Gardening Tips

Substrate for carnivorous plants: how to do it

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

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

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

For this, at plant or transplant carnivorous plants at home you need to prepare them a poor substrate, similar to that of its source environment. If you put them in a universal substrate or in normal soil, the roots will most likely burn from 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 nutrientsits pH is acidic and it 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 be a gross sand and has been stripped of mineral salts of any kind. If you can, go to an aquarium store and ask for a gravel that they have for freshwater fish, made up of spheres between 2 and 4 mm in diameter and that can come in different colors.

For 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 of sphagnum, 1 of sand and 1 of the perlite.
Substrate for carnivorous plants: how to do it - How to make substrate for carnivorous plants

How to plant carnivorous plants and their basic care

For transplant and plant the carnivorous plants, we must take into account the type or species that 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 specific substrate for these plants.
  • Be very careful with the roots and with the most delicate parts of these plants: their traps.
  • Keep in mind that if it is a tropical plant, the substrate should be moist.

To learn more about this process, we recommend reading 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 at some points. If you want to know different types of carnivorous plants in more depth, we recommend this other article from EcologíaVerde. Here are some key points to keep in mind for carnivorous plant care:

  • The tropical carnivorous plants they are more difficult to care for indoors, since they require environments that are as similar as possible to the place they come from. In this case, this implies that the plant must be kept at a warm and stable temperature and, in addition, maintain a high level of relative humidity around it.
  • If you live in a non-tropical area, the best thing you can do is prepare a special terrarium for her, where you can control her 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 that way, it is likely that your carnivorous plant will suffer and its health will suffer, and even die.
  • The non-tropical carnivorous plantson the other hand, are native to cold but frost-free areas, where they go dormant during the 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 period of between 3 and 5 months at a time. year.
  • 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 have special be careful with the risks 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 the 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 this for about 10 minutes and then returning it to its place. In summer, this process must be repeated every two days.

Here you can consult more details about the Care for carnivorous plants.

Substrate for carnivorous plants: how to do it - How to plant carnivorous plants and their basic care

When to change the substrate of carnivorous plants

Carnivorous plants should be transplanted every 2 years, at which point 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 each 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 itwe recommend that you enter our category .

About the author


Leave a Comment