Opinions on Wicking pots for VFTs

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Opinions on Wicking pots for VFTs

by omnipercp15 » Thu May 24, 2018 4:07 pm

I got inspired this year to change up my VFT pots. Instead of bottom-tray watering, I thought I would make a wicking pot. The idea behind this is that there is a reservoir of water inside the pot, and the water comes up via capillary action thru the media (peat moss and perlite) to the rest of the container. Thus it is a kind of bottom watering but it would have a constant supply of water from the reservoir.

I know that containers with a reservoir of water are common (eg, put a hole about 1" up the side of the container, and it has the 1" depth to retain some water before it begins overflowing out), but that is with the potting medium sitting in along with the water at the same space. With the wicking pots, it's possible the wicking peat moss might not be in water at all, if I wait too long to refill it.

Has anyone used this kind of pot concept for CPs and how do you feel about it? Any pros and cons to doing it for CPs?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Opinions on Wicking pots for VFTs

by ApgarTraps » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:33 am

Railing planter.jpg
Railing planter.jpg (1.5 MiB) Viewed 604 times

Hi Omni:

I use a "self-watering" railing planter with great results.

The planter has an elevated bottom platform with slots, which sits about an inch above the interior bottom of the planter. By the design of the planter, any excess water above this bottom platform will overflow.

While this may keep the medium from sitting in the water, I'm not sure it really makes a difference -- compared with just drilling some holes an inch from the bottom of any pot -- as long as the water can flow out if -- for instance -- there's a lot of rain.

This particular planter works well on a railing, and I have 3 of them. However -- if I were to plant a free-standing pot -- I'd do exactly what you propose: drill some holes an inch or two from the bottom.

As for your concern about the failure to reach the water and "wick", I don't think that's a problem since the "self watering" planters typically have a few "legs" in the platform that allow some of the medium to dip into the water. Also -- upon re-potting this year -- I noticed that my VFT's all had long roots which grew through the slots, dipping directly into the water reservoir!

The main benefit of this system is that I can travel for up to a week -- leaving my plants in the hot Georgia sun -- and know that they will not dry out. Also, the reservoir allows me to "warehouse" excess rainwater, which substantially cuts down on my distilled water purchases.

I hope this helps! Write back with any follow-up questions -- I'm happy to help.



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Re: Opinions on Wicking pots for VFTs

by Jagasian » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:59 pm

I use this wicking aka self watering pot planter:
Santino Self Watering Planter Asti 7.1 Inch White/Black Flower Pot.

I like it and will buy another one in the future. I grow indoors under intense artificial lights that raise the temperature of the plant and cause the long fiber sphagnum that I grow in to dry out quickly.

The planter pot has a clear plastic window to visually indicate how much water is left in the reservoir. I get the best results by watering the sphagnum that my fly trap grows in, to the point where the reservoir is half filled, and I do not re-water until the reservoir is completely empty.

Watering more frequently or filling the reservoir past the halfway mark has caused me issues with fungal outbreaks... possibly because I grow indoors and so I need to keep my plant’s sphagnum a bit drier than if I grew outdoors with UV light and greater airflow.

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Re: Opinions on Wicking pots for VFTs

by FLjan » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:43 pm

/M in Georgia, self watering planters that u have; do u think they can handle central Florida rainy monsoon season & not drown vfts. I’ve tried to get help on this issue since I want to move my plants outside this week Dec 2018. Also Omni thanks for planter info too.

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Re: Opinions on Wicking pots for VFTs

by Digestive Juice » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:36 am

Yes... definitely. They have an overflow hole, so once the reservoir is full, all the remaining monsoon rain will drip out the bottom.

I hope this answers your question. Follow up with me if I can further assist you.

/M in Georgia

Triple-scanned for accuracy by SpelCzech

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