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

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By Vanval1230
Posts:  42
Joined:  Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:53 am
#373993
Hi everyone, 
So I've been doing some research and it looks like many people recommend repotting fly traps yearly. I feel like this is too much work(i have around 100 plants and im a full time student) and waste of medium(peat & sphagnum), so is there any method that will still allow the plants to thrive such as by only changing the top or lower portions of the potting medium? Would it have the same effect when simply unpotting, loosening the mix, then repotting with the same mix? And how can you tell when the medium is not good anymore? Will the repot drastically change vft growth? I have watched the relatively recent video made by FTS relating to this.
Thanks.
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By sanguinearocks101
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Posts:  1657
Joined:  Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:56 am
#373999
I repot every 2 years for all my plants. I have heard of people using sulphur chips or something like that to prevent the media breaking down in bog gardens. I have not tried it before so don’t take my word for it.
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By Vanval1230
Posts:  42
Joined:  Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:53 am
#374001
Hmm yeah, I'm thinking of taking the repotting every 2 years approach, or at least repotting only my favorites yearly.
Does time of year affect the growth of the vft, so if I were to repot middle of spring would it be better for my plants health if I just left them in older medium than repotting during the wrong time? Had this happen last yr where i repotted some flytraps middle/late spring and they went dormant all summer? Never knew this could happen or what exactly triggered this.
I know the plants are supposed to thrive much better with fresh media but how much?
What benefits most, the size of the traps or the amount of growth/divisions the plants will put out? These are some thoughts I've had when deciding which plants to prioritze on my spare time.
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By MikeB
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Posts:  679
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#374006
The smaller the pot, the faster the soil goes "sour". You might be able to get away with 3 years, but that's really pushing it. When this happens, you won't have any trouble recognizing it: the plants are very reluctant to grow, the petioles are short, and the traps are small. When you unpot them, you're likely to find a bunch of small divisions. I had this happen with my A2 and Grün plants last year.

I try to repot my plants in late winter / early spring, but I haven't had many issues with doing it at the height of summer when necessary. I found that it's best to keep the newly repotted plants in a low-light area for a week or two so they can get settled in, then start acclimating them back to full sun. I didn't do this with my big pot of Low Giants last year, and they sulked for the rest of the summer.

After I repot my flytraps, they usually put on a burst of new growth (more/bigger traps). Divisions usually come along later after the plants have been growing and eating for a while.
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By Nepenthes0260
Posts:  1171
Joined:  Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:59 am
#374022
I repot my temperate plants once every two years, that seems to keep the media good for them. It’s a different story for tropical plants that aren’t exposed to the elements, I don’t feel that helis need repotted until they outgrow the pot. Media seems to stay fine for them.
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By steve booth
Posts:  933
Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#374036
Repoting is necessary to keep your plants in a good condition as the substrate in the pots loses its acidity with water washing through it over time, this elevation in PH allows the medium to degrade thereby releasing nutrients into the pot making matters worse. As it degrades the soil 'grain' size gets smaller and it compacts, so it is more difficult for oxygen to permeate to the roots, all in all the plant looks and is more distressed as time goes on.

So in answer to your question, yes repotting as you have found out, can cause set back to your plants, repot in Feb or March to minimise this. Taller pots produce better specimens, don't just use your existing medium to repot your plants otherwise the only benefit will be additional oxygen to the roots which probably won't be good enough. At the very least mix it with new peat and or pine nuggets and check the PH if you can, or grow in pure live Sphagnum if you can stand its invasive nature for VFTs then you need never repot .
Cheers
Steve
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By Panman
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Posts:  1890
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#374111
Scatter it to the five winds in an offering for their blessing on the newly planted babies. (Okay, I chuck it in the backyard.)
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By Vanval1230
Posts:  42
Joined:  Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:53 am
#374125
Panman wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:15 am Scatter it to the five winds in an offering for their blessing on the newly planted babies. (Okay, I chuck it in the backyard.)
Best comment ever! That made my day 😂
By hungrycarnivores
Posts:  112
Joined:  Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:53 pm
#374440
Vanval1230 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:30 pm Thank you all for your informative responses! What do you all do with your old media? Compost it?
I might be bad... But I reuse it! Many, many ways I can think of.
1. If your soil is basic, peat is full of humic/fulvic acid which can drop the pH and I have used it as an amendment before. Not my favorite since it smells... interesting when it rots.
2. I like it when it decomposes since it holds water very well. I mix it with new peat and reuse it.
3. Pings like dry media, so I give them the decomposed stuff with 1:4 peat:perlite
4. Yeet that stuff over the fence - 0/10 do not recommend
5. UTRICULARIA! I have found that epiphytes really like that sludge mixed into their LFS.
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By Nepenthes0260
Posts:  1171
Joined:  Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:59 am
#374442
Vanval1230 wrote:Thank you all for your informative responses! What do you all do with your old media? Compost it?
I reuse it as media for less picky plants, like capensis. A lot of Drosera and terrestrial utrics aren't picky about that kind of thing at all, so I usually sweep up all my extra soil/plant clippings/other junk on my greenhouse floor and pot dews in it. I've found some pretty weird stuff in capensis soil that I repotted-- one perfectly happy plant was growing in iron nails mixed with peat (don't ask how that got in there :lol:)
By omnipercp15
Posts:  352
Joined:  Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:58 am
#376572
I reuse it in regular plant containers. Just mix it in small portions with the new regular soil mix, then plant other plants in them.

You can also do 50% this year and 50% next year, so that you will begin to do a 2-year change scheme, with 50% of them getting them this year, and 50% next year, and then keep doing that going forward.
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By Adrien
Posts:  582
Joined:  Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:13 pm
#376594
I’ve talked with Matt for a while now and he’s told me that you can reuse the same sphagnum as long as the plant has fresh sphagnum around the rhizome. I do the same using old media in the bottom of my pots packed denser than the top. Matt/Leah has also told me that it does not matter what time of the year you replant them, they haven’t noticed any differences over the years.

Replanting crowded plants, plants with many divisions, is beneficial cause flytraps don’t like to be too crowded and they can get their largest. Usually after one year the plants divide a lot and would like to be repotted.
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By Matt
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Posts:  22424
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#376596
Adrien wrote:I’ve talked with Matt for a while now and he’s told me that you can reuse the same sphagnum as long as the plant has fresh sphagnum around the rhizome. I do the same using old media in the bottom of my pots packed denser than the top. Matt/Leah has also told me that it does not matter what time of the year you replant them, they haven’t noticed any differences over the years.

Replanting crowded plants, plants with many divisions, is beneficial cause flytraps don’t like to be too crowded and they can get their largest. Usually after one year the plants divide a lot and would like to be repotted.
Well said, @Adrien!
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