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Thread: Sowing Darlingtonia californica seeds

  1. #1
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I have horrible luck and skill with Darlingtonia californica. My first one I lost (literally) when I tried to give it cool, flowing water from the stream that runs behind us. Unfortunately, a few inch rainstorm raised the water level significantl and turned the gentle stream into a raging river, carrying off the plant and all, never to be seen again.

    I bought another and when I opened the Lowes cube I found the media to be bone dry - sawdust. I repotted and put it outside, open tray. Within hours all existing pitchers withered. I tried putting in the path of an AC water discharge pipe - again, cool flowing water. It produced a few new traps - all of them black and just never recovered.

    I got some seeds from a 13 year old newbie and tried sowing, after stratification, in a plastic pipette dispenser. Forue months later - nothing. The newbie's sprouted just fine. I just got a new packet of seeds.

    HELP!!!!!!!!




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    Hi Jim -

    I have had good luck in the past. Here's what I have done:

    For a media, I use LFS and live LFS if I have any. Then I chop, chop, chop it with scissors until its very fine - like breadcrumbs. I suppose you could also use a blender. Then I put the stuff into a deli or chinese food container, give it a little rainwater, and stir it up so it's evenly damp - not wet. Then I use a spoon or the bottom of a plastic cup to press it down like a sponge nice and flat. The depth is about an inch after this.

    OK, then I use something like a small lid and put about 1/4 teaspoon of powdered fungicide in it. Next, the seeds go in and I swirl them with a small paintbrush to make sure they have a coating of the powder. Then I use the paintbrush or tweezers to place the seeds on the damp LFS. If I have a large container, sometimes I will use a scrap of plastic grid as a template for spacing the seeds - 1 seed in each square. Then I put the grid away and pop the lid on the container. Into the fridge it goes for 4 to 6 weeks.

    When it's time to remove them, I poke some holes in the lid or replace the lid with plastic wrap and poke holes in that. I set the container where my other CPs are growing, which is under fluorescent lights. When the seedlings get large enough, the finely chopped LFS makes it easy to scoop them up for transplantation.

    Darlingtonia seem to be very sensitive and I have lost seedlings for no apparent reason. Other things I have observed on older transplanted seedlings are that after watering a seedling from the top....BAM, next day it's dead. Oops. Also, sometimes they croak after I have tried to trim the live LFS or pull out carpetmoss strands. Arrgghhh, frustrating on a 1 year old seedling. I have a large converted bookshelf in the basement for my CP growing and they do best for me on the bottom shelf, near the floor where it's cooler.

    I have never had success growing them outside, even though I'm in Connecticut where it's cooler than other places.

    Good luck with your seeds!!

    WildBill

  3. #3
    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    Scott,
    How's it going?
    Man, it sure does seem like this plant does not like you. LOL
    The seeds I got I stratified for a month or two then planted in a pot of LFS, peat moss, and pelite. Place plastic wrap over 3/4 of the pot and within days I had them sprouting.
    If you do not have any luck with your seeds, next time we get together I can give you some of the ones I have, and you can pick up your other plants so I have more shelf space.


    My Grow List Updated 8/24/17

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks guys! I hate being defeated and just like the VFT's I killed as a kid and young adult - I came back to them. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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    Mine germinated in about 3 weeks. I had mine on a heating pad with a small oscillating fan trained over the top of them and they were under grow lights. I don't remember what I sowed them in but pulverized LFS was a part of the mix and I created a little well in the corner of the tray which is how I watered them. I watered them about 3x a day, maybe 4. I don't quite know what to do with them now that they have sprouted though. I'll try what WildBill said.

    Jim, your main e-mail account is not working and hasn't been for over a week. Also too, you are welcome to half of my Darlingtonia seedlings. Somebody would have to tell when and how best to ship them to you though as they seem to be pretty touchy.

    Here's a photo of them from last week but they are about twice the size of what is pictured right now-

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Darling little Darlingtonia! Thanks, I'd be happy to take you up on the offer! Sent ya a PM.

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    They're yours! This is going to sound funny but I really don't necessarily care if I keep most of the seed I germinate or not. I just like growing it. I get a charge out of it. Somebody else wants my D. anglica, and somebody else claimed my "Hurricane Creek" seedlings, and then lemme see... April gets the S. purpurea as well as quite a few others, and the school gets pretty much everything else. That will leave me with only about 3 of about 6 species. And, I'm going to do it again next year.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Merci beaucoups! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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