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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By Andre
Posts:  7
Joined:  Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:24 pm
#447082
Hi everyone, I just wanted to ask whether any kind of moss is viable as a top dress for flytraps or other canrivorous plants? I wanted shagnum but I just can't keep it alive so I've been wondering whether other kinds of moss will do
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By Panman
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Posts:  6373
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#447094
Sphagnum is the only live moss that I would trust. In the past I have used other mosses, like sheet moss, but in the long run they end up causing problems for the plants.
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By steve booth
Posts:  1230
Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#447117
I'm with Panman on moss, there are several invasive (star mosses, which I hate with a passion) and useless mosses out there. If you are having a problem with Sphagnum, when the season starts, keep your plants wetter, stand in water all the time (my VFTs and sarracenia stand in water both in the greenhouse and outside all year in the UK) and it will proliferate.

Cheers
Steve
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By Andre
Posts:  7
Joined:  Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:24 pm
#447119
Thank you for your replies! I live in a tropical country so unfortunately our climate is constantly warm or hot and I think that's what prevents me from incorporating live sphagnum into my pots. As an alternative, would you say perlite as a sort of mulch would do no harm?
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By Panman
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Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#447123
Perlite will make a royal mess as plants get watered. Like I said, you don't need live moss. Dead sphagnum works great as a mulch to keep moisture in. Silica sand is another option but you need to be careful that it doesn't form a crust that prevents water from getting through.
By Andre
Posts:  7
Joined:  Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:24 pm
#447129
So dead sphagnum is optimal huh, got it. Still though, I'm curious, you said perlite would make a mess as a result of watering which I presume is top watering. But what if using water trays is the primary method of delivering that water, would perlite be a good choice in that case?
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By Panman
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Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#447131
I just don't like perlite, so I may not be the one to answer. I use it, I don't like it. If you had perlite as a top layer and a breeze came, it would blow into the plants. If it rains, perlite would splash out everywhere. If you move the pot and tip it, the perlite will spill out. The only place I want perlit is in the soil and in the pot. Even then, I don't like how it keeps working its way to the top.
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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3397
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#447134
I agree with Panman. I really don't like it but I use it...and I try to keep it down below any top dressing. Most of the time, though, it will "float" to the top of a peat and perlite mix, creating a semi-top dressing if you don't have sphagnum moss or sand to hold it down. It's messy. Try a pot or two and see how you like it.
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By Andre
Posts:  7
Joined:  Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:24 pm
#447227
Would utricularia be a feasible choice
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#447228
I've only had experience primarily with the kind that volunteers readily in miscellaneous pots, Utricularia Subulata. Though it grows lots of grassy leaves it doesn't seem thick enough to be called a covering. Other varieties seem to create a thicker mat of "grass". Not sure how it would work with flytraps, though. Maybe sow a packet of spats or caps in the pot and let them grow out in the pot? Otherwise, I'd go with either pumice sand, silica sand, or dried sphagnum. I wonder if a layer of chopped pine needles might work?
By Andre
Posts:  7
Joined:  Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:24 pm
#447231
I see i see thank you for sharing your insight. Im planning to get some utricularia graminifolia some time soon and try my hand at it. :D
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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3397
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#447255
I'm not so sure that u. graminifolia is the answer. I went and looked it up and it looks like it is *really* likes wet environments, even swimming in it. Flytraps, on the other hand, don't like it nearly that wet. I think they like different growing environments, but maybe I'm mistaken?
By Andre
Posts:  7
Joined:  Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:24 pm
#447265
Yes they're usually used for aquariums but apparently the person I'm buying it from has cultured it to adapt to similar environments that flytraps thrive in. But I'm still in a stage where I test out stuff and I also plan to grow them as a separate plant so might as well try growing a small patch of them with my flytrap :D
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