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Thread: light for seedlings

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    michael1975
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    light for seedlings

    I had the good fortune of having many sarracenia seeds sprout (some oreophila, leucophylla and rubra). I don't have a growth chamber or a terrarium and have been making do with a tray with water and some bright sunlight not far from the window from dawn to about noon. They seem happy for the time being, but should I be trying to give them more light? (The largest ones are about half an inch long right now.)

    Thanks for your input....

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    bonsaibuddha's Avatar
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    What type of rubra are they
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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Are they getting direct sunlight? Six or so hours of direct sun should be ok. A full days worth would be best.

    I'm using the Bugweed Method. Some of the S. flava are over 3 inches tall and S. rubra ssp alabamensis are over 2 inches and S. leucophylla "Hurricane Creek White" are about 2 inches. The flava sprouted in March, the others in April. I just have a two foot two tube fluorescent fixture about 4 inches above the pots on them.

    Here's the Sarracenia leucophylla "Hurricane Creek White" from about two weeks ago in a 3.5 inch pot. They've grown quite a bit since then:



    S. flava two weeks ago:

    from March:
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Moderator Alexis's Avatar
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    I don't have a growth chamber or a terrarium and have been making do with a tray with water and some bright sunlight not far from the window from dawn to about noon. They seem happy for the time being, but should I be trying to give them more light? (The largest ones are about half an inch long right now.)
    They'll do best with maximum light, but they are somewhat adapted to growing surrounded by grasses so can get by with less light.
    As long as they're not leggy and look like NotANumber's plants above, they're doing fine.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Yes, light levels are important. The flava sitting near the windowsill under a crappy desklamp for a month or so without direct sunlight was far too insufficient.

    By "leggy" Alexis means the long stalk between the surface of the media and the growing point or "crown" where the leaves intersect. This is caused from etoliation from insufficient light levels. Basically the plant grows tall and much too thin in an effort to get more light by getting closer to the source. If you see that happening your plants need more light. Ideally the crown should be touching or into the media surface.

    Hopefully these rubra are better off being from a later batch around the time I marginally improved the lighting situation:
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    michael1975
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    Wow, those seedlings look great! I could put them out on the deck with the rest of my adult sarrecenia--I was thinking they may be too delicate still for the cold night temperatures--but during the day they would get a lot of sun. (Ironic--a few of them took a beating last night when they fell off their shelf during the earthquake hear in Oakland

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    They should be able to tolerate the night temperatures unless we have another cold snap in California as happened in January. Move some of them out in the morning - remember temps drop at night slowly over a period of hours - and see how they do. You can move the rest out later.

    You may need to give them decreasing partial shade over a week or two to prevent sunburn. If they've been getting many hours of direct sunlight already this may not be necessary.

    But they do need a lot of light or they get "leggy" which isn't very healthy.

    Your biggest problem will probably be fungus gnats which will munch the seedlings and root hairs. Sticky traps (those yellow pads), Drosera, Pinguicula and terrestrial Utricularia will help control these.

    I've been using Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis (Bti) which kills the fungus gnat larvae. You can buy this as "Mosquito Dunks" or in granules by Bayer Advanced. I had some Dunks so I broke one up and put some small pieces in the tray and in a container full of RO water. I let that stand overnight and drench my pots with it once in awhile. No more fungus gnat problem.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    michael1975
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    Thanks. I had them surrounded indoors by a few sticky traps. Outside I put them next to a few drosera. Hopefully the birds won't think they're worms!

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