This is the potting mix that I have used for the last two years:
12 - 1 1/2 cu ft bags of azalea mix
2 - 1 cu ft bags of chicken fertilizer
1 - 5lb box of bone meal (have to watch the dust... I use a dust respirator while mixing)
I mix all of these ingredients with a flat shovel and place this mixture in two containers.
I mix these together and place this mixture in one of my containers
2 - cu ft bags of small decorative redwood bark (1/4"-3/8")
1 - 2 cu ft bag of coco mulch (about 1/4") (in hopes that it will not break down as fast as the
I mix these together and place this mixture in another of my containers
2 - 2 cu ft bags of #2 perlite (or one 4 cu ft bag if I can find it)
I place the #2 perlite in another one of my containers (use a dust respirator)
My mix ratio is;
1 part #2 perlite (I put a little water on it to keep from breathing the spun glass dust)
1 part of my redwood/coco mulch mix
4 parts of my azalea mix (for my 3 1/4" pots that I start my cuttings in) and sometimes I use 5 parts of my azalea mix ratio if I am placing 2 or 3 well rooted cuttings from the 3 1/4" pots into my 8 1/2" x 6 1/2" plastic green pots. (if I put the epies in a larger pot they only get larger and I don't have the space and with all the pots the same I don't over/under water).
The rule of thumb that I have always used is once you find a soil mixture that works for you in your area stay with it so you can get the water and fertilizer down right ...
" Or when you get to Rome do as the Roman's do ! "
Don Burnett Epiphyllum Hybridizer, Ca. U.S.A.
Check out Don Burnett's Hybridizing page on Mattslandscape.com
Please send us your soil recipe for your location to help out other growers there, we will post it here and give you credit for submitting your recipe.
A few Epi soil mixes are listed below from the old timers
Pictured above; Curt Knebel pollinating an Epi.
Curt Knebel's Epi mix;
1 part leafmold
1 part peatmoss
1 part riversand
1 part old crumbly loam
1 part well rotted manure
Cactus Pete's Epi mix
1 part good top soil
1 part decomposed leafmold
1 part coarse builders sand
Coolidge rare plant gardens Epi mix
4/5ths well rotted oak leaf mold
1/5th rotted cow manure
Dr.Poindexter's Epi mix;
4 parts leafmold
2 parts German peat moss
3 parts cow or sheep manure
2 parts gravel
2 parts sharp (washed) sand
Dr. Werdermann's Epi mix;
1 part leafmold
1 part manure
1/2 part sand
From Germany W.O.Rother's Epi mix;
1/8 crushed old plaster-lime from walls
1/2 well rotted cow manure earth
1/8 old mellow loam
1/4 coarse sand
Ventura Epiphyllum Garden's mix
3 parts well decomposed leafmold
1 part coarse sand or decomposed granite
1 part peatmoss
1 part well rotted manure or 1/2 cup steamed bone meal to 5 gallons of mixture
Yes i know some of these old Epi mixes may seem strange and it could be very hard to find some of the ingreadiants (at your local garden center) under the material names given.-Like sheep manure or old plaster from a building. The mixes are decades old but notice one thing that has not changed over all that time. 1.)There all rich and have (manure or leafmold) and 2.) There all well draining (sand or other coarse material was used). Keep those 2 basic principles in mind when your trying to make the perfect Epi mix for your plants and the climate there growing in. And if you can find some of these ingrediants give them a try to test them out, some of the mixes above were used for over 50 years with great success and they were very low in cost too!