Terrarium substrate non-perlite

Dpescadera@aol.com Dpescadera@aol.com
Wed, 30 Dec 2009 10:22:32 PST
Dear Leo,
Thank you so much for your reply. I did locate the book that you  
suggested. Best wishes, Diana
In a message dated 12/29/2009 1:06:18 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
leo@possi.org writes:

Diana  Fish wrote

> Does anyone have an "organic" (ideally peat-free)  growing
> medium for a closed system terrarium--e.g. one that  does
> not use perlite? I have Begonia microsperma in a  terrarium,
> but was interested in general suggestions.

I have an  out-of-print older book on gesneriads called _The Miracle
Houseplants_. The  authors (whom I can't recall just now) write that one
may use pure sphagnum  moss, either living or the preparation called "green
moss", as a substrate  for most gesneriads. I would expect almost any other
lithophytic,  epiphytic, bog or forest-floor plant to do well in such a
medium (which is  very close to nature for such plants.) A big plus is that
pure sphagnum is  normally not host to fungus gnats.

The book carries a very long  subtitle. It's a great book though dated as
to what plants were available  then. It covers the tuberous gesneriads
quite well. If you're looking for  it online get the newer edition from the
1980s. There were several  different publishings of the same text and
photos, in different sizes and  formats, from different publishing houses.
The hardback should be available  for under $10 including shipping and has
better quality photo  printing.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona  USA

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