All carnivorous plants need water but to varying degrees. Many sundews, flytraps, and American pitcher plants thrive in bog-like conditions while most Mexican Pinguicula are happy in a seasonal desert-like environment. No matter how wet or dry a plant prefers conditions though, one way to water carnivorous plants safely and effectively at home is to water them using reverse osmosis.
Reverse osmosis is the process of purifying water using a semipermeable membrane to filter out salts and chemicals that can be harmful to carnivorous plants. The easiest way to water plants using reverse osmosis is with the tray method.
How To Water Carnivorous Plants Using The Tray Method:
- Partially fill a tray or saucer with water.
- Using a pot with drainage holes in the bottom, place the potted plant in the tray so the water can wick up through the holes.
- Refill the tray or saucer when it runs almost dry or as needed depending on the type of carnivorous plant you are growing.
With this method, the soil acts as the semipermeable membrane and filters out unwanted salts and chemicals, delivering cleaner water to the plant’s roots. Pretty simple right? It’s important to note though; while this method helps a great deal to filter out unwanted contaminates, it won’t filter out everything. For this reason, using cleaner sources to begin with like rain or distilled water along with cleaning trays regularly to prevent salt and chemical buildup is still a good idea.
Secondary Benefits of the Tray Method
The tray method also has some other benefits like preventing media erosion and for bog species, providing a consistent supply of water to the plant’s roots without having to water the plant everyday. To an extent, the tray method can also help keep water away from plant crowns; an area often susceptible to disease and rot if too much water is present.
As with most things, there’s usually more than one way to do something. Do you have a favorite method for watering your carnivorous plants other than the tray method? What are some of its benefits? Please comment below and tell us, we’d love to hear about it!