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Thread: Darlingtonia cultivation

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    I am experimenting with darlings in my home, and trying to understand how these things can be "hard to grow" and yet be available by the hundreds for $2 each at my local Hardware Labyrinth.

    Can anyone tell me how these are cultivated by the big plant concerns? If they use tissue culture methods, then I assume that the temperature issues simply don't exist in the absence of bacteria and fungus.

    If that is the case, I have a setup based on the theory that high oxygen content and a certain amount of dissolved toxins are the key, as this combination keeps the bacteria and fungus down. I think temperature is only tangentially involved, and that these plants should grow OK where such evils are kept down. Nothing some bacteria and fungus hate more than superoxygenated water, brimming with sulfurous compounds, metals, and a little asbestos.

    So I am using an undrained, glazed pot, a fairly dense peat/perlite/LFS mix, lots of water, and an air pump to keep it oxy-rich. Several hours direct late-day sun. Perlite on top as a heat barrier. The pump has the added benefit of providing considerable cooling through forced evaporation.

    So far (four weeks), the plant is stable and slowly growing. I am losing one old leaf, but the new ones are hanging in there, despite the dry conditions in the house and the transplant shock.

    All I need now is the equivalent of some serpentine rock to provide the poisons.

    Steve
    I'd rather have a butterwort in front of me than a...wait, ummm...I'll come up with something...

  2. #2
    BoooOOOOooooo!!!!! unknownclown's Avatar
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    Hey Steve [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    Im not sure how warm it gets in Ohio durring the summer but here in Washington these plants thrive outside and are very easy to grow. Ive tried to grow mine inside but they just dont do well. The main thing is to keep it cool as Im sure you know so the bigger pot you have the better. A non draining pot is alright, I've had one of mine in one and it did just fine, just dont keep it overly wet but damp to avoid rot. Perlite or sand at the bottom of the pot will help.
    Ive never tried "superoxygenated water, brimming with sulfurous compounds, metals, and a little asbestos" You're kidding ...right? Cause Id have to say Im thinking the plant will like it even less than the fungus and bacteria. CPs realy dont like funky fancy stuff in thier water just plain RO, distilled or rain water. Bacteria and fungus are pretty rare if the plant is taken care of propperly so it realy shouldnt be an issue. If it does ever become one a simple fungicide will take care of the problem. When you put funky additives in the water it builds up in the soil which will in the long run over the years will kill the roots. The leaf must be a very old one since mine last a very very long time I still have pitchers on mine from last summer. Keep an eye on them they shouldnt realy die off fast like alot of other plants do. If you find that the "heads" look dented or starting to dry you may have a lighting issue.



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    Thanks for the advice!

    Outside is probably not going to work for me, though I do have some options there if I want to build something to radically cool the ground. The plant I have now will get lots of sunlight, and should stay cool, but I cannot guarantee that the surface will not get over 20 deg C (65 F), so I am looking for other options to encourage their survival without using a fungicide. I'm cheap, you see. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] I'm betting on high oxygen content in the soil.

    I don't think I will introduce any toxins, but the natural range of these plants has plenty of these in its water. Sulfur, asbestos, all the good stuff.

    I am not too worried about the one bad leaf, not yet, but I am very grateful for your advice on that. If and when the new growth withers, I will give up on this plan and try another. Until then, I am not tooo concerned about the leaves that had hardened off while it was still in its plastic cup at who knows what insane humidity.

    Steve
    I'd rather have a butterwort in front of me than a...wait, ummm...I'll come up with something...

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    BoooOOOOooooo!!!!! unknownclown's Avatar
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    OK they can handle temps above 65F actually we had a few days last summer where it got to be in the upper 80s I think even the 90s although that may be pushing it. Im not saying to make it a practice to keep it in an area that warm but that you can relax a bit more and not stress if the temps are 75-80 as long as the roots stay cool the plant will. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    You know you can always use distilled ice cubes and just place them on the soil.
    And no I wouldnt worry about the one leaf either.
    I am the weirdo who sits next to you on the bus!

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    When I was at University 20 years ago there were just over 20 things that were believed plants need. There was a fight going on conserning selenium but to my knowledge asbestos has never made the list. I think an absence of asbestos would have no ill effects what ever, but you are right about sulfur being necessary. Very necessary! But since sulfur is found in bugs, I trust that an occasional fly would satisfy your plant's needs.

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    Hey Tim!

    In fact, the cobras grow better away from their home waters, if the conditions are otherwise the same (so Schnell). They are "tolerant" of the poisons, and do better without them.

    However, this kind of tolerance is developed for a reason, usually to colonize an area with low competition, and such adaptations normally come at a cost. My guess is that the plants are not very tolerant of microscopic competition from fungus and anaerobic bacteria, the kinds of things that the water there may inhibit. Keeping them very cold helps them, but keeping them aerated with very moist air might help them even more.

    Of course, I'm not going to prove anything. I have no control group. The real reason I'm doing this is to build the contraption. The plant will have to survive despite my efforts, as all my plants do. (Hmmm...how about a peltier device to actively cool the pot? There's one at a second-hand electronics outfit for $13, including heat sink! Where's that epoxy? ....)

    Steve
    I'd rather have a butterwort in front of me than a...wait, ummm...I'll come up with something...

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    Quote (unknownclown @ Mar. 12 2003,10:30)
    OK they can handle temps above 65F actually we had a few days last summer where it got to be in the upper 80s I think even the 90s although that may be pushing it. Im not saying to make it a practice to keep it in an area that warm but that you can relax a bit more and not stress if the temps are 75-80 as long as the roots stay cool the plant will. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    You know you can always use distilled ice cubes and just place them on the soil.
    And no I wouldnt worry about the one leaf either.[/QUOTE]
    Thanks again.

    The overengineering *is* fun, however; too much of a good thing is a Good Thing. I'm suprised the plant doesn't wither away just from my staring at it all day! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    I will try to ignore it now for a while and let it grow.

    Steve
    I'd rather have a butterwort in front of me than a...wait, ummm...I'll come up with something...

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    Hm... well there is also another way I suppose where you wouldnt need "special" water and that would to be get another larger pot that you could put some ice water in and then place the pot with the plant in it, kinda like an ice bath [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] then again its just a thought.
    I am the weirdo who sits next to you on the bus!

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