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Thread: Cpsoil acidity: is it really that important

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    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    I'm wondering about CP soil acidity, and whether or not it helps them grow or not. Does it just happen to be coincidence that the soil they are in is acidic? Is it important to the plants growth/health that the acidity is a certain pH? Would it harm the plants if the soil was too acidic? Or could more acidic soil enhance growth?

    I'm not sure how to prove this and don't have the collection to experiment on my own, but I was wondering if anyone has experimented on this?

    Also what if you wanted to somehow artificially make the soil media more acidic? Could you brew decaffinated coffee (assuming that caffine would be harmful/not necessary for the plant to have) with distilled water and overhead water the media (after it's cooled of course)? Would the media retain this pH or would it simply be washed away when you overhead water? Would it be better to load the water tray with the coffee, and let it soak through?

    Just some thoughts, comment please.
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

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    CPs grow in a medium which is devoid of nutrients, hence they have evolved to be carnivorous. It just so happens the peat is acidic, so they are adapted to live in it. Most CPs can take any acidity and the optimum is 4 or 5. I don't think you'd see any difference with anything lower.

    Sarracenia purpurea grows in alkaline soils in some areas and the pitchers take on a brittle, fragile quality but they survive fine. When transplanted into acid soil they return to having pitchers like any other.

    Some people say tannins help maintain a red colouration and use tea bags. There's no point in making the peat more acidic though and messing about with coffee. I don't think coffee is all that acidic anyway.
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
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    Acidic soils, like peat, are usually nutrient poor because they have a low cation exchange capacity. There aren't many binding sites for cations, so the major nutrients are leached out. Acidic soils and low nutrients go hand in hand.

    I wouldn't mess around with coffee. I read an article somewhere about boiling peat moss in distilled water, and then using the solution to water CPs. I believe it was at the Botanique site. It's supposed to benifit plants that haven't been transplanted for a long time and are growing in media that has lost it's acidity . I've never tried it, and probably won't.

    Brian

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