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Thread: New to "pond scum" could use some advice

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    swords's Avatar
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    New to "pond scum" could use some advice

    I got my first mud-loving utrics today that I call (lovingly) "pond scum": tricolor, praelonga, tridentata and sandersonii all growing in basically dixie cups with drainage holes.

    I've had alpina and longifolia in the past which I grew like orchids/neps but I'm wondering for these types do I leave them in a tray of water and how deep should the water be? Til the leaves are almost submerged or just deep enough to keep the soil moist all the time like for dews and VFT? I do have them in water now soaking after shipping but will pull them out before I leave for work tonight just out of caution.

    I'd like to repot them into something bigger or even more interesting like that pot over the glass jar setup where the traps grow down and are visible in the water jar. Are any of these the right kinda species for that sort of project? Currently it looks like they are in pure peat, I see no sand or grit mixed in is that how I should continue when I repot or should I add some aerating/drainage material?

    Thanks for any input!

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    U. tricolor likes mud? News to me. I have my sandersonii in an ordinary 1:1 CP mix and I just keep it with whatever has water. I don't worry too much about the level. Last year I started using U. sandersonii and dichotoma as a cover crop to fight carpet moss in my seedling and cutting pots. With Utrics I think it's easiest to give them large containers and do plugs so that you've got lots of duplicates to experiment with.
    I can say that I did well with dixie cups for a couple of years, but the stagnation and compaction became a problem. I also forgot to water occasionally because each cup had to be monitored separately. Now that I've moved to drained pots I have to do more work to keep them from escaping as trailing roots, but it's worth the trouble for the greater vigor and ease of watering.
    I'm not sure which would be best for jar-growing like you mentioned, but I think some of the fixed-aquatic or moisture-loving species are a good place to start. Make sure to keep the jar in a light-proof container to encourage non-photosynthetic growth - otherwise you'll get a jar full of stringy lolons.
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    swords's Avatar
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    All wet peat just looks like "mud" to me unless I can see drainage material.

    Should I pot the U. tricolor in ground up LFS instead of continuing to use peat?

    Can those "trailing roots" from drainage holes be cut off and started in a new pot or does it have to have some of the top leaves to work?

    Does anyone ever lightly mist the leaves with dilute fertilizers?

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    A yellow M&M Jefforever's Avatar
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    !!!

    There's a lot of posts about this already...

    The water should be fluctuating; this stimulates flowering. For your new arrivals, they all enjoy water levels ranging from just submerging the soil surface to an empty tray.

    Try fluctuating heat too; that really helps. I love utrics because sometimes they require "torture" in order to flower. I stick them out in the cold Oregonian winters, put them in lowland conditions, etc.

    Fluctuate light too.

    For soil, try 1:1 peat, sand mix. You can use perlite instead if you want. I throw in anything I have lying around sometimes, like turkey grit. I think it helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    Does anyone ever lightly mist the leaves with dilute fertilizers?
    Fertilizing the leaves really isn't that useful, at least in my experience. I think they work the same way as neps: fertilizer on leaves is like putting orange juice on your skin.

    I'm no expert, I'm sure others will beg to differ, lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    All wet peat just looks like "mud" to me unless I can see drainage material.

    Should I pot the U. tricolor in ground up LFS instead of continuing to use peat?
    Sure. Try using LFS. It works better for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    Can those "trailing roots" from drainage holes be cut off and started in a new pot or does it have to have some of the top leaves to work?
    It needs only underground growth.

    Good luck buddy!

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    rattler's Avatar
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    i truely hate tricolor.......have attempted to kill it 10 different ways in order to get a flower.....im still not convinced the stupid thing actually flowers......but what i did find out is it grew best for me as an affixed/un-affixed aquatic in the bottom of a lowland nep tank that always had 1/4-1/2 inch of water in it and had a heating pad under it and the water stayed in the 90's.....however i never did find a condition it wouldnt grow in short of drying the damn thing out completly for most of a week.....it didnt come back from that one.....
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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks all!

    I intend to scour the forums in the next couple days on these specific plants (OT at work is finally over!) but I just needed some "immediate care" info while I do my researching and get their "new home" pots setup.

    Turkey grit is exactly what I intended to use. "Cherrystone Grit size #2" is what my bag says. Do you use a 50/50 blend of this? Have you used the grit with dews and pings as well?

    Do you guys subject your plants to varied daylight hours or a strictly 12 hour tropical photo period? I've been following the suns hours with my plant shelf and it totally changes the way the succulents react. All my stapelias are becoming "tattooed" as they do in winter when grown by the sun (even though they're grown by Power compact florescents) and the south african plants like Adromischus are all growing like crazy this time of year while the american cacti are receding into their pots and going to sleep. I know Utrics aren't succulents but perhaps they too need a seasonal light & temp shift to trigger their blooming and life cycles? I guess we'll find out cos that's how mine will be growing!

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    A yellow M&M Jefforever's Avatar
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    I know what you mean, rattler. I'm convinced mine has died by now.

    Swords:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jefforever View Post
    Fluctuate light too.
    I've never used cherry granite on pings, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind it. I have use it on pretty much everything else.

    Also, you can try throwing in some cypress/cedar strands to prevent anaerobic conditions. But this has never really worked that well for me.

    As far as conditions for specific plants: If you want to see flowers on your praelonga, you'ld better give it a larger pot (maybe +5" ?) and subject it to cold temps.

    Like Seedjar said, there's not much to growing U.sandersonii, so you're probably best going with standard conditions/soil.

    In general, if I were you I'd just go with the standard conditions/soil. Your praelonga, tridentata and sandersonii should be happy.

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