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Thread: Dionaea: From "bulbs" . . .

  1. #9
    mmlr38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    I agree with your assessment about the shallow pots, if not the over-watering. I keep most of my plants in deep trays of water and their roots are nothing short of extensive.

    Regardless, most of my plants began as bare-root rhizomes; and, by the end of the season, should -- hopefully -- have elaborate roots . . .
    From what I've seen so far when growing Dionaea, watering too much leads to very quick growth, but it's often long and thin and there are relatively few leaves (usually between 7 and 10) per rhizome. Also, the root system, while decent, doesn't seem to develop like it does if the plants are kept a bit drier. Keeping them on the drier side also leads to many more leaves and larger rhizomes as far as I can tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    Humbug. I repotted my 99 cent store DIonaea after leaving them in their dinky two inch pots they came in for over a year. They were kept in standing water in a tray. There were massive root systems with a thick mat on the bottom. The mats were so thick I just ended up cutting them to separate the divisions.

    And Ivan's "Hosford Bog" was grown in a dinky 2.5 inch pot and also had massive roots.

    The plants I had in 5 inch pots had wimpy roots, kept in no more than 1/2 of water that was allowed to dry out before re-watering.

    The only difference I could see was that the 5 inch pots has 50/50 peat/sand while the small pots (including Ivan's) were pure peat moss.

    Here's Ivan's "Hosford Bog" VFT in 2.5 inch pot a couple months before he divided it. Who says you need big pots.
    While the mass of traps is impressive to say the least NaN, it could be just a mass of rhizomes all clumped together. I'd love to see a photo of them once they're uprooted. I too have had pots that look like Ian's, but the individual plants are less impressive once you divide them. That's been my experience anyway when I've grown Dionaea in shorter pots and kept them in water trays. I used to grow Dionaea exclusively in pots between 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches in depth. Occasionally I'd get large plants with decent root systems and rhizomes an inch or so in diameter, but more often than not, they'd put out a ton of traps and divide a lot and not get very large.

    Below are some photos of plants I received from Steve Doonan, whose growing techniques I've adopted as my own. I've never seen plants like his in any photos or received any from other people that even come close to comparing. His "mother" plants normally have rhizomes that are around 2 inches in diameter with 20+ traps and roots that are _EXTREMELY_ developed. I'm talking roots over 12 inches in length and in long, thick braids.





    I too used to doubt the benefit of deeper pots and less water for Dionaea. Not any longer! I'm telling you, once you grow your plants, even for half a season, in deeper pots and keep them just moist, not wet, you'll be amazed at the difference in their growth.

    I'm not saying that you can't have nice looking plants in shorter pots. I've had gorgeous plants in shorter pots that were over watered. I'm just saying that you'll likely get larger and healthier plants with well developed roots and big rhizomes if you use deeper, well-insulated pots and not keep the pots standing in water all the time.

    Holding one of Steve's "mother" plants in your hand is like holding a small head of lettuce!

  2. #10
    BigBella's Avatar
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    Impressive . . .

    I too have moved on to deeper pots (15 cm +) and "lower" water tables than in past years -- save for when I am out of town and wish to ensure that they are well-watered . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  3. #11
    mmlr38's Avatar
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    Thanks Bella! Yes, I too give them more water than normal when I'm headed out of town just to ensure that they don't dry out. Otherwise, their trays only have water for a few hours at a time until the soil is moist at the top and then I dump it out. I do that once very 10-14 days or so in the winter and every few days in the summer depending on how hot and dry the weather is. With this cool spring here in Ashland, I've only had to water them every 5 days or so thus far.
    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    The only difference I could see was that the 5 inch pots has 50/50 peat/sand while the small pots (including Ivan's) were pure peat moss.
    I just noticed that I didn't previously comment on soil. I used to grow in pure peat or nearly pure peat with some perlite mixed in. It seems that pure peat holds onto the water too long and doesn't provide for good root aeration, which promotes bacterial growth in the soil. If your soil smells bad when you repot, that's what you're smelling. This lack of oxygen and high concentration of bacteria seems to cause the rhizome to divide instead of growing very large.

    I now use a mix of 50% peat, 30% silica sand and 20% perlite. The sand seems to make a huge difference in oxygenating the roots and promoting a very healthy root system.

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmlr38 View Post

    I just noticed that I didn't previously comment on soil. I used to grow in pure peat or nearly pure peat with some perlite mixed in. It seems that pure peat holds onto the water too long and doesn't provide for good root aeration, which promotes bacterial growth in the soil. If your soil smells bad when you repot, that's what you're smelling. This lack of oxygen and high concentration of bacteria seems to cause the rhizome to divide instead of growing very large.

