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Adding Sarracenia to a bog/marsh

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#1 tom499

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:23 AM

My dad is in the process of setting a bog alongside the pond. The soil is currently just plain ground soil, though we plan to add some of the peat we have to it.

It will mostly be planted with native bog plants, such as Iris, but my Dad would like to add Sarracenia too.

My 1st thought would be to dig holes, and slot in potted Sarracenia, then they can be kept in their preferred media and removed during harsh winters.

But I'm wondering if thats not enough. As they'll get their moisture from the water table of the bog, which will be majority not a peat bog, I'm not sure whether the water will be suitable for them.

My 2nd thought was to add a larger container into the bog, without holes, filled with a peat mix, and then planting Sarracenia into that, keeping it fairly inconspicuous but providing the appropriate media.

Any tips/help would be much appreciated.


#2 billynomates666

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:40 PM

Hi Tom

Is the pond a fish pond? If so you are absolutely right the amount of nutrients put into the water from fish 'poo', stray food pellets and the like will cause the eventual demise of sarracenia plants. They may last a year or maybe two depending on the stock levels, but they will get twisted and stunted and die a slow painful death.

If it is not a fish pond but you have 'ordinary' soil in the water margins, this too may contribute more nutrients than are benificial to sarracenias, again depending on the pond size and soil quantity. The action of decaying marginal plants will also contribute to the overall addition of nutrients, peobably not whilst they are in active growth as they will absorb more than they give out, but late in the year they will decay filling the water with organic matter.

The other consideration you touched on is the quality of the water, i.e. the PH level (it would need to be acidic ideally PH 5 ish) and what are the ammounts of total disolved solids? if over 50 ppm then it is not really suitable.

In short the only way to be sure and not loose your plants, is as you suggest, add a seperate container that does not communicate directly with the pond water, fill that with peat and perlite or whichever mix you preffer and treat it like a bog garden within a pond. No easy task if it is to be of any size and not 'float' like an island in the pond.

Hope this helps and hasn't put a big dampner on the project.

#3 Alexis

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 15:12 PM

You'd be best planting the undrained pots into the ground. I would line the inside with pond liner.

The trick is getting the pot big enough. You don't want the roots sitting in stagnating water because of the lack of drainage, so make sure you get tall pots.

#4 Hermes

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 16:55 PM

The soil from the "plain ground soil" is too rich for sarracenia. It'll burn out the root systems. If you are going to create a bog area for sarrs, it's best to put in a pool liner that separates your sand/peat mix from the surrounding soil. Sarracenias are very sensitive to nutrients. They need soil (and water) that is nutrient-deprived. Otherwise, your sarrs will decline and die. With that said, however, there are some irises that do okay in bog conditions.

So, to sum up, some irises do okay in true bog conditions but sarrs will not survive normal top soil. It's best to create true bog conditions in the first place.

If you choose undrained pots for sarracenias, that would work too. Sarrs for the most part seem to love water-logged environments. I had a S. purpurea that thrived in an undrained bottom of a 3-litre soda container.