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Carnivorous Plants/Soil for Darlingtonia


QUESTION: I have a cat litter pan I'm gonna put holes in it 1/4 inch from bottom, I have peat, perlite but I can't find fine orchid bark or pumice, what is it I should do ? Should I use orchid bark 1/2 inch - 3/4, I really want to make this work. Please help

& I do live in South western Ontario, Canada & don't have the $ to get your DVD's   Can you give me a run down of RATIO mix & what to use as  alternatives ?

ANSWER: Hi Michael,

With Darlingtonia, you want the soil to drain well.  If you only have peat and perlite, that will work.  I recommend two parts perlite to one part peat moss.  The course ingredients add a better overall structure to the mix, but they are not crucial.  Also, in recent days we've been moving away from bark since we've had issues with quality on bark.  It's also hard to know with many products which kind of tree bark it is, and some barks tend to inhibit growth more than others.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Should I spray roots with Sulpher when I get the plant ? And we're do I put the holes in the litter pan ?

ANSWER: Hi Michael,

Put the holes directly in the bottom of the pan.  It's better if you don't have puddling in the container.  Unless you've been seeing some mold problems, you don't need to spray your plant.  The most serious diseas, that Darlingtonia can get, Phytophthora,  wouldn't be prevented by sulfur anyway.  To avoid that, don't let your container come in contact with soil, or sit in water with other cp like Sarracenia.  Avoiding Phytophthora is part of why you want water to drain freely through your cat litter pan since it's spread by water.  If the containers don't sit in water, they are not likely to pick it up.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Is there a fungicide for the Darlingtonia roots during transplanting ?& is there steps I can take when getting the plants in the mail, like what do I need to do when I recive the plants ?

Hi Michael,

This time of year when Darlingtonia are just coming out of dormancy they are not that delicate.  Nothing special other than just planting it right away when you receive it.

Sulfur based fungicides make a good preventative for fungus such as botrytis.  Here's a link to our podcast of safe fungicides:

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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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.

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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!


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