FlytrapCare Carnivorous Plant Forums

Sponsored by FlytrapStore.com

Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

Moderator: Matt

By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  59
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#383762
Washed play sand is one of those things I’ve read very conflicting things about. The Savage Garden says it works fine in soil mixes. This page https://www.carnivorousplants.org/grow ... ight/CPmix of the ICPS website says NOT to use it. This other page https://www.carnivorousplants.org/grow ... aceniaSeed of the ICPS site says “washed play sand can work.”

Personally, I bought a bag of washed play sand years ago that I used in a lot of mixes for Mexican butterworts, all of which have grown well in it. But I also see people on forums often warning against it.

Any ideas on where the discrepancy comes from? Is it the size of the grains that people worry about or the fact that it may contain minerals? And when you warn people against using it, is that from personal experience of more of a general wisdom thing? Let’s get to the bottom of this!
User avatar
By Panman
Location: 
Posts:  1904
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#383765
I've seen the same thing. I think the problem with play sand is the grain size isn't consistent like filter sand. Also, the composition may be in question. If it is pure silica sand then it wouldn't be a problem for all CPs. If it is not silica then Mexican pings wouldn't mind it (they like alkaline soil) but other plants would not. Filter sand is made so that it won't change the water chemistry which is why it works.
MikeB liked this
By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  59
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#383784
Ah interesting, that helps clarify things - thanks! I have one minibog made with peat and washed play sand right now so I’m keeping an eye on it to see how everything does. So far all the plants are doing fine (Sarracenia, VFTs, temperate sundews, and a warm temperate butterwort) but I’ll make sure to be vigilant.

I’m switching back to perlite after this just to be safe.
By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  59
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#383785
Panman wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:19 pm If it is not silica then Mexican pings wouldn't mind it (they like alkaline soil) but other plants would not. Filter sand is made so that it won't change the water chemistry which is why it works.
So now I’m curious, since I already have a minibog made up with some washed play sand and I’d rather not have to redo the whole thing. If I were to test the pH of the soil and it was still acidic, then it would probably be fine, right?
User avatar
By evenwind
Location: 
Posts:  1330
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#383788
I think the main problem is that "play sand" doesn't have a consistent definition, unlike "silica sand" or "quartz sand" . One brand of play sand I looked up was 60% silica sand and 40% unlisted. So some should be fine and others might be deadly, depending on the full content. Pool filter sand seems to be always labeled with it's complete content and all the brands I've seen are pure quartz/silica. (I'm guessing they have to be so they don't react to the chlorine (or pee) in the water.)
michijake liked this
User avatar
By Panman
Location: 
Posts:  1904
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#383792
michijake wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:01 pm If I were to test the pH of the soil and it was still acidic, then it would probably be fine, right?
I think that would work. I would expect that if the ph is low,, it wouldn't have the minerals that are dangerous. If you have any of the sand left, you can put some vinegar on it and see if it bubbles.
User avatar
By optique
Location: 
Posts:  961
Joined:  Fri May 24, 2019 11:15 pm
#383809
evenwind wrote:I think the main problem is that "play sand" doesn't have a consistent definition, unlike "silica sand" or "quartz sand" .
yeah that's my understanding, the term "play sand" covers any type of sand like substance not toxic to humans. I am sure the source changes constantly.
MaxVft liked this
User avatar
By evenwind
Location: 
Posts:  1330
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#383817
The play sand I looked at actually recommended that it be used wet(!) to keep down the unhealthy dust.
By schmeg
Location: 
Posts:  250
Joined:  Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:07 pm
#383994
evenwind wrote:The play sand I looked at actually recommended that it be used wet(!)
Clearly no one in that sand company has ever played "Tatooine" in the backyard sandbox.
MaxVft liked this
User avatar
By evenwind
Location: 
Posts:  1330
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#384011
From the Quikrete website. Sounds really nice for the little ones, especially the "damp" bit.
Attachments:
quikrete.jpg
quikrete.jpg (39.31 KiB) Viewed 1039 times
By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  59
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#384328
Panman wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:34 pm
michijake wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:01 pm If I were to test the pH of the soil and it was still acidic, then it would probably be fine, right?
I think that would work. I would expect that if the ph is low,, it wouldn't have the minerals that are dangerous. If you have any of the sand left, you can put some vinegar on it and see if it bubbles.
Thanks for the tip - I tried it today and there was some fizzing, which I’m guessing means it’s alkaline? Not was I was hoping for, but since everything in that planter is growing well I think I’ll probably wait until the winter to switch it out.
By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  59
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#384329
evenwind wrote: Tue Jun 29, 2021 3:58 pm From the Quikrete website. Sounds really nice for the little ones, especially the "damp" bit.
There’s something so gross about the idea of playing in a damp sandbox.
MaxVft liked this
By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  59
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#384330
schmeg wrote: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:26 am
evenwind wrote:The play sand I looked at actually recommended that it be used wet(!)
Clearly no one in that sand company has ever played "Tatooine" in the backyard sandbox.
I bet Star Wars-branded sand would work GREAT for CPs, let’s get on this!
User avatar
By MikeB
Location: 
Posts:  682
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#384331
michijake wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:30 pm Thanks for the tip - I tried it today and there was some fizzing, which I’m guessing means it’s alkaline?
The fizzing means the acid in the vinegar is dissolving some of the minerals. Not a good sign considering how acidic carnivorous plant media and water are.
michijake wrote: Not was I was hoping for, but since everything in that planter is growing well I think I’ll probably wait until the winter to switch it out.
Pool filter sand would be a better choice since it's pure quartz (even though it's a bit too fine for my taste). You can get it at pool supply stores, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and Lowes Home Improvement.
MaxVft liked this
By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  59
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#384408
MikeB wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:51 pm
Pool filter sand would be a better choice since it's pure quartz (even though it's a bit too fine for my taste). You can get it at pool supply stores, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and Lowes Home Improvement.
Thanks for the tip!

Also, a quick update that helped me at least make some sense of the whole washed play sand mystery. One reason I was so keen on it was that I bought a 50 lb. bag of it years ago that had always worked really well for me. It finally ran out recently which is why I bought the new bag (a different brand) that I referenced above. Today I found a little of the old sand leftover and tried the vinegar on it - sure enough, no fizzing. I guess I just got lucky with that batch.

So now I’m trying to decide what to do about the plants that are in the mix I made with peat + what I shall now call “bad sand.” So far everything in that planter is thriving, perhaps because there’s a fairly low proportion of sand to peat. A lot of the plants have just started to take off so I’m reluctant to move them, but am I tempting fate? It’s a stumper!
How does it digest?

Do purperea hybrids also secrete digestive enzymes[…]

VFT Rescue story

Hello everyone. I wanted to share a story that unf[…]

Nep. Khasiana help

Captan Yes, Admiral?

It looks like Sta-Green and Majestic are both from[…]

Is this normal for the early growth stages? Y[…]

Im assuming thats where they came from. I have som[…]

Dragon's Breath?

Looks like a B52 with scaling. Hope it delivers. I[…]

Support the community - Shop at FlytrapStore.com!