Alternative growing media for carnivorous plants.


Recommended Posts

I used peat in the initial mix as I was a little scared to go 'all the way' but now, encouraged by these results, have now tried seedlings in straight wood shavings, 50/50 wood LECA balls, 50/50 wood and cat litter and 33/33/33 wood LECA and cat litter.

 

I would be very interested to see how you get on with LECA and with cat litter, as I have tried both as an additive in CP mixes and not had any success with them, with the exception of Mexican Pinguicula mixes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Afternoon all

Pictures of plants for what they are worth Ada, pots are 6", plants are all same seedlings leucophylla North of Freeport 2 years old , planted not bare root but with a plug of the 50/50 peat perlite mix rom the tray they were all in. The plug is minimal but I didn't want to stress the plants unnecessarily by bare rooting them.

The sphagnum was the dried NZ type so looks yellow in the pictures, so it may be difficult to differentiate between the wood and the moss with the picture resolution.

28hpt3l.jpg

347hgkn.jpg

Cheers

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have all my new Sarracenia plants in a mix of Moorland Gold, Canna Gold coir and perlite.

Some of them seem a bit floppy but then I was reading other accounts that suggest that freshly repotted Sarras are prone to that the first year after repotting. They are currently stuffing themselves solid with bluebottles (iridescent flies) and it will be interesting to see how they do after a winter's dormancy and the. Growing from invigorated and well fed rhizomes next year.

Other plants such as VFTs and various Drosera seem happy with it as do Cephalotus. The biggest problem with Moorland Gold is that you need to weed it reasonably frequently.

Cheers,

Steve

Edited by CephFan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1st Steve, looking good,i hope you have better results than my fertile fibre

2nd Steve, moorland gold is fine for adult plants,they just grow slower and divide less often.In my climate and conditions anyway.My growing season is shorter than yours too.

Moorland gold is just no good for seedlings.Full stop.They stay dwarfed and stunted after the first year,any longer and your wasting growing the seedlings.

ada

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Still no results from Tim;s trial????? disappointing!

I must say my plants are a lot better now in their peat/perlite mix.seedlings are making up for wasted years in moorland gold.Adult plants have grown well and are starting to divide well again.

Looking forward to Mike Kings trials with his new compost mix.

Get some seedlings started in it Mike.

ada

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ada at the end of season meeting Tim did a presentation about his trial and some of the outcomes so he has definitely got some results. Not sure if he is intending doing an update in Planta Carnivora.

 

I'm with you regarding Moorland Gold I thought it was something I ought to try but results have had me turn back to peat again.

 

In his presentation Tim mentioned the new compost mix Mike was trying and it sounded encouraging, you will have to keep us updated on how you get on with it. The only problem, that I can recall, is that Tim mentioned it isn't yet available in small quantities.

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its disappointing he wont share his results with us all.

How can you expect to get people on board,if you only share the results with a handful of people.

On Mikes new mix,i hope it works but i think its just like moorland gold but with bigger particles.

Just my first thoughts on it,but while ever i can get good peat i will use it.

ada

Edited by ada
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

 

In his presentation Tim mentioned the new compost mix Mike was trying and it sounded encouraging, you will have to keep us updated on how you get on with it. The only problem, that I can recall, is that Tim mentioned it isn't yet available in small quantities.

 

Can anyone remember what Mike's mix actually is?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ada, tim rarely uses this forum, the cps and cpuk aren't actually connected in any way and there are a surprising number of cps members who don't use this forum,  he will happily respond to emails and text messages or calls so give him a holler and im sure he will update you,  and there is a big update due on this I believe its in the next journal.

I have to admit I was impressed with mikes results on alt media and also cant remember what was in it, time to give mike a call and find out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

cheers Paul, i still think its better to share results on here when Tim has contributed here.

But if not,i won't lose any sleep over it.

It just says to me they can't beat peat as a growing medium for sarra seedlings in my area.

I haven't heard from Mike about sarra seedlings in his new mix either but its still early days,i know he only had a few divisions in it last year but was potting more in it this autumn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil Wilson and tim Bailey have had a trail of composts going since the Spring of this year at our nursery. The results are intresting (and in my opinion clear ). I do not want to publish them on this forum as i feel that it is Phil and Tims Experiment /trial and it should be them that come to conclusions and publish the results so far.

Come on chaps, are you still intrested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alistair,i'm always interested.That's why i am so active on this posting,but when Tim wont share his results on here what can we do?

plants are dormant,so there is nothing else to be gained this year.

