05 September 2010

More About Repotting Carnivorous Plants

I still consider myself a novice when it comes to carnivorous plants. I've gotten lucky with a couple of
species, but outside of those, I don't have a lot of confidence. I was hesitant to initiate this recent trade because of my lack of experience with Venus flytraps and sundews. I told myself that I really needed to study these plants before I decided on a course of action.

When I got them in the mail, they looked pretty decent, larger and possibly healthier than the ones you can buy at Lowes - known as "death cubes" to CP enthusiasts. I knew I had to take care of them for a week or two before I had time to repot them, so I kept them in a mostly shady spot and made sure they didn't dry out. It wasn't until this weekend that had time to tackle this task.

I remember when I got my first CPs. I was so nervous about handling them too roughly. I've gotten better about that now - they may be small, but you shouldn't be afraid to handle them. So, on to repotting - I was originally looking for some nice pots to put these plants in, but I didn't have nearly enough for all, so I settled for plastic pots a little larger than the ones they came in. Once they're in a better environment, I won't worry about them, and I can take my time figuring out what kind of pots to put them in.

The CPs all came in 3-inch pots - the Venus flytraps in a clumpy Sphagnum peat moss and the others in a peat/perlite mix. The pots were only half full, possibly to save weight or to better protect the plants during shipping. I spent some time trimming the dead parts and firming up the soil, hoping to get a solid mass when I pulled it out of the pot. For the most part it worked out that way. I noticed the peat used for the flytraps wasn't nearly as finely milled as the kind I was using. This may sound weird, but it was sort of the consistency of barbecue, stringy pieces as well a small clumps - not very easy to work with when your plants are fairly small. So I transplanted them into 4-inch pots and, for lack of a better place to put them, sat them part of the way into the water in the bog. This should be a good environment for them - mostly sunny, moist and humid. I hope they thrive there.

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