Carnivorous Plants/Repotting


Hi Jeff,

As said previously, I plan to repot some flytraps, sundews and sarracenias into square shape pots.

However, I wonder if repoting during the winter or early spring is better? Or it does not make any difference? Will repoting definitely stunt or slow down growth of carnivorous plants for the upcoming year? Actually I did pot these plants 2 years ago, as an alternative I was thinking just to "move" the plant + soil into the new pot and fill empty spaces with new soil, would it be an idea?

I really want to repot, but without stunting the growth of the plants, alternatively I would repot in 1 year if it is better, depending on your recommendation.

How do you guys handle it? Repoting/changing soil every 2-3 years or even 4?

Thanks and have a great day!


Hi JP,

Let's hit the important point here in this topic first.  When you repot plants isn't as important as what you're doing to them when you take them out of the pots.  The thing that will stunt Sarracenia in particular, is dividing them while in active growth.  You only want to do division in the late winter/early spring.  Mid to late summer division will stunt them.

Ideally transplant your plants in late winter early spring too.  With Sarracenia, as long as your only doing a transplant or repot, the time of year isn't as critical.  Different story with Flytraps and hardy Sundews.  With both of those you get the best results if only transplanted when still fully dormant.  Flytraps can be transplanted later in the spring or summer, but they slow way down and have a little shock when transplanted in the growing season.  With hardy sundews like D. intermedia, D. rotundifolia, and a little less so with D. filiformis, they should be transplanted before the hibernacula fully open up for spring.  Transplants later in the growing season with those can result in losses.  D. intermedia and D. rotundifolia are delicate when in active growth.

With the soil, if it's a year or less you can keep the older stuff and just add more like you were describing.  If you're going on two years, change the soil.  Ideally I like to transplant every other year for plants in smaller pots.  They can go much longer than that, but every other year seems to yield good results.  If you have big planters, just use your judgement.  Our big bathtub garden gets partially changed when the plants begin to overcrowd.  For that planter it's about every 3 years.  If the peat in a pot is getting that stinky sulfur smell, time to change it out.  Peat moss tends to last much longer if not sitting in water, but that's just not practical in many situations.

The plants that seem to benefit the most from the every other year rule are Venus Flytraps.  You get your biggest plants when the soil remains fairly fresh.  Again, plants in larger planters can go longer.

Hope this helps.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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