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Carnivorous Plants/darlingtonia californica


if I buy some bare root darlintonia this winter should I plant them just like any other sarracenia or is there any other suggested care for them (such as cutting off flowers)? also what type of water should I use for them? I know most carnivorous plants need low mineral water 50 ppm or less ideally, but your podcast on them says that they grow naturally in high mineral areas, we are on a well that is about 70-85 ppm.

Hi Dillon,

In winter you do treat them just like Sarracenia.  I like a courser soil media than Sarracenia, but when it's cool outside they're fine.  When the weather warms up in the late spring you need to change conditions some.  A little lattice or shade cloth during the midday (Not full shade!) is good to keep them cooler, and top watering them every day when it's hot.  The leaves of the plant are totally fine with hot weather, but the roots need to stay cool.  Stick with low-mineral water.  In many areas in their native habitat the water is much higher in minerals, but those minerals are probably not calcium and magnesium found in most well water.  Temporary watering with your tap water is no big deal, but for most of the time they should have low mineral water.

The only other piece of advice I'd give is to be sure you don't let them make any kind of ground contact with regular soil.  Darlingtonia are subject to some kind of fungal root rot that is carried in regular soil.  When they are more stressed in summer heat, they are more prone to it.

We have a full chapter in our volume # 1 DVD on growing Darlingtonia.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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