I didn't know they were using your place,you've been growing long enough to know,so i'm looking forward to at least some results on here.

ada

Edited by ada
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alistair is right the results are clear as I have seen them with my own eyes,  I will call tim and try and get an update for you all.

I cant help but feel that defra want us to not use peat regardless of our results or lack of reliable alt media,  the best results ive seen to date are from mikes mix but I think its still not on a par with peat.

personally speaking im not going near any alt media until there is a clear cut alternative that has been proven over time to be reliable and suitable.

your right on the people split though mobile, it does need to be published on here just like the two entities in the cps and this forum need to amalgamate a little more, its almost like they exist in spite of each other, same with facebook, I personally feel it all needs tying together a lot more and be more inclusive and accepting,  believe it or not but I have met people at cps meetings who loathe this forum and conversely there are people on this forum who loathe the cps,  one big giant hug will sort that out but im a believer in inclusion and acceptance and amicable relationships that are beneficial to all. 

i will annoy tim for an hour and see if he will update everyone

paul

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Paul,that just confirms what i thought about the results.Not putting up pictures like i have in the past was a give away.

If the results had been in favour of an alternative media,we would have all see the results EVERWHERE!

I won't be using anything but peat for my sarra's.if i can't grow them well and in peat i might as well sell up.

Stuff DEFRA what do they know about sarracenia anyway.

ada

Link to comment
Share on other sites

believe it or not but I have met people at cps meetings who loathe this forum and conversely there are people on this forum who loathe the cps,  one big giant hug will sort that out but im a believer in inclusion and acceptance and amicable relationships that are beneficial to all. 

 

Any form of communication that informs growers is of value. I follow CPS, some CP forums and Facebook CP groups. I can't help but feel though that CPS could perhaps communicate a little more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

don't hold me to this but I think Richard bunn is producing the cps newsletter? oi rich you sexy beast is this right? anyways it should be produced quite regularly with lots of updates etc etc.

I have been saying for a while that there should be more intergration between the various medias, a cpuk fb page and the cps should have there own page on here for updates etc.

ada silence speak volumes, personally a part of me wants this trial to fail just so we can tell defra in no uncertain terms that we need peat end of story id suggest tackling some of the Russian peat bogs which actually cover percentages of earths surface, or the peat bog found in the congo basin that is bigger than wales. if we are expected to import coco from Indonesia then id rather import peat from africa

plus get an lbs account and buy in a few pallets 80 bales should last 20 plus years, defra can say and do what they like when I have my peat mountain I wont care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Paul, yes I'm editor of the CPS Newsletter.  I'd like to point out that I have doubts if news on the peat-free trial will be included in the newsletter for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, I'm not in the loop as to the progress and outcome of the trial.  Secondly when there's news about it then it will likely be big news one way or the other, therefore it will be something that will be included in Planta Carnivora journal rather than the little email newsletter.  

 

I really hope something good does come out of the trials but I'm definitely not holding my breath.  The concern for me is that there are only half a handful of CP growers here in Ireland and we don't have a voice, as such.  Therefore if the Irish government decide peat harvesting for horticulture should cease then it will be almost impossible to import it from elsewhere.  What will happen to the hobby here then for the likes of myself and Trev?  Mind you, I doubt this will happen as they're still so keen to harvest it for household fires.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt Soper of HCP has posted on Twitter that he's been part of the RHS peat free trial.

Back in August he posted some pics of some anaemic looking VFTs alongside some others with normal growth. I think his label for the pic was "guess which are peat free" or something similar :(

Surely the views of someone like Matt, a commercial grower of CP's must carry some weight with the RHS????

Edited by Mogster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

cheers Paul, i still think its better to share results on here when Tim has contributed here.

But if not,i won't lose any sleep over it.

It just says to me they can't beat peat as a growing medium for sarra seedlings in my area.

I haven't heard from Mike about sarra seedlings in his new mix either but its still early days,i know he only had a few divisions in it last year but was potting more in it this autumn.

Hi Ada,

Sorry I have beena long time off the forum.

The mix I had success with both the VFT and Sarras is:

1 part milled pine bark 1 to 5mm: 1 part perlite: 1 part of a blend of Cornish grit 2 parts fine to 1 part medium/coarse.

The milled pine bark is available retail and it is manufactured by Melcourt.

Looking at the test plants, the VFT look very healthy as do the 3 Sarracenias with large and abundant phyllodia and root growth. I have now potted a further 300 plants as a much larger test with my normal peat mix across multiple clones to see if the first results were not a freak. All the test plants are in the main collection benches and you can compare them directly at the next open days.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share