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By tracieh
Posts:  276
Joined:  Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:30 pm
MikeB wrote:With sand, you want coarse grains, not the fine, powdery stuff. Read this article:

Peat, Sand, Perlite ... ight/CPmix
So according to this article sand would be the preferred mix? I have always done perlite but I am really getting tired of it.

What do most on the forum us? Sand or perlite?
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By MikeB
Posts:  999
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
tracieh wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:23 am So according to this article sand would be the preferred mix? I have always done perlite but I am really getting tired of it.
Peat and sand is what the wild plants grow in, with some sphagnum moss tossed in at the wetter locations. The use of perlite is recommended to discourage soil compaction. If you do a loose soil mix, then perlite isn't necessary. This is what I'm experimenting with right now:

2 parts peat moss
1 part milled sphagnum moss
1 part perlite
1 part coarse sand

I haven't given up on perlite just yet. This mix is very fluffy and "springy" in the pots. I'm curious to see how my test plants respond to it come spring.
By davinstewart
Posts:  101
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
Sand is not required for flytraps. While there's some debate on what the best soil mix is, most people agree that 1 sphagnum : 1 perlite promotes the best growth. It has some downsides, though, as it's more expensive than the alternates and can be difficult to separate from plant roots when repotting. It also doesn't insulate the soil mass as well as peat moss and requires more vigilant watering. However, they will grow noticeably better in this media than peat based alternatives if you can meet the additional maintenance requirements. If you're looking for the best growth of your plants then I'd reccommend sphagnum/perlite.

A close second in my book is 1 peat : 1 perlite. It's significantly cheaper and easier to work with. It retains water very well and doesn't dry out as easily as sphagnum so is less maintenance. Your plants will still flourish although they won't be as vigorous or get as big as in sphagnum/perlite.

Adding sand to your soil mix will make it a heavier mix overall and adding too much may cause compaction. There's also the risk of the sand containing chemicals like salt or calcium that can throw off the soil chemistry and hurt your plants. Silica sand is the gold standard but can be difficult to obtain in the right size and quality. Having said that, many people report success with sand mixes although I don't think there's much of an advantage to using it.

My $0.02.
Last edited by davinstewart on Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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