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Thread: Cultivating Mexican Pinguicula

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    I was recently asked for the following information, so I decided to share it with everyone:
    Quote Originally Posted by (PinguiculaMan @ Aug. 30 2006,5:00)
    PinguiculaMan was my former user name. My formula for success with Mexican Pinguicula is not very mysterious:

    Ingredients --- Light: strong cool-white fluorescents - 4 foot lamps in narrow-reflector, shop light fixtures, mounted as close as possible to each other (side by side); Water: purified, low mineral content is good, but not essential, many Mexican species and the hybrids derived from them can tolerate fairly high mineral concentrations in their water and media; Pots: square plastic, usually 2" x 2" x 2-1/4", for some plants a larger pot may be needed; Media: 1 part Schultz aquatic plant soil (sintered fullers earth) and 1 part 20 or 30 grit silica sand --- pre-moisten the sand (not wet, just damp) and blend a very small amount of iron oxide powder into the sand before mixing all ingredients together, I mix thoroughly while lightly spraying with a 40ppm solution of 20-20-20 soluble fertilizer with trace elements (which is absorbed by the aquatic plant soil and fortifies it); Trays: shoe box size polyethylene plastic trays, I spray paint the rim white with spray paint formulated for plastic; Amendments: dried, powdered, insects with a small amount of Trichoderma harzianum inoculum mixed in.

    Directions --- fill a pot with media, set it into a container of water with the level just below the top until it is wet and settles, remove from container and set where it can drain, poke an appropriate sized planting hole in center of media, sprinkle with insect powder amendment, place plant in hole, gently firm media around plant base and roots, add label as per your personal preference, set pot(s) into tray containing about inch of water (replenish water as necessary), place tray(s) under fluorescent lights (vary the timing of the lights somewhat to simulate natural photoperiod seasonal changes), keep temperatures in human comfort range and observe progress.
    P.S. Some species respond favorably to the addition of coral sand, but not all. Piinguicula gypsicola is one that does.

    Additional comments: Whenever growth appears to be slowing, I dust the leaves with dried insect powder, then spritz the leaves with a little 40ppm fertilizer solution.

    If you haven't realized it by now, I am a tinkerer. I am constantly thinking up new things to try, so that my cultivation and propagation success might improve. Some things have helped, some haven't. I have just recently discovered the benefits of this new media blend, I had used it with a few different Mexican species, they had developed root systems that bound together a one-inch deep plug of the media and most of these roots were still alive. Ordinarily in an organic-rich media, though the plants appeared very healthy and were growing well, upon removing them from the media it became apparent that they had virtually no root system to speak of. Except for a few roots about 1/4 inch long growing around the perimiter of the "root ball", the central roots were usually all dead and rotting. I have not yet converted all, or even most, of my Mexican Pinguicula into this media, but, all those so far transferred have responded very well. I must give credit to Pyro and Eric for their contributions to the idea of using a mostly mineral media.

    -----------
    Supplemental Addition:

    I've come to realize that by using fluorescent lighting I may be providing more of the UV levels these plants are used to in their natural habitats and this may be part of my cultivation successes.

    For details of variations in UV radiation reaching the earth at various altitudes and latitudes, here is a link to one source: U.S. EPA.

    For example, the expected UV exposure in Oaxaca, Mexico is here. I compare that with my local UV, here at Tucson, AZ. I consider my exposure here in Tucson to be high, and it is, but nothing like closer to the equator or at high elevations close to the equator. Anything North of our latitude is significantly lower in overall UV exposure.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 11-29-2010 at 11:13 AM.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Oddly enough I have been using 100% Schultz aquatic plant soil as a test with a few of my neps. While I have not noticed an increase in grow versus other media I have not noticed a decline. Also with using pure mineral media it requires much less repotting into fresh soil. Just a little dose of fert every now and again.
    You don't need an iron chest if you have a sharp brain and a silk tongue.


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    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    Additional comments: Whenever growth appears to be slowing, I dust the leaves with dried insect powder, then spritz the leaves with a little 40ppm fertilizer solution.
    is that ike the calcium dusting for insects?
    Alex
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 11-12-2010 at 07:36 PM.
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Smile

    Alex, the "powdered insect dust" is actually dried, ground, insects --- a combination of freeze-dried bloodworms (fish food), freeze-dried tubifex worms (fish food), and insects I catch with my porch bug-zapper. I make sure they are very dry by heating them gently in the microwave oven then let the outside air finish the drying. Once I am sure they are thoroughly dry I put them into a "coffee" grinder dedicated to this purpose, grind them to a powder, and add a small amount of Trichoderma harzianum RootShield brand inoculum and a very small amount of Iron Oxide powder.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 02-02-2007 at 11:44 PM.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    A Cajun(isc) Carnivore CP30's Avatar
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    Do you still use rootshield with this method?

    (removed 2 questions you answered for me in an old PM!)
    Have you ever tried Ironite in place of the iron oxide?
    Last edited by CP30; 01-28-2007 at 09:32 AM. Reason: stupidity
    All proofs inevitably lead to propositions that have no proof. All things are known because we want to believe in them.

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    A Cajun(isc) Carnivore CP30's Avatar
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    Don't ever try this yourself, someone might get hurt....

    All right, I tried a mix of ground blood worm, Root Shield, and ground Ironite (2:2:1). it BURNED the leaves within an hour!!!!

    I will try a different mix this weekend on different pings - most likely a 10:5:1.
    All proofs inevitably lead to propositions that have no proof. All things are known because we want to believe in them.

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    I use an extremely small quantity of the dried insect dust. There is a fine line between optimum and damaging quantities.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CP30 View Post
    Do you still use rootshield with this method?

    (removed 2 questions you answered for me in an old PM!)
    Have you ever tried Ironite in place of the iron oxide?
    No, I haven't tried the Ironite (Iron Sulfate). I am afraid it might be too soluble.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    I like drosera. johnnyfrye's Avatar
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    Above my tanks, I have two cool white tubes and two EcoLux tubes, in two normal four-foot shop light fixtures. I assume that would work well also? Give 'em a bit of everything?
    Grower of Drosera.

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    Agent of Chaos Wolfn's Avatar
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    I found a Pinguicula 'Pirouette' online for a very good price. Can someone please give me the basics of it? When I should I order it? When does it come out of succulent stage?
    "I may be on the side of angels, but do not mistake me for one."

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