuttings in your go-to aroid soil mix; however, it may not provide enough upright support for your non-rooted cuttings well or provide the optimum moisture levels. Non-rooted cuttings require more moisture than what an established rooted plant would need. Also, these cuttings still need some aeration, but doesn’t require a chunky soil that we usually provide with orchid bark. Lastly, like any good soil, you need a nutrient rich soil to help encourage quick root and plant growth.
3 Ingredients for the best Aroid Propagation Soil
We like to keep things simple. All you need are 3 ingredients that are readily available online or at your local garden center / hardware store. If you have made our Aroid Soil Mix before, then you might have enough ingredients laying around to make a batch already.
Aroid Propagation Soil Ingredient #1: Base Soil
The base soil is the most important ingredient to this recipe. Do not skimp on this. Use a quality potting mix that contains peat moss and compost. Most quality potting mixes will also contain some additional components to enhance the soil such as perlite, bark, worm castings, minerals, etc. As mentioned earlier, as long as its not too chunky, it should be fine for propagating. We use Fox Farms Ocean Forest for the base soil for all of our mixes primarily due to the quality ingredients. Fox Farms Ocean Forest is made up of composted forest organic material, sphagnum peat moss, loamy sand, earthworm castings, bat guano, fish emulsion, and crab meal. These ingredients exceeds all requirements needed for a quality soil for a great price.
Aroid Propagation Soil Ingredient #2: Perlite
Perlite is amazing stuff. There’s a reason you always see it used in quality soil mixes. Perlite provides superior aeration and drainage for your soil. It is physically stable and maintains its form almost infinitely, so there is no concern of such an important component for your soil degrading. We prefer to use chunky #3 sized granules of perlite. Our go to for our mixes is Mother Earth Perlite #3, which always has consistent sized granules and is fairly priced.
Aroid Propagation Soil Ingredient #3: Worm Castings
Worm castings is the last and final ingredient for this propagation soil. Technically you should be able to propagate successfully without this addition, but we love this stuff in our plants. Worm castings provides readily bio-available nutrients for your propagations. We’ve found using this simple addition noticeably speeds the rate of root growth / plant growth. We use it for all our Aroid soil mixes. As always, use a high quality product. We highly recommend Earthworm Castings due to it’s availability at Home Depot. We also had good success with Wiggle Worm Soil Builder, that is available on Amazon if you’re in no rush.
The Best Aroid Propagation Soil
You now understand the benefits of soil propagation. You also know the importance and function of each ingredient that we put into this soil mix. It’s finally time to learn how to make this amazing soil so you can get to propagating your aroids!
Tools You’ll Need
- Measuring Cup. (You can use any container that you can consistently scoop and measure your ingredients.)
- Storage Bin to mix and store your soil
- Gardening Gloves (optional)
- 1 part Potting Mix
- 1 part Worm Castings
- 1 part Perlite
- Use your measuring cup to scoop the appropriate amount of ingredient. Try your best to be consistent in measuring each scoop. Example: one unpacked and leveled scoop for each ingredient. With this 1:1:1 ratio recipe, you will have 1 scoop of potting soil, 1 scoops of worm castings, and 1 scoop of perlite, for 3 total scoops.
- With all ingredients in the bin, mix it up thoroughly.
- Always keep the bin cover closed to ensure freshness.
- If stored for any length of time, always mix up your soil well before using.
And just like that…Voila! Your soil is done! Now you can have some peace of mind knowing you’ll be giving your propagations the best start possible if you decide on using soil. Keep your propagations in a warm well-lit area (no direct sun), humid environment (humidity domes work well) and make sure your soil is consistently moist (not saturated), and you’re guaranteed success. Once your propagations are nicely rooted, the next step is to move it to an aroid soil mix. Happy propagating!
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