    I now use a mix of 50% peat, 30% silica sand and 20% perlite. The sand seems to make a huge difference in oxygenating the roots and promoting a very healthy root system.
    I too have experimented with straight peat in the past and have arrived at those same conclusions. Live sphagnum was a bit of an improvement but I didn't think that root development or rhizome size was all that impressive. I still use live moss as a top dressing on a few plants but that's about it.

    Currently I use a 1:1 compost of peat to horticultural sand and am happy with that mix . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by mmlr38 View Post
    From what I've seen so far when growing Dionaea, watering too much leads to very quick growth, but it's often long and thin and there are relatively few leaves (usually between 7 and 10) per rhizome. Also, the root system, while decent, doesn't seem to develop like it does if the plants are kept a bit drier. Keeping them on the drier side also leads to many more leaves and larger rhizomes as far as I can tell.
    I have often thought that that rapid division in lieu of single rhizome growth you had mentioned was more a product of tissue culture than that of watering practices. Even the use of gibberellic acid to "encourage" germination of stubborn "rare" seeds produced odd, rapid dividing and clumping growth over that of single plants. I can only imagine that the hormonal and chemical soup used to produce the overwhelming percentage of Dionaea nowadays has, at least, some role in its growing habits . . .

    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    mmlr38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    I still use live moss as a top dressing on a few plants but that's about it.
    I use live sphagnum as a top dressing on some of my Sarracenia and Heliamphora, but I keep my Dionaea too dry for sphagnum. It just dries up and turns brown on the Dionaea pots.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    Currently I use a 1:1 compost of peat to horticultural sand and am happy with that mix . . .
    That should be a pretty good mix and very similar to what I use provided that the horticultural sand doesn't leach many minerals into the soil. Silica is a very hard mineral that isn't soluble in water, so it won't leach any minerals into the soil and that's why I use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    I have often thought that that rapid division in lieu of single rhizome growth you had mentioned was more a product of tissue culture than that of watering practices. Even the use of gibberellic acid to "encourage" germination of stubborn "rare" seeds produced odd, rapid dividing and clumping growth over that of single plants. I can only imagine that the hormonal and chemical soup used to produce the overwhelming percentage of Dionaea nowadays has, at least, some role in its growing habits . . .
    Over the last few months I've deflasked _thousands_ of Dionaea out of tissue culture vessels (and other carnivorous plant species). It seems like the affects of hormones from tissue culture only cause dividing for a brief amount of time after being deflasked. Once they grow out after about 3 months, the plants stop dividing and simply start growing like normal plants.

    As with most growth characteristics, I'm sure that rapid division of the rhizome is somewhat genetic, but as far as I can tell, it's definitely influenced by the depth of the pot and the amount of water given to the plant more than genetics and any residual growth hormones that the plant may have received in tissue culture.

  6. #14
    BigBella's Avatar
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    I have just noticed that the clumping habit is more limited to my TC plants than any of the other seed-grown, leaf cuttings, or rhizome divisions. I have also deflasked my share of plants over the years -- but I think that the influence of TC lasts far longer than just the early burst of growth or division.

    I have noticed a good number of -- often consistent -- deformities in flower and leaf, chiefly among TC plants that cannot be simply attributed to pests and cultivation practices . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  7. #15
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    In other growing "industries" they have already discovered that there is a higher incidence of mutation in TC plants than those propagated in more conventional ways. They found that there is something in the TC process itself that causes this and not the effects of any hormones and such.

    While I can't say if that is the situation here, it seems reasonable to assume that what works for other plants, works for CP's as well.

    A little off the subject I know, but I am killing a few minutes before I run out!

    And no matter what, you all got some nice fat VFT's here!
    I would be glad to have any VFT's looking near that good myself! In fact, if you ever want to dispose of any "sub-standard, puny, deformed plants/leaves/bulbs you may have, I will gladly send you my address! (I assume that what is small to you is still gigantic to me!)

    Indeed these are the biggest plants and bulbs anyone could ever hope to grow!
    VERY Nice job!

    Oh yea, I forgot to mention that I have a 3 lb., 8"dia. VFT plant growing with 2-1/2" long traps at this very moment!
    But no need to worry, it is growing in my imagination, so it shouldn't be in competition with what you have here!

    Good luck all!
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  8. #16
    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    The day will come when vfts are large enough to eat mice..
    Formerly known as Silenceisgod!

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