Can anyone recommend a citrus soil that does NOT contain sphagnum moss?

I’m trying to grow a gift kumquat in the pot and I’ll need to repot soon but I’d like to avoid the less-than-sustainable sphagnum moss. Any recommendations for either something I can mix up or a brand that doesn’t use it?

I use pine bark mulch 5 Parts, compost 2 Parts, Perlite 1 part.

Citrus have done well for me in my standard mix of municipal compost, sand and feather meal. Just make sure the compost is good quality (well broken down and loose, not dense and clumpy).


I haven’t tried it but there is gritty mix.

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So far my citrus grow in a mixture of loamy soil, compost, sand and perlite. It works, but it’s not perfect.
This year I’m experimenting with washed charcoal as an additive. I have been collecting charcoal from the stove all winter. It is very porous and should hold on to water very well and keep the soil from compacting too much


I’d never heard of “feather meal” in my life. After seeing your post I went and read up on it. VERY INTERESTING! Always fun learning new things. While it seems to have pros and cons like most things, I just thought the way the make it is interesting, and its a good way to use something that otherwise would go to waste (feathers). Neat!


I like that feather meal adds slow release nitrogen without the phosphorous and potassium. I use it for everything in my nursery except the carnivorous plants.

Nice. from the tiny bit I read there were some questions about bioavailability but that could easily just translate to “slow release” just as you said. I also saw there was a 2012 study that said it may cause users to be exposed to arsenic for some reason??? Keep in mind I think that came from WIKI which is far from an authoritative source IMHO, and I certainly don’t know anything at all about it! But I’m curious if you’ve heard that and are the least bit concerned about it? [

I’ve not heard of an arsenic issue. It’s literally just made from cooked down feathers.

A small percentage of the nitrogen in it is water soluble and therefore immediately available, but most of the nitrogen is released slowly as the feather meal decomposes over a period of months.

I’ve done batches with just compost and sand without the feather meal and the differences in subsequent plant growth make it very clear that the feather meal is doing an excellent job of providing useable nitrogen throughout the growing season.

I just looked up what normal arsenic levels are in soil and it’s usually 1 to 40 mg/kg with a mean average of 5 mg/kg. The levels of arsenic the study detected in feather meal were 44-4100 μg/kg.

If I’m not off on my math 1μg (microgram) = 0.001mg. That would mean feather meal was found to have between 0.044-4.1 mg/kg of arsenic vs. normal soil’s 1-40 mg/kg.

ha! if true that is pretty silly. I also saw where the national chicken council (or some similar lobby group) had decried the study as inaccurate.

I hope you understood that I only mentioned it because I saw it on wiki and in no way was I trying to suggest it was a fact or that you shouldn’t use feather meal or anything like that. I’ve know about feather meal for about 20 minutes and you’ve been using it for years, I certainly would take your opinion on it!

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