Carnivorous Plants/Pots

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Question
I am planning on making some pots out of wood. I know you can't use clay pots, so do you think wood would be alright?

Answer
Hello Teal,

You can use clay pots with carnivorous plants, however; the issue would be that they would likely dissolve slowly when submerged partially in water since many carnivorous plants are bog plants.

I have tried wooden tray shaped containers, but I lined them with plastic. They can work. Wood is a neutral substance and would provide support and containment for the soil. The main issue would be drainage and water retention. Just make sure that the containers you use have holes to provide plenty of drainage and water circulation when watering.

Over time, the wood will likely break down due to submersion in a tray of water. You will need to change containers over time anyway, so this will likely not be a major problem. The main issue is that wood does contain some nitrogen that, over time, will be released as it breaks down. The nitrogen level is low, so will not pose a major problem for carnivorous plants if you change out the pots and soil completely about once every year or two.  

Carnivorous Plants

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Christopher Littrell

Expertise

I am capable of answering questions about the most common carnivorous plants found in cultivation. I have no personal experience with Byblis, Drosophyllum, Aldrovanda, and Heliamphora. I have not cultivated gemmae forming pygmy sundews nor tuberous sundews. For information regarding those aforementioned species, I would suggest contacting other experts. I can answer questions regarding most species of Nepenthes, tropical and temperate Drosera, Mexican Pinguicula, Sarracenias, and Dionaea. I have some limited experience with growing Utricularia, Cephalotus, and Darlingtonia.

Experience

I have grown carnivorous plants off and on for about 27 years. I have made the same mistakes and suffered the same mishaps that many growers make as they attempt to separate the myths from the realities of growing these plants. Currently, I am successfully growing a variety of tropical sundews, a Nepenthes, several Venus Flytraps of varying ages, and Sarracenias. I have been successful in stratifying Sarracenia seeds and providing artificial dormancy requirements for my temperate plants when needed.

Education/Credentials
I hold a Master's degree in Educational Psychology. Over my lifetime, I have constantly read books involving the growing conditions of carnivorous plants. I hope to incorporate the educational aspects involved in psychology with teaching other people how to cultivate carnivorous plants.

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