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By Ani
Posts:  51
Joined:  Thu May 12, 2022 8:43 pm
Hi everyone, I have a question about when repotting with peat moss + perlite.

Should I be putting a paper towel at the bottom of the pot before I fill the pot up?

Also, just to clarify, should it be a damp paper towel or a dry paper towel?

I read through Matt's instructions on the flytrap repotting page and there was no mention of this:

But then I watched a video on the FlyTrap Store channel and Matt does include a paper towl at the bottom of the pot before he starts filling up:

The explanation was that if you don't, when you put it in water, some of the stuff will just get washed away and there will be an empty bit at the bottom of the pot and then it won't be able to take up water.

I realized I don't currently have this problem because my plant is in sphagnum moss right now, so I can see how some kinda barrier would help.
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By thepitchergrower
Posts:  2527
Joined:  Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:22 am
If the pot's holes are small enough, it's not likely that the media will get washed out. I honestly don't think it makes a difference if the towel is wet or dry, as paper towels tend to absorb water easily.
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By za419
Posts:  176
Joined:  Thu Jan 27, 2022 4:18 am
I use a little bit of LFS for this. Paper towels probably work too, but LFS "Feels Right" to me, since it's already something you put the plants in...

I don't think it'll matter if the paper towel is damp or dry. It's about to have damp peat on one side and a tray of water on the other (If you top water, this will at least happen after the water runs through) - It'll be damp in practice pretty much instantly. Paper isn't hydrophobic, so it doesn't need to pre-wet the way peat does, and it doesn't change much in size when wet so you don't need to use it wet to get the positioning right like with LFS.

I'm not sure it's 100% necessary, but it's one of those things that makes peat a little more pleasant to work with, so I'd advise doing it.
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By Ani
Posts:  51
Joined:  Thu May 12, 2022 8:43 pm
Thank you for the advice. It's a 4 inch diameter at the top which gets smaller on the way down, 5 inch deep, and the holes have a 1/2 cm diameter and there are 8 holes at the bottom.

I'm not sure if that makes the holes small enough to not be a cause for worry, but from the sounds of things, if it ensures a less muddy water tray and no risk of the medium washing away from the bottom inch of the pot, I should go do it.

I think my last question is whether it should be a single or double layer of paper towel? As in, should I trace the shape of the bottom of the pot and just cut out one little circle to place down there, or should I double line it with two cut out circles? Sorry if this sounds like a really silly question. I just want to make sure I put just enough down there to do the job, but not so much that it prevents efficient absorption and I'd like an idea how much that looks like.

Thanks for all your patience, everyone!
By za419
Posts:  176
Joined:  Thu Jan 27, 2022 4:18 am
I'm not sure it really matters. I'd put a little dish sort of shape though - If it fits perfectly it's liable to move.

If you want to check, you can always hold some peat on a paper towel over a bowl and pour water over it. That shows you pretty much the worst performance you could get out of one layer...
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By davinstewart
Posts:  179
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
I just cut fiberglass window screening to shape and put that in the bottom of the pot. It does a great job in keeping dirt in while allowing water out and never breaks down. You could place paper towel on top of that for further filtration but I haven't seen the need for it so far.

My $0.02,
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By VFTnPups
Posts:  94
Joined:  Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:08 pm
Lfsm works great under peat mix or you can use weed cloth or some sort of gardening cloth instead of paper towels. Paper towels are great for short term like wrapping rhizomes for shipping purposes, but they would break down and fall apart fairly quickly sitting under peat mix. I don’t think paper products would last a year between repotting. I imagine they would also absorb bacteria and become a breeding ground for mold, fungus, pests, etc.
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