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Substrate for carnivorous plants: how to do it

Carnivorous plants are a type of plants that have the ability to feed and extract nutrients, on the one hand, from the substrate and, on the other hand, from insects and other small living beings that they get with their traps. Due to this, their nutritional needs are quite different from those of other types of plants and, therefore, they require substrates specially made for them.

If you like these curious plants and you are thinking of having them at home and want to learn how to prepare specific soil for them, join us in this AgroCorrn article on how to make substrate for carnivorous plants .

You may also be interested in: Caring for carnivorous plants
  1. What type of substrate do carnivorous plants need – how do they feed?
  2. How to make substrate for carnivorous plants
  3. How to plant carnivorous plants and their basic care
  4. When to change the substrate of carnivorous plants

What type of substrate do carnivorous plants need – how do they feed?

Most carnivorous plants are native to environments where the soil is quite poor in nutrients. In fact, it is precisely due to this lack of nutrients that they have developed the ability to feed on small insects and other small-sized living beings (amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, etc.).

For this reason, when planting or transplanting carnivorous plants at home you need to prepare a poor substrate , similar to that of their environment of origin. If you put them in a universal substrate or in normal soil, the roots are most likely to be burned by excess mineral salts.

Learn more about How carnivorous plants feed with this other post.

How to make substrate for carnivorous plants

When preparing substrate for these plants, your best option and the first thing you look for should always be the sphagnum . It is a substrate obtained from Sphagnum moss, native to New Zealand, Argentina, southern Chile and Tasmania. It is poor in nutrients , its pH is acidic and provides very good aeration, as well as a high water retention capacity.

Usually the sphagnum is also mixed with sand, although it is very important that it is a coarse sand and that it has been stripped of mineral salts of any kind. If you can, go to an aquarium store and ask for a gravel that they will have for freshwater fish, made up of spheres between 2 and 4 mm in diameter and that can come in different colors.

To make substrate for carnivorous plants it is important that you follow these tips on the materials to use and that you make a mixture that is divided into three parts (with a volume that will depend on the pot to be filled).

  • 2 parts of sphagnum with 1 of coarse sand.
  • 1 part sphagnum, 1 part sand and 1 part perlite .

How to plant carnivorous plants and their basic care

To transplant and plant carnivorous plants , we must take into account the type or species we have in hand, as they may have different needs. The most important thing to keep in mind is:

  • A suitable location, with a pot with good drainage and a specific substrate for these plants.
  • Be very careful with the roots and with the most delicate parts of these plants: their traps.
  • Bear in mind that if it is a tropical plant it is advisable that the substrate is humid.

To know more about this process, we recommend you read this other post on Transplanting and planting plants: when and how to do it .

Also, you should keep in mind that there are two main types of carnivorous plants: tropical and non-tropical. Depending on the type you have at home, its care will be different in some points. If you want to know different types of carnivorous plants in more depth, we recommend this other AgroCorrn article. These are some key points to keep in mind when caring for carnivorous plants :

  • The tropical carnivorous plants are more difficult to care for indoors, since they require environments as similar as possible to the place from which they come. In this case, this implies that you have to keep the plant at a warm and stable temperature and, in addition, maintain a high level of relative humidity around it.
  • If you live in an area that is not tropical, the best thing you can do is prepare a special terrarium for it, in which you can control its temperature and humidity conditions. It is true that it is an expensive method, but if your climate is not tropical and you do not do it like that, it is likely that your carnivorous plant will suffer and its health will suffer, and even die.
  • The non – tropical carnivorous plants , however, are native to cold but frost – free zones, where they enter dormancy during cold seasons.
  • They are plants that require a good amount of natural light for at least 5 hours a day, although if possible, never during the hours of strongest incidence.
  • With regard to temperature, the type of carnivorous plants that are not tropical need their hibernation period, so it is necessary to keep them at a temperature below 5 ºC for a time of between 3 and 5 months at anus.
  • For example, if you have a Nepenthes, you should know that it needs a high level of humidity in the air, or it will dry out. If your climate is not humid, you will have to be especially careful with watering and remember to sprinkle water in very fine particles on your plant up to 2 times a day, for example, using a sprayer.
  • The irrigation of this type of plants tends to be done through immersion irrigation . It consists of placing the plant in a container with water, covering the base of the pot a few centimeters, leaving it like that for about 10 minutes and then returning it to its place. In summer, you have to repeat this process every two days.

Here you can see more details about Caring for carnivorous plants .

When to change the substrate of carnivorous plants

Carnivorous plants must be transplanted every 2 years , at which time the substrate must also be completely replaced. To change the substrate of carnivorous plants, always use the mixture recommended in the first section of this article, and also make sure to get rid of as much of the old substrate as possible every time you change it. In this way, you will help your carnivorous plants to stay in good condition and looking good.

If you want to read more articles similar to Substrate for carnivorous plants: how to do it , we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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