I'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 .