The Q&A Archives: Bog plants

Question: I want to plant both a cobra lily and a sundew. I will make a small bog outdoors and take them inside in the winter. I need to know the growing conditions for both these, such as sun? constant wetness? any info is appreciated. Thanks

Answer: The ideal care will depend to some extent on which species you have, but overall the growing conditions are not easy to provide. Transplanting tends to be very stressful on these kinds of plants so you might do better to maintain them in the same container year round. The potting mix should be acidic and evenly moist such as dampened spagnum peat moss mixed with an inert material such as perlite. Water with rain water or distilled water, never use tap water; keep it evenly moist. Provide high humidity. Indoors they will need bright indirect light such as near a bright windowsill or supplemental light provided by fluorescent bulbs. You may find it easier to provide them with the needed humidity by setting the containers in a partially covered terrarium.

The cobra lily (Darlingtonia californica) is unique in that it needs cool soil and in nature is cooled by running water over the roots. You can try to mimic this by watering it and letting it drain every day. This plant can eventually grow quite large, so give it its own pot and repot only when it has become extremely crowded.

Good luck with your bog plants, they are very challenging!

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