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Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

Moderator: Matt

By ChelseaW832
Posts:  5
Joined:  Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:57 pm
I am going to have to repot my Sarracenia soon, and have been thinking about soil options for it.
Unfortunately I currently have extremely limited resources and just bought a bag of peat, without double checking (like I knew I should have), and after opening saw fertilizer 😞
So I would rather not buy another bag unless I have to, and I am trying to get away from peat completely anyway.
For my other plants (non CP), I shred aged bark to add to soil/mix. I have read on here that you can use pine needles, and there are PLENTY of pine trees around but the limbs are all cut higher than I can get to and I was hoping to use green leaves.
My question though is would I be able to use pine bark also? In place of the peat. Possibly in addition to the needles? And aged or off the tree?
I am able to shred the aged bark very finely to where it looks very close to the texture of peat. (And of course it isn’t all finely shredded but it also doesn’t seem to compact when shredded like that so air flow is still there)
Also, would any or all of this work with cedar too? I haven’t read as much on cedar but I thought about it as a possibility today.

Thank you all so much!
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By MikeB
Posts:  1401
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
Check out the manufactured product called HydraFiber. I've seen Venus flytraps at Lowe's that were potted in it. I haven't tried it myself because I can't find it at any local stores (not sure if it's available to consumers or just to plant nurseries).
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By Intheswamp
Posts:  1435
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
There was some folks experimenting with using pine needles and bark a few years ago here on the forum. I don't think there was ever a conclusion to the experiment, at least not really posted. This was several years ago, as I recall seeing. I figure if it was a great success that there would have been more, and continued, discussion about it. I've toyed with the idea as I have hundreds of acres around me of pines. I would think you would want to use old, deteriorating pine needles and bark...possibly an upper layer from a buildup on the forest floor. I wouldn't be ripping bark off trees. The problem would be possibly bugs or whatever in the debris...possibly a boiling-water bath or a trip to the microwave to kill any critters. Care would need to be taken so as not to get any of the soil beneath the pine debris layer included. For an experiment using something not too important to you it sounds cool...but for potting up something you care about I would use something that has a proven track record of success. ;)

Did you get MiracleGro peat moss? Carry it back if you haven't used or not. The worse thing the store can say is "no"...but if it's Wallyworld or someplace like Home Depot or Lowe's they probably won't give you much grief over it.
By Huntsmanshorn
Posts:  803
Joined:  Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 am
Over on the CPUK forums a few years back a poster did a bunch of experiments with different types of peat alternatives, and if memory serves (yea, yea, I know), pine needles decompose too quickly to be a good alternative, but for what it's worth, I think sawdust worked out pretty well. Anyway, shoot on over there and do a search, and I'm sure you can turn up some good info.
Intheswamp liked this
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By Intheswamp
Posts:  1435
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
That seems strange. From my experience pine needles are slow to decompose (I'm surrounded by pines). But, they're not in a constantly moist environment. If I think about it I think I'll throw some aged pine debris (bark/needles) in a pot and set it somewhere out of the way for a while and see what happens.

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