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

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By Pearl_Buffalo
Posts:  10
Joined:  Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:00 pm
Hi everyone,

This is my first post since joining, so I figured I may be allowed to ask a dumb question.

If I have a non-draining pot made of marble, am I able to grow an adult VFT in it if rooted in a sphagnum moss/perlite/peat mix without risk?

I have seen various growers online having success with growing plants in non-draining containers and using the state of the sphagnum moss on the top surface to determine whether it's time to water again.
I also saw someone online mention the use of pots that are nonporous, and including marble on their list of examples.
However, Google tells me that marble is "composed primarily of the mineral calcite (CaC03) and usually contains other minerals, such as clay minerals, micas, quartz, pyrite, iron oxides, and graphite."

With that, would housing an adult VFT in a marble pot be a huge mistake?
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By steve booth
Posts:  1279
Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
Yes an undrained marble container will kill your plant, not straight away but sure as eggs is eggs, the acid peat will react with the alkaline marble and eventually one of the two will win the battle. If its the marble the medium will become less acidic, then the peat and the pot will start to break down releasing nutrients, your plant will die, and if its the peat your pot will fall apart, but my money is on the former!

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By Pearl_Buffalo
Posts:  10
Joined:  Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:00 pm
Steve, thank you so much for the explanation of the possible chemical interactions; this really puts the process as a whole into perspective and I can use this model of thinking when I consider other pot materials.

My Best,
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By Intheswamp
Posts:  3497
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
Was this going to be inside or outside? It really doesn't matter due to the leaching of minerals which rules marble out. But, if outside and the container is non-draining then you would have a bathtub effect every time it rained. If inside where rain isn't an issue and you were *very* careful with your watering you might could get away with a non-draining container.
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By Pearl_Buffalo
Posts:  10
Joined:  Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:00 pm
Thank you, Intheswamp!

My setup is indoors.
I did consider non draining as an option in general given that I live in the desert, humidity here is like 0%, and I find that I'm losing about a quarter gallon a day to evaporation in a bottom-water-tray set-up.
However, I want to get some duckweed and salvinia floating in the tray to possibly minimize evaporation by way of surface coverage.
By Gary
Posts:  521
Joined:  Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:23 pm
I feel your pain regarding humidity. I live in central AZ and rH is typically in the teens at best. I go through about two or three gallons of Zero Water each day. I have several VTFs in a non-draining planter and they do pretty well but I do have to bring it under an overhang when the monsoon rain hits us or the container will fill. One day I'll get around to drilling some drain holes.
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