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Thread: Drosphyllum, this time intentional

  1. #17
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing yours and Kamil's experiences. This pretty much sums up the article:

    Previously described localities are likely the most eastern ones in regions where Drosophyllum occurs. Drosophyllum grows in acid sand-loamy soil, in the sandstone clefts and cracks, in sandstone-loamy gravel and in pure sand. A sample of the more loamy than sandy soil from the superficial layer at the locality near Ubrique had a pH of 5.3. The plants prefer full sunlight and eroded places without any cover. Growth of the plants in the underbrush of shrubs and grasses is poor. Plants never grow in the shade of the oak woods. The plants can survive high temperatures for a long time (even 45C) or light frosts (down to –7C in cultivation) without any damage.
    We sow seed and subsequently grow plants on a medium consisting of acidic, fibrous peat moss and mild, nonalkaline sand (1:3). We sometimes add cut dry Sphagnum, perlite, vermiculite or milled charcoal, but this is not necessary. The plants tolerate loamy-sandy planting medium too. Plants grew very well in a sample of this soil we imported from the locality near Ubrique. We always use unglazed ceramic pots 12 cm or more in diameter. Some stems of sphagnum are put through the drainage hole to act as a wick. We fill a pot with the planting medium to 2 cm below the edge and press the substrate down. The filled pot is placed in a tray of water to moisten the substrate. Now we are ready to sow the seed.

    The minute black seeds have a hard seed coat. For successful and quick germination, scarification is necessary – you must scratch the seed coat. We recommend the following methods:

    A) Before sowing you can soak the seed in water or 0.1% solution of giberellic acid (GA3, stimulator of germination) for 24 hours. Then you carefully cut very thin slices of the soft seed coat using a knife blade. We cut at the peak of the seed, while other authors recommend cutting the side or a wider part of the seed.

    B) Dry seeds can be abraded using sandpaper or a rasp. This procedure crushes up the hard seed coat. It is better to use method A).

    C) You can sow the seeds without scarification and place them in a heated greenhouse. Seed will naturally germinate in the spring. While method A) allows a more precise timing of germination, method C) unfortunately does not.

    Prepared seeds are sown on the moist planting medium in 3 – 5 pits about 1 cm deep (dug by a finger). We put one seed into every pit. The previous recommendation of placing the pot in darkness (Studnička, 1984a) has been found to be unnecessary. In our experience the seeds germinate at the same rate when exposed to light. The statement that only one plant should be left in a pot after germination is also untrue. We always grow several plants (1 – 5) in a single pot without any problems. Their growth is comparable with the plants potted up individually.

    Seeds germinate in ambient or slightly higher air humidity conditions within one or several weeks. Too high air humidity leads to death of the germinating seedlings. If seed is treated with giberellic acid (GA3) they will start to germinate after one week. Otherwise, seed germinates within 2 – 3 weeks. As soon as the seed germinates you must decrease air humidity and increase air circulation. Also we add substrate to the germinating plants so that we cover the sowing pits with the substrate and replenish the surface of the pot. High air humidity will certainly kill all the young seedlings. Drosophyllum requires maximum light. About 40% of the germinated plants die during the first 2 – 3 months.
    When the plants have grown a few centimeters, we have several possibilities on how to proceed. The first possibility is for growers who have the time to care for their plants. The pot is kept standing in a tray, adding water only when the plants require it. The planting medium on the surface is kept dry or very slightly moist. Watering ensures a moist lower layer of the planting medium in a pot. You must closely watch for signs of wilting of the plant, especially on hot summer days. This is an indication to add water. Intermittent overwatering of the planting medium or temporarily reduced lighting is not a problem for mature plants. Drosophyllum can be grown very easily in trays on windowsills, where the plants are watered from below as needed. The planting medium must be kept moist not water-logged. The construction of so called “double pots” is not necessary. In comparison to the fragility of the young plants, mature ones tolerate waterlogging and dry spells better and seldomnly die from this.
    The second possibile method for growing Drosophyllum requires the construction of a so-called “double pot”. This is suitable for growers who do not have the time to observe their plants every day and quickly respond to the need of water. This method is described well in Adrian Slack’s book (Slack, 1988). The pot with germinated seedlings is placed on substrate or sphagnum which has been placed in a second ceramic or plastic pot with larger diameter filled so that two-thirds of the inner pot will be in the larger outer pot. A third of the pot with the plant juts above the edge of the first pot (vide picture). This “double pot” should be placed in a tray, always kept full of water. Watering should be higher in summer and lower in winter. The needed amount of water will penetrate through the bottom of the upper pot. The upper surface of the planting medium may dry up completely. It is necessary to keep the bottom of the inner pot rather high (vide picture) so that it does not sit in the water. If it is too low, the planting medium and roots would be waterlogged permanently.
    Drosophyllum lusitanicum loves full sunlight all year round. The plants like high temperatures during the summer and fall and a range of 5-15C in winter. Permanent high air humidity is bad. This plant may be grown successfully in pots on the windowsill receiving full sunlight (south exposure is ideal). Of course, the greenhouse is an excellent location, especially in winter. We recommend outdoor cultivation of Drosophyllum during the summer, e.g. balconies, gardens or peat bogs. Using these methods, we have been able to grow the plants for several years without any problems or loss. Outdoor plants are brought inside with the first frosts, but will survive temperature falls to 0C and even light frosts without damage (-7C). The plants spend their dormant period in a cold and bright room. During the dormant period the planting medium must be drier. Before Drosophyllum are winterized, it beneficial to remove all old dry leaves, which could become a source of rot and rust infection.






    It sounds like a drier version of highland Nep to me. Is that right?

  2. #18

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    Probably best to heed Tony's advice regarding light....the biggest and best I ever saw was grown outdoors here in NY in warm months although the grower had a greenhouse. I wish you the best with this remarkable plant!
    "Grow More, Share More"

  3. #19
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    So Tony.... lemme know what day you will put yours out and I'll do the same! Newer pics:





    Still trying to get a super clear photo!

  4. #20
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I came home and found that my prized Drosophyllum seedling had withered while I was at work. I'm sure it had a reason but I don't what it is. I did nothing to it.

  5. #21
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimscott View Post
    I came home and found that my prized Drosophyllum seedling had withered while I was at work. I'm sure it had a reason but I don't what it is. I did nothing to it.


    Did it dry out? Did you try reviving it with a little water? It is possible it did damp off but with such a loose well drained mix it is equally possible it got too dry. When they are small seedlings they can wilt very fast if that happens.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  6. #22
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I added water. That airy mix may have drained the moisture out of it. But I doused it. We'll see.

  7. #23
    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    Hope it comes back for you Scott.
    I lost 1 of mine over the summer when I was on vacation. The neighbor watered it a little too much.


    My Grow List Updated 8/24/17

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