Growing in cracks between boulders

Thu, 10 Oct 2013 10:56:55 PDT
To add to what Leo says here, it is important to consider elevation as
well. This affects nighttime temps especially and accounting for this can
make all the difference culturally. Most of our favorite plants do not grow
at sea level or high in the mountains but in places in between.

Plants that grow where nights are cool (about 55F) cannot properly process
the food they have gathered via light during the day if nights are too
warm. Their metabolism is interrupted and this can be fatal. Understanding
the importance of nighttime temps, which is greater than daytime temps, is
critical in growing certain bulbs.

The worsleyas, as I understand their habitat, do grow on exposed inselbergs
but these receive appreciable cloud cover at least for part of the year.
They are tropical but elevation (several thousand feet I believe) plays a
vital role.

Probably a majority of terrestrial plants, including bulbs, grow in soils
that are predominantly mineral-based. This can be difficult to replicate in
pots and we are tempted to use a lot of organic material out of habit. It
is true that many of these plants can thrive in such an organic mix
(witness commercial cactus culture) but for the hobbyist it is probably
better to grow in a long-lived "mineral" compost that is mostly pumice and
sand and just a little organic matter to add body and hold things together
structurally. In this way there is little to break down and many plants can
be kept happy for years in the same pot and mix.




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