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Thread: Let the Rain Work for You

  1. #1

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    If you are lucky enough to have rain (which is a rare thing here the last couple years) you can use it to leach out your plant pots. Even with the best water, salts begin to accumulate leading to lack of vigorous health. Rain, especially rain with a lightning storm, is very good to clear out what may have built up. In habitat, it's a natural process keeping the "soil" free of nutrient and salts. In culture it's a different story. Salt accumulation problems WILL occurr in cultivation over time. Often the easiest route is to repot annually into new mix, especially if your water isn't the purest but there are some species that are best left alone. I have always noticed a period of good new growth in my plants. A light steady drizzle that goes on all day can leach out all sorts of nasties, and I speculate that the production of ozone dissolved in rain water acts to oxygenate the roots...sort of antibacterial like hydrogen peroxide. Avoid hurricaine weather of course, but let Momma help keep your plants happy. Don't be afraid if they get a little "soiled" a gentle sryinging wiill spruce 'em up, and in the case of droserae may actually provide nutrition.

    A good rain a-coming is a cue to dump the Terrible water that remains at the base of your rain barrels or garbage cans, and a good time to change the water in water trays so it can be replaced with water that is alive! It's when I go collect my pond water I use in the Utricularia. Am I obsessive?

    Rain is also good to leach out pots of mix intended for future use. Fresh peat is loaded with salts which can support all kinds of green guck, mosses, fungi. Yuk. Potting materials should be rinsed prior to use. A good mix is a clean mix and rain is important both in habitat and culture in producing and maintaining it so. I advocate making up pots far in advance of theiir anticipated use and let the seasons rain clean them up for me. Keep them where the squirrels (arrrrgh) can't get at them.

    I was mostly involved with growing Drosera, Dionaea, Sarracenia and Utricularia but good housekeeping makes sense with any genera. The trick is not in giving the plants what they want so much as it is in not giving them what they don't want. Most of them grow in pristine conditions. The best successes will be from growers who can emulate those conditions.

    Now I am off to do a rain dance (avoiding the foot that is probably broken....long story there) because today I used hose water on the Sarracenia. We're at 150 PPM here so I have to worry, even though I grew the local Sarracenia purpurea for 3 seasons in lfs and using hose water BUT it was in one of those child's toboggan sleds and frequently was flooded by rain. Good old rain!

    May your days be filled with rain! Within limits.
    "Grow More, Share More"

  2. #2
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Thank you for the pearls of wisdom. I hear tell that we are about to receive rain, over the next several days - a little here and a little there. I'd be happy to see all that tree pollen be dealt with!

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    Tree pollen, ahhhhh yes. I am mindless this time of year from it. I wonder if it will rain here? Last season the whole flippin radar map was green EXCEPT for good old Oswego. I think it rained 8 times from April to July, but was too sick to pay attention. C'mon rain!!!

    I got lotsa pearls, and you are welcome to them. I've been clammed up too long anyways. Cooped up too! Of course as you well know there is someone out there growing the most fantastic cp the world has ever seen in the most gawdawful scum imaginable....c'mon and tell me I'm all offbase....I KNOW you're out there!

    Well, after awhile you tend to notice things....trends....and I got a lot of awhiles.

    Uhhhh, I should mention that Phill Mann once told me the best Cephalotus he ever saw was growing in a pile of dung. (I think it was Phill). Probably kangaroo.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]speculate that the production of ozone dissolved in rain water acts to oxygenate the roots...sort of antibacterial like hydrogen peroxide
    How so? Ozone reacts with many minerals, including cell membranes. It damages the photosynthetic effecency of plants. How can it be beneficial?
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]season the whole flippin radar map was green EXCEPT for good old Oswego.
    Oh i know that feeling well!

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Tree pollen, ahhhhh yes. I am mindless this time of year from it.

    Ah alergies. May the pollen subside soon. I bet it make ya miserable.


    Well i think im off to leach my pots, but the rain is moving out of the area is a speak! DARN! bad timing!
    that makes no logic

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    rattler's Avatar
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    Tamlins observations are spot on but i think he is crediting good results to the wrong thing. i was of the understanding that lightning helped create extra nitrogen which helps the plants and give them a lil boost
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    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (jimscott @ May 10 2006,8:14)]Thank you for the pearls of wisdom. I hear tell that we are about to receive rain, over the next several days - a little here and a little there. I'd be happy to see all that tree pollen be dealt with!
    I actually find my allergies get worse when it rains...it was raining here the past couple days and I've been having asthma attacks. I think the trees know it's raining, know their pollen is getting washed out of the sky, and create lots of extra pollen to compensate. I hate spring.

    so, tamlin, you'd recommend leaving the plants outside when it rains? I'm just worried the VFTs will close their traps and the drosera and pings will have their digestive stuff washed away..
    -Emily

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    Great. Its been raining every single day over here (tropical singapore), sometimes the tunder would sound for three hours and no rain (meaning there probably be somewhere else on the island). It can rain one, two, three days (I won't even mention the nights). But maybe that's why its so green here.

  8. #8

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    Finch, the peroxide would be very dilute and would oxygenate the roots.

    Yes, nitrogen production during a storm could also contribute to a growth spurt.

    Don't worry about the VFT's. I grow mine outdoors, and the rain rarely even triggers trap closure. They KNOW! Drosera grown outdoors dew up again quickly after the rain is over, and the rain helps wash away insect corpses that might otherwise mold and make trouble. In fact, I have grown Drosera underwater for weeks outside with full recovery of dew within the same day they returned to more terresterial conditions.

    Understand, outdoor grown plants are tough and can take anything the weather offers HERE. Might be different in Arizona or California, and indoor grown plants from any locale must be given more attention when they go outside. But with relative humidity between 40-70% most CP will be happier outside, esp. when grown from seed.

    My rain dance failed to produce a drop. Must have been the bad foot. Maybe I should immigrate to Singapore!
    "Grow More, Share More"

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