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Drosophyllum lusitanicum - media pH

Joseph Clemens

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I believe that anyone interested in cultivating this fascinating species should read this report, first:

Below are two quotes taken from this report:

"Soil on the south coast of Spain is sandy or loamy, slightly acid to neutral, lime-less and poor in nutrients. The geologic underlay consists of sandstone. Drosophyllum also grows directly in sandstone crevices."

"During our observations in its native habitat, we have never seen Drosophyllum growing in alkaline soils, despite several intensive searches at suitable places."

It appears that the belief that Drosophyllum, in situ, grows in alkaline (high pH) soils, is mistaken.
 

seedjar

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I had excellent results with a mostly inorganic mix of APS, perlite and quartz sand amended with a small amount of peat. Ultimately I think the media was slightly too fine, and I plan to replace the sand and perlite with hydroton pellets on my next go, with just a layer of sand/peat on top to root the seedlings in. These guys have some spectacular advice - their page was all I ended up needing when I first tried my hand at Drosophyllum.
~Joe
 

Not a Number

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To further quote the aforementioned article:
The plants grew in mixture of red sandstone and loam. Soil tended to be loamier than sandy and was mixed with organic material (pine needles). The second population grew in pure solid loam with no organic ingredients.

Pine needles tend to acidify media.
 

Presto

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While we're on the subject of clarifying things...

"Alkaline" is a measure of the soil/water/etc's ability to neutralize acids. It is not the same as "Basic", which is a pH of higher than 7. The two are often correlated, but they are not one-and-the-same. Certain things (such as carbon dioxide) can lower the pH without changing the alkalinity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaline
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_(chemistry)
 
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Joseph Clemens

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Can anyone confirm that they have successfully grown Drosophyllum lusitanicum in an Alkaline media or a media with a pH in the basic range, greater than 7 or 8?

When I grew this species, mine were planted in a mixture of silica sand, dark sphagnum peat, and perlite. Quite acidic in pH and non-Alkaline.

+^+^+^+^
A good example would be the orchid genera Paphiopedilum, where some species grow wild in Asia. The underlying minerals they grow on is predominantly calcium carbonate (Alkaline), yet they grow in accumulated detritis which allows them to maintain most of their roots in a substrate of decomposing organic matter that has an acidic pH.
 
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Not a Number

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Joseph Clemens

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I think the follow up, if you'd call it that. Was where the author posted that twenty seed were sown, that five had germinated, and that there was one survivor, the survivor had germinated and was growing in the slightly acidic media.
 
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I am growing mine in both a media of commonly available CP stuff...peat, sand, perlite, vermiculite, lava rock

Pure decomposing granite (DG)

4 parts DG to 1 part peat.


I have not noticed a difference in growth. The first mixture retains the most water...while the others look SOOOOOOO much cooler.

The pH of the pure decomposing granite that I use is between 7.2-6.6 Mostly slightly acidic! Odd for a rock eh?

Don't worry on the media. A bit of advice:

I KNOW you want to grow this species again, as you SHOULD! The trick is getting them to germinate. I think sowing on pure vermiculite is the best way...worry about the real media later...you'll have tons of motivation when you see a sprout.

Of course, it does help to prepare beforehand if you have time.
 
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jimscott

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I KNOW you want to grow this species again, as you SHOULD! The trick is getting them to germinate. I think sowing on pure vermiculite is the best way...worry about the real media later...you'll have tons of motivation when you see a sprout.

....and then I kill them!
 
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....and then I kill them!

Well, friend, you have the added difficulty of living in a place where they could by no means survive without special treatment. :-(

Mine are growing outside right now...getting rained on and bathed in sun. I really am just letting God cultivate them, LOL!

My advice is sticking to things that you can grow well where you live.
 
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Not a Member: I am the author of the 2nd thread you are referring.
Pine trees are not always present, but they can acidify the soil. Unofortunately I have never checked the Ph of the soil, but it should be acidic, because you can always observ acid-soil lover plants in a community.

According to my observations, I can confirm this: "During our observations in its native habitat, we have never seen Drosophyllum growing in alkaline soils, despite several intensive searches at suitable places."

I have only seen DL in three natural habitats in Portugal, but the soil was more rocky, without limestone, but sandstone was observed two times of these localities.

Let me share some photos, taken last spring in Portugal just to show how is their surrounding and soil:


Drosophyllum lusitanicum growing under pine trees, sorrounded with rosemary and sandstone in the background
1.jpg


Sandstone, just some meters from plants
2.jpg


Heather-bell? (Erica cinerea?) Quite likely to observ together with D. lusitanicum. This heather likes acidic soils.
3.jpg


Drosophyllum and sandstone
4.jpg


DL with a dwarf oak tree
6.jpg


Drosophyllum with dried Erica flowers
7.jpg


Surface of the soil (quartz sand)
8.jpg


Shrubby environment with quartz sand
9.jpg


Flints with quartz sand
91.jpg


Rosemary
92.jpg


A different site, I found the plant with red sandstone in loamy soil
93.jpg



So if You guys are coming to Portugal, already known the signs to look for :)
 
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