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Safe soil for carnivorous plants

There are over a thousand species of carnivorous plants which have been identified by botanists, so to suggest their soil requirements can be lumped together would be naive and dangerous. However soils for carnivorous plants do often have things in common.

What not to use

  1. Nothing with added fertilizers or soil conditions. These things will burn carnivorous plant roots and ultimately kill the plant.
  2. No garden soil or regular potting mixes. These soils are both too high in nutrients and don’t hold enough water for many carnivorous plants.
  3. Don’t use coconut fiber or coir bricks – they are not Sphagnum peat moss. They often contain salts which will kill carnivorous plants.

What  to use

A few common, standard mixes are comprised of the following:

  1. 100% Sphagnum moss.
  2. 1:1 Sphagnum peat moss and sharp propagating sand.
  3. 1:1:1 Sphagnum peat moss, sharp propagating sand and perlite.
  4. 1:1 Sphagnum peat moss and Sphagnum moss (could be mixed with sand or perlite too).

What works for one grower may not work for another, depending on environmental conditions. Growers who grow their plants inside under lights are more likely to want an open mix compared to growers who grow their plants outside or in a greenhouse. While not particularly helpful, often it’s a case of trial and error to see what works for you. Sticking to acidic pH, low nutrient ingredients which have good water retention is a great start.

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