South Carolina Mini-Bogs

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South Carolina Mini-Bogs

  • Mike Creel, Lexington, South Carolina

Credits and Biography

Plan Your Mini-Bog

  • Study books, articles, websites

  • Find a suitable container & sunny site

  • Find media - pine mini-nuggets, coarse sand

  • Find sources of bog plant species

  • Avoid invasive plants, like cattails and horsetail

  • Check nurseries for carnivorous plants, etc.

  • Get container, media & plants before planting

It started with a Bird Bath January 27, 2006

Mini-Bog Begins April 4, 2007

Mini-Bog’s First Two flowers May 15, 2007

Minibog shining June 28,2007

Mini-Bog Growing Stronger August 13, 2007

Sarracenia Minor October 1, 2007

Mini-Bog Joins a Community October 3, 2007

Mini-bog Spiranthes Show October 27, 2007

Stokesia Mary Gregory Debuts June 7, 2009

Hymenocallis Show July 5, 2008

First Autumn Sept. 19, 2008

Mini-Bog Year 3 Bog Buttons May 27, 2009

Another Autumn Show September 25, 2009

Slowing down for Winter October 6, 2009

Planting Your Mini-Bog

  • In full sun for best growth or forested edge

  • Container 3 - 5 " deep filled to brim, drain plugged

  • Mix 3 to 4 parts of pine bark pieces (2.5” or less) with one part of coarse, washed sand

  • Wet mini-bog thoroughly, let settle several days

  • Place plants shallow, near the surface, water in

  • A community of pitcherplant, sundews, butterworts, bog buttons and small orchids is attractive

  • Use long fiber sphagnum (wetted) for ground cover

  • Shade Mudflower (Micranthemum umbrosum) is also a good ground cover

  • Plant well before frost so plants adjust outdoors

Choosing a Container

Choosing and Mixing Media

Pine Bark Mini-nuggets VARY

Plant Selection for Mini-bogs

  • Avoid woody, invasive or large-growing ones

  • Choose ones that clump, expand slowly, stay low

  • For most pitcherplants one is enough

  • Buy plants from reputable sources

  • Don’t poach from wild bogs and wetlands

  • Gather seeds or small plants with permission

  • Share the offspring of your bog, don’t hoard

  • Learn all you can and teach others

  • Plant only those hardy for your growing zone

  • Learn to effectively propagate

Most Pitcherplants are hardy here

  • Sarracenia minor

  • Dwarf Pitcherplant

A meat-eater with no close relatives

  • Venus Flytrap

  • Dionaea miscipula

A bug catcher with super glue

  • Midleaf Sundew

  • Drosera intermedia

Try Stokes Asters for multi-color array

  • Stokesia laevis

Marsh Pinks clump and seed

  • Sabbatia species

Nurseries need Sun Bonnets

  • Chaptalia tomentosa

Barbara’s Buttons - Marshallia

Orange Milkwort, Threadleaf Sundew

Rose Pogonia Orchid

Grass Pink Orchid – Calapogon

Savannah Sneezeweed- Helenium vernale

Pipewort forms clumps

Spiderlily - Hymenocallis

Cardinal Flower

Macbridea caroliniana

Smooth Meadow Beauty

South Carolina’s Wild Bogs

  • Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge in Chesterfield County has beautiful bog areas e.g. Oxpen Meadow

  • Shealey Pond Heritage Preserve in Lexington County harbors three pitcherplants species and more

  • Lynchburg Savannah in Lee County has wetlands with dwarf pitcherplants and many bog species

  • State heritage preserves from mountains to sea are described in the South Carolina Nature Viewing Guide

  • Many protected state, federal and other areas across SC are open to visitors for observation

