Carnivorous Plants/Sand = Sand?


Aquarium Sand
Aquarium Sand  
Hi Jeff,

while re-potting this weekend, a question came to my mind regarding the definition of "sand".

In Germany, we have sand, like at the beach, but also do we have "aquarium sand" which is bigger, it can be 0,7 mm to 2mm big.

I do use this "aquarium sand" for a while for my CPs. It is 0,7-1,2 mm big.

As well as for "play sand", this "aquarium sand" is washed, chemical, minerals free, ph neutral, etc. so totally safe.

My question is: when "sand" is mentioned in English speaking books, is ordinary "play sand" meant? Or the slightly bigger stuff?

I used to use normal play sand in the past, but as far as I know, normal sand tends to compact the whole soil after a while, so that water may drain not that easily.

How do you think and which of both do you use?

Thank you again for your very valuable comment.



Hi JP,

As far as the sand grades, the middle sizes are going to be the best.  2 mm is probably a bit big, but 1 mm would be great.

The bigger issue with sand is what the rock material is that the sand originates from.  The best is silica or other non-calcareous rock.  You don't want sand that is based on limestone, coral or similar since it's alkaline.  Usually a good clean, heavy white sand is silica.  If you see warning on the bag about silica, you know you have the right stuff.  This may be something you have to research on your end.  Rock products tend to be very regional, and what we have here in the US may be nothing like what you have in Germany.

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.