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Discuss Sarracenia, Heliamphora, Darlingtonia, Cephalotus plant care here

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By Granpa Walt
Posts:  97
Joined:  Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 am
#330309
My first ever CP, a S.Purpurea needed repotting and in taking her up I discovered she had propagated five daughter plants. I didn't recognize the black soil from the pot so I brought most of it to the plant/garden store that gifted me the plant to buy planting material like the one that has been so successful.

The plant people didn't recognize the soil but said that it had decayed completely. The friendly buyer for the store telephoned the grower and learned that he raises his pitcher plants in Pine Bark. She said the pine bark sold by her garden store was meant as mulch and dressing above ground and would be too coarse. I would need something much finer.

Has anyone used pine bark as soil for sarracenias? I'm trying to learn more about effective soils.


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By SundewWolf
Posts:  2205
Joined:  Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:38 pm
#330315
I would just pot the purp in pure Long fiber sphagnum moss. That’s how they grow in the bogs up here. or just 50/50 peat perlite mix. You can add in pine bark chips to loosen the mix (they usually have good pure bark chips at orchid nurseries), but I would stay away from using 100% pine bark since that will have a lot of gaps in it and dry quickly (which is why it’s good for orchids). You could keep the plant nearly submerged in water to counteract that but I don’t see the point, it would grow better in Sphag anyways. They way you would have to grow it after repotting in fresh pine bark: submerged in water will decomposed the bark chips quicker than if they were just a soil additive. The original grower may use this method, and may keep the plants alive but this is definitely not a better method than the traditional sphag or peat.
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By Jeeper
Location: 
Posts:  403
Joined:  Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:47 am
#330320
I've been to the s. purp bogs here in Wisconsin, nothing but live sphagnum moss on top of peat beds. I grow all my sarrs in a peat/sand mix.
By KategoricalKarnivore
Posts:  1725
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:00 pm
#330321
There are many growers in the UK that use pine bark as a medium for Sarracenia and have great results. Look up the Peat Free Carnivorous Plants group on Facebook. They can give you plenty of pointers.
By Granpa Walt
Posts:  97
Joined:  Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 am
#330352
Huntsmanshorn wrote:I have never used it but, for what it's worth, I've read it degrades quickly. Can't you get peat?
Hunts, The peat we find here is from Canada and looks like the green grass cuttings that are scraped from under a lawn mower and is sold in a compressed three cubic foot bale. Is that what everyone refers to when they say peat?

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By Huntsmanshorn
Posts:  556
Joined:  Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 am
#330385
Granpa Walt wrote:
Huntsmanshorn wrote:I have never used it but, for what it's worth, I've read it degrades quickly. Can't you get peat?
Hunts, The peat we find here is from Canada and looks like the green grass cuttings that are scraped from under a lawn mower and is sold in a compressed three cubic foot bale. Is that what everyone refers to when they say peat?

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The stuff I was asking about isn't green, its brown and looks kind of like dirt, or a bit like coconut coir, but it does come in 3 cubic foot bales.
By Granpa Walt
Posts:  97
Joined:  Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 am
#330408
Thanks Sundew Wolf, our Pine Bark comes in a 2cuft bag and in different sizes, from large nuggets about the size of a half dollar to garden mulch at 5/8" and the size I am using, smaller than 3/8". It is dark brown and feels like a clean soil. It holds moisture well from bottom watering. My two old s.purps have done so well in pine bark that I didn't want to spoil a good thing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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By FlyTrap Hunter
Posts:  761
Joined:  Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:05 am
#330491
Like Sundewwolf said, I would go buy the orchid bark growing medium from Lowe's or home Depot.
There can be dies and bad chemicals in the bagged bark for landscaping. Just saying I would not risk it. The orchid bark is cheap.
By SundewWolf
Posts:  2205
Joined:  Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:38 pm
#330509
FlyTrap Hunter wrote:Like Sundewwolf said, I would go buy the orchid bark growing medium from Lowe's or Home Depot.
Not sure about that since I’m not familiar with what the ingredients are in the Home Depot/Lowe’s orchid bark mixes. Dedicated orchid nurseries usually have good plain bark although you might want to break it down a bit so it doesn’t dry so fast. Usually it’s like 1/2 inch pieces.
By Granpa Walt
Posts:  97
Joined:  Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 am
#330513
Well Flytrap and Sundew instead the 1/2" orchid pine bark that you must break down a little so it won't drain too fast; you could try Phillips Soil Conditioner made of 100% pine bark, no additives or dyes, sized 3/8" and smaller. It holds or wicks water for top or bottom watering, slightly acidic and preferred by professional growers for it's low cost, handling ease, and durability of 3 to 4 years.

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