Going Soilless for Tropical Plants

Soilless Mixes for Aroids

You may have seen on my homepage that I have an aroid mix that includes soil. Well, after several discussions with other aroid keepers, I am not a convert. I am now using 0% soil in my soil mixes.

Benefits of not using soil for aroids

  • No fungus gnats
  • Super well draining
  • No issues with overwatering
  • Seemless transition sans LECA

Aroid Soilless Mix

  • 40% Perlite
  • 20% Orchid Bark
  • 20% Pumice
  • 10% Horticulture Charcoal
  • 10% Peat Moss / Coco Coir
  • Slow Release Fertilizer

Why I don’t use LECA

I have found some difficulty when using LECA. It isn’t always successful, which is why I don’t heavily promote its use. When it comes to propagating Hoyas, I’m 100% Team LECA. Unfortunately, when it comes to aroids, especially epipremnums, I find there to be some challenges. Those challenges can be avoided with the soilless aroid mix mentioned above.

The soilless mix is similar to soil, so the plants can adjust readily to it. Also, unless you are adding a liquid fertilizer to your watering regimen, I advise using a slow release fertilizer.

Going soilless is a bit more expensive, but once you start acquiring rare aroids, it doesn’t make sense anymore to use soil and to deal with fungus gnats or any other type of insects that will colonize your soil.

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