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Thread: Utricularia reniformis, wet feet, and eating

  1. #1
    jack's Avatar
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    Utricularia reniformis, wet feet, and eating

    Iím receiving Utricularia reniformis this week and have been all through this forum and others to get as much information as possible and Iím finding much of the info. contradictory which is ok that goes with the territory. What I am having trouble with is the concept this species hates wet feet. Donít they need Ďwet feetí at least part of the time during growth to allow the traps to function and snare prey? Jack
    'Celebrate the birth of our nation by blowing a little piece of it up'.The Simpsons.
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    Actually not all species produce aquatic traps. As far as I know, all the Orchidioides naturally produce only subterranean traps. These traps capture soil invertebrates. Some species that normally produce terrestrial traps can be coaxed into making aquatic ones, but I don't think reniformis is one of them. I'm sure others will chime in, but here's a quick answer :P
    Last edited by Physalaemus; 05-01-2011 at 06:24 PM.

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    How do they creat the vacuum in the trap without water?
    'Celebrate the birth of our nation by blowing a little piece of it up'.The Simpsons.
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    Well, there's two ways to think about this:

    1) creating doesn't necessarily require liquid. Squeeze the bulb on a turkey baster and you can suck up small pieces of paper. A vacuum just requires negative pressure.

    2) I think when people say "wet feet" they mean water-logged. There must be some amount of moisture in the soil or the roots would have no uptake function. The traps are tiny and capture microscopic prey, like paramecia. Soil that is "dry" by CP standards still contains moisture.

    Again, I'm hoping some of the experienced growers will chime in here :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Physalaemus View Post
    Again, I'm hoping some of the experienced growers will chime in here :P
    Not me ... I remember I had the same question and Pyro did a good job answering.

    The bottom line is that, at least with some of the Orchidioides utrics, they will not necessarily thrive in constantly waterlogged conditions and may actually require a seasonal drying out period. If kept too wet during a time when they want to be dry - you risk rotting the plant.

    I received a U. praetermissa last fall. It had at least one visible marble-sized tuber so when it lost it's leaves, I wasn't too concerned. I kept it dry (or what I thought was dry) and after several months - I dug it up, only to find that everything had rotted.

    It's extremely counter-intuitive that some utrics may need kinda-dry, only-somewhat-damp conditions to thrive. As time goes by, I'm attempting to embrace this concept - although still with too much skepticism...

    I think it was U. asplundii that recently gave me a lesson - - I had taken a small portion and placed it in a small pot. On top was a layer of quite saturated fine LFS. The plant wasn't growing well and then it sent a stolon across the surface searching for more appropriate media. It hated the stuff on the surface of the pot (& refused to even enter it). Otoh, the one in a somewhat loose mix of live LFS in a net pot has completely thrived and has roots (rolons) coming out of every side (& bottom).

    On U. reniformis, the smaller varieties appear to be more receptive to having wet feet and the larger ones - less so. However, last summer - to keep the pot from drying out, I was forced to keep a large form in a tray with water most of the time. Surprisingly (to me) - it grew very well...

    I consider myself still very low on the learning curve for all of these guys and am continuing to try to closely observe them for the signals they send out for what they want/need/like/dislike/etc... I'm also trying to learn from the more experienced guys (like Pyro) and the experiences of others who are growing these plants...

    Best of luck & share what you learn ...
    Last edited by RL7836; 05-02-2011 at 06:57 PM.
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    dont think there is any difference in traps is there? ive had alpina produce "aquatic traps" but it seems to like it wetter than alot of the orchidioides.....

    just cause its not grown in a tray of water does not mean there isnt a film of water around traps in a more airy mix.....

    ive grown reniformis "dry" and ive grown it wet.......reniformis is actually pretty adaptable and able to shake off and deal with alot......somewhere in the middle seems ideal......i use a big pot, course mix and its often have water in the its tray.....
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    jack's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your comments, I have alot to think about. Jack
    'Celebrate the birth of our nation by blowing a little piece of it up'.The Simpsons.
    My grow list ~http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=107403

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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RL7836 View Post
    Not me ...
    Do not let him fool you, he knows a good deal


    RL and Rattler pretty much nailed it. Orchidioides and Iperua generally prefer it drier. The problem here is semantics. When I say "wet feet" I mean pots placed in trays with sitting water in them, the way you would grow things like dichotoma and subulata and livida and sandersonii and the like. But I am not saying you have to grow them like you would grow a cactus. Just do not water log them.

    I have found that the best thing to do with Orchidioides and Iperua is to always err on the side of dry. Some species are more tolerant of being too wet (alpina being one of them) but trust me when I say that a plant grown too wet, even if it is surviving, is not nearly as robust as a plant grown on the dry side. One of the most robust Orchidioides I have ever seen was a mass that was growing at ABG in the high elevation house. It was growing in sphag that was nearly dry (think a kitchen sponge that has been wrung dry by being run over with a steam roller and you can picture it.) The plant had walnut sized tubers and huge stolon mass and probably over 50 scapes on it.
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