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I have miracle grow gardening soil as well as Hoffman and Espoma cactus mixes. Can I mix these two (part cactus mix part gardening mix) together for potting geraniums and lobelia? I'm out of general potting mix and am curious if mixing the two together would be an OK alternative? If not, what is the harm or reasons not to?

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A few questions to consider; is that soil old, been around awhile in opened bags? Miracle grow potting soil already has fertilizer added. Need to know if any fertilizers have been added any of these soils. Too much fertilizer and too little fertilizer will kill a plant.

Old soil will probably have pathogens or insects in it now. That is a risk. Will this pot be out of doors?

Myself? I would take the risk and use those soils mixed for the potting soil. Do not use any rock or gravel at the bottom of the pot below the soil and above the drainage hole. Just add your mixed potting soils, plant plants, water the soil as you go to moisten all of the soil, not saturate. Do not water again until that soil is dryer and the pot feels lighter. Lobelia loves shade...partial shade. Geraniums love sun. Something to keep in mind. You'll have to put the pot in sun with a little partial shade late afternoon. Cut the flowers off way before the blooms get old. To keep Geraniums blooming you really have to be brutal cutting the flowers off especially at the beginning. Try the lobelia but a better filler would be Ipomea Lime Green. Potato Vine in chartreuse green that would do well with your geranium for sun and water. The Ipomea that is dark eggplant color is also good to combine with the Geranium (red?) and Lime Green Ipomea. An orange sedge or two would pull those plants together well. How big is your pot?

  • Pot size about 3 Gallons, yes red geranium and one white., Reason for the mix with lobelia is the placement is on my covered front porch- good mix of sun for a few hours, partial for a few and shade depending on time of day AND porch decor theme is red, white, and blue. And no not old bought within the month- I just have to travel 30 miles to get to my closet garden or hardware store to get more n thought it'd be worth asking. Thanks for the details thus far! – Christy B. Jun 15 '17 at 6:58
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    For July 4th, great combinations! Makes total sense. I would recommend deadheading now hard for the next week then stop. You'll get more flowers. Your potting soils mixed together will work just fine! Lobelia is a great all purpose blue! On your porch both types of plants will thrive. Lobelia is tough to dead head but go to work cutting dead flowers/seeds off. Stop on the 20th. Need fertilizer unless your soil had fertilizer already incorporated. 4th of July Red, White and Blue pots and baskets were a big deal and to screw up would not be cool. Petunias are another color choice. – stormy Jun 15 '17 at 20:26
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    Make sure the nitrogen is less than the phosphorus and potassium! Otherwise, reproductive growth will be inhibited. – stormy Jun 15 '17 at 20:27
  • How do I check nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium?....If you know the answer, Should I make this into a question, so that others who are curious or need to know can find what they're looking for in the title (of the question) ? – Christy B. Jun 16 '17 at 6:29
  • A soil test. The best place to do this is with your cooperative extension service provided by one of your closest Universities. They also have offices and classrooms around the state. Call them and they will give you the information on how to send soil samples. The cost should be around $10 to $15, last time I checked. This is the only way. They also have pH and help with amounts necessary to add, even what may be in excess. There are other things tested for you might be able to add. They will fill you in. We just had someone send a picture of their test that I wish I knew how to find – stormy Jun 16 '17 at 17:43

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