FlytrapCare Carnivorous Plant Forums

Sponsored by

Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

Moderator: Matt

By bananaman
Posts:  2059
Joined:  Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:54 am
I sent out some seeds to folks recently and also got a bunch myself, so I thought I’d put together a little photo documentary of how I prepare my soil for seeds or plants or cuttings.

The basic materials are peat, perlite, CP-appropriate water, and a bucket. I fill the bucket partway with water.
DA8A0FFD-80E1-4573-9370-712C990C07C7.jpeg (2.74 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I dump some peat moss on top of the water — it’s dry, so it floats.
7F7311D0-8E68-4B8F-8B94-BB4B7769D7BE.jpeg (2.68 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I put my hand in the bucket and submerge handfuls of peat moss, squeezing them while they’re under water. This begins hydrating it.
AEF32638-CA55-4E50-AEF4-DE77E5C94FAA.jpeg (2.13 MiB) Viewed 875 times
Once it’s all hydrated, I add more dry peat on top. Because some is already wet, the hydration goes a lot faster now.
CA67EC8D-292F-481E-B399-941EC22C4379.jpeg (2.81 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I use lots of extra water, so I end up with a soupy peat/water mix.
C5164567-B601-4831-AC83-96CF473AD674.jpeg (3 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I drain off all the water and squeeze out extra from the peat to begin rinsing it.
ED134F77-3497-49BA-80BF-1E81D98421B8.jpeg (2.24 MiB) Viewed 875 times
Even though this is a pretty clean bale, it’s not fully rinsed yet and will still grow algae and or moss at this point, so I add more water to make it soupy again.
3EE5F014-9A50-4269-B9B6-B8305E2E9F3C.jpeg (2.41 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I stir all the peat around to be sure everything gets rinsed.
247CEFCF-3BB7-4C4D-847A-B8DF25C1D210.jpeg (2.54 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I drain it again.
94CF4958-8738-4F9D-BF95-0D920B435DA1.jpeg (2.11 MiB) Viewed 875 times
For adult plants, I mix in the perlite here. If your peat is a little dirty, you’ll want to rinse it again. But for seeds, cuttings, and small plants, I want my peat extra clean, so I rinse it again. This batch is for some sundew seeds, so it gets an extra rinse just like the last step.

You might wonder why it’s worth rinsing media. Here’s why. This pot is from January, was thoroughly rinsed, it wasn’t bagged, and has basically nothing growing in it:
A21B6B80-6A7B-4B23-B56E-2CAC002E2885.jpeg (2.68 MiB) Viewed 873 times
This pot is from April and wasn’t rinsed as thoroughly. It was bagged for a while, and it’s been sprayed with Maxsea on many occasions. It’s got some stuff growing in it, but not much.
DC641F08-5BED-408A-8BC6-6BB9F60E1402.jpeg (2.67 MiB) Viewed 873 times
This pot was from fall 2018. Yes, it’s older, but it wasn’t rinsed. It grew all sorts of stuff.
97D22214-33B0-4AF6-A8D6-CC0404389DBA.jpeg (2.62 MiB) Viewed 873 times
Now, I pour in perlite. If I were really concerned with it, I’d sieve it all to the same size to remove dust and big chunks, but that’s a pain and it generates loads of dust you don’t want to breathe. It might be worth lightly wetting the perlite so there’s not as much dust. I eyeball the proportion, trying to make it 50/50 for most carnivores.
0F34BA7D-E471-46D7-A9FC-40E88C16E617.jpeg (2.8 MiB) Viewed 875 times
Next, I mix it all together, breaking up chunks. This will dry out the media some — so any plants will need watering in.
7BAB9E25-32C0-4D13-A3FB-44A054861FDC.jpeg (2.32 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I get pots and fill them up.
8763716E-EB9E-48BF-867A-DA9AB619DB88.jpeg (2.41 MiB) Viewed 875 times
Next, I make labels. I prefer the plastic ones that go into the pots, but I’m all out of those right now. Instead, I write the plant and sow date on a small piece of paper and carefully tape it to the side of the pot. If you seal it well and use waterproof pen, these can last for at least a couple years.
5F305144-12B8-4750-8F38-6136ABA0B741.jpeg (1.41 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I place them in a bag and water them in. If it settles, I add more media and water again. I prefer to bag pots individually. If I bag multiple pots together like this, I make sure the pots have very different species in them that are easy to tell apart. Why do I bag them? It keeps the media cleaner, it makes me water less, and it keeps out weedy plant seeds.
10BFC3C7-68E5-43D8-ACC7-DB8502569458.jpeg (2.13 MiB) Viewed 874 times
Next, I sow the seeds. These are from the ICPS and are easy to get out of their packets. Other seeds may be harder to get out of the packet.
7AA4EF13-49BA-4307-A026-93B75DA1C883.jpeg (1.58 MiB) Viewed 875 times
33658A35-63DE-41E5-9064-61E24E33EF22.jpeg (1.04 MiB) Viewed 875 times
Last, I close the bag and place them under lights. My house is warm, so it’s typically ~85°F during the day under lights and ~70°F at night. For really thermophilic species like the D. indica group or the woolly sundews, I place the bags on a heat mat on the same timer as the lights.
4407E6FE-70A0-410C-88D9-6E9AE5851F73.jpeg (1.37 MiB) Viewed 875 times
I sow all my "regular" CP seeds like this — VFTs, sarrs, sundews, etc. Basically anything that likes an ordinary CP media.
By kelvinc1989
Posts:  51
Joined:  Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:44 pm
Thanks for the great info and the pictures! I'm always worried I might lose a huge amount of my peat when I wash them. I wonder if it's worth using a cheese cloth or rag to squeeze out the water.
By mcgrumpers
Posts:  223
Joined:  Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 am
Nice tips! I use a TDS meter to figure out when I've rinsed media sufficiently.

Do you prepare one big batch of peat and store it somewhere or do you go through this process every time you sow seeds?
By chomato
Posts:  207
Joined:  Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:36 am
That one plant boi wrote:Nice! How many cubic feet is the bag of peat?

Sent from my LG-M150 using Tapatalk
It looks like a 3 cubic feet one from HD
By CarnivoresUnite
Posts:  260
Joined:  Thu May 16, 2019 8:13 pm
Great and informative Bananaman! Thanks!

I use that same peat moss! LOL and it has worked well for me since May, similar results when it's rinsed and also twig removal. I also "coffee filter" my soil media to prevent any extra non welcome growth in the soil.
By Granpa Walt
Posts:  96
Joined:  Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 am
This is my first time using peat moss. I did my first washing per instructions. I gathered the floating peat, handful at a time, squeezed out the water and put it in another bucket. Then I did the same with the peat on the bottom of the bucket. Left in the bucket was super-fine black soil.

What do I do with this soil? Discard with the water? or separate from the dirty water? Do I then follow up with the same thing for each succeeding wash?

Your GranPa needs to know.

Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

Sundew Trusted Sellers???

i'm pretty sure there's a 3 dollar adult cape sund[…]

Tell you what, I'll do you one better. I'm plannin[…]

How to propagate Indica?

I have a drosera indica, and I dont know if they a[…]

Fly trap dormancy is NOT necessary

@Artchic528 , The plants might grow, but they wo[…]

i've heard of ants over-fertilizing and killing Ne[…]

Thanks. I'll just keep a look out going forward kn[…]

thanks! SASE sent out yesterday!

Nepenthes grafting?

hypotheticly, yes, the more closely related the be[…]

Support the community - Shop at!