FlytrapCare Carnivorous Plant Forums

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Discussions about growing with minimal or no organic growing medium.

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By Werkki
Posts:  11
Joined:  Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:13 am
Hi! I found something interresting while browsing the internet. Hydroponics. I'm now wondering if I could apply this method on some of my carnivorous plants. As I only have two VFT, two Nepenthes, and two diff. Sarracenia, I don't want to kill them by growing them this way if it's not possible.

A short description of what I'm talking about is growing Carn. plants by putting cuttings into "seedstarting plugs" as their only "growing medium". I will add a picture so to show better what I mean. I know this can be used for herbs and other plants with nutrients, but in growing Carn. plants I'm not going to put any of that into the water- because it will kill them.

Which plants can get watered this way? Is it comparable to having some carnivorous plants sit in a tray of water?

Thx for helping/preventing me from killing my plants. :)

hydroponic.png (290.28 KiB) Viewed 15958 times
By Daniel_G
Posts:  5472
Joined:  Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:27 pm
well if you are going to do this you'll need more plants so it wont matter to much,seeing as cp's are adapted to low soil nutrients it probably could first you would need to mist the roots by hand about 3 or four times a day until the roots got big enough to reach down into whatever container has the water in,after that i would mist em once a day to stop the roots from drying up.

hope ive helped
By Werkki
Posts:  11
Joined:  Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:13 am
Thx for your help, squirtoman!

I'll delay this plan until spring or summer so that my cp's get more time to grow, but it's nice to know that it could work. The roots will be hidden beneath a lid so that they don't get damaged by sunlight and its effects on the plant. I'm currently growing some seeds in a somewhat similar system, but these are only herbseeds.
By Werkki
Posts:  11
Joined:  Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:13 am
No, there's a pump that pumps the water into the pipe from the reservoar w/nutrients in it. You only need to refill the water/nutrients when it naturally goes out of the system or when the plants have used the nutrients available. I'm currently looking at Aquaponics, but for other plants than cp's..
By alabama
Posts:  312
Joined:  Sat May 15, 2010 6:53 pm
Werkki wrote:No, there's a pump that pumps the water into the pipe from the reservoar w/nutrients in it. You only need to refill the water/nutrients when it naturally goes out of the system or when the plants have used the nutrients available. I'm currently looking at Aquaponics, but for other plants than cp's..
i can tell by the lava rocks where the roots are coming from that this specfic setup of the pic you posted is used to grow marijuana, the container is a big blue tub (bought at walmart with the lid) with 6 holes cut in the top and one in the side for the mister, i do believe it would be possible to do Carnivorous plants via aeroponic which is just using the mister and no water in the bottom, i do believe if you tryed to solely do hydroponics i think that after sometime they would suffer from root rot? but idk, just saying the info i know. prolly wouldnt be a good idea to use nuts for em either.
By Werkki
Posts:  11
Joined:  Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:13 am
The pic. I uploaded was just one example of the system with many varieties/designs. I too found that the same systems are being used for marijuana and vegetables and so on, but that's plants with needs of nutrients. The airoponic might be better for cp's 'cause of their special needs, yes. I'm not too sure of how root rot developes being a newbie gardener of cp's/other plants. The airoponic with the mister also maximizes the water-intake of the plants compared to the other systems of growing- I'll try this when my cp's grow larger so that I can afford to loose one or two if it should fail. Thx for the input ;)
By bombsboy
Posts:  584
Joined:  Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:57 am
i beleive the media or the water would have to be slightly acidic, and are you going to feed them? that would sort of defeat the purpose of a contaminant free zone.
By goldslinger
Posts:  772
Joined:  Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:31 am
Hey, All.

I'm ordering this system and giving it a go for VFT'S.

I've been toying around with this idea for some time; don't know the benefits, but like the Science of it. My clean room would be a whole lot 'cleaner' getting the dirt out of there. I guess I'm hoping that Mother plants in this system for a few Weeks would be easier to get cleaner cuttings from for culture.

