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Thread: Artificially Feeding Drosera

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    swords's Avatar
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    Artificially Feeding Drosera

    Howdy folks,

    So I have always mainly been a Nepenthes man but I've had a few Drosera in the past acquired through trades which always died because they didn't catch enough (i.e nothing beyond a very occasional gnat) in the terrariums. But I picked up a couple dews recently as I'm getting back into plants and I read some websites about feeding them betta flakes and betta pellets.

    So last night I mixed up a soup of a pinch of powdered flakes and pellets with a few drops of R/O water and put a droplet on each alive looking leaf of the D. capensis and D. adelae "Giant" and it appears as of this morning nothing at all has happened on the capensis (which is flowering) and only one of the adelae leaves looks like it kind of curled up to absorb it. What exactly am I supposed to see and should I wash the goop off the leaves that don't seem to be reacting?

    Thanks for any input you might have!

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    I always feed them dry, and generally just place whole betta pellets on the leaves for larger plants. D. capensis will gobble them right up, and even small D. burmannii are quite voracious. It may be you didn't have enough food in the drop you placed on the leaf to cause a visible reaction.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Hmm the websites all seemed to say it needed to be mixed with water - but dropping a plain pellet or crumbled flakes would be a lot less monkeying around.

    So here's a couple pics of the droplets on the leafs what do you all think? It's been like this since about 7 pm last night.

    Artificially Feeding Drosera-dscn9924-jpg

    Artificially Feeding Drosera-dscn9925-jpg

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    Oh you certainly put a lot more on the leaves than it sounded like. That is quite odd that the capensis isn't reacting to it - I've found that the leaves tend to fold in half pretty quick when fed. I know a lot of people recommend mixing with water but I've never found it necessary and I certainly don't want to deal with the mess. Using something more potent like mealworms it might be necessary though.

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    swords's Avatar
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    These are new arrivals - maybe I fed them too soon? Should I use a mister to spray the uneaten food off the leaves? I don't wanna rot the leaves.

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    I would suggest that if they don't respond within, say, 24 hours you probably should remove the food as it is then likely to rot. Did the leaves have dew before you fed them? If not they are probably not receptive. This still leaves the possibility of feeding an easily-absorbed foliar fertilizer like Maxsea, in diluted form. Then it matters much less if the digestive tissues of the leaves are fully functioning. Having said that, it might just be easier to let the new plants settle in and develop dewy tentacles before you feed them again.
    - Mark

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    swords's Avatar
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    OK thanks I will probably spray them off then and wait a while until a number of new leaves unfurl.

    I don't have maxsea but I have non-burning urea free orchid fertilizer (20-10-20) that I use on Neps and most everything else I grow as well as some Organic Plus fish and kelp fertilizer (2-2-2) which stinks something fierce!

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    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    OK thanks I will probably spray them off then and wait a while until a number of new leaves unfurl.

    I don't have maxsea but I have non-burning urea free orchid fertilizer (20-10-20) that I use on Neps and most everything else I grow as well as some Organic Plus fish and kelp fertilizer (2-2-2) which stinks something fierce!
    The orchid fertilizer you mention will work fine, I used to use that before switching to Maxsea. I think either orchid fert or Maxsea works better than applying dry or wet fish flakes, etc., because you don't have to worry about blobs of food rotting on the leaves. The only downside of foliar spraying/misting with fert is that it can cause moss to grow really fast and take over small plants if not careful to avoid misting the soil. I tip the pots to the side when misting my plants to avoid hitting the soil as much as possible and that helps.

    Also, as Bluemax mentioned spaying liquid fert onto the leaves works even without optimal dew production.
    Last edited by DJ57; 11-12-2017 at 03:02 PM.

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