  • Such places are great for education and photography

Shealey’s Pond Heritage Preserve

Sarracenia purpurea at Shealey Pond

Lynchburg Savannah Preserve

Sandhills National Wildlife Reserve

Sarracenia flava at Sandhills NWR

South Carolina’s Nature Viewing Guide

Other Folks Container Bogs

Backyard of Steffan Ploszak near Charlotte

Mini-Bogs at my son’s Patio Home

Ellen Blundy’s First Mini-Bog

My sister-in-law’s fountain garden

A shallow birdbath pitcherplant bog

My smaller mini-bogs

Keeping Up Container Bogs

  • You are now gardening on a NEW planet

  • Typical EARTH gardening is not allowed

  • Potting soils, fertilizers, chemicals not allowed

  • The planting media and container are priority

  • Once weekly clean water or rain is needed

  • Overly-chlorinated water can be harmful

  • Regularly rout out weedy plants

  • Learn to recognize good seedlings, runners

  • Divide & share over-crowded plants

  • Study native bogs, read and think

Bog upkeep, weeding, propagation

  • Add clean water once a week if no rain

  • Learn to recognize weeds & rout them out

  • Learn to recognize babies, seedlings, runners

  • Divide plants grown too large, share them

  • Let desirable plants drop seed

  • Collect good seeds too & share them

  • Do not introduce pests like violets, irises

  • Let biennials like Orange Milkwort drop seeds

  • Observe and photograph regularly

  • Invite and guide visitors to your bog

Butterwort and Babies

A closer view of Butterwort baby

Seed pod of Rose Pogonia Orchid

Spiranthes cernua flower & seeds

Living Sphagnum Moss

Shade Mudflower – Micranthemum umbrosum

Mudflower and Sphagnum

Bog Critters Will Find It!

  • Bogs large and small attract a variety of wildlife

  • Flying insects like dragonflies are most obvious in the air and perched seeking prey and mates

  • Amphibians like frogs, toads and salamanders come to eat and reproduce

  • All sorts of critters breed and reproduce there

  • Birds visit to collect bugs and nest materials

Dragonflies abound

Dragonfly takes risky perch

Bumblebee rests on Stokes Aster

Cricket Frog uses camouflage

Our Large In-Ground Bog

Poor Ground behind Pond

Crowded Pond Prior to Bog

Guardian Crane Seems Crowded

Site Readied for New Bog

Flagstones anchor rubber liner

Now to add Media and Water

Pond and Bog A Perfect Fit

Walk borders Bog and Pond

Guardian Crane has room now

Growth shows in bog residents

Low view of Pond and Bog

Rain brings temporary flood

Floating Plant Buoys

  • Buy Great Stuff for large cracks spray insulation

  • Drill extra 3/4 inch holes in rimmed rigid plastic pot

  • Turn pot upside-down on wax paper on a flat, level surface

  • Spray a ring of foam below pot rim building a collar couple of inches (or more) deep and wide

  • Do several pots at one time to use up all foam in the can. It is difficult to get the spray to work the second time. .

  • Wear safety glasses, use gloves and wear old clothes, because the foam is very sticky

  • Let foam dry overnight on the paper. Once dry it can be shaped to a more uniform size (underside mostly) if needed. Foam cures to a golden color in the sun.

Buoys for floating Mini-Bogs

Plant Buoys in the Garden Pond

A Visit to the Nursery for bog plants

  • Some nurseries carry bog & carnivorous plants.

  • Most can order such plants at buyer request

  • Pitcherplants (Sarracenias) are the most popular

  • Some plants offered have pest potential

  • Some plants offered are greenhouse only, not hardy

  • Buy smaller plants to save money

  • Buy pots containing multiple plants, divide later

  • Look for new cultivars of species & hybrids

  • Ask if plants are already outdoor conditioned or if they came directly from a greenhouse

Pitcherplants at Woodley’s Nursery

Judith Hindle Sarracenia Hybrid

Sarracenia purpurea montana

Venus Flytraps at Woodley’s

Tropical Sundew - greenhouse only

Nepenthes is greenhouse only

Carnivores at Woodley’s Nursey

Flytrap catches bug

Now Let’s Build a Mini-bog!

Powerpoint Remarks

A CreelWay Domepot for Cuttings

Planting Container Bog – plants ready

Planting a Container Bog The Crowd Gets an Education

Now the Venus Flytrap & Butterwort

Final Touch – Adding Live Sphagnum


Species for Container Bogs In South Carolina

Container Bog Calendar


Nursery Sources available to South Carolina



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