Hey, Jim, that flower is awesome! I just got a gracilis x moctezumae in the mail, which I'm hoping will grow well for me. Are you using crushed coral or other sources of calcium carbonate with any of the "calcareous" pings? I've been trying my hand at a bunch of different Mexican species and hybrids, and sorting out what grows well for me, etc.
That's a huge flower!
if you knew how big P. gracilis was. its not big at all
i have a few flowers coming up on my Yucca Do 1713. its supposed to look alot like gracilis flowers. i cant wait!
Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer
My gracilis are all getting ready to flower, i was wondering what the flower was going to look like.... Are you planning any cross polination??
I use crushed corall for the P. gypsicola but am not aware that P. gracilis could use an alkaline soil media. Now ya got me wondering!
Where does one acquire crushed coral?
Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom; the more corrupt and vicious a people becomes, the more it has need of masters. -- Benjamin Franklin
You can get it in huge bags from fish stores. However, it's just calcium carbonate, which you can get almost anywhere. Eggshells are made from mostly calcium carbonate, etc.
Jim, keep up the good work. You're my ping hero right now! Here are some descriptions of P. gracilis' home turf:
Thanks for the link. I didn't know that ordinary eggshells were CaCO3. Where does one obtain lava rock? I see Vic Brown's name mentioned, which is signicant in CP circles.
Media : I use a 100 % mineral media : 2 perlite, 2 vermiculite, 1 small sand (for aquarium), 1 fine white sand, 1 pouzzolane (volcanic lava), 1 aqualit (expansed ceramic for aquarium). The aqualit can be replaced by 1 of pouzzolane. Plants in this media grow slower but have a stronger root system.
Pot : plastic, colour terracotta, diameter 20cm, height 12cm for forming a colony.
Cultivation : I think that a slightly airy situation inside the greenhouse is important to avoid air stagnation. For this reason, I use a fan 24h/24h all the year round.
Watering is very important : from May to September (summer). I let the media drying slightly between two watering. I use rain water poured on the top of the pot taking care not to wet the rosette. From October to April, It is important to let the media drying completely (no watering) but with an atmospheric humidity of about 80%.
The mentioned months are indicative and can change according to your own growing conditions. In fact, when this Pinguicula begins to produce its non-carnivorous leaves, you have to stop watering and let the pot drying out completely. Inversely, when the plant begins to produce in early spring its carnivorous leaves, you have to progressively start watering again the pot.
Temperatures : during growth period, day temperatures are about 25°C but may reach 35°C when the sun is shining on the greenhouse in spite of the use of shading covers. Night temperatures are around 20°C. During resting period : day/night over freezing point. Lower temperature observed : - 4°C. I use an electronic petroleum heater to provide heat.
Flowering period : January 2001
I am trying my gracilis on a new media. I have shredded LFS and lava rock balls. the lava rock balls are for hydroponics and orchid growers use them alot.
I just got a P. caduca that is grown this way and it is huge and looks great, when i asked the grower about the media he listed a bunch of Pings that prefer this media (in his opinion), gracilis being one of them. he sent me a pic of his gracilis and i was envious, they were huge and must of had 20 pups around them, he said the clump was three years old. It was impressive enough that i put a bunch of my plants in the media, hopefully with the same results as him.