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Adam

Sarracenia Collector
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Jun 19, 2008
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Today i was at tony avent's nursery. I bought 2 sarrs, ladybug and doodlebug (well my dad bought the doodlebug) and i was talking to him about cps, mostly sarrs. there were 2 things he said that i never knew.
1. i lose most of my plants over winter. the problem could be too much watering...
he waters the pots of sarrs not too often, only along with other plants, and there is a bog, and all sarrs are in a raised area that doesnt get too much water. He said to prevent sarr /loss, i should drill drainage holes near the bottom of the pot. i will do that with mine. he also said they will tolerate just being watered regullary, like once a week(i would say). another proof of this is number 2.
2. He had some sarrs, scarlet belle and dixie lace growing in regullar potting soil(there's has fertilizer) and they grow in the regular soil. I saw them myself, and he waters them only as often as the other pots. they were thriving and doing well, the only thing was many tall plants were blocking most of the sun.

So this year, i will not water often(only when water is dry) and hopefully i will save my plants. i will try a judith hindle(i have like 6) in regular soil when i get back home.
 

Not a Number

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With almost all carnivorous plants that go dormant it is usually advisable to cut back watering. Many of the winter growing Drosera need to be almost bone dry while dormant. If you search this forum I'm sure you'll find numerous posts advising to cut back watering during dormancy.

Lots of luck growing Sarracenia in nutrient rich media. The experience of the nursery flies in the face of much research and years of experience of many growers. Back in the early 70's I had bought a Darlingtonia and Sarracenia purpurea. I knew they needed "bog soil" but was totally ignorant about peat moss and could not find Sphagnum moss anywhere so I potted them in soil from our rose garden. You can guess what the outcome of that was.
 
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Yeah, too much wetness during winter will rot them out. I keep mine in a garage over winter and never water them at all until around march, when I scoop snow from the driveway onto them.

As far as growing them in regular soil, I can't speak from experience as to the effects, but I would guess the type of soil would make a big difference. If it's a mostly mineral soil, I would think the plants wouldn't last that long, maybe a year or two, probably depending on the clay content. If it's a rich, organic soil, they'd probably survive better. If it's a purchased potting soil, they actually may not do that bad - depending on the kind. I know some of them are mostly peat moss, with some other amendments, and it may not be that different from what is normally used. It could take several years to really notice if it's having any affect: whether the plant is getting larger each year and flowering, and overall looking healthy.
 
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There is no such thing as "regular potting soil"..
when you say "regular potting soil" you could be talking about any one of 50 totally different things..

And I have found lately that many "regular potting soils" sold at places such as HD and Lowes are almost pure peat! so if the "regular potting soil" chosen happened to be almost pure peat..then well, it would probably work fine for CPs! ;) otherwise..not so much.

Scot
 
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I always look foward to his open house weekends. The gardens at Plant Delights are amazing. I spent about 4 hours there Friday and plan to go again next week, I also was talking with him about his CPs and he said in his nursery plants he uses Nutricote slow release fertilizer. He said the Osmocote fertilizer would burn them.
 

Adam

Sarracenia Collector
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Jun 19, 2008
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Location
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There is no such thing as "regular potting soil"..
when you say "regular potting soil" you could be talking about any one of 50 totally different things..

And I have found lately that many "regular potting soils" sold at places such as HD and Lowes are almost pure peat! so if the "regular potting soil" chosen happened to be almost pure peat..then well, it would probably work fine for CPs! ;) otherwise..not so much.

Scot

For regular potting soil, i mean the top soil you order in dumptrucks and that thing, as for the watering, you dont need to water the plants as much as normal during summer. mainly let nature take care of it (ill do it with my purp and bog bowl)
 
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For regular potting soil, i mean the top soil you order in dumptrucks and that thing,


huh..never heard *that* referred to as "potting soil" before! ;)
ok then..I revise my statement:

when you say "regular potting soil" you could be talking about any one of 51 totally different things.. ;)

Scot
 
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We grow all of our Sarrs on benches 22 inches off the ground. We allow them to dry out (potting mix is moist, not wet) between waterings. One well known grower visiting us exclaimed the first time he saw our plants, "You know, they are bog plants!". Well, not at Sunbelle! We have eliminated water trays, which seem to promote rhizome rot, which spreads rampantly through a group of plants sitting in a stagnant tray of water.
Our potting media is simple: sphagnum peat and Phar-rock (sp?) sponge rock. No sand. Sand contributes to anaerobic conditions. Good drainage and growing on the dry side contributes to less disease and healthy, tougher plants. This is what works for us.
 
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We grow all of our Sarrs on benches 22 inches off the ground. We allow them to dry out (potting mix is moist, not wet) between waterings. One well known grower visiting us exclaimed the first time he saw our plants, "You know, they are bog plants!". Well, not at Sunbelle! We have eliminated water trays, which seem to promote rhizome rot, which spreads rampantly through a group of plants sitting in a stagnant tray of water.
Our potting media is simple: sphagnum peat and Phar-rock (sp?) sponge rock. No sand. Sand contributes to anaerobic conditions. Good drainage and growing on the dry side contributes to less disease and healthy, tougher plants. This is what works for us.

Hi Trent - was just curious as to how often you water your plants and if you use drainage holes in your pots. Also, I'm assuming your humidity levels are pretty high, being down in FL. The reason I'm curious is that I'm in NW Wisc., and we're pretty much close to being classified as a severe drought region. I think our last measurable rainfall was over 2 weeks ago, and I'm barely keeping up with keeping my Sarras watered, as our humidity has been generally low this summer and it seems the water evaporates quicker than I can pour it. I have some large mini-bog type of planting and those seem unaffected, but i have some that are in pots, using the tray method and I found some of those wilting and drying out this past Friday, and I don't think the tray was empty for that long. I also have some seedlings that are in shallow trays with pure sphagnum and I'm finding myself watering them almost every day. Any my little under-the-sink R.O. unit only puts out about 5 gallons/day.
 
Joined
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Another Florida grower here: I usually have problems with rot in the summer due to the excessive rains + tray.

Right now I'm switching over from tray growing to big community pots. I just have too much trouble with Sarracenia when I let them sit in water.
 
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Watering depends on the time of year. All of our pots have drainage holes. During dormancy, typically we water once or twice a week, depending on how much rain we get and relative humidity. Winter/spring is our dry season. As Jeremy indicated, most rot problems rear their ugly head in summer when humidity is high and rain is frequent, but rot may occur at any time. Michelle does a mid morning walk thru nearly every day, looking for potential problems. It is important to catch rot problems early on before it spreads through the whole plant.
In spring, when temps are moderate, we are in the peak of our dry season, and the plants are just out of dormancy. Watering is daily.
Our plants get either rain or RO water.
We do not place sphagnum in/on our Sarracenia pots. We know it looks nice, but it is a major contributor to rot. Best to keep the rhizome as exposed to light and air as possible.Overall, it is important to avoid stagnant conditions.
Hope this is helpful.
 

Not a Number

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The Fusarium fungus is one known cause of rhizome rot. Fungus gnats are a vector in spreading this fungus. By keeping your media on the dry side you are keeping the fungus gnat population at bay. What happens if you put a mulch of sand (~1/2 inch) on top of your pots? This keeps the gnats out since they need wet decaying organic matter for their larvae.
 
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