I think I will leave the R.O. water as is (with the airstone, the carbonic acid should buffer the PH at about 3.8 or so, I'm guessing) and just use Bi-monthly foliar feeding with a seaweed based water soluable fertilizer. Take it slow and easy and don't do drastic changes. My only concern is with algae on the top; probably won't hurt anything. The tub is opaque, so no growth down there.

Someone mentioned root rot. With the airstone, everything is so aerobic that i can't see that happening.

I will take before and progressive pics and post from time to time as I have time. I'm going into this totally ignorant :lol:

Here's for hoping.

By Leaf Talon
Posts:  14
Joined:  Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:56 am
Hi guys, I have not posted in awhile, but have been lurking and learning!

I tried a DIY aeroponic setup last summer and was very encouraged by my results. There was no root rot as the pH I ran the system at (5.0-5.5) was too low for bacterial growth and yes, the highly aerobic environment is nonconducive to root rot. My plants thrived for about a month until I ran into a problem caused by my homemade system. Instead of the neoprene inserts normally sold with this sort of unit, I made inserts from the closed-cell foam used in camping pads/mattresses. Over time this material (mine was blue) leaches the dye out and it creeps by capillary action up and down the flytrap, killing it. However I saw enough positive results to feel sure that the aeroponic technique works for VFT's, at least shorterm.

All the other hydroponic systems would work well, too, in my opinion. This summer I plan to try a DIY ebb and flow system (one of the simplest) with a pure silica sand substrate. The daily flood cycles will provide plenty of water and the fast draining medium will provide plenty of oxygen to the roots. It is my belief that a lack of oxygen at the rootzone is the biggest problem many folks have with their VFTs. Hydro is specifically designed to provide maximum air and nutriemts to plants, and as long as the nutes are left out of the mix, I think this might be a good way for many folks to go.

That system you linked to, Goldslinger, looks like a good unit at a good price. I may try one myself--let us know what you think of yours!

Best to you all!

Leaf Talon
Leaf Talon liked this
By goldslinger
Posts:  772
Joined:  Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:31 am
Thanks, Leaf!
Do You agree that I should leave nutrition via the root system out of the picture, or should I try very weak concentrations. I was going to simply do a foliar feeding.

The ph around 5.5 or so? How do I adjust that? Sodium Bi-carbonate and Vinegar?

Thanks for the encouragement.

By Leaf Talon
Posts:  14
Joined:  Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:56 am
One of the things that intrigues me about growing flytraps hydroponically is that it allows an easy way to experiment with fertilization. I think I read somewhere that the flytraps' native soil is very short of nitrogen but does have a fair amount of potassium due to frequent fires. I really know very little about this but it's fun to think about.

It's easy to adjust the pH of irrigation water, your local aquarium store (or Walmart) should have a test kit and some "pH down". It is an acid which is safe for fish and plants(in the proper concentration). Vinegar, etc., can be used but it takes alot and is less pure and no more safe. Once you lower the pH of RO or distilled water it will stay there as there are no carbonate materials in the water to interact with the acid.
By goldslinger
Posts:  772
Joined:  Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:31 am

I got My 40 pot system from K Hydroponics and it is so simply made, that for now, I just borrowed the pump, hose and a couple of net pots from it and made a simple 2 pot 'test' system that I can upgrade to a 5 pot for right now as I would rather kill 2 plants than 40. :lol:

I got a plastic tub and lid that was to be a pencil holder from Staples, painted the outside of the lid white with plastic paint, and the outside of the base the same way with black.

I drilled two holes for the net pots, smaller hole and capped (not shown in pics as I added it later) for the PH probe, and a smaller hole yet for the air tubing. Picked up a tiny airstone, put 36 ounces of DI water, added 1/10th the strength of 'MAXSEA' Seaweed based water soluable fertilizer into the water and adjusted the PH to 5.5

I sifted some perlite and the larger chunks remained in the netpots, added two B-52'S, and stuck them in the system. I have just the bottom of the pot barely touching the bubbling water.

I have the two plants under 6500k T5 HO lamps giving out 1,270 footcandles.

We will see how it goes! Pics below:




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