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Thread: New to carnivorous plants - how much water for pitcher plants?

  1. #17
    A leuco by any other name would still be as gluttonous. CorneliusSchrute's Avatar
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    Yeah. Stagnated water is bad. I am going to flush mine within the next couple days.
    Corey Bennett

    My cultivated vegetation, carnivorous and otherwise...

    Formerly cbennett4041

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    What a trip.

    Like I said, I'm new to carnivorous plants. But I did do a bit of research before I ordered these. I knew a lot of people, especially folks that propagate and try their hands at hybridization, grow their sarracenia and other types of CPs in pots placed in trays.

    Peter D'Amato said minibogs should be in undrained containers.

    From page 57 of The Savage Garden,



    So is the conventional wisdom contra to what he said?

    And does anyone know if the revised edition does a 180 on that? I won't know until I get mine when the pre-order gets filled by Amazon on July 2.

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    You can find out more about a similar mini bog garden on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4iRAtNcDB0 .

    I grow all my Sarrs in undrained pots and they do just fine. The only thing I find is you have to change the soil a little more often, and I don't like using black pots. Otherwise no problems.

  4. #20
    Sgt Sarracenia SgtSarracenia's Avatar
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    Honestly, base things on what works well for you. Peter is in California and you are gonna have different water, humidity, temp fluctuations, etc.. I live in Southern California and I use the tray method because it works best for me. The temp difference between where I live and where Peter is located is quite different.

    Average high and low temps and average rain fall between him and I

    I have found this site quite useful for finding out in situ trends and when comparing methods with other members. You may find for example that VFT's grow really well for you outside in full sun. Mine grow fine outside in full sun, as long as I keep them quite wet due to such low humidity levels. I have found that it is easier to look at it this way; there is no 100% right or wrong way most of the time. You have to not only look at what someone else has to do, but also what they do not have to do. I leave my plants outside year round with very little to do but keep watered or trays dumped. LOL On the otherhand many people have to overwinter their Sarrs in the garage or shed. There is a greenhouse on a local college campus that grow some of there Sarrs with the pots completely submerged part of the time. To each their own. Sarrs are quite tolerant of many things and are pretty good at telling you when something is not right.

    Just my two cents, that still will not buy bubblegum.

    Sarge
    "Only when you live to learn, will you learn to live"
    GROWLIST

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    The Most Uncreative Name in the History of Ever Plant Planter's Avatar
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    I've already put in my two cents: Sitting water is bad. Standing water is also bad. Where's the middle ground?
    That's four cents, and we still can't get any bubblegum! Where's BioZest when you need him?

  6. #22
    A leuco by any other name would still be as gluttonous. CorneliusSchrute's Avatar
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    As has been said, you have to do what is best for you and your area. Experimentation and experience is key here.

    That said, my area is very similar to the OPs area, as we are relatively close to each other. My recommendation for our area is the tray method with bottom holes, but I imagine a bog with a side hole drilled would be fine. The latter would probably just lead to more frequent repotting (yearly, I suppose) and a harder to determine water level.
    Corey Bennett

    My cultivated vegetation, carnivorous and otherwise...

    Formerly cbennett4041

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    I keep all of my bog plants in large, square pots in a white, plastic potter on my balcony. The potter has two drainage holes with plastic stoppers that I can take out if I want to change the water. As was said earlier, the plants need to be kept in water, but completely stagnant water is never a great option. The ability to flush the water with ease also allows me to fertilize the plants without worry.

  8. #24
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpchick View Post

    Peter D'Amato said minibogs should be in undrained containers.

    So is the conventional wisdom contra to what he said?
    No, conventional wisdom is not contra to what he said..
    conventional wisdom agrees with him, for the most part..
    Some people's personal opinions might be contra! (which is fine..)
    but that isn't the same thing..

    There are two good methods for growing sarracenia and VFT's.

    1. Tray method.
    2. "Minibog" method..

    (well ok..a third method too, but not too many people do this one..the "big in-ground bog" method)
    But for the purposes of this thread, we are really only talking about methods 1 and 2.
    I use both, both work very well..

    Smaller pots are best for "the tray method"..
    I use "the tray method" with 4" to 8" wide pots..I just went out and took some new photos to use as demos:



    In this pic (above) the pots in the foreground are 4" pots, the two on the left are 8" pots that are only 4" tall..
    (I like those shallower pots..they are called "bulb pots" I think..)
    those are all "tray method" pots..sitting in a tray of water.
    I have two different types of water trays in use, "shallow" and "deep"..I prefer shallow..
    I think I got some of the "deep" ones only because I couldnt find the shallower ones that one day at the garden center when I went looking for new trays!

    The "deep" trays in the front are unusually full of water, usually they arent that full, all the way to the top.
    they are "full to the top" today only because we got some heavy rain yesterday, and the rain filled the
    trays to the top..I dont bother to dump any water out when that happens, but when im filling them myself, I don't fill them up that high..
    only about half-full for the deep trays..(the "shallow" trays, being only about 1" deep, get filled to the top.)

    The largest pot in that photo is a "mini-bog"..It is undrained on the bottom, no tray, it has a drain hole drilled
    about 3" down from the "media surface"..



    Closer to the VFT minibog..the green chicken wire is to prevent birds from stealing the spagnum top-dressing
    and making a mess..



    Here (above) is the drain on the back of the mini-bog..I have three bogs of this type, each has one drain tube..



    The "fancy urn" (its really just plastic! is another mini-bog..it also has a drain hole drilled in the back 2 or 3" below
    the surface of the media..but just a hole, no drain tube..



    And a third mini-bog style, the one that looks like a "half barrel"..(also just a plastic pot!
    same drain hole arrangement 2" down from the top, but no drain on the bottom..

    I dont pay any attention to keeping any sort of exact water level in the trays, or in the bogs..
    If it hasn't rained in awhile, and I need to water manually, I wait until the shallower trays go almost dry,
    then I top off the whole collection all at once..top-off all the trays (those "deep" trays I only fill up about half-way)
    and I fill the mini-bogs until water drains out the holes..

    I figure that in nature, the water level fluctuates all the time, so it does for my plants too!
    as long as there is *some* water in the trays, they are fine..
    the important thing is that the trays don't dry out completely..but other than that, I don't pay any attention
    to the exact level..

    For the mini-bogs, I have never bothered with any way to "monitor" the water level..I have seen some bogs
    where people install a "viewing tube" or other such device, so you can actually see the water level..
    thats fine if you want to do that..nothing wrong with it..but IMO its completely unnecessary..
    The smaller pots in the trays will *always* dry out before the mini-bogs! So when the trays are almost dry
    (and the water in the trays is right out in the open and visible) I know to add water to everything, including the bogs..
    the bogs are never even close to going dry that way..

    Yes, its true that the bogs, having no drain on the bottom, might go "stagnant" faster than pots in trays..
    this can be a concern! but..that problem is easily solved as well..
    I repot all my plants, both "tray method" pots and minibogs alike, every 2nd year..
    They all go two full seasons between repotting..this works fine for me!
    I *have* seen noticeable degrading in plant health in minibogs after three years!
    and I even let one go four years once..that is definitely too long!
    but two years is, IMO, a "safe" repotting schedule..I haven't had any problems with 2 year repottings..

    So thats I grow my plants!
    19 years this season..

    One other thing about my photos..my "growing area" is a bit messier than I would like!
    the on-going battle against squirrels and birds continues..
    Im going to have a new post about all that in a few days..

    thanks,
    Scot

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