August 25, 2016
My Experiments With Coco Peat And Meeting With A Great Person
I’ve been talking about waiting for Coco Peat to repot my plants for quite sometime now and today I finally did get a block.
I already tried Coco peat to repot few plants, the first being a Rose! We call it Paneer Rose locally, that is baby pink. Out of it is extracted the Rose water which is used as fragrance, religious worship, for common eye related problems, to name a few. I used 70% Coco peat + 30% Sand as the potting mix with compost as a thin top layer.
I removed the Rose Plant from it’s nursery bag (whatever you call it), deprived it of the soil and repotted it in the above Mix. By the end of the week, it dropped almost all the leaves, which forced me to cut two of it’s branches and that seemed to do the trick somehow and there were tiny sprouts peeking out of it in two days and it did well that week, but at the end of the second week since repotting, the leaves started turning brown and all that was left of the plant was just a single stick. I fed it with the growth stimulator and waited few more days. There seemed no improvement at all. After few more days I dared to uproot it only to see a rotten root and a dry stick above.
Now, what could have gone wrong?
Drain? That couldn’t have been possible as I made sure that it drained properly.
Soil drying Up? Well, as you all know Coco peat retains water for long and even in hot summers like ours it does well for a day, so I watered it every morning, avoiding the evening feed.
What else could have gone wrong?
Not enough nutrients? Possible because I didn’t mix compost in the Mix but only topped the pot with it.
Not sure if my inference is correct still, I tried five other plants, adding compost in the Mix. Two plants – Purple Allamanda, Hibiscus, and Long Pepper didn’t wilt badly except for one or two leaf drops which were expected, but the Ixora lost many of its leaves and is now recuperating slowly. The Cape Honeysuckle wilted real bad but surprisingly improved really well after a week.
So my guess is that the Rose didn’t get enough nutrients? Am I correct in my inference? I seriously have no idea if the Coco peat that I bought is washed or unwashed, because I recently learned from a great person I met yesterday that plants need Low EC Cocopeat.
The initial wilt/leaf drops could be because I completely washed the roots of the plants and then potted it in the Mix, which I was told was a wrong approach; that the plant shouldn’t be washed completely.
I met a wonderful person yesterday Mr. J. U. M. Aslam, from whom I got Low EC Coco peat. We talked for few minutes about how a plant should be potted in Coco peat mix. He was a great person to talk to. He has a nursery in Rajmundri (in a neighboring State in India) and I checked out the board in his office. I was excited to see a Lilium in the list! I wish I visit his nursery some day!
He had done great projects and I was amazed to see that he uproots an entire tree! Not just a baby but an old tree. I saw photos of palm trees uprooted, their roots covered and readied for shipping overseas. I wish I had gotten some of those photos to show you all. He made it all sound so simple. I’m glad I met him and feel lucky too! It was encouraging to talk to him. He exports Coco peat to many countries and is undertaking great projects across the world. I’m looking forward to meet him again this weekend.
Meanwhile I also sowed Sunflower, Passion fruit, Eggplant (Brinjal/Aubergine), Dutchman’s Pipe and others. Yesterday I planted Ginger and the Mango Ginger rhizome that my mom planted a week and half ago has sent out a shoot and its leaf would open any day this week. Now that’s been too much of rambling… I’ll soon post the photos of the Mango Ginger and other seedlings… Have a great weekend, y’all!