Kung Fu Fighting!
Tannins & Coloration.
I have a happy Darlingtonia that's been thriving and doing just great. I've often been jealous of the red coloration of photos of Darlingtonia. It's getting extremely high amounts of full direct blazing sun but never gets color, it's definitely not sunshine. It's tannins I think because when I top watered it to test it out (I never do this regardless of the cool roots thing because it's doing just fine with the water tray) the water was crystal clear. So I was talking to ChronoKiento and he mentioned black tea, he also mentioned putting good peat in water and soaking the water through the Darlingtonia pot.
I could also re-pot it (I don't know what this would do, just keep it in the original pot shaped clump and have it collapse from watering it), it's been in a dinky black 3 inch pot for 2 years straight and the soil doesn't have tannins in it and looks like pure peat.
What should I do?
Sam- Of the numerous times I have observed Darlingtonia growing naturally, I have never observed them growing in tannin rich water. They may possibly grow in these conditions...but I've seen them in 6 or 7 different locations from Butterfly Valley north to southern Oregon and every time the plants were all growing in areas that had crystal clear...icy cold water percolating through the soil...which was very serpentine in nature. I have, on a few occasions, found pure red stands of them growing in thick Sphagnum bogs and even road side ditches void of any Sphagnum. But one thing was common in both sites...the water trickling into and out of the bogs and ditches was crystal clear and very cold.
Originally Posted by NeciFiX
You may not have a clone that colors up much when small, although the hundred or so plants I have do. I grow them very cool. If it's in a 3 inch pot it's still a baby. You may also find your plant will turn red naturally in the fall/winter. Cool weather does tend to bring out more red pigments in certain plants more so than bright light.
I would defintely start by repotting your plant. They will grow happily in a variety of media but that's only part of the battle. All other cultural componnants need to be in check for the plant to perform at its best what ever the media you choose. And if you want the happiest, largest and most colorful plants...grow them as cool as possible.
Some cobras stay very green, and it's only usually jueveniles that are very red in colour. The adults tend to only have some splotchs of red around the tongue.
The theory is that tannins do help the production anthocyanin, but you'd be better testing on sarracenia. It's all very anecdotal - some people say it's a waste of time, while others swear by it. Black tea or peat tea is usually used.
When I tried it, I found a small improvement with flava var. atropurpurea, but I'd have to do a proper controlled experiment to come up with a definite answer.
At the moment I'm trying to see if there's a difference in brands of peat and have potted up some red tubes in different mixes.