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Thread: Cultivation tips for different Utricularia sp.

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    Cultivation tips for different Utricularia sp.

    Hi all and sorry for the long post! I just figured it would be better to ask 1 big question and introduce myself at the same time than flooding the forum with 23 identical questions :) I hope you can bare with me!

    See I've got a big problem. Until recently I was happily growing/collecting/killing orchids and other houseplants until I noticed something peculiar in the local orchid show. In a nook near the toilets there was a 'off-topic'-terrarium with mixed plants. One of the plants had compact tuft of leaves and most beautiful white flowers with brownish highlights. Label said it was Utricularia alpina. Below it there were many smaller plants with equally beautiful albeit small flowers - all Utricularias.

    I was sold but since none of the plants were on sale I soon forgot my encounter for a moment until week later. Who knows what higher forces were acting on but someone had put a book 'Savage garden' on a stand in local library. And I picked it up, opened it, and there were these small jewels again - even more beautiful now looked through a macro lens. In retrospect, I probably should have just closed the book and walk away. Instead i walked away with the book.

    Later I set myself on a very tight budget (note my background as orchid hobbyist) and started searching for a good place to spend my budget on. Very soon I find a cp-shop and realize that my orchid-customized budget is anything but tight. Prices were delightfully low compared to orchids!

    So in order to stay on the budget ( Now it has happened at least once :D ) I was in for some serious shopping...
    And soon after I felt the presumably rare "I-have-enough-utricularias"-feeling I finished my order with some interesting Nepenthes (although not the easiest ones, but hopefully my experience with orchids will help).

    So after the shopping spree was over I had bought approximately 10% of all Utricularia species (according to wikipedia). Now when I'm trying to decipher advices in the book and in the net using my own conditions I'm lost. Here's what I've so far found out:

    General:
    All Utricularia species grow like weeds in UK selfsowing themselves in bathtubs and taking over houses with their monstrous leaves :D Sadly I don't live there :(

    Utricularia alpina, longifolia and longifolia x U. alpina
    Epiphytic species. Like moist roots and don't tolerate wet soil. Some may need dry rest period.
    Can these tolerate my cold room?

    Utricularia biloba
    Wet, sometimes even flooded, or aquatic? Soil? Apparently tolerates lower winter temperatures?

    Utricularia bisquamata {Bettys Bay},Utricularia bisquamata {large flower}
    invasive, easy?

    Utricularia blanchetii {pink flower}
    Moist soil. Peat+perlite and lots of light. Common.

    Utricularia chrysantha {yellow flw.}
    Annual? Warm, lots of light. Moisture? Soil?

    Utricularia dichotoma
    Occasional flooding and lots of light. Temperature, soil, water level?

    Utricularia flaccida
    Warm?, perlite&peat, wet soil. Temperature, soil, water level?

    Utricularia fulva
    Affixed aquatic? peat+perlite substrate? Temperature?

    Utricularia juncea {Suwannee Canal, Okefenokee Swamp, GA, USA}
    Cold in winter. ???

    Utricularia lateriflora
    Peat&Sand. Easy

    Utricularia livida
    peat+sand, Warm, 1 inch water or flooding.

    Utricularia minutissima
    Small, terrestrial. Watering & soil? Temperature?

    Utricularia nephrophylla {pink flower}
    I guess mug is just as good as bromeliad. Grows like tropical species whatever it means :)

    Utricularia paulineae {Clone II.}
    Affixed aquatic. Wet sphagnum? Temperature, min. light?

    Utricularia praelonga x Utricularia livida
    Easy?

    Utricularia prehensilis
    "Very easy", peat+sand.

    Utricularia sandersonii {blue flower}
    Utricularia sandersonii {large flower}

    'Large flower' can be lazy to flower. Easy&weedy until I kill it?

    Utricularia subulata
    Should be able to grow this difficult weed. Annual?

    Utricularia uniflora
    peat+perlite.

    I have basically 3 possible options to place these plants:

    Key: Season (day avg/night avg) - Other
    1. "Cold room"
    Summer (77F/65F) - Lots of light
    Winter (57F/45F) - Generally very low light

    2. "Hot room"
    Summer (82F/77F) - Moderate to Good light, humid
    Winter (77F/65F) - Moderate light, humid

    3. "Just room" :)
    Summer (77F/77F) - High to low light levels
    Winter (66F/64F) - Nonexistent to moderate light and generally dry air.

    So now as I try to place my new collection around the house I'm lost. Light levels are relative to plants needs i.e Low Light in cold room means that orchids that need cold rest period do well, ones that grow like highland Nepenthes need extra light to survive.

    I've googled a lot but important things about cultivation is scarse. Like how wet is too wet for species X and how low water level is deadly to species Z. Does Q grow on spagnum or perlite? and most importantly how cold is too cold?

    Thank you,
    Jan

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    does this rag smell like chloroform to you? boxofrain's Avatar
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    the book

    you are looking for would be...
    "The Genus Utricularia- a taxonomic monograph" by Peter Taylor.
    The only book dedicated to any and all utrics.
    The man had the pateince of a Saint to put this together.
    Since purchasing, it has become the most read book in my home.
    "the memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of a man in his prime"

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    Hi Jan,
    Welcome to TF! I'll chime in on a few of the species. Mostly they fall into two categories:

    - Orchidioides section - see two threads mentioned below
    - little weedy guys - usually simple mixes of 50% peat & sand (although you can play - it doesn't matter w/ most as they're weeds)

    Good info on all can be found in Barry's faq - utrics are close to the end. Also - additional good info on Orchidioides in Pyro's sticky & Info sharing thread.

    A few comments on specifics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    General:
    All Utricularia species grow like weeds in UK selfsowing themselves in bathtubs and taking over houses with their monstrous leaves Sadly I don't live there
    Actually I believe 'most' are quite small....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Utricularia alpina, longifolia and longifolia x U. alpina
    Epiphytic species. Like moist roots and don't tolerate wet soil. Some may need dry rest period.
    Can these tolerate my cold room?
    Separate out the last two from alpina. U. alpina is one of the easier Orchidioides species - see links above for info. U. longifolia is basically a large version of the 'little weedy guys' group. It will grow almost anywhere. Mine are very happy on my east-facing windowsill & flower each spring (flowers last all summer if you do not pollinate them - my flowers are still open). Last I knew - the U. longifolia x U. alpina is just U. longifolia

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Utricularia bisquamata {Bettys Bay},Utricularia bisquamata {large flower}
    invasive, easy?
    The Betty's Bay cultivar is a wonderful plant - generally not self-seeding. The small version of this species is hyper-invasive & should be burned immediately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Utricularia fulva
    Affixed aquatic? peat+perlite substrate? Temperature?
    Not aquatic - likes high temps (from northern Oz) - there are some insanely incredible habitat pics on CPUK now ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Utricularia nephrophylla {pink flower}
    I guess mug is just as good as bromeliad. Grows like tropical species whatever it means
    Treat as a little weedy guy - wonderful plant

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Utricularia subulata
    Should be able to grow this difficult weed. Annual?
    Incinerate your pot while you have the opportunity. Hyper-invasive with cleistogamous flowers.

    Good luck growing - the info in SG and the links above should provide you with 95-100% of the info you need --- great group of plants.
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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