FlytrapCare Carnivorous Plant Forums

Sponsored by

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

Moderator: Matt

By MarcinS
Posts:  12
Joined:  Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:28 pm
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 ... 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 ... 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.
User avatar
By elaineo
Posts:  409
Joined:  Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am
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.
User avatar
By elaineo
Posts:  409
Joined:  Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am
@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.
IMG_2398.JPG (744.33 KiB) Viewed 482 times
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
Posts:  12
Joined:  Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:28 pm
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.
IMG_20211020_111112.jpg (1.94 MiB) Viewed 426 times
IMG_20211020_111100.jpg (2.31 MiB) Viewed 426 times
IMG_20211020_111152.jpg (3.88 MiB) Viewed 426 times
steve booth, elaineo, Lain liked this
User avatar
By elaineo
Posts:  409
Joined:  Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am
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.
IMG_2430.JPG (115.26 KiB) Viewed 332 times
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
Posts:  12
Joined:  Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:28 pm
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 (1.95 MiB) Viewed 189 times
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.


Drosera affinis
affinis.jpg (1.93 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Drosera aliciae
aliciae.jpg (2.5 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Drosera coccicaulis
coocicaulis plant.jpg
coocicaulis plant.jpg (2.31 MiB) Viewed 189 times
coccicaulis roots.jpg
coccicaulis roots.jpg (3.58 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. finlaysoniana, grow in sand from a seed
finl.jpg (4.29 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. glabripes
glabripes.jpg (1.28 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. hamiltonii, I added some pine bark on the top of sand.
hamiltonii.jpg (2.19 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. nidiformis
nidiformis.jpg (1.78 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. oblanceolata
oblanceolata.jpg (1.54 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. paradoxa
paradoxa.jpg (2.32 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. pulchella
pygmy.jpg (1.36 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. scorpioides, grown in this container from gemmae
scorpioides.jpg (1.17 MiB) Viewed 189 times
D. spatulata
spatulata.jpg (2.32 MiB) Viewed 189 times
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 (2.33 MiB) Viewed 189 times
V2.jpg (1.3 MiB) Viewed 189 times
v4.jpg (2.52 MiB) Viewed 189 times
v5.jpg (1.84 MiB) Viewed 189 times
v6.jpg (2.1 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Venus flytraps that I keep at home, all are grown in sand:
IMG_20211120_124108.jpg (5.44 MiB) Viewed 189 times
IMG_20211120_124008.jpg (5.96 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Other plants:

Roridulas, grown in sand from seeds
roridula plant.jpg
roridula plant.jpg (5.72 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Roots of roridulas
roridula root.jpg
roridula root.jpg (5.16 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Heliamphora midoxa
heliamfora plant.jpg
heliamfora plant.jpg (3.84 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Heliamfora root.jpg
Heliamfora root.jpg (1.8 MiB) Viewed 189 times
cephalotus plant.jpg
cephalotus plant.jpg (1.74 MiB) Viewed 189 times
cephalotus root.jpg
cephalotus root.jpg (760.98 KiB) Viewed 189 times
Pinguicula cyclosecta
cyclosecta.jpg (1.73 MiB) Viewed 189 times
Pinguicula gypsicola
gypsicola.jpg (1.9 MiB) Viewed 189 times

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
Posts:  91
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
Interesting about the nutrient deficiencies.

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

Welcome to the forums! What you are seeing here is[…]

I would wait till after last frost. I do plan on s[…]

It'll be fine to continue it's dormancy. And speak[…]

Cute seedlings -are they D paradoxa?

Off course they do. ;) Just take out that can o[…]

SASE Arrived today. Thanks Dean !

Drosera prolifera

Mine certainly does not get highland conditions. H[…]

SASE received. Order is fulfilled. Return envelope[…]

SASE received. Order is fulfilled. Return envelope[…]

Support the community - Shop at!