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Thread: Potting in Long-Fibered Sphagnum?

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    Potting in Long-Fibered Sphagnum?

    I have two Utricularia longifolia that had been grown in peat moss when I purchased them and I want to transplant them into long-fibered sphagnum moss. However, the pieces of long-fibered sphagnum are pretty big and I'm not sure how to make sure the bladders are completely covered since they are on stalks as thin as threads.
    Also, I'm not sure how to pot a few tiny longifolia plants. I have a few with stolons an eighth of an inch or less, and I'm worried that they won't have enough "roots" to fully pot in long-fibered sphagnum. Anyone have any advice? It just seems like long-fibered sphagnum isn't really suitable for plants with really fine root systems, especially if they are juvenille.

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    For starting small plants either bundle them in a few strands of live moss or just finely shred the dried moss for the top portion of the pot they're in so the moss can be more closely packed around them.

    Longifolia is pretty hardy. As long as where you are growing them is humid it doesn't really matter if the bladders on larger plants are in contact with the sphagnum. I started with a 2" square pot and now have U. longifolia infesting every pot and all the moss under the pots, I've got runners with bladders sticking straight up in the air between pots or stretching from pot to pot and they are fine. However my highland Nepenthes chamber is 80-90% RH all the time and gets watered every few days with a pump up garden sprayer.

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    Thanks for the reply! My longifolia hasn't been growing much since I just put them by a windowsill, but I'm going to move them into a cracked aquarium so they're more humid. None of my supposed "weedy" utrics (subulata, bisquamata) have spread much at all and I hope increasing the humidity can help them as well.
    It makes it a lot easier if I only need to worry about the smaller one's bladders.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Peat isn't a real great medium for U. longifolia so once it gets repotted in the long fibered sphagnum and in a more humid area it should pick up for you. You can let the medium for longifolia dry out a bit-don't keep it sopping wet/muddy. the moisture level of Nepenthes seems about right.

    I don't grow the smaller utrics so I can't give any worthwhile info on those.

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    That's interesting that you keep your longifolia on the dry side. I've heard on other forums that longifolia likes it really wet and that it's almost aquatic, but I guess it depends on the individual plant you have. I keep mine wedged in a container with the excess water from watering and it's growing bladders there which I can see when I lift up the pot. I'll just have to figure out what works for me, I guess.

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    It's pretty variable, I grew mine in a 10" glass fishbowl for years and it never bloomed or grew really quickly but once I put some of it in a net pot of long fibered sphagnum in the HL tank and just forgot about it now it's everywhere!

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    Here are a few photos that may give you some confidence with the fine root system Utrics and LFS.

    The original "planting", well I placing it on there and poured some water over it to "glue" it down. This is an Exo-terra with constant mid/high humidity so keep that in mind. Single stand of Utricularia geminiloba.

    DSC_0557 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Here it is today 3 months later, looks like its starting on its first tuber. Can't make much out in the photo but its starting to put up a new leaf. The single biggest problem with this type of propogation would be unwanted mosses outgrowing the Utrics. I've grown quite a few up to good size like this over the years, its not the fastest method but its very easy to pinch off a runner from another plant without much damage to the donor plant.

    DSC_0809 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Here is a longifolia I have growing in 100% LFS in a jar on a windowsill, if your wanting flowers and the healthiest plant you can get this is not the method to follow imo. But it will clearly grow like this.


    DSC_0810 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

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    Longifolia definitely does best in the LFS mix, and on planting, like RSS said just water the plants down so they stick to the moss. If humidity is up and the moss stay moist you'll see them grown out. After that, a big pot of LFS will be needed as they grow fast. Mine is in a pot over a foot across and 6 inches deep, and if the thing weren't ceramic it would have broken the pot by now. Fluctuating the moisture level and temperatures will make it flower, as it did for mine, going from moist to slightly wet, back to moist, etc.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
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