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Thread: Growing a better(?) Brocchinia photo log

  1. #9
    clippity-clip-clip Clue's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    SF Bay Area & Davis
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    The growing season's winding down, and I won't be able to keep my Brocchinia outdoors through the winter. Two months has really changed its habit, but it's not satisfyingly tubular just yet. Per DragonsEye's suggestion, I cut the wire screen into two separate pieces so the entire pot is much easier to take out.

    Brocchinia reducta

    Brocchinia reducta

    A couple of cultivation notes from this summer:
    • Evidently, some Brocchinia reducta can tolerate high temperatures. We had some heat waves peaking in the triple digits Fahrenheit and sustained temperatures in the low 90s for a couple weeks; my plant didn't sulk at all in full sun. Barthlott et. al (2007) claims temperatures over 28 C/82 F should be avoided, but this range might be from observations in the wild. The caveat is that even with the heat, there is always a significant temperature drop at night around here. YMMV based on your clone, so be careful.
    • Established B. reducta don't mind wet feet in the summer. I stood the plant in water up to half the pot height while traveling for several days and came back to some very healthy root growth into the water. I definitely would not keep it this wet in the winter, and if the plant wasn't established this could easily lead to rot. As an aside, the mix this one came in looks like equal parts long fiber sphagnum, perlite, and peat, with a little sand mixed in.
    • The urn doesn't seem to dry up very fast; I stopped misting it daily after a summer trip and noticed that after 4 days, the urn fluid level was low but not empty. I wonder if the plant can pump fluid into the urn, but I didn't push it longer to see if the urn could dry out.
    • Brocchinia make their most wax in very bright light. The waxy cuticle is meant to conserve water in conventional bromeliads, and despite relying on their wax to capture insects, Brocchinia wax production is still correlated to light levels, so for best trapping, maximize light. B. reducta prey is supposed to be overwhelmingly ant species, but mine didn't seem to catch much by itself besides some fruit flies. Ants I threw into the urn usually could not crawl out unless I sprayed most of the wax off the leaves first.
    • Dilute feedings of fertilizer into the urn aren't fatal and might actually be appreciated. I was scared cyanobacteria might take over and smother the plant but the urn stayed clean.

    Brocchinia reducta
    Healthy white roots and root hairs.

    In regards to shape, I'd like to think this clone can get more tubular. It might be that any offsets that grow under these conditions will grow into the right shape, but I guess we'll see. Other random thoughts are that if I kept the media drier the plant might also grow into a neater shape to conserve water, but based on this root growth it seems comfortable enough that I won't try that any time soon.

    Since this plant is apparently rootbound, I'm planning on repotting it in the spring next year -- my dream is a large biotope planter with some hardier tepui plants - the Utricularia pubescens stolons I pinched and planted into the pot are starting to spread now and I'm hardening off a South American Epidendrum to full sun as well.

    Other news:

    Brocchinia reducta and hechtioides
    I actually found a Brocchinia hechtioides! Looks a little rough, so I'm trying not to keep it too wet until it's well-rooted. I'm also keeping this little pup shaded for now.

    Catopsis sp.
    My non-carnivorous Catopsis morreniana surprised me with a flower. I grow this with my highlanders, so it doesn't get very intense light. I'm still disappointed that this plant turned out to be C. morreniana since it was sold as C. berteroniana.
    "I, for one, can't wait to grow Nepenthes extincta!"
    Plant List ; blog

  2. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Hacienda Heights, CA USA
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    Your plant looks really nice. Hope it gets even more tubular for you. I'm looking forward to seeing a recreation of a tepui habitat.

  3. #11
    Mr. veitchii mikefallen13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    North of the equator
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    Looking good! A biotope with some other tepui natives would make for a very cool display.
    Good Growing!
    -Mike Fallen

    My Growlist:

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