Matt wrote:Not entirely. While peat moss may have a few nutrients in it that the plant could absorb, I believe it's mostly devoid of all nutrition that plants like (NPK or nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium). In order to get energy to grow, they photosynthesize energy from the sun. That is the reason why flytraps need so much light to be healthy.
I'm not a plant physiologist nor a botanist, so much of what I write there may not be "technically correct", but the underlying assertions should be.
I see. I've read that nitrogen is an essential element for building cell walls, and since the marsh soil flytraps grow in natively is very nutrient-poor, they supplement it by absorbing nitrogen (and other elements) from captured insects. In theory, this can't be supplemented by photosynthesis, as it only transforms compounds into other compounds (specifically, CO2 into organic compounds); it doesn't have the ability to generate any atomic elements that are not there, like nitrogen. I'm reading that peat moss, though poorer in such elements than other gardening mediums, is still about 1% nitrogen (it being organic in origin), which is probably still higher than the native marsh soil (this last part is a wild guess/assumption though).
Sorry to engage in such musings; though I don't have a formal biology background, I tend to find this stuff fascinating.