Karapincha or Murraya koenigi plant

(Question)

Hi I have just purchased at a cost of $35 including shipping from Quebec, a small Murraya koenigi plant (curry leaf plant JW). I want to buy soilless potting mix to repot at the end of summer. I live in North York and wonder if you can direct me to a place close by to get some. Saw an ad for ProMix somewhere Downtown Toronto at $40 for a bag. Is soilless potting mix that expensive?
It is difficult getting limestone, etc. to do the mix myself, especially when you do not know what exactly you are looking for. Last year I could not locate sand and got it from a construction site manager who felt sorry for me! Kindly help and thanks much. Take care,

(Answer)

Generally speaking, “soil-less” potting mix is heavy on peat. ProMix is not used straight out of the bag, water is added back in to rehydrate it. The volume in the bag does not reflect the eventual volume in the pot. They have a list of ingredients on their web site which I guess you’ve looked at:

http://www.promixgardening.com/en/product/detail/pro-mix-ultimate-all-purpose-mix?

Here is an online article on soilless potting mix, which includes a recipe:

http://www.finegardening.com/choosing-right-soilless-mix

Soil found in nature can vary widely, but is always a combination of (primarily decomposed) organic material derived from dead plants and animals, poop of all kinds (manure), plus mineral elements which can be rocks, sand, clay, plus microscopic living organisms. It is the ratio and types of each component that will create the differences. Soil-less soil lacks the humus or compost element, (although it does have bulk organic material in a form that resists decomposition), as well as the microscopic wildlife which facilitates a plants uptake of nutrients: hence the additions to the Pro Mix of mycorrhizae, and plant food. In nature, epiphytes, plants like orchids and bromeliads, grow outside of typical soil situations, and receive infusions of nutrients through rainfall. The home gardener will grow these sorts of plants in a soil-less soil type mix, water sparingly, and feed lightly on a regular basis to mimic natural conditions. A soil-less mix is often the choice for those who are growing from seed or for container plants due to: its lightness in weight, its free-draining qualities, and the sterility of the medium.

Here is a link to another discussion about Curry Leaf Plant (Karapincha):

soil for herb plant