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Thread: Does U. praelonga flower in captivity?

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    swords's Avatar
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    I've had a 4" diameter x 2" high clear water tray full of U. praelonga for about six months and it has not flowered. it's very densely overgrown with each leaf type (wide shorter blades and the very long grass like blades and some that are half and half). Is there a trick to getting it to flower? My other utrics seem to flower easily but only when their pots get very densely overgrown which this one certainly is.
    Will the larger utric species tolerate light fertilizer (urea free orchid fertilizers 30-20-30 or 20-30-30) mixed at 1/4 or 1/8th strength?

    The utrics pots usually stand in 1/2" or less of water at all times. 65-80*F night/day. 70-80% humidity & 160 watts of flourescent light. Should the Utric pots be nearly waterlogged at all times for better growth and flowering?

    Thanks for any thoughts!

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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Let me see if I can answer all of these for you [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    On praelonga; I have heard that the plant needs to be ultra rootbound like to the extent that there is more plant material than soil. RichardUK got his to flower in his green houts so maybe they also need some seasonal cue.

    On fertilizer; I have used a 1/8 strength orchid 30-10-10 on all my Utrics and seen no ill effects.

    On watering; the water level is up to you, I am growing the majority of my Utrics in 2" pots in large trays and the water level is anywhere from 2" to a film on at the bottom of the tray. I like to have the fluxuation and I find that my plants like it.
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    swords's Avatar
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    My praelonga, livida and a few ?? species are in the condition you describe of more plant than soil. When the temps get a bit warmer maybe I'll try it outside and see if it does anything interesting.

    Thanks!

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    Moderator Colieo's Avatar
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    I have heard that it does need a cold winter to stimulate flowereing the folowing spring.

    Cole
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    swords's Avatar
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    "cold" winter for my area would have to be April to June the rest of the time between Nov & Mar is d--- cold! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    I wonder if April to June would be good enough "cold to warm" transition?

    I'll have to give it a shot and let y'all know!

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    I know a friend that left a pot out through an English winter, and he said the plants flowered big time the subsequent spring. I too have heard the root bound theory, and I believe it might have some merit. U. longifolia was very root bound before it put up a scape. On the other hand, some Utricularia refuse to flower unless divided, so I think that experimentation is in order. My plant has had a cold winter, and has frozen a couple of times. All the visable surface growth is brown and dead, but there is stolon activity beneath the surface. I grow my plant as a near aquatic, allowing it to dry off only in late summer. It's in dead LFS with a top dressing of laterite/sand (mostly for effect and to discourage algae) I am hoping to get flowers, and I will crow a lot if I do!
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    swords's Avatar
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    Don't you have problems with algae growing in your sand? Just about anytime I make a soil recipe with sand I end up repotting with plain peat before too long as the sand I've got (silica playsand) seems to be a perfect place for algae to grow .
    Do you use some sort of special sand?

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    I make sure the medium is rinsed until the water runs crystal clear. If I start to get algae, I spray the surface, and after awhile the problem goes away. Top watering periodically leaches out any accumulated micronutrients and is a good housekeeping measure.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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