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Carnivorous Plants/Repotting of temperates CP


Hi Jeff,

I just want to be "updated" about YOUR best potting mix for temperate carnivorous plants. Flytrap, Sarracenia and Drosera to be precise.

Flytraps: 2 Parts Peat, 1 Part Sand
Sarracenia: 4 Parts Peat, 1 Part Sand, 2 Parts Perlite
Drosera: 2 Parts Peat, 1 Part Sand (or 3:1)

I have some pots with Flytraps + Sarracenia grown together. What should I do? 2 Peat, 1 Sand, 1 Perlite a good compromise?

One more thing, I have some overgrown live spaghnum on top of the pots, should I re-use it as top dressing? Mix it in the sustrate?

Thanks, I highly appreciate your help via AllExperts, I owe you some more Belgian chocolate ;-)



Hi JP,

Those mixes are just fine.  Often when you see different proportions from different growers it's because they've found something that works well for them in their particular growing conditions.  You could put any of those plants in any of those mixes and they would do fine.  Many people avoid perlite just because it's messy and floats.  Sand has the disadvantage of being very heavy if you're doing larger pots.  Venus flytraps like sand since it's what most of their substrate is in nature.  If you have plants around the edge of ponds the extra weight of the sand is an advantage.  With sundews it depends on the species.  Typical bog dwellers like D. capensis and D. spatulata do fine in any of those mixes.  Tuberous sundews need it very sandy.  Plants that need cool roots like D. regia like a more open mix with long-fiber sphagnum.  Cephalotus in nature grows in a very sandy soil very similar to flytraps.  In cultivation, however, we found it does best in New Zealand sphagnum so that we can top-water the plants and avoid root-rot issues.  The bottom line is, if your potting mix is working well for you, it's fine.  If not, you may need to adjust.

The peat/sand/perlite mix would be fine for your container garden.  Depending on how large it is, I might go for just peat/perlite.  If you think you might have to move it much, the weight the sand adds will get old real fast.  Even with 50/50 peat/perlite I've found that mixed container gardens are heavy, so sand in the mix will make them real beasts!

Top-dressing pots with live sphagnum is always attractive, and it is beneficial to the plants too.  The only exception would be small sundews that could be overrun by it.

I won't complain if more chocolate arrives. :)

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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