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I want to make a "moving water" water feature for my patio. I will use a small pond made of some form of plastic with an over lay channel for water flow. Will the portland cement poison sarracenina? I would eventually like to be able to grow Cobra plants in the running water. My intent is to make a shallow descent water way with side pockets for planting. I plan to first buy the "Holiday Special"  you have listed in sale section. For them I would use a container set a pocket of water.

Answer
Hi Dale,

When you first create the water feature you will want to let it run, then change the water several times.  I would recommend letting it run a couple of weeks with some water changes before you add plants.  Portland Cement has Calcium hydroxide (caustic lime) in it, and is very alkaline which carnivorous plants don't like.  However, after the cement cures, and has had time to leach, it should be fine in the way you're planning to do it.

Sarracenia are definitely the plants to test with this.  If the cement remains too alkaline, they will show a gradual decline, but you would be able to remove them before they get too bad.  Sarracenia are fairly resilient.

What I would recommend is to build your water feature now, but don't add the plants until late February or early March.  This will give the winter rains/snow time to leach the cement.  Planting in March will coincide with the plants coming out of dormancy, so you'll be able to access quickly if they are having issues with alkaline conditions.  Until then the plants can just remain in pots.

What part of the country to you live in?

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com

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