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Thread: Cobras in florida

  1. #1

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    Hey everyone,

    This is my first topic as a new member.

    I just got into growing CP's and I would very much like to grow cobra lillies outside in Lakeland, Florida if at all possible. The humidity is always high here, however the temperatures are usually very hot.

    Average Summers: High - 95F Low - 74F
    Average Winters: High - 74F Low - 50F

    Has anyone attempted this before? Any suggestions would be great? I think I may try the tray method in the shade. I've read about growers suspending the cobra lily pot over a large bucket and a pump that continuously forces water over the roots.

    Thanks!

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    I would recommend you use live sphagnum and use a very large pale pot. Keep the water level very high and it should be cool enough without any need for running water.
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
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  3. #3
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    All I can say is good luck. You have a tough task in front of you. The key is to keep the roots cool. It's a good idea to pump water around the roots all the time.

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    I have one growing outside in Texas. Temps around here are a little higher than that and humidity during the day is pretty low. So far It's been doing well in a light colored glazed ceramic pot sitting in a water tray that comes up to the rim of the pot. Every day I just recycle the water from the tray by pouring it back over the plant. Be warned though, you will not see any real growth right now if it's outside due to dormancy.

    -Rail
    My life sucks

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I have some hope now CopcarFC.

    My plant should be arriving pretty soon. Any advice on acclimating it first. Should I leave it inside on a windowsill for a while or should I move it directly outside in the shade?

  6. #6
    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    Some people will tell you to slowly acclimate and some poeple will tell you to stick them in the shade. Then others, like me, just stuck the thing in the sun. Keep in mind Cobra Lilys grow larger if kept in a shady spot, but they will be smaller and redder if kept in the sun.

    -Rail
    My life sucks

  7. #7
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums! I can tell you how NOT to grow them:

    Cobra lily fiasco

    lost cobra lily

    Seriously, here's a set up that was successful for forum member living in a warm climate:

    CNCreeferI'm planning on writing a book and I need you opinion on this care sheet made by me . if it is a good care sheet then enjoy

    INTRO : The cobra lily ( Darlingtonia Californica ) has been proven to be one of the most difficult cp's to cultivate becuase if its requirment for cold temps . It was discovered by J.D. Brackenridge in 1841on the south side of Mt. Shasta in northern california . it was later described by John Torrey in 1853 and named the plant after his friend Dr. William Darlington .

    DISTRIBUTION : the cobra lily lives in northern california and in the northwestern side of oregon . Its habitat is very cold where temperate planst grow , in winter it snows . It lives in slow moving springs , rivers , and streams . If you give the plant a simular ebviroment like this is will more likely have a good chance of living .

    TRAPPING : Very simular to Sarracenia but in a different way . Since the pitcher of the cobra lily is chaped like a cobras head , has translucent windows , has twisted pitchers , has a fishtail shped appendage hanging from the mouth of the plant . Now that you know what the plant looks like , and as i said that this plant captures its prey like Sarracenia . When prey see this plants and see its red fishtail ( red only if grown in lots of light ) it will think it is a flower or a big fleshy piece of meat . It will go to that appendage and suck on the nectar on it , as it get closer to the mouth of the plant , the nectar gets stronger . The prey will go inside the mouth of the plants and try to escape . The translucent windows on the top of the plant get stronger when the prey gets deeper into the pitcher . They prey then tumbles down the slippery tube where it goes to to the part of the pitcher where it has sharp down pointing hairs , the prey has no other choice then to go further down the tueb , if it trys to go against the hairs then it will get a painful back stabbing feeling . One thing that makes this plant so interesting is that it makes no digestive enzymes to help digest insects . It needs the help of bacteria to help break down its prey . The plant secreates water into the pitchers to help with digesting but where does this water come from , it can't be from rain because the plant has domed pitcher . The plant could of coarse absorb water from tis roots to the ptichers , the mroe prey the more water is secreted . The bug is then digested and use as food for the plant .

    SIZE : Cobra lilies in the wild can make pitchers up to 3-4 feet tall , but thats in the wild where all its requirements are met , in cultivation that is more likely to get 1-2 feet tall but if you take care of yuor plant in a simmular way in the wild you might be rewared with 3-4 feet pitchers .

