Potting up your Carnivorous Plants
Your Venus Flytrap is going to outgrow its pot? Your pitcher plant’s pitchers has covered the entire pot? And that is when you need to repot your plants! If you are growing them from seeds, this post will also benefit you.
Clockwise from the left :Peat moss, Dried Sphagnum moss, Perlite
Potting media for carnivorous plants are very different from those used for general potted plants. The media has to be nutrient free and moist but yet draining. So growers prefer using these media: dried long-fibre sphagnum moss (LFS), peat moss, perlite and river sand. They are not that hard to get as they are readily available in many nurseries in Singapore.
Today, I was preparing a pot to germinate those Droseras seeds from my previous post. I decided to use 50:50 peat moss and perlite as the main potting mix. Now preparing the potting media is very similar to cooking. I had provided you with the “ingredients” and now going to show you the “recipe”.
I placed a thin layer of dried sphagnum moss at the bottom of the pot to cover up the holes. This will hold the perlite and peat moss in place so that they won’t “leak” out when sitting in a water tray. The next step will be preparing the peat moss – perlite mix. Mix them together using the “frying method” or whatever method you like. As long as they look evenly mixed, then that will be fine!
I will then pour the mix into the pot and cover the top with a thin layer of peat moss. This thin layer of peat moss will serve as a “planting bed” for the seedlings to root. Exposed perlite may not be desirable for these small seedlings which is just over 1mm wide! Now you are done with the media and time to wet it. Don’t trying pouring water into the pot directly, as this will cause the peat moss to sink down and perlite will float up, in the end you lost that layer of peat moss. A good way is to mist the layer with a mister. Keep misting till water flows out from the bottom.
Your pot is ready and you can sow your seeds in it. This potting mix is generally good for most carnivorous plants. You can always alter the contents of the mix to suit your conditions. If you want water to flow through faster and only keep the media damp, you can add more perlite. Likewise if you want to hold more water, then more peat moss.
This will give you a good start for potting up your plants. If you can’t get perlite, you can always substitute it with river sand. Wash them thoroughly to drain the minerals off before mixing. Hey am I writing a gardening guide or a cookbook recipe?