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Author Topic: Peat substitute - carnivorous plants  (Read 1188 times)

brianw

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Peat substitute - carnivorous plants
« on: November 01, 2022, 03:59:04 PM »
Now that peat is not so easily available, at least not down here in the south, I wonder what insectivorous plant growers may be trying as a substitute. I can easily get perlite and maybe low lime sand if I look. I must find some of my old pH papers to check some of my various grits and gravels. I remember seeing Sarracenias growing in sand dunes round the US Great lakes close to Cypripediums and other orchids so know it is possible.
Edge of Chiltern hills, 25 miles west of London, England

Vinny 123

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Re: Peat substitute - carnivorous plants
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2022, 08:15:51 PM »
Peat is SUPPOSED to become illegal as a retail sale in 2023.
Availability currently, depends on your local nurseries - I have one just 3-4 miles away run by a family that have never used anything but peat composts, so I can get peat composts and baled peat very easily.

The problem with any other organic medium is that it will compost very quickly as it will be sodden. It will just decompose to nothing PDQ.

Given the obsession with 100% mineral composts that rises and falls in various parts of the horticultural hobby over the years (not least cacti and succulents, but also plenty of other branches), I suspect that there will be some blend that will suit, albeit neutral rather than acid.

The only mineral to be avoided would be limestone, which people assume is always white, or close enough, but actually comes in every shade of white, cream, and grey to almost black, depending on source.

Jeffnz

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Re: Peat substitute - carnivorous plants
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2022, 11:57:35 PM »
Peat based potting mixes have been unavailable here for many years, the same applies to peat bales.
Composted bark has replaced peat, with the addition of pumice to aid drainage.
Unfortunately these mixes do continue to break down over time.


Vinny 123

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Re: Peat substitute - carnivorous plants
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2022, 07:27:44 AM »
The NZ in your name presumably indicating your home country?

There is a voluntary agreement with the UK horticultural trade that has been in place for a few years (not sure how many), but government says that it has not been effective enough in reducing use of peat, so retail sales are scheduled to be banned sometime in 2023.

For potting of plants that are destined to be potted for only weeks to a few months, there are alternatives, also for plants, such as cacti, that are kept sparingly watered. The problem lies with plants that would normally be potted and watered well for long periods, and things like troughs and planters.

The fears about top-soil loss, for use in loam-based composts, that were often in the news 5-10-15 years ago, seem to have disappeared.

Jeffnz

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Re: Peat substitute - carnivorous plants
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2022, 06:56:37 PM »
NZ (New Zealand)

brianw

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Re: Peat substitute - carnivorous plants
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2022, 07:50:44 PM »
General info. I have found is that ericaceous composts here are suitable being generally low in nutrients and lower in pH. I found some are still peat based here, some says it is peat free, and some don't say. Diluted ~50% with perlite and/or lime free grit dilute it further. Nothings died so far, but too early to say.

The leaves have at last dropped here. Some of all this moss that has appeared in my grass is going into Christmas wreaths, but still getting fungi (Stink horns) popping up; very late in the season. Brian, SE UK
Edge of Chiltern hills, 25 miles west of London, England

partisangardener

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Re: Peat substitute - carnivorous plants
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2022, 09:20:38 PM »
My floating planters use only a few centimeters of substrate.
I still use some  peat from discarded pots, mix it with Perlite, sand and other calciumcarbonate-free substances. (I test everything with vinegar essence).
Other substrate additives are rotten wood, bark, spruce needles, walnut shells and even a lot old ground coffee on some.

Because the islands swim in water with a low PH, quality of peat is not essential. The rain and the acidic water they float on lowers the PH of the old peat.
Furthermore around most of this floating islands I have set a ring of different species of living Sphagnum from my old bog.

The moss grows very fast (4 to more than 8 times the volume in a year) and provides me with a lot of excess Sphagnum to add to future soils or start new planters. I even have to harvest it to prevent overgrowing the plants especially seedlings on the inner circle.
I will probably never again be in need to buy peat.

https://www.srgc.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=18726.0

It is astounding how little substrate is needed even for big plants if moisture retention of the substrate is no longer needed.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2022, 06:58:34 AM by partisangardener »
greetings from Bayreuth/Germany zone 6b (340 m)
Axel
sorry I am no native speaker, just picked it up.

aldo

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Re: Peat substitute - carnivorous plants
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2022, 12:46:08 PM »
Hi, I grow sarracenias in a mix of perlite and coir dust.

 


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