Mixing carnivorous plant soil

Discussion in 'Materials' started by stevebradford, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. stevebradford

    stevebradford Carnivorous Plant Addict

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    Soil for carnivorous plants

    If you grow carnivorous plants eventually your going to need to mix your own soil. Here are the common ingredients used to create a soil mix your plants will be happy with.

    Peat
    Basis of bog’s where most Cp’s are found. Holds moisture but packs, needs to be mixed with sand or perlite for aeration.
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    Silica Sand
    provides good drainage and keeps soil loose. It is also cheep and environmentally friendly as it’s almost an unlimited resource. grades like 12 mesh are preferred, 16-30 or 20-30 sandblast sand is what I could find.
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    Perlite
    keeps soil loose and airy. But floats in water and tends to get everywhere. It often comes impregnated with fertilizer, watch out for that. Comes in various particle sizes, around 2mm being ideal for mixing with peat.
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    Vermiculite
    moisture and nutrient asborbant similar to perlite also a good material great for mixing into heavy soil for aeration. Comes in various particle sizes.
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    Sphagnum (live)
    If you can grow healthy sphagnum you will be able to keep most Cp’s happy. If your doing things right it will show up on it own. In my mind it is the most natural and makes the best setting. Not suitable for small or young plants as it can overgrow them.
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    Sphagnum dried
    Acidic and holds water while still being loose and fluffy. A great choice for almost all carnivorous plants.
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    Milled dried Sphagnum
    Just like the long fiber Sphagnum but great for starting seeds or young plants that would get lost in the gaps of the LFS.
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    Floor dry/kitty litter (Mexi Pinguicula)

    Floor dry/kitty litter needs to be made of baked freshwater Diatomaceous earth. It’s porous and holds nutrients and moisture very well while keeping the soil loose and aerated. It is alkaline. Comes in different granular sizes.
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    Mixing your soil
    Keep in mind what the conditions were where the plant would be found in the wild when choosing your mix. Does it like wet acidic soil, sandy loose soil or a alkaline mix. Here are some suggestions for choosing the right soil for your plant. http://www.carnivorousplantsociety.ca/index.php?threads/soil-for-carnivorous-plants.1615/#post-10399
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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  2. Lloyd Gordon

    Lloyd Gordon Parasitic Plant Aficionado Staff Member

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    Diatomaceous earth:

    ~90% silica, should be neutral pH? Also contains alumina and iron, possibly toxic to plants? Look for ~ 1% non-silica.

    Also your silica sand is fine, like play sand, the coarser grades like 12 mesh are preferred.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  3. stevebradford

    stevebradford Carnivorous Plant Addict

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    Your right a more corse sand is what you want to use, hard to find. I will add that to the description. Good info thanks Lloyd!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  4. jeff

    jeff Carnivore

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    attention to the perlite it tends to dissolve in the water.
    use Floor dry/kitty litter (possibly also gypsum) just for a lot of ping
    you can use also pouzzolane ( volcanic rock for good aeration of the substrate) , Rockwool ,expanded polystyrene.
     
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