Carnivorous Plant Nursery logo
Carnivorous plants and their educational products!
horizontal bar
Carnivorous Plant Growing Tips
| General Care | Venus Flytrap | Sundews | Butterworts | Bladderworts | Genlisea |
| Sarracenia | Nepenthes | Cephalotus | Heliamphora | Aldrovanda | Bromeliads |

horizontal bar

How to Pot a Carnivorous Plant

Carnivorous plants are easy to pot. You will need these things:
1. Carnivorous Plant.
2. Carnivorous Plant Soil Mix.
3. Plastic Pot.
4. Mineral-free water (spray bottle optional).
5. Tweezers (optional)

Carnivorous Plant Nursery generally ships carnivorous plants that are bare-root and wrapped in long fiber sphagnum moss, with an outer wrapping of paper toweling. This is secured with a small rubber band and a plant label. To properly plant the carnivorous plant gather the CP soil, plastic pot and mineral-free water. You may find tweezers helpful.
CP soil is sold in our online store. In general our CP Premium Soil Mix works best for most CPs. (Nepenthes, Butterworts and Bladderworts have separate soil mixes available). These soils are specially prepared for carnivorous plants and are mineral-free. Pre-moisten the soil by adding mineral-free water to it. Be sure the soil is very damp.
DO NOT use regular houseplant potting soil. The minerals and fertilizers in these mixes will eventually kill your CP. The nutrient poor soils to which the carnivorous plants have adapted are often rich in peat and sand. You can duplicate this with a soil mixture of sphagnum peat moss and horticultural sand. Be sure to check the peat label for sphagnum moss. Other types will not work well. The sand should be clean and washed. Play box sand is great or you can buy horticultural sand. Avoid "contractor’s sand" which will contain fine dust, silt, clay and other minerals. Never use beach sand. The salt content will harm the plants. The ratio of the mix is not critical, 1 part peat with 1 part sand works well for most carnivorous plants. Flytraps prefer a bit more sand, and nepenthes prefer much more peat, but again the mix is not critical, as long as it is sphagnum peat and clean, washed sand.
Plastic pots are best. They will not leach minerals into the soil like a terra-cotta or ceramic pot. A completely glazed ceramic pot will work, but plastic is best. The pot should have atleast one hole in the bottom. The size of the pot should be proportional to the plant. Small and medium sized Venus Flytraps and sundews will grow well in a 3" pot, but a large or extra large plant will need a 4" or 6" pot. Most pitcher plants and butterworts will do fine in a 4" pot.
Always use mineral-free water with your carnivorous plants, such as rainwater or distilled water. Try keeping a bucket near the downspout to collect rainwater. Distilled water can be purchased at the grocery store, but avoid bottled drinking water. There are simply too many minerals in it. The condensation line from an air conditioner or heat pump is another source of mineral-free water. Reverse-osmosis water is fine to use. Carnivorous plants grow in nutrient poor soils. The minerals from tap water can "over-fertilize" and "burn out" the plants.
Remove the packing material by carefully removing the rubber band, and unwrapping the long fiber peat moss used to pack the roots. It is a good idea to briefly soak the roots in mineral-free water to moisten them up.
While the roots are soaking. Add CP soil to the plastic pot, and gently pack it down. The soil level should be to the top of the pot. Covering the hole at the bottom of the pot with a small stone or a small bit of sphagnum moss is optional. Use a small stick or your finger to poke a small hole into the soil, in the center of the pot. The hole needs to be deep enough for the size of the plant. You may prefer to use tweezers to gently handle the plant and place it into the pot. Plant the CP deep enough so that the roots are completly underground and the crown of the plant is above the soil level. On most CPs and especially the venus flytrap, you should be able to see that the top of the plant is green, while the bottom of the plant is white. The green portion stays above the soil, and the white protion goes under the soil.
Push the soil around the CP so that soil surrounds the plant crown, but be careful not to bury the crown. Moisten the soil surface with a spray bottle or gently pour a small amout of water on the soil surface. Be careful not to wash away the soil.
Carefully adjust your plant so that it is growing upright. Any soil that may stick to the plant can be gently washed away using a spray bottle. Do not worry if the plant looks a bit stressed from potting and handling. It should show new growth and start to recover with a day or so.
Remember that some plants are shipped dormant, especially during the cold months. If your CP is dormant, it will begin to grow, once it is placed into health CP conditions.
To learn more about growing CPs, see General Care of Carnivorous Plants.

horizontal bar
| home | free stuff | online store | plants for sale | teaching stuff | gifts & games | science projects |
| plant info | growing tips | propagation | for collectors | news/events | pictures | movies | about us |
inquiry@carnivorousplantnursery.com
Copyright © 2004-8, Michael Szesze.
http://www.carnivorousplantnursery.com/info/pottingcps.htm