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

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By MarcinS
Location: 
Posts:  12
Joined:  Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:28 pm
#390614
The fabric I used is some kind of a tulle with a dense mesh. I got it from my girlfriend so I do not know any details.

KHP in my country is cheap, it costs like 4$ for 50g
https://allegro.pl/oferta/wodoroftalan- ... 8979148259
Divide the price by 4 to get it in $. I can test how much of KHP must be added to water to get pH=4. I add just small amount of it and it seems to be fine.

I have noticed that another deficiency occurred in some of my plants. Young leaves in some droseras were pale green and their growth was slow. Based on the visual effects I concluded that it could be iron deficiency. I added iron to these plants and they got better. I added iron to other plants too. But caution must be taken with adding iron as it may be toxic to plants in higher concentrations, especially in bog conditions. In this article
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 4309003686
authors wrote that some elements (including iron) cannot be completely delivered to CP plants by prey only and plants must uptake it via roots.

I see that growing plants in pure sand may be tricky and may lead to development of nutrient deficiencies, even if plants are regularly fed. I have decided to add a small amount of peat to some plants (some droseras but not VFTs), now it is something like 99% sand and 1% peat. I have also decided to water my plants with RO water that was rinsed through peat. It should provide at least some nutrients to water and acidify it.

I will post some pictures of my plants in near future.
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By elaineo
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Posts:  409
Joined:  Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am
#390615
davinstewart wrote:Interesting! It looks like you're not using a wicking fabric and have the sand sitting directly in the water. That might be too much moisture for the flytrap, don't know.

Have you modified the pH of your water? The OP didn't mention it much but getting the pH down might be very important.
The flytrap didn't have any roots yet, since it was just growing from a cutting. I am using RO water without the deionization stage, so the pH is around 6.5 and the TDS is ~15.

A downside I noticed is that the jar gets really hot sitting on the windowsill. Like a little greenhouse in there.
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By elaineo
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Posts:  409
Joined:  Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am
#390617
@MarcinS I noticed a similar thing. Here is a capensis seedling started in silica sand. I have been feeding it, but it looks sad and yellow, and much smaller compared to other capensis seedlings grown in peat. I thought it was getting too hot in the jar, and the roots had cooked.
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Edit: I just noticed you have a hole in your cups for overflow. That probably also allows some ventilation to prevent overheating, which I did not have.
By MarcinS
Location: 
Posts:  12
Joined:  Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:28 pm
#390747
elaineo wrote:I have been feeding it, but it looks sad
My D. capensis grows well in pure sand. Maybe roots in water are more vulneralble to heat than roots in peat?

My pinguiculas grown in pure sand. I keep them at work. They grow in a traditional way, not in hydroponics. From time to time I spray their leaves with diluted fertiliser because I do not have time to feed them.
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steve booth, elaineo, Lain liked this
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By elaineo
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Posts:  409
Joined:  Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am
#391493
I adapted your idea so the silica-sand cups are now sitting in a hydroponic bubbler. These are small divisions/cuttings so there is not much to see yet.
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Overall I think your idea is great. Growing in pure silica sand allows for experimenting with different nutrients and pH without worrying about side effects from the peat media. I look forward to running some tests using your setup this winter.
Apollyon, Lain liked this
By MarcinS
Location: 
Posts:  12
Joined:  Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:28 pm
#393294
Late autumn update

I found that growing plants in completely pure sand and relying only on foliar feeding may be impossible or at least very difficult. My plants started to grow worse, especially venus flytraps. I was feeding them with dried insects and sprayed diluted fertilizer on their leaves. I did not help much. Previously I found that my plants had potassium deficiencies, later it was probably iron deficiency. I think more nutrients became lacking but I am unable to tell which one.

I have decided to water my plants with water passed through peat.
bottle.jpg
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1 – here I add RO water
2- sphagnum peat
3- filter made from a paper towel
4- water passed through peat, used to water plants

Water dissolves nutrients contained in peat. It really helped to my plants, they got better and grow bigger. Water that passed through peat contains something that my plants were deficient in. I use the same peat for about two months. As peat slowly decomposes it should release new portions of nutrients. If my plants start to show signs of deficiencies then I will take new portion of peat. Sometimes I add some KHP to peat to increase potassium concentration in water (potassium is very easily leached from peat).

I work in the laboratory so I had the opportunity to measure some properties of such water:
pH 6.5
nitrate nitrogen 0,04 mg/L
ammonium nitrogen 0,015 mg/L
phosphate phosphorus 0,02 mg/L
sulphate sulphur 1.35 mg/L

Nutrient content is very low but these are values typically found in oligotrophic peatlands.



Now some pictures, all plants are grown in sand.

Droseras:

Drosera affinis
affinis.jpg
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Drosera aliciae
aliciae.jpg
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Drosera coccicaulis
coocicaulis plant.jpg
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coccicaulis roots.jpg
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D. finlaysoniana, grow in sand from a seed
finl.jpg
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D. glabripes
glabripes.jpg
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D. hamiltonii, I added some pine bark on the top of sand.
hamiltonii.jpg
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D. nidiformis
nidiformis.jpg
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D. oblanceolata
oblanceolata.jpg
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D. paradoxa
paradoxa.jpg
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D. pulchella
pygmy.jpg
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D. scorpioides, grown in this container from gemmae
scorpioides.jpg
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D. spatulata
spatulata.jpg
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Venus flytraps. I do not give them typical dormancy period (it will be 3rd winter without cold dormancy. I just give them short day in winter, as short as it is outside. In my opinion it is enough to induce dormancy).
V1.jpg
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V2.jpg
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v5.jpg
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Venus flytraps that I keep at home, all are grown in sand:
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Other plants:

Roridulas, grown in sand from seeds
roridula plant.jpg
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Roots of roridulas
roridula root.jpg
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Heliamphora midoxa
heliamfora plant.jpg
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Heliamfora root.jpg
Heliamfora root.jpg (1.8 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Cephalotus
cephalotus plant.jpg
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cephalotus root.jpg
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Pinguicula cyclosecta
cyclosecta.jpg
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Pinguicula gypsicola
gypsicola.jpg
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Do you think that this silica sand will work?

Maybe try aquarium sand? It will be clean, in my country it is cheap, about 10$ for 30 kg, price includes delivery.
By davinstewart
Location: 
Posts:  91
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
#393302
Interesting about the nutrient deficiencies.

Are you growing those under sunlight? If so then how are you handling heat buildup within the water chamber?

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