Carnivorous Plants/Planting pots


QUESTION: I have some rally small seedlings in a pot
I did have a Algae breakout recently and rinsed gravel in distilled water and put it on the surface of the medium to keep the Algae below the surface and switched to the tray for watering
lately the top of the pot outside is turning black
I was told these were not clay when I bought them cause they are unglazed but the trays are glazed.
what might this be??

ANSWER: Hello Dennis,

What you are seeing is likely just organic material developing around the rim of the pot; algae again in all probability. Algae comes in an assortment of colors.

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QUESTION: After the seedlings are big enough to move to my Terrarium can I soak thee pots in boiling hot water without cracking or damaging the pots?
When these are dime size are the roots and plant able to be moved?

ANSWER: Hello Dennis,

You do not need to move them to a terrarium. They are able to adapt to lower humidity. Just keep them at room temperature and over 15% humidity and they should be fine. If you have them in high humidity with a dome over them, you can slowly adapt them to low humidity and then just grow them as houseplants open pot.

To slowly adapt plants to low humidity levels:

Begin with a plastic cover over the plants of some sort, like a sandwich bag, and punch about 3-6 holes in it about 1/4 inch in size.

Every three days, punch a couple more holes in the plastic until it no longer holds humidity in and then remove the cover.

This process should take a couple weeks, so don't rush it.

If your seedlings are growing open pot already, you do not need to change anything, just keep them open pot and they will be much healthier. Terrariums can create perfect conditions for mold and algae, which you already have too many problems with.

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QUESTION: Can I boil in hot water al the rest of the pots?

Also when sowing these they were so small I could not se where the landed,now they sprouted I can see 4 are close together enough to clump eventually when that time comes how can I seperate them? they are forming dew on tiny red tentacles!
BTW one seed sprouted under a gravel rock and did not has a leaf and a small orange ball on it!,,,sure are tough buggers lol !!

Hello Dennis,

I usually steam the soil in the microwave for a minute or two according to how much you're using. You can do that in the oven in a basting bag for a few minutes as well. Basically, you just want to moisten the soil slightly and then heat it until you see steam rise from it. I would not place the pots in the oven or microwave. Just steam the soil separately, then put the soil into the pots after it cools.

You will not need to worry about separating the plantlets. They naturally grow in clumps quite well. Just take a toothpick or small utensil and make cuts in the soil around the plantlets to about 1-2 inches deep and about 1/2 an inch around the plantlets, then scoop up the plantlet soil and all and plant it in a small hole in the new pot of soil you intend it to live in. Wait a few weeks until the plantlets are well established. Now that they are developing leaves with tentacles and coloration, they will begin to grow quite rapidly. Once they have a few months of growth and have reached maturity, you will begin to see new plantlets growing around the adults and clumps will begin to form, you will not be able to avoid it with small rosette sundews of many species.

Carnivorous Plants

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Christopher Littrell


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.


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.

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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