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Thread: Any desert growers?

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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Any desert growers?

    I recently moved from Houston TX to SLC, UT. In Houston, my VFT's and Sarr's grew like weeds by just being outside year round. It was perfect for them.

    Now, however, I live in the foothills at 5200 feet, so the sun is a bit more intense. Also, being on this hillside it's pretty much always windy. Couple that with the constant low humidy, usually 20% or lower, and temps approaching 100F daily, and you have a recipe for unhappy plants, at least in this acclimatisation period.

    I've tried to put them in a location where they get several hours of morning and then evening sun, to limit the intense mid day sun. I am having a problem keeping them moist - I'm out of town 4 days a week, and that 1 or 2 incches of water in their tray is long gone by the time I come home - even though the tray is sealed up to the pot to limit evaporation.

    I'm also curious if they'll survive long term in such low humidity. I'm also concerned about the root temperatures. So - anyone else grow these plants outside in desert type environs successfully? Or should I just make some space in the indoor terrarium?

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    Jimmy's Avatar
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    I've lost a few Sarrs to very similar conditions, although they were unacclimated and from Lowes.

    Right now I started a large 16 qt bog bowl planter with 3 sarrs, I have yet to see how it does.

    As long as the rhizome remains cool, though, the plant will probably survive is what I've found. But I got some pretty bad leaf burn when I tried to put my plants through that.

    But pots are very tough to keep healthy plants in, I know that for sure. They are just keep drying out too quickly.

    I'll try to keep you posted on this topic.

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    italo.america's Avatar
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    Hi Hightsky,
    You should have no problem growing Dionaea in SLC.

    I live in Prescott, Arizona which is 6000 feet above sea level and my Dionaea are doing good even though the humidity level here is very low. In my opinion humidity is way over rated as far as Dionaea. As far as basic care, humidity is last, with growing medium, light level and watering being much more important.

    Since you are 5200 feet above sea level you will have to make sure not to place your Dionaea outside in the hot afternoon sun because you are in the high-altitude sun, which is more intense and less dispersed by the atmosphere because it is thinner at higher altitudes.

    What has really worked well for me is using High-Density Polyurethane Foam Planters. I've lost plants using uninsulated containers because plants suffer from the soil becoming too cold as well as too hot, and doing so too quickly, shocking and sometimes harming the plant. High-Density Polyurethane Foam Planters protect your plant from the rapidly changing extremes of temperature. If you want more information, pm and I will tell you where I purchased mine.

    Please note this is only my opinion for the area in which I live and there are people on here who know more than me can probably give you even more information.

    I hope this helps!

    Giovanni

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    I live at 5900' in Colorado. Our summers have multiple days in the 90s and a couple exceed 100 F. I keep my two minibog planters containing several Sarr species and VFTs on my east patio. The plants get over 8 hrs direct sun daily, but become shaded by late afternoon and therefore don't cook in the late day sun and heat. Our air is also dry here, and I water the minibogs daily. All my plants seem to be doing well, other than some bloom stalks breaking in the wind.

    Maybe try your plants on the east side of your house with a larger water tray underneath. As far as the wind, my Sarrs and VFTs seem to handle it okay other than the bloom stalks.

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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Any desert growers?
    *Raises hand*

    I have found that Dionaea have no problems with extremely low humidity and blazing sun. Sarrs on the other hand do well, but will show leaf burn and damage when exposed to blazing sun (not just low humidity). All of this applicable when the plants are provided with proper acclimation, of course.

    Use trees to shade them during the midday hours. Use big deep pots. Water once in the morning and once in the evening. Also, using tubs (like big Rubbermaid containers) as water trays will help.

    Good luck!
    -Joel from Southern California


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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Good to hear you folks are having success in these rather harsh conditions. Looks like my main concern is going to be keeping the roots cool, and modifying my watering system to allow for several days supply. I'll have to get creative..

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    Jimmy's Avatar
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    Update:

    Here's a few pics of my flytrap in my undrained 16 qt bog bowl:







    The leafburn is just from growing it under CFLs and then moving it to full sun, the whole day. Now it grows very, very well, and the leaves are much more substancial. The roots may be heated during the day due to sunlight on the planter, but even near the edge of the bowl, you really just need to worry about weakened and freshly-planted plants (unless its a Darlingtonia). I sometimes water with slightly refrigerated RO water just to keep the roots cool. I definitely have to water a lot, at least every day, even though my planter is undrained, because the humidity is low, the air is hot, I get a gusty mountain breeze, and the sun is pretty harsh at around 4800 feet.

    Other plants:


    Sarracenia 'scarlet belle'


    Sarracenia purpurea venosa


    Whole bowl, Sarracenia leucophylla in the middle.

    Most of these are making very good recoveries from lack of light and minor to major burn.

    Jimmy

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    Steve D. - aka: xscd grows them in New Mexico. IIRC, he also sells his spares on his website (Flytrap Farm?). You can look for his posts here or on CPUK.
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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