Learning Moment: Building a Bog Container

I really have an interest in sarracenia pitcher plants, but live in an area that gets very hot and dry in the summer. Not the best for building a bog, so I went with a container instead. I used a 24 inch diameter small pond form that is about 8 inches deep. I drilled holes in the side of the container about half way down to drain water and keep the top few inches damp, but not saturated.

Next I created a reservoir from a terra cotta pot. I drilled holes in the side of the pot for water to drain. I put the terra cotta pot in the center of the plastic pond form and filled several inches of the the plastic pond form with pea stones. I put a hose in the empty reservoir and ran it until water drained out of the side holes of the plastic pond form. I then topped the pea stones with a half sand, half sphagnum mix and put a solar pump bubbler into the reservoir. Most carnivorous plants cannot take any fertilizer, so it’s important that your substrate does not have fertilizer in it.

I planted water loving plants like sarracenia (venosa, barba, velvet, farnhamii, maroon) a Venus fly trap, a spiral and a regular juncus, a flag iris, a Siberian iris and a dwarf papyrus.

Finished Product

I added moss around the plantings and covered the sides with pine straw to keep the direct sun off of it. This area gets morning sun and about an hour of late afternoon sun. I added an irrigation drip line to the setup to refresh the water in the bottom during dry spells. The reservoir serves to show water level so I can be assured that I have enough bog water to keep the plants healthy. About a month in, and I am seeing new growth. This was a fun project and I hope some of you give it a try.


April 25-May 1, 2022: Week 16 Garden in Review

We are in full swing spring bloom! Currently the work I am doing in the garden is simple maintenance. Weeding, fertilizing, trimming, deadheading, and watering have been the bulk of my to do list. We have a tent/garden party scheduled for May 7 and the goal is to have the garden in its best shape for it. Unfortunately, my irises are about a week ahead and the poppies are a week late, so there will be some bare spots in the landscape. I have been working very hard to keep up with the weeds. In addition, I have been using Scott’s Super Bloom fertilizer in every watering of pots and containers and window boxes to maximize the blooms. I believe that a healthy start assures a better bloom season. Once the containers are about a month old, I will fertilize once or twice a week.

Updates: The bog garden is slowly bouncing back and pitcher plants are forming roots. I still have one flat of winter started seedlings to find a home including scabiosa, salpiglossis, marigold, a six pack of vinca, and a few foxglove. I am still growing cleome, red and white double petunia, pineapple and chocolate mint coleus, zinnias, sunflower and silver falls dichondra.

New: This week a friend gifted me a Fleur Farm Dahlia gift certificate. I had watered her seedlings in her high tunnel a few weekends prior when she was out of town. While not necessary at all as she and I exchange plants often, it was a lovely gesture, I ordered 5 dahlia and am excited to see them in bloom. I ordered Zundert Mystery Fox, Jowey Martina, Arabian Night, Milena Fleur and Crème de Cassis. In addition to the dahlias I also ordered more dwarf zinnia seeds for the front of my summer borders from Swallowtail Seeds. I will start those as soon as they arrive. I love Zahara zinnias for their ability to fill containers, and spill, over the edge of my raised beds, so ordered a couple of those varieties.

All in all, the big work is winding down and the maintenance and enjoyment phase of the season is dialing up. Below are some photos of what bloomed this week: