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Carnivorous Plants/Is growing Darlingtonia in my bog potted wise?



I'm in Walnut Cove, NC just outside of Winston-Salem. I will be purchasing some darlingtonia (the mountain variety) shortly and wish to grow them in my bog. My plan is to grow then in a kitty litter box with some holes for drainage. I'll more than likely use a peat/sand/orchid bark mix with live sphagnum on top to lock in moisture. I might even put some pea gravel on top to (hopefully) deflect heat from the sun. During the spring through mid fall I will treat my cobras as a potted plant so they can be close to the house for water. During late fall through mid spring however, they will be put in my bog but left potted to avoid trauma to the roots. I know this is lengthy but I thought the info about my setup could be helpful. So the question I have is is it a good idea to leave them potted like this all year?

ANSWER: The setup you described seems fine.  The only thing I'd recommend is to ditch the pea gravel.  Live sphagnum moss is a better choice for top dressing because it will aid in evaporation and aeration.  Pea gravel, however, will slow evaporation and retain heat.  

The other thing you could do is plant the Darlingtonia into your bog garden.  Keep the drip line close to the plant.  You can accomplish the same thing doing this without needing to move your plant every time the season changes.  I believe Walnut Cove is USDA zone 8, which is the same as our nursery in Oregon.  

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

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QUESTION: I neglected to mention that the cobras will most likely arrive bareroot. Is there anything I should know to avoid shock when planting? I'm used to getting them potted. Thanks for your help!


Cross your fingers.  There are three plants that make me nervous when shipped bare root: Cephalotus, Heliamphora, and Darlingtonia.  You can soak it in SuperThrive for 15 minutes, but it really depends on how it was handled when it was unpotted and packaged.  (Follow the directions indicated on SuperThrive if you choose to use it.)

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