The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 12

Q: About inorganic mixes.

Nepenthes hamata
Nepenthes hamata
A: Many growers explore planting media that are completely inorganic. This means they are not using any peat, Sphagnum or other plant products in their mixes. There are a number of reasons for exploring this direction. First, peat and Sphagnum are not being harvested responsibly. It is good to wean ourselves off these products. Second, an inorganic medium does not break down. This means repotting is not required unless you are moving the plant to a larger pot. Undisturbed root systems are often the happiest. Finally, the experimentation is interesting!

There are a number of products that are used in inorganic planting media--in addition to the inorganics I already mentioned, like pumice, scoria, sand, etc. Two examples are Seramis and Lecaton clay pellets. I have not used these, nor do I know where to buy them. They have been very successful with Nepenthes. A good review of of this method was described by Rischer (2000).

The user of inorganic media must make sure that he or she has a reliable method of providing the plants with food, either via fertilizers or bugs. This adds a layer of complexity to the experiment.

Page citations: Rischer, H. 2000; Rice, B.A. 2006a; personal observation.

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Revised: 2018
©Barry Rice, 2018