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Thread: capensis problems

  1. #1
    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    capensis problems

    Considering capensis seems to be considered by almost everyone as one the easiest Drosera to keep, it is rather discouraging that I seem to be having such a problem with them.

    So here's the story... Got one in trade last year. Had it planted in a 50/50 mix of coir/coarse sand & kept it wet/very moist. For most of the summer, had it outside on my balcony (SE exposure). In the fall, I brought it inside and had it on my plant stand in front of my balcony's sliding glass doors. Plant was doing very well for me until I went home to visit the folks for about a week. During that time it dried out completely and I came back to a desiccated mess. Top growth was well and truly dead. So, knowing that new plants can be generated from root cuttings, I removed the roots from the pot and buried them in one of my terrs. The media in my terrs is dried sphag. Pretty much forgot about them at that point until eventually a number of plantlets popped up. Since the original plant had done very well for me outside, I wanted to have at least some of them out there again. So I removed 4 of the plantlets (all had some decent roots) and left 2 in the terr. 3 of them I planted in the coir/sand mix I had used before while the 4th one I planted in dead sphag. I then put them outside on the balcony plantstand such that they would receive early morning sun but be shaded most of the day until they hardened off. The tray I had the cuttings sitting in has about 0.5-1cm of water in it. At first they seemed to handle the transition well ... dewed up and everything. But then they spiraled downhill to the point they look like this:



    Suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong?

    (The 2 in the terr are still doing fine. I water only with RO or rain water. We have had a number of very unusual cool rather spring-like days this summer -- temps with highs in the high 60s/low 70s F. Could that be an issue?)






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    w03's Avatar
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    The leaf shape doesn't look right for capensis. Are you sure you don't have D. adelae?

    Also, did you wash all of your coir before you used it? Levels of salts in coir vary a lot, so even though one batch is safe the next may be lethal, so always wash a lot to be sure (having a TDS meter helps a lot with this).
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    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    Coir from is the same batch.

    Here's a pic of one of the plants I left in the terr. Sorry for the lack of real sharpness ... took the photo through the glass.


    "Blessed are the cracked….
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  4. #4
    Plant Whisperer Bio's Avatar
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    D. adelae is a really annoying species for me. It will grow fine for months, even years, then will turn brown over the course of a week or less, while another adelae growing next to it will be fine. I don't know what any causes are, other than them having extreme sensitivity to condition changes, at least for me.

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    w03's Avatar
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    Yeah, that definitely looks like D. adelae. It likes mixes of long-fiber sphagnum, so maybe the coir is putting it off. ICPS says it needs to be fed often to grow well. Even in good conditions it will sometimes crash for no reason, but almost always comes back from the roots.

    I don't think it's specifically condition changes though, since I've repotted, changed lighting, and changed watering at the same time without crashing it. It might just be a bit fickle and burn out after a while.
    Last edited by w03; 07-26-2014 at 05:33 PM.
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    Adelae for sure, and mine also do the same peaking and pouting, however, I have found success with pushing the limits on moisture. You know the damp paper towel you might receive gemmae or a bare root plant in? Try to let them dry to that moisture level and maintain somewhere in there. I have a lot of plants that seem to despise the tray method over any long term. I see pics of others who keep them (sundews) in trays that are full of water and doing great, but many of my plants did not get the memo that tray method=good. Adelae is on the top of this list of my plants that hate soggy media. The plants going strongest and longest (adelae plants) in my collection I keep in an undrained pot and spritz the soil and live sphag only, as the leaves and "stems" or crowns or whatever seem to hate the wetness, about 3 times per week and one day a week water thoroughly and tip the pot to drain excess. Only once a month or less will I leave the media just soaked and water logged. Give it a try. You might be surprised how little water some dews will thrive on. Be careful if you try this obviously, because until you get your watering routine perfected the risk for drying out is of course much higher and dry media = dead/sad plants.
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    Keith's Avatar
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    I guess the simple version of that would be that my adelaes do best when the peat is damp, but would be difficult to wring water out of.

    Edit: +1 on Wo3's sentiment on the coir. I don't trust coir with my dews, and not just for the salt concerns.
    Last edited by Keith; 07-26-2014 at 05:53 PM.
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    I have adelae growing in anything from pure sand, to pure peat to pure spag to mixes, and they do great, they are also very tolerant of water level, from near on floating in a spag slurry to barely damp near petiolaris, full sun to dese shade, but I always have issues if the humidity drops below 40% and when temps are above 35c for prolonged periods.

    I should mention that most of my plants are at dads where adelae are native, but my plants here at uni do just as well.

    well fed plants do get much larger (for me 30cm), but under fed plants stay small at about 10-20cm diameter, fish food pellets work well for them.

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