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Carnivorous Plants/Pinguicula Aphrodite

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QUESTION: I have had the above-named plant for a number of years in a very tiny 2" plastic pot. It's now putting out a "baby" plant and I want to transplant the entire pot, but not kill it! What is the best potting medium to use and how large of a pot should I move it to? Since it's been in it's current home for a very long time it's also sort of risen above the potting mix to where I can see roots.
Thank you for your help!

ANSWER: Hi Galen,

P. x "Aphrodite" can become quite a large plant, so when you transplant, move it to roughly a 5" pot.  Mexican butterworts also do very well in African Violet pots.  Mexican Pinguicula like a very sandy, alkaline media, so use a mix of equal parts peat moss, perlite, sand.  To that mix add 1 tablespoon of dolomite lime per cup of mixed soil.  The lime isn't vital, but you will notice a big difference in growth if you use it.  Get the mix well saturated with water before using it.

When transplanting, be gentle, but don't fret too much about harming the plant.  Mexican pings are somewhat similar to succulents in leaf structure and tend to have leaves easily break off.  Those can be laid on top of soil, and they will root.  Their roots are short; just make sure they are buried in the soil media.

Here's more general information on growing Mexican butterworts:  http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/Articles.asp?ID=263  http://www.carnivorousplants.org/howto/GrowingGuides/Pings_Mexican.php

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com

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

QUESTION: HI Jeff,

Thanks for the info. I have everything on hand except for the dolomite lime. What exactly is it and where can I buy some? I'll also tack on a question about my common (probably Home Depot) nepenthes (I have 2). They lived happily in a terrarium, putting out pitchers, but I've had them just on my counter for some time now and they no longer create pitchers. Any suggestions?
When I moved a few years ago I lost most of my plant collection -- I may be wanting to purchase more and have enjoyed looking at the Sarracenia Northwest site.
Thanks again!
Galen -- So. California, sunny and hot today!

Answer
Hi Galen,

Dolomite lime is a common garden soil amendment.  Most garden centers carry it.  Use the powder, not the "prilled" type.  Here's an example:  http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lilly-Miller-Soil-Sweet-40-lb-Dolomite-Lime-100099183

With your Nepenthes it helps if I know what species/hybrid you have.  Compare what you're doing to our directions here, then feel free to come back here to Allexperts if you have some more specific questions on growing your plant.  http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/Articles.asp?ID=266

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com

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Sarracenia Northwest

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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! http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/dvd

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