You might remember that back in late fall we took an introductory look at carnivorous plants. Some of you may even have dreamed of a botanically bountiful bog of your own, lamenting our northern, wearisome winters. Rejoice! We too can create a tantalizingly tropical-like bog to adorn our landscapes that, with a little help, will thrive for years to come.
We’ll start with how to build your bog. There are two main approaches here, both of them being in-ground as this is key for your plants’ survival. The first option involves digging out your desired bog shape and lining the floor with a waterproof material such as pond liner. Your other option is to bury a pot without drain holes. Plan to place your bog in a VERY sunny spot (6+ hours of direct sun) as most of these plants need plenty of sun to be satisfied.
Once you’ve decided your approach and put the bog’s holding structure in place, it is time to mix your soil. For a mixed bog (a bog housing various types of carnivorous plants) we recommend a half and half mixture of peat moss and silica sand or pool filter sand. Make sure that whatever sand you use is pure and free of other minerals or fertilizer. After you mix your materials make sure to thoroughly soak the new soil once it is placed in your bog. Now that you have filled your bog to the brim you’re finally prepared for the planting party!
You’ve prepped, built, and planted the bog of your dreams... now you need to know how to keep it alive! There are only a few important care points to keep in mind. First, keep the soil constantly moist from spring to fall. Bogs are a feature of wetlands and need pretty consistent moisture. Be particularly conscientious in mid to late summer when we tend to be the driest. The second care factor is to heavily mulch your bog in the fall. No need to worry about the plants getting enough light as they’ll be quite dormant (this means having normal physical functions suspended or slowed down for a period of time; as if in a deep sleep). Pine needles are the ideal mulch as they’ll continue to acidify your bog into the next season, but leaves work just as well. Use chicken wire or some other small to medium holed fencing material to keep your mulch in place through the windy times. And last but certainly not least, water your bog once a month during the winter if we don’t get a decent snow load that month. The bog plants aren’t actively growing but just like your trees, they’ll appreciate a little life-giving H2O. Well, that’s it! Now that you have the tools it is up to you to construct the carnivorous creation you’ve been coveting.
Here are just a few of the hardy plants we sell to get you started:
Known commonly as the white topped pitcher plant, S. leucophylla adds a highlight accent with its bright white lids.
Adding a spectacular flush of purple-red to the garden, this American pitcher plant is the absolute hardiest of the genus.
Sarracenia ‘Scarlet Belle’:
Fantastic veins, curled tubes, and a small stature make this pitcher plant a whimsical addition to any collection.