Carnivorous Plants/Soil


I bought some sphagnum peat moss at my local hard ware store but it is a litle different from the peat moss I bought from you guys the peat moss you guys have it looks a litle more like powder while this one is very rough and whole and seams to have pieces of wood in it I just wanted to know if this was ok to use and if its completely necessary to use perlite in the soil bacause I can't seem to find perlite that does not have plant food in it

Hi Albert,

What was the brand of peat moss, and size of the bag you got?  You only want to buy peat moss in the bales that you usually find outside in garden centers.  Smaller bags are very unpredictable on ingredients, and often contain fertilizer.

Small sticks are pretty common in peat moss.  We currently use Lakeland that we get at Home Depot.

Depending on what your planting, you do need something in the peat to break it up some to give it better drainage.  The best ingredients for that tend to be perlite, silica sand, or pumice.  Pumice is usually only available on the west coast.  If you go to a big box store you can usually find silica sand as "Commercial Grade Sand".  It'll be with the concrete products.  The catch is going to be quantity.  If you go out into the outdoor yard of big box store garden centers you can usually find untreated perlite in large bags.  It's the same issue with the sand.  You'll probably need to buy a 100lb. sack.  Neither of those two things are particularly expensive, it's just a lot.  Most cp dealers, us included, sell quite a bit of soil products for this reason.  The shipping is the deal-breaker unfortunately.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

Carnivorous Plants

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sarracenia Northwest


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.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

Over 9,000 questions answered since 2005!


Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower!


No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Just the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate
thousands of carnivorous plants each year.

Our focus is to help help growers diagnose a specific plant problem and offer solutions. For example:
  • Why is my sundew not producing dew?
  • Is now a good time to divide my Sarracenia?
  • Why are the traps turning black?
  • What's a good substitute for perlite?
  • Why didn't my seeds germinate?
  • How do you deal with pests?
  • Can you identify this carnivorous plant for me?
We no longer answer general, how-to questions that are already posted on our website or demonstrated in our DVDs. For general plant care, please read our care guides:

For business questions:

Youtube Facebook
Follow us on Youtube and Facebook!

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]