Friday, February 10, 2017

How to Pot Pitcher Plants - Bathtub Edition

What's a man to do after he's succumbed to online plant buying temptation and ended up with 42 bare root Sarracenias?

Pot them in the bathtub of course!

This post will lack a little in the pictures department, as I clearly wasn't thinking of taking photos when I did all this.

It all started when Sarracenia Northwest sent me an email regarding a early spring bargain sale on bare root Sarracenia.

Being a bargain and all, and knowing that I would give a bunch away to Alan of The Mardi Gras Gardener, my coworker Anita, my Portland blogger pals, and my dearest mother in Florida, of course I bought 30.

Buying in bulk is always better anyway right?

Of course, I had to order all this during Snowpocalypse 2017. Sarracenia Northwest was kind enough to let me know there would be a delay in shipping, due to said Snowpocalypse, which was totally fine with me.

There was clearly no way I would be potting these guys out in a foot of snow.

I had no idea what I was buying really. I have never divided pitcher plants or seen them unpotted. I had zero concept of how big or small the roots would be?!?


One Monday at work, the box arrived in the mail. I was eager to open it and see what was inside.

The plastic back contained a "wad" of unlabeled roots, so I have no idea what any of them will turn into. There seemed to be quite a variety, however, so I'm sure there will be some cuties. 

Frozen chicken?
I texted this picture to Alan. His reaction was "WTF is that?"

I had told him previously that I needed to raid his plastic pot stash as I didn't have 30 pots laying around and I was too cheap to buy new ones.

Thinking ahead, I had already bought three little bags of perlite and there was a bag of peat moss in the shed outside, that just needed to thaw out a little. But I still had to mix the "soil" and that can be dusty and messy.

I placed the babies in a pyrex baking dish with a little water to keep them wet until the weekend when I would have time to pot them up.

Of course the weekend I wanted to pot them, it was raining cats and dogs, so the only reasonable thing I could think of was to mix the soil in the house in a big tote (aka "Big Purp") and pot them carefully in the bathtub. Other gardeners do this too I'm sure.

Mixed "soil" in my purple bucket and got to potting!
 

The roots varied in size but most fit easily in a 4" pot. There were some very small varieties that ended up in the 6-packs.

Since the plants had been outside all winter in Eagle Creek, once potted, the plants went back outside sheltered near the house.They would still get rained on and get a little sun.

I will need to figure out water trays for them soon. It's rained everyday since they have been outside, so I haven't worried too much about watering them.

They will take a few years to mature, but how exciting! 


 

4 comments:

  1. I don't think I ever actually potted plants in my tub, but early on when I first started gardening, I did keep potted plants in the tub over the winter. I still sometimes pot plants in the kitchen, even though I have a potting bench and a greenhouse with a nice table in it. Good luck with the pitcher plants!

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    1. I usually use the kitchen for bad weather potting, but I have very little counter space, so a big production is just too hard. At least in the tub, I could just wash the mess away. I hope they do well and I can have a few to give away at the Spring plant swap!

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  2. I remember seeing this on Facebook and thinking something along the lines of WTF? Now it all makes sense! A bargain is a bargain and you were smart to just go for it. Hoping your bathtub project pays off big!

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    1. It's impossible to not "just go for it" when presented with such an opportunity. And since I have shopped at Sarracenias NW in person, I had the confidence in the nursery and the nurserymen to order.

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