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Thread: Propagating Drosophyllum from cuttings

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    Propagating Drosophyllum from cuttings

    Some years back I saw a short article in the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter where a grower was describing how they had taken some of the plantlets that are often formed on the old flower stalks of Drosophyllum lusitanicum and rooted them into new plants. However, it seems no one I have heard from was ever able to reproduce that feat. The plantlets just slowly died when cut from the mother plant and placed in moist growing medium. Still, when looking at a stem just loaded with the little devils it seemed like there must be a way.



    While I was considering this it just so happened that I had made up a standard-strength batch of gibberellic acid (GA3) solution to treat seeds in an attempt to rouse them from a deep dormancy. Since the already mixed solution was just sitting I took 3 plantlet cuttings and stood them in the shallow container, cut-end submerged, for one hour each. I then planted them into my standard Drosophyllum medium giving them more water than adult plants usually like.



    For several weeks I watched the plantlet cuttings and waited for the eventual wilting and death of the little green sprigs. But that's not what happened. In fact I became convinced that they were putting out new growth and getting larger. So I decided to sacrifice one just to see what was really going on.





    Circles show the original cut points

    Since Drosophyllum hate having their roots disturbed I 'knew' that the plant was very likely hash, but I repotted it anyway. It continued to grow and eventually produced flowers of its own.



    Of 3 cuttings taken for propagation 3 survived and became independent plants. I believe that anyone who successfully grows this plant can reproduce these results.
    Last edited by bluemax; 01-18-2016 at 07:59 PM.
    - Mark

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    I've grown them from leaf pullings before. I got low strike rates, maybe 1 in 8 struck but it can be done.

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu138 View Post
    I've grown them from leaf pullings before. I got low strike rates, maybe 1 in 8 struck but it can be done.
    Nice! Can you give a little more detail on how you did it? I was starting to think it couldn't happen without hormones.
    - Mark

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    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    Mark: Glad you posted about your success with this! This is something I am definitely going to try myself as past attempts with no treatment have failed to produce rooting. Perhaps you could explain further exactly what part you cut and planted, just the little plantlets from the flower stalk or did you cut and plant part of the stalk they were growing from?
    Last edited by DJ57; 01-18-2016 at 09:34 PM.

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    I've got some seeds from one of those cuttings. I'll have to try to germinate them this year.

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ57 View Post
    Mark: Glad you posted about your success with this! This is something I am definitely going to try myself as past attempts with no treatment have failed to produce rooting. Perhaps you could explain further exactly what part you cut and planted, just the little plantlets from the flower stalk or did you cut and plant part of the stalk they were growing from?
    Thanks, DJ. I cut the stalk, hence the two cut surfaces in the photo, but I wonder if they could not be cut closer to the base of the plantlet and still have success. The root actually sprouted from higher up so it seems the stalk was not really necessary. No way to be sure of that without actually trying it, though.
    - Mark

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    I just pulled the leaves off the main stalk, trying to get as much of the white connective basal tissue as possible. Then I just stuck them in moist vermiculite in small peat pots under humidity domes. Newer leaves work best.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    With certain difficult-to-propagate woody perennials, I've had excellent results by pinning the new vegetative shoot into a pot of media while still attached to the parent plant. That way, you allow it an opportunity to make roots without having to give up the flow of nutrients and water from the parent. This may be worth an experiment with Drosophyllum too.

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