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Arlington, TX

I need to repot most of my outdoor plants and am wondering what type of sand to use and how to wash it. The last time I did this I used play sand and I am not sure it was clean even after I rinsed it a couple times in a bucket.
C

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

One of your local garden centers probably sell bags (usually 5 lb. bags) of sand in the planting mix section. Silica sand is good but may be hard to find. Place some sand in a container and fill with water and agitate the sand. After the sands settle just poor off the water. Some say you really don't even have to rinse off the sand.

Arlington, TX

I cant remember seeing any sand in the soil section but I will look. I really think the decline of a few plants might be the result of the sand I used for them. Thanks for the suggestion and I will look for silica sand too.
C

north coast nsw, Australia

I use coarse river sand in a bag brought from my local hardware store which is a grey colour not brickies sand which is finer, browner in colour and sticks together easier. You need it for good drainage.

Arlington, TX

I have never seen river sand for sale here. I don't think drainage is an issue for my plants that are kept constantly moist in a kiddie swimming pool?
C

north coast nsw, Australia

Yes mine are in kitty litter trays. They need to be kept moist but have good drainage so the roots are smothered. Bigger sands better than finer sand.

Greensburg, PA

I'd like to offer a suggestion for people to try out. I used to use Schultz Aquatic Soil, which was a fired Fuller's Earth, in with a number of plants, especially my EE's. The nice thing about this is that it is a porous product, so facilitates in mineral and oxygen exchange better than the non-porous siica sands. As I do not grow the carnivores, I am not sure if this is a desirable feature or not. However, in the past two years, I have not been able to obtain it locally. I switched to using the oil dry product from NAPA, which is also 100% Fuller's Earth. It works for me the same way, but is a lot cheaper and is easy to get here locally.

I understand that the NAPA oil dry product varies somewhat with geographic location, so you will need to read the bag to see what you are getting. I would also like to know, for my own benefit, whether a porous silica is better than a non-porous for carnivorous plants, if anybody knows.

Arlington, TX

CP's can't tolerate the nutrients/minerals.

Greensburg, PA

The product I use has apparently been fired and does not disintegrate in water. I do not know if this would change and by how much the ability of the non-silica components of fired FE (as opposed to unfired FE) to leach out from the material. I do appreciate the information, its been good substrate for me but as I said before, I do not use it for CP's.

Arlington, TX

I think it would be safer to stick with clean sand and sphagnum peat moss.
C

Greensburg, PA

I agree with you. However, I think that "clean sand" can vary greatly in composition depending on many factors, which was, I think, the point of your initial post. When I go looking for sand in various places, I see different kinds and have no way of determining chemical characteristics. You raised a very good question which I hope will eventually be answered by an expert. Porous silica, chemically neutral, should be superior to non-porous silica that is chemically neutral by my understanding of plant needs.

Arlington, TX

Depends on the type of CP. My pitcher plants grow nearly completely submerged for long periods so I am not convinced drainage is much of an issue for them. As a matter of fact I have several that are growing in pure living sphagnum moss. Venus fly traps are another story and probably need better drainage.
C

Prosper, TX(Zone 8a)

Howdy Cheryl! I use two types of sand in all my carnivores and have no problems related to the soil mix. The sands I use are general purpose sand from Home Depot and play sand from Lowe's.
General purpose sand is full of varying sizes of small stones and is a much coarser grain size. For my CP's I simply filter the general sand two times to separate 90% of the stones only leaving tiny pebbles not much bigger than the actual sand grains and rinse, mix, and pot up.
For the play sand that I am currently using on my hole lot of Sarracenia totaling a whopping 5 plants! I put 1/4 of the bag in a 6 gallon bucket and washed/disturbed it 3 times. When the water ran semi clear I began using it in the mixes I make and currently it is what is pre-made and in use.
For my Cacti I use the general sand straight along with some of the limestone that our yard is laden with and then a mix of 3 or so other additives that I keep secret.

I'll be seeing you later this month so we can pick each others brains if we get a chance.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I've heard river / play / anything other then pure silica sand is horrid for Carnivorous Plants but I'm a NOOB so what do I know ?



north coast nsw, Australia

Ive always used washed coarse river sand (bought in bags from a nursery ,not from a river... but i probly could do that if i could be bothered) ha!and ive have hundreds of cps for years and haven't killed any yet so i don't agree.

Thumbnail by breeindy
Santa Ana, CA(Zone 10b)

Love the color on that one, Bree!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Quote from breeindy :
Ive always used washed coarse river sand (bought in bags from a nursery ,not from a river... but i probly could do that if i could be bothered) ha!and ive have hundreds of cps for years and haven't killed any yet so i don't agree.


Maybe you should eBay this Australian sand for us poor USA growers ? our sand here for sale is much different and will kill fast .
So I don't agree.

This message was edited Apr 20, 2012 5:47 PM

Prosper, TX(Zone 8a)

I never had any die from the mixes I make up and Peter D'Amato approves the use of play sand if hort sand is not available. Pick up a copy of the Savage Garden and you'll find all sorts of info.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Quote from perkoschilefarm :
I never had any die from the mixes I make up and Peter D'Amato approves the use of play sand if hort sand is not available. Pick up a copy of the Savage Garden and you'll find all sorts of info.


Will do ! Please forgive me as I'm a total NOOB and may have learned what I think I know from CP Nazis !

noonamah, Australia

Sand is defined more by size of particle than by it's chemical composition. That's why there's so many different views on the use of sand. Knowing the source of the sand is important, more so than just whether it's river sand or beach sand, etc. You need to know the rocks that decomposed to form it. Silica sand, which is the most common form, is about the most chemically inert one. But even it can become coated with other materials, such as red desert sands coated in iron oxide. Beach sands can have residual salt despite having been washed a number of times.

Arlington, TX

All of mine are in play sand and have been for years...they are doing quite well.
C

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Quote from tropicbreeze :
Sand is defined more by size of particle than by it's chemical composition. That's why there's so many different views on the use of sand. Knowing the source of the sand is important, more so than just whether it's river sand or beach sand, etc. You need to know the rocks that decomposed to form it. Silica sand, which is the most common form, is about the most chemically inert one. But even it can become coated with other materials, such as red desert sands coated in iron oxide. Beach sands can have residual salt despite having been washed a number of times.


tropicbreeze I get what you are saying. The grit size of the pool filter silica sand I used is way to small to do much good. I'll repot next Spring meanwhile will try to find a local sourse for a larger grit silica sand. I do rinse my sand with RODI water till the TDS of the rinsed water is in range.
I did notice (play sand) that is silica at Lowes a home hardware everything store here in the States.

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