Re: Dish gardens

From: Elliot Smith (
Date: Wed Sep 08 1999 - 08:09:18 PDT

Date: Wed, 08 Sep 1999 16:09:18 +0100
From: Elliot Smith <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3182$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Dish gardens


I wouldn't recommend terracotta pots for CPs: the fact they have to
stand in water means that you get all sorts of slimes and algae growing
on the outside of the pots (I've seen this on garden centre CP pots). I
grow all my plants in plastic pots, which stay cleaner and probably
harbour less diseases.

You can still make a nice looking display with a plastic pot. You could
use terracotta-coloured, or go for a brighter colour. I've got several
species in a large blue plastic storage box, about 16" deep. I drilled
some holes about 3" up from the base, and some more about 4" down from
the top. The bottom 2-3" is made up of drainage material (non-alkaline;
you could probably use some charcoal to sweeten the soil); most of the
rest is a mix of peat, sharp sand and grit (3:1:1); the top two inches
are peat:sand:live sphagnum (1:1:1).

During summer, when soils need to be wetter, I plug the bottom hole with
a cork; during winter, I pull out the cork so the water level is lower
and occasionally cover it during prolonged winter wet (happens a lot in
Birmingham). Seems to be working OK so far: I've had plants in there for
8 months or so, both CPs (Sarrs, Drosera, Pings) and other bog plants
(Erica tetralix, Iris sibirica), and they're doing pretty well
(flowering, etc.).

Hope this helps,

Elliot Smith
School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

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