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Carnivorous Plants/Darlingtonia potting mix

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Question
Hi Jeff,

JP again! Thanks for your previous reply!

I will repot my Darlingtonia tomorrow, before I do so, what is the best potting mix you recommend? I have everything at disposal, perlite, peat moss, dry sphagnum, life sphagnum, sand, etc... Should I best use a 50/50 life sphagnum moss / perlite mix?

Is it still suitable to use the terracotta pot?

As disinfectant I use "Physan 20" (www.physan.com) which was once recommended by Peter DŽAmatoŽs "Savage Garden" book. Also do I once a month (for indoor plants at least) use a light "Maxsea" fertilizer.

Cheers, best regards to Oregon!

JP

Answer
Hi JP,

I'm starting to come down on the side of using long-fiber sphagnum with some perlite mixed in.  It provides the best media when the plants are not going to be sitting in water.  It holds on to moisture better, but drains quickly and re-hydrates quickly if it gets a bit dry.  

The Terracotta pot is fine along with using the Physan 20 disinfectant.  It's a quanternary ammonium disinfectant.  Just be sure to use the concentration they recommend for sterilization, and let the pot soak for the recommend period.  It tends to need more contact time than bleach.

Maxsea is great.  With Darlingtonia it's best to squirt it in the pitchers since they don't really absorb much in the way of nutrients through their roots, and the pitcher exteriors are very waxy.  It's an adaptation to surviving toxic Serpentine soil environments.

Good Growing!

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

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