the ice cub method is only for times where the roots cannot be cooled by other means IMO, especially when its a tray of water in full sun... it depends on the climate as well, i can grow Darlingtonia with no special care, but down south you have to provide special care to keep it alive, as many people on here have learned and have proven....
I mentioned it before and I'll repeat: Dr. Leo Song (one of the founders of the ICPS) found that the maximum root temperature this species will tolerate is 81F (27C). Exceeding this maximum is fatal to the plants.
I germinated some Darlingtonia seeds over a heating pad set to ~81F - accuracy of the thermostat is probably +/- 10% - and some at room temperature in the same room. Guess what? The seedlings on the heating pad died.
Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.
I had my best success with Darlingtonia californica while I was living in La Mesa, California (a suburb of San Diego). I kept it in a large terra cotta pot, sitting in a deep saucer of water, where I kept its pot sitting in about two inches of water. It sat on top of a short, block wall and in full sun. The media was LFS and perlite. I did not know the provenance of the plant, but it grew quite well in my conditions, producing many offsets by rhizome runners and it bloomed each year.
Tucson, Arizona, U S A
The cooling effect of the terra cotta is mostly due to evaporation from the sides of the terra cotta. Are your white pots porous to permit cooling by evaporation? The white may reflect enough light to keep the pots cooler than darker surfaces, but if they're not porous, I would be concerned that they might not be cooler than the surrounding air. Evaporative cooling is quite powerful. Perhaps there is a white coating that can be applied to terra cotta that is also porous.
Perhaps a thin coating of "Plaster of Paris" on the outside of a terra cotta pot would provide both a white surface to reflect light/heat, while remaining porous for evaporative cooling.
Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 02-11-2011 at 10:35 AM.
Tucson, Arizona, U S A
I've gotta agree with dethcheeze - Long Beach and Darlingtonia DON'T mix! I lived outside of Belmont Shores down there, and all of my carnivores thrived there EXCEPT for Darlingtonia. I believe the reason is the summer heat - Long Beach and surrounding areas get downright HOT in the summer, which is when I always lost them - after 2 plants I gave up! And cold water and ice cubes made with distilled water and packed around the base as well as around the plants did not work. Unlike other coastal areas in LA / Southern Calif., Long Beach sits in further and is not affected by June gloom in LA like just about everywhere else - BUT!...What I think would be cool to try, for those with ponds, and don't go nuts on H20 conditioners and the like, would be to get one of those floating baskets, line with sphagnum, and plant a few Darlingtonia and see what happens - the roots would be constantly wet, along with water actually moving across it's root system.
Now that I have the temperature under control, my only other problem is light. I feel the plants can survive in the east facing location, but it isn't ideal. @ Joseph Clemens: I'm sure your lily didn't have this problem in the least!
I was originally thinking of planting mine in a terra-cotta pot like Mr. Clemens did, but we had this empty pond sitting here...just waiting...and I can fit many more plants into it . I will let everybody know if it works out!
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If you're worried about light, could you possibly paint an adjoining wall white to reflect the afternoon sun? Not sure exactly what your accommodations are like, but indirect light is better than nothing. If it makes you feel any better, I think that my plants have actually suffered this past year for lack of a substantial shady period during the day.
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