February 9, 2012

California Carnivores Sarracenia Bare Root Sale

Last year I posted about the amazing sale at California Carnivores, and they're offering this special price again!  $7.75/rhizome!  If you haven't grown Sarracenia before, you should definitely get one of these bad boys at a totally awesome price.  The rhizomes I received last year were HUGE and produced wonderful plants.

If you're new to growing carnivorous plants, it's dead easy especially with Sarracenia. I generally follow Peter D'Amato's advice when it comes to potting plants.  I use 1 gallon plastic nursery pots with the bottom lined with sphagnum to prevent the fine potting mix from flushing out, and I keep the pot in another plastic tub filled with rain water.

Potting Soil Ratio Test
Last year I experimented with a few different soil mixes, and the one I liked the best was 50% peat moss, 25% sand, and 25% perlite.  It did just as well as the old tried-and-true 50% peat moss and 50% sand, and the plants did far better than the 50% peat moss and 50% perlite.  The advantage of the perlite is weight, and it's much easier to wash perlite than sand.  Even though there was still sand involved, it really did help having less of it.  I also did a few pots of 100% sphagnum, and it didn't really work all that well for me.

I get a block of peat moss without any added fertilizer and do a few washes with tap water and a final wash of rain water.  I do the same with the sand (I use play sand) and perlite (careful not to buy "enhanced" perlite with fertilizer) until the water washes clear and then a final rinse of rain water.  The goal is to keep the mix as malnourished as possible.  I keep all three ingredients separate until I'm ready to mix.  Once everything's washed properly, I mix in a shallow tub, stuff soaked sphagnum in the pot's drainage holes, and glop the mix in the pot.  Then I'm ready to plant the pots.  The rhizomes were a bit odd to plant, but you generally plant them slightly submerged in the potting soil.  Thankfully they come with instructions.

And just in case it helps any Austinites, the water I get from the city is fine to use from what I've seen, but of course, it's best to go with straight rain water.  And don't fret about water use with these plants.  Since they sit in water, they only need to be topped off every once in a while.  They used surprisingly very little water.  I watered my rosemary more than my Sarracenia!

Hope you give it a try!


  1. Wait -- they sell perlite with fertilizer added? Why on earth would anybody want that?

    1. They certainly do! I know Miracle-Gro offers such a product, but it works well with bulbs grown only in perlite from my experience. I have a few amaryllis growing only in the stuff. I had to do some leg work to find inexpensive perlite without fertilizer and managed to get a giant bag for $30 at a local hydroponic store.


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