    SOIL :50 % peat moss , long fibered sphagnum , or live sphagnum , and 50% perlite or sand is a good mixture . the more airy the soil is the cooloer the plants roots are .

    CONTAINERS : plastic pots are ok as long as they are not a dark color . Terra cotta clay pots are ok to use as they do keep the planst roots cool . These plants make long stolons so they should get large pots , never grow them in undrained pots . 3 inch pots for baby plants , 6 inch piots for medium plants , and 1/2 to 1 gallon pots for large full grown plants .

    WATER : ALWAYS USE DISTILLED WATER , this plant like cool soil temps so it is wise to refridgerate the water especially in summer . Always keep them moist .

    LIGHT : Full sun shade but they get better color when in full sun . Be very , very , very careful when they are in full sun because you might fry your plants .

    CLIMATE : They should live in a cold temperate , temperate , or warme temperate climate . they like haveing very cold winters and have warm days and chilly nights in summer . An important key is that they should be kept cold .

    GROWING PLACES : bog gardens , outdoors , greenhosues , and windowsils are good places to grow them as long as it does'nt get to hot , they get enough light , and have enough room .

    FEEDING : Any type of bug can be fed as long aas they are not pest bugs .

    FERTILIZING : NEVER FERTILIZE , but if so then sue 1/4 strength and feed foliarly . Miricid , Superthrive , Orchid , or epiphytic fertilizers may be used . Once a month is good enough

    HUMIDITY : It does'nt have to be much but 40% or more is good

    TEMPERATURES : 80 - 55 degrees F is good in the summer and in the winter keep much colder . Remember that these planst like cool temps and if there soil gets above 85 degrees F will surely make your plants suffer and lead it do it death which is the most problemsome trouble with growing this plant .

    TRANSPLANTING : Potted plants should be divided every 3-5 years to prevent clumping unless you like clumping plants .Best done in winter when they are dormant .

    FLOWERING : Darlingtonia can send up flowers year round and can be pollinated to make seed . The one mystery about this plant is what pollinates it in the wild for this plant has a very tricky looking flower . In 1875 Rebecca Austin studied the flwoers of the darlingtonai for many years and still has no isea what pollinates it . She seemed to be obsessed with the plants . The flowers are dark reddish maroon color .

    DORMANCY : Dormancy should be done by taking the plant out of the pot , take the dead parts off , spray with fungicide , wrap roots with peat moss or wet paper towel , put in plastic bag , put in REFRIDGERATOR not freezer , and you wait . It shoudl be done on thanksgiving day and they shoudl be brought out on valentines , st. patricks day , or easter for they need a long rest . If it flowers during dormancy then take it out .

    PROPAGATION : There are several ways to propagate darligtonia and 1 way is by diviision when the plant make clumps of more plant which is best doen during dormancy . Another way is by seed but it is a very slow way , you should stratify the seed to get a better chance of germiantion .This plant can also be propagated by stolon cuttings which is 1 of the best ways .Another way is by tissue culture .

    TIPS : The cobra lily is my most favorite carnivorous plant in the world . If I were you i would'nt poach these plant because its illegal and because if a local sees you caryying these plants around , they have permission to shoot ypu . Its sad that many of these planst die cause they are so difficult to care for . But that is not true unless you have the correct enviroment . I have a couple of tips that will help u to grow these plants , first is that you should refridgerate the water you use to water the plant with because it helps it very much in hot summer days . A second tip would be to grow this plant in shade because it will make it alot cooler although it may not get much color your plant will be better . A third tip would be to put purified ice on top of the soil which can save a cobra lilies life on hot days .There is a rare variety called Darlingtonia Californica var. othello which has no red pigment in it , i hope soon to oen day get ahold of this plant .

    WEBSITES :
    www.**********.com
    www.sarracenia.com
    www.carnivorousplants.org



    OZZY

    Well, I couldn't find what I was looking for, but these links should be helpful.

  8. #8

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    Is that true, you get shot if a local sees you poaching them. I thought it was $1000 fine or is that for vfts?

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