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Thread: CP Soil needed - Any ideas?

  1. #9
    Raven01000's Avatar
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    When you repot try not to disturb the roots if you can help it. If there is any old substrate which is not connected to or entangled with the roots, then you can just remove it and replace it with fresh soil.

    I thought it would be good to mention a substitute for perlite, because I never have been able to find perlite locally (at least not any that was free of fertilizer). The more options you have to choose from the more likely you will be to find everything locally and for the best price possible.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    You can buy CP mix in small quantities from Andrew. His shipping rates are reasonable. If you can't find a source and you need some quickly give him a try until you can find a local source - try Home Depot, Lowes and WalMart. Or ask your local nursery to order you what you need.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Peat and perlite are basically all you need to get started with Drosera, Dionaea, Utricularia, Sarracenia, and the more moisture-tolerant Pinguicula... the vast majority of commonly cultivated carnivores will do wonderfully in various proportions of these two ingredients. To expand your options further, look for silica or quartz sand (commonly sold as pool filter sand at the hardware store, or at pet shops there's a Zoo-Med line called Repti-Sand made from quartz.) Be careful to avoid sand that comes from limestone or other soluble minerals, because it will dissolve into your water over time and make the roots of your plants unhappy. Quartz and silica aren't water soluble, so they're safe.
    At the risk of going too far into detail, I don't really like LFS for most applications. It breaks down faster than I would prefer when kept consistently wet. If you have any hydroponic suppliers nearby, you can use coconut fiber (AKA coir, cocopeat, etc.) in place of LFS for plants that need to be moist but not sitting in water constantly. Another good additive you can get from hydroponic shops is hydroton, large fired clay beads. (Over in the UK I think they're often referred to as clinkers.) Hydroton serves the same purpose as perlite, providing aeration, spacing and moisture-holding capacity to your mix. The nice part of hydroton vs perlite is that hydroton doesn't crush easily, and won't float to the top of your mix when immersed in water. Also, it's recyclable - when you're done with your old media, you can sift out the hydroton, wash it out, and it's pretty much good as new. Ceramic chips serve similar functions - brand names in the US include Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil (often referred to as APS here on the forums) and Turface (same product in bigger bags, sold as a soil amendment for sports fields and such, much much cheaper.) Cedar bark mulch, or general-purpose orchid mix (unfertilized) can also be a good additive for Nepenthes.
    Peat, perlite and LFS will get you started, so don't worry too much if these alternatives aren't readily available. If you have a shop nearby that carries them, though, it may be worth your while to review your options and see what the pros and cons are. Nepenthes mixes are highly varied and debated; the trick is finding a mix that works well with your other growing conditions (temperature, humidity, frequency of watering, etc.) What works for someone in a warm, dry climate may be totally inappropriate for someone with cool temperatures and moist, still air. This primer on Nepenthes cultivation has a good, if slightly outdated, review of various lines of thought in Nepenthes media:
    http://web.archive.org/web/200504070.../faq6010e.html
    (From an old version of Barry Rice's CP FAQ, courtesy of the Wayback Machine.)
    Best luck, and welcome to the forums.
    ~Joe
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