FlytrapCare Carnivorous Plant Forums

Sponsored by FlytrapStore.com

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

Moderator: Matt

By mobile
Posts:  64
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:48 pm
#136282
CPcaregiver wrote:What state were the pine needles when you first started,fresh and green,long dead,etc.?This looks to be a promising media,I may copy your experiment if you don't mind! :D
The pine needles were fallen ones and they were all brown. The pile was quite deep, so it would suggest that it might have been several seasons drop. I did however later put on a top dressing of green needles, which I have been informed are fir, though the ones in the needle/peat mix below are definitely pine.
By Adam
Posts:  2892
Joined:  Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:39 am
#136400
This is amazing! So perhaps pine needles will be the saving grace of peat bogs - at least from CPers...
User avatar
By Steve_D
Location: 
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#136455
Adam wrote:This is amazing! So perhaps pine needles will be the saving grace of peat bogs - at least from CPers...
I'm currently testing a mature Venus flytrap in a mix by volume of 1 part silica sand, 1 part chopped evergreen needles and 1 part small evergreen bark pieces. So far the plant is growing fine and no problems are visible, except that the mix dries out a little faster than sphagnum based mixes. To remedy that and still stay sphagnum free. I plan to pot a few Flytraps in the same mix above, but with an aditional part of desalinated coir--
  • 1 part silica sand
  • 1 part evergreen bark pieces
  • 1 part chopped evergreen needles
  • 1 part desalinated coir (coconut husk pith)
The search for sphagnum-free alternative potting mixes continues. :D
Steve_D liked this
By mobile
Posts:  64
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:48 pm
#136463
Steve_D wrote:
Adam wrote:This is amazing! So perhaps pine needles will be the saving grace of peat bogs - at least from CPers...
I plan to pot a few Flytraps in the same mix above, but with an aditional part of desalinated coir--
  • 1 part silica sand
  • 1 part evergreen bark pieces
  • 1 part chopped evergreen needles
  • 1 part desalinated coir (coconut husk pith)
I'll be interesting to read how you get on with coir. Personally, I have not had much success with it on CPs, except in Nepenthes mixes.
By Adam
Posts:  2892
Joined:  Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:39 am
#136494
Since I'm in the Pacific Northwest, the amount of rain that falls here washes out any minerals/salts pretty quickly. I'm going to grab some (mostly pine needle) earth from a mountain forest here and just give it a go. The needles should provide enough acidity. Also, it should be more or less just degraded pine needles as there's little "soil" in the mountains.

Now to find a victim from my plants...
By Adam
Posts:  2892
Joined:  Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:39 am
#136496
Steve,

What about blending the needles in a blender? If they were more dense, would they not take up water more easily?
By mobile
Posts:  64
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:48 pm
#136526
Adam wrote:I'll give it a shot anyway..
Definitely, I would encourage anyone who can potentially sacrifice a few plants in the name of finding alternatives to peat. Peat is becoming a real issue in the UK, where it is getting increasingly difficult to source. I anticipate shortly that it will be a 'specialist' product here, with associated 'specialist' prices, as it becomes less viable for the extracting companies! But of course, the main issue is the environmental impact that peat extraction has.
User avatar
By Steve_D
Location: 
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#136591
Adam wrote:What about blending the needles in a blender? If they were more dense, would they not take up water more easily?
Chopping the pine needles in a blender would make a nice, fine mass, but I was just roughly chopping them in hopes that they would decompose more slowly than they would if ground to almost powder or small pieces. I would prefer them to decompose slowly if possible, not rapidly. Just a personal preference for the time being. :)
User avatar
By Steve_D
Location: 
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#141517
The Flytrap(s) look like they don't mind the pine needles at all, and seem healthy. Thanks for posting the photos and update, Mobile.
By Adam
Posts:  2892
Joined:  Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:39 am
#141537
Very nice! Since all my typicals aren't doing really well I'll have to buy one and put it in the mix to see if I can get them to grow in pine needles too.

There doesn't seem to be any sand in your mix. The photos from the VFTs in their natural habitat show that there's sand.
By mobile
Posts:  64
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:48 pm
#141563
Adam wrote:There doesn't seem to be any sand in your mix. The photos from the VFTs in their natural habitat show that there's sand.
I know of plenty of people who have tried to emulate VFT natural habitat soil and they have not done well. Just because a plant survives in certain conditions in the wild, it doesn't mean that it thrives. In addition, most people will never be able to fully emulate natural conditions. Soils need to suit your conditions, i.e. just because someone has success with a certain mix, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will, as there will inevitably be other variables. With the exception of my Cephalotus dune sand experiment, I never use sand in any of my mixes, as I find it to be too variable, and it also compacts.
A gem at Walmart!

Wowza!! That looks like it could become an actual […]

No problem,I understand.

Utric lateriflora Seed Giveaway

1. Panman - why not? 2. Deadly Carni - Fun! 3. isa[…]

One I found in mine (even if they labeled the sph[…]

Not to steer you the wrong way, but if you get the[…]

Root rot?

Since I don’t know where you’re locate[…]

Ads?

Matt, how about entertaining a paid membership? No[…]

23 inches and still growing!

Matt, where do you get your white trays? Are they […]

Support the community - Shop at FlytrapStore.com!