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By heathenpriest
Posts:  332
Joined:  Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:53 pm
I recently stumbled onto a new kind of pot for Sarracenia, Drosera, and other plants that typically like it a little wetter than VFTs. I was at Goodwill recently (a second hand store, for those not familiar) and saw that they had a white glass globe for a light fixture that mounts flush against the ceiling. It was basically a large bowl (about a foot and a half wide, and around 6 or 7 inches deep, with a small hole in the middle. "Perfect!" I thought. Especially for five dollars, instead of the 20 or 30 they cost new at Lowes or Home Depot. So I snagged it, and a week later they had another similar one, which I also bought. So now I have my newest Pitchers and Sundews in them, and they're beautiful! I always cover the surface of the soil with marble chips because I discovered years ago that for some reason that discourages the #^%& birds from digging stuff up, which they can't seem to resist when it's just covered with moss. But I also think that in these wide, shallow pots it may help prevent overheating in the full sun, and slow the evaporation at the surface, so they don't need so much water.
By Morpheus
Posts:  234
Joined:  Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:19 am
I would advise against using marble chips as a top dressings. While it's normally not porous to water, the presence of acids (peat/sphagnum moss) may cause the marble to break down and start leaching minerals. Sarracenia Northwest uses washed river pebbles for a top dressing in some of their arrangements. Also, you may actually find yourself watering more often due to the increased surface area of the pot. A good top dressing could help combat against that though. You also may want to watch out for the media heating up faster due to the transparency of the glass globe.
By DrNo7
Posts:  122
Joined:  Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:35 pm
There is a chemical reaction: acid eats the carbonate ions in the marble generating co2. The co2 then reacts with water to form carbonic acid.
By heathenpriest
Posts:  332
Joined:  Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:53 pm
Thanks for the suggestions. I wasn't sure about using the marble chips, but after repeatedly having plants dug up by birds, I decided I had to try something. I used marble chips because they were white, so they wouldn't heat up in the sun, and because I have a ton of them. I've used them for years now with both Flytraps and Purpurea and both have done fine. Maybe because the marble is just on the top and stays pretty dry most of the time?
Still, it might not be bad to look for an alternative. I would think the same issues might occur with river rocks, though, unless they're mostly quartz. Maybe I'll look for a source of inexpensive white marbles or something. Not sure if the marbles will be big enough to discourage the birds as well, though. I've only had them dig into one pot with the marble chips, and they were doing it pretty regularly before I started using them.
BTW, the globes aren't clear glass. They're white, and because of the shape, the sun barely hits the sides, so I don't think they're heating up very much.
By HeliamphoraWalnut
Posts:  1754
Joined:  Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:10 am
Is birds are digging them up get a chicken wire cage and put it over your plants, or get sarracenia northwest's gravel idea
By Mufasa
Posts:  858
Joined:  Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:45 am
could try just try covering the tops with perlite, i have seen it a few times, i think it's mostly for cosmetics though, still might discourage birds?
By heathenpriest
Posts:  332
Joined:  Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:53 pm
Mufasa wrote:could try just try covering the tops with perlite
I don't think the perlite would stay there. Whenever I've used mixes with perlite, it just comes to the top when it rains, and then the wind blows it away.
I'll just look for some other white-ish rock that might work. The problem is that most rocks, other than quartz, will react with acid to some extent, so they might not be any better than marble. Another possibility might be a layer of silica sand on top, but I doubt that that would discourage the birds.
I wish I could find a realistic looking rubber snake. They were everywhere when I was a kid, but I can't find one anywhere now. I'll bet that would keep most birds away.
By HeliamphoraWalnut
Posts:  1754
Joined:  Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:10 am
Oriental trading, or a party supply store.( for kids "goody bags").
lol it's like you put a rubber snake there and a eagle comes and grabs it...... ;)

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