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Dec 26, 2013
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Got some of that sphagnum and I got it soaking in some water now.

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After I got it situated and I took a look at my plants to see if they needed any water. Guess what I saw?

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My capensis is starting to make dew! Not only that...

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The little sucker has caught itself a fly!
 

Not a Number

Hello, I must be going...
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The quality of the last batch of the Better-Gro Orchid Moss (Chilean Sphagnum Moss) I bought 2-3 years has gone down considerably since the last batch from 5-6 years ago. Even that was down from the batch I bought previous to it. The quality of the last batch is only slightly better than the Mosser-Lee (US domestic Sphagnum moss) from 7-8 years ago. By extrapolation in a few years the Better-Gro stuff will be junk also. The last batch is full of twigs, leaves and even full plants of grass including roots.

Here's some of the domestic stuff from 2006
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Here is the Better-Gro stuff on the left from the batch from 5-6 years ago, the right from the batch 2-3 years ago. Note the twigs etc set to the outside of the moss.
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5-6 year old batch:
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2-3 year old
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Side by side sample of both batches
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The majority of the newer batch consists of the scrawny strands like in the right middle. There is also 5-10x as much twigs, leaves and grass in the newer compared to the older batch. There are also more "blackened" strands which I discard.

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Enjoy it while you can. Sphagnum is a dwindling resource. I urge you to try to cultivate live moss from these packages and drying out your own strands when long fiber sphagnum moss is needed.
 
Joined
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@lil' hokie: :boogie:

PS: The Coaches Trophy is back in the ACC where it belongs :boogie:

@Not a Number: That's unfortunate. The brick of sphagnum I got has clumps that are on the fuller side, like the ones you have there on the left; but It does have a bunch of twigs like the one on the right. It also has some strange long, almost hairlike fibers in it that I pull out.

I'm planning on growing my own sphagnum. I've got some one it it's way to me soon and I was planning on laying it on top of the dried sphagnum I've got soaking. I had originally thought of using it as just a top dressing on the soil. I grow my plants outdoors, and while Florida is a quite warm and a friendly environment for some CP's, the sun can be quite brutal at times. I figured that the black soil in the sun would eventually bake my plants to death, but green sphagnum would shield it somewhat, and give it better humidity control for the odd drought we sometimes get.

I'm now thinking about trying to grow a bunch to use as my own soil media. Not only is that less Sphagnum out of the bogs, I can have better control over the quality of the sphagnum. I've also read about some who grow CP's in pure live sphagnum, and thought I may just give it a shot.

Granted this is still all on the drawing board at the moment.
 

Not a Number

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Yes, there was a lot of that hairlike stuff too. I looked as best as I could through the packaging to find the bricks with the least amount of visible crap and fluffiest strands of moss. Most of the ones I rejected were a lot worse looking.
 
Joined
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Got to talking with Whimgrinder the other day in chat. He saw that I was trying to revive some dried sphagnum and offered to send me a live culture to get things going if I paid for the shipping. Also, noticing that I'm in FL, offered to send me a N. x Cathy Jo that he thought needed a more tropical climate to flourish in. He had to convince me a little bit (OK a lot) to take them, being a grower that is still wet behind the ears, I didn't think I was quite at the level to successfully take care of a Nep. I finally agreed and he shipped me the sphagnum, a N. x Cathy Jo, and an unidentified Nep that he slipped in as a surprise for me. He shipped them unpotted, and I potted them in a hydro mesh pot in a 1:1:1 dried sphag, orchid bark and perlite mix.

Here is a N. x Cathy Jo:

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And an unidentified Malaysian species:

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And a sphagnum culture I got:

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A big thanks to Paul! :boogie:

I'll see if I can get some better pictures this evening after I get off from work.
 
Joined
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Got to talking with Whimgrinder the other day in chat. He saw that I was trying to revive some dried sphagnum and offered to send me a live culture to get things going if I paid for the shipping. Also, noticing that I'm in FL, offered to send me a N. x Cathy Jo that he thought needed a more tropical climate to flourish in.
A big thanks to Paul! :boogie:

I'll see if I can get some better pictures this evening after I get off from work.

Glad to know they arrived safely, David. Good luck with them! I'm sure you will find them quite easy to care for, given your climate :)
 
Joined
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They arrived perfectly safe. They are currently sitting in the shade on the same table as my VFT and capensis (half of the table is in dappled shade, the other half is in full sun). It was a nice warm night (65F I believe) with dense fog that they ought to have loved. It should be overcast/mostly cloudy for the next couple of days so I may not even have to worry about them getting too much Sun too quickly. I've got my sister on watch to get them onto out covered porch that faces east just in case the Sun does win though.
 
Joined
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Update:

I've transplanted (heh) the capensis and VFT's into new, more permanent pots:

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I also took a chunk of soil from the VFT pot where the seedlings are and transplanted them to the capensis pot:

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My Neps also seem to be doing well. Here's the N. Cathy Jo:

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(sorry about the fuzziness, damn auto focus) The plant seems to be doing well, and the pitcher's peristome has started to pink up. It has even secreted enough juice in the pitcher to catch a rather large gnat! I did have a small scare with it though, It was really windy today and it kind of made the plant topple over in its pot. I picked it back up, put the rootball a bit deeper under and it is doing fine now.

Here is the unidentified Nep:

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It seems to be doing OK, but all but one of the open pitchers' lids have drooped:

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That one pitcher is doing well, but the others all look like that one. The leaves are also fine, I don't think there is anything wrong with the plant. Is this normal?
 

lil hokie

heatherfeather knows the weather!
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Are those the ceramic pots from Home Depot?? I love those pots. For a while my entire collection grew in those pots (until they got too bg and the pots cracked).
 
Joined
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Are those the ceramic pots from Home Depot?? I love those pots. For a while my entire collection grew in those pots (until they got too bg and the pots cracked).

Yes it is. I read that glazed was the best and I thought the red and blue looked nice so I got them.
 

lil hokie

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I still have a few plants in them. They really are good ceramic pots. They are glazed inside and out, have a drainage hole, not too pricey. I wish there were more colors but they are quite great. Possibly my favorites.
 

BioZest

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Nice plants! They're all looking great. The last one with the droopy lids looks pretty healthy. After a few months the pitcher will start to dry out and eventually will die. This is normal, I don't think you're doing anything wrong
 
Joined
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Regarding the dormant tag, the shipping department probably labeled the wrong plant.

That's what I'm thinking as well.

Nice plants! They're all looking great. The last one with the droopy lids looks pretty healthy. After a few months the pitcher will start to dry out and eventually will die. This is normal, I don't think you're doing anything wrong

Thanks! I would love it if they all made it, but c'est la vie. Whimgrinder told me that since they were originally grown in his green house, they were used to higher humidity and lower air movement. I know have them in my backyard, which has been rather windy and comparatively dry lately, he thinks it has caused the plant to transpire more than it is used to, and it is trying to adjust. I brought them into my rather sheilded poarch last night to get them out of the wind (it really picked up last night) and the lids perked back up to where they should be overnight.

They N. Cathy Jo is loving it though. The pitcher has grown a couple of mm I think and the peristome has turned a nice shade of hot pink and is starting to flare out a tad. I'll see if I have enough sun when I get home to snap a pic.
 
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