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Alright, so I am now the owner of one tuber each of D. menziesii and D. modesta (because Johnny is awesome!!!) that I have no idea how to properly care for, so the past few days have been spent heavily researching how to keep them alive. I was told that now is the prime time to start these guys, so I have planted the tubers about 2'' deep "eye" up (I'm not sure if this matters, but I figured it couldn't hurt) in 7.5'' deep pots lined with LFS at the bottom to plug the drainage holes. The substrate is 3:1 sand/peat. I mixed in a larger grade silica sand with some throroughly washed finer grade play sand, and sieved the peat to retain only the "dust-like" particles for the mix. I have lightly watered the pots (only enough to get the media moist) and placed them in my basement where they receive a few hours of indirect light from the window. The temperature in my basement usually hovers around 75F during the day and drops to around 65F at night, and humidity is usually around 35% RH. I do not intend on allowing the pots to sit in water until I see active growth above ground. Once winter really sets in and the lighting from the basement becomes insufficient (around late October/November), I will move the pots upstairs to my grow rack where I keep most of the intermediate Neps/subtropical Drosera. There, they will receive indirect light from a south-facing glass patio door supplemented with some fluorescent T12 bulbs. The temperature there is around 72F during the day and 66F at night, and the humidity is consistently 40% RH when I keep the humidifier running. I have blood worms on hand for when they start growing, but I also have a 20-14-13 no urea orchid fertilizer (the same thing I use on my Neps) that I would be more willing to spray the foliage with if it will work. Any thoughts or pointers would be greatly appreciated!

I've read that through a few times. Thanks though, Dave.
Just found this thread Alvin. Looks like you're off to a great start. The only additional advice I could give you here is the use of deeper pots. The tubers will work themselves down quite a bit after the growing season, I use 6" deep pots and many are right at the bottom or working themselves out through the lfs by spring. Also, better way to plug the drainage holes would be to use Weed Stop in the bottom (I should really follow my own advice here), this will prevent them from escaping 100%. Your media seems pretty good, don't be afraid to add a bit of Turface or more coarse sand next year if you feel that it's too fine though.

I would definitely go with the orchid fertilizer for feeding. Just put some in a spray bottle and go to town on them once or twice a week. I use Maxsea 16-16-16 at 1tsp per gallon. It's much easier (and seems to be more effective) than using fish food.

I'm interested to see any progress you make with these. And to think, you didn't even want them when I forced them on you at the show ! hahaha

Good luck !
{Edit} Nvm. Answered my own question, lol.
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Thanks Johnny, really good advice all around! I'll keep the orchid fertilizer on hand and weed stop in mind for next year when I repot (if I haven't killed them by that time, lol).
I can now definitely see what people mean when they say that the tubers will work themselves right out of the drainage holes. I did a bit of digging today and found that the D. modesta tuber, which I planted only 2'' deep initially, was halfway down the pot with a 5'' long shoot.

Also, here's a cruddy cellphone pic of what D. menziesii looks like underground right before it breaks surface, in case anyone was interested:
I moved my two pots outdoors temporarily to get temperatures in the 50-60F range. Unfortunately, some critters decided to capitalize on this and completely dug out the D. menziesii. The 5'' stolon was snapped off clean at the base, although the tuber is intact - I'm hoping that it still has enough energy to regenerate.
  • #10
It will probably grow back. Most likely at a smaller size and probably won't produce any daughter tubers this year.
  • #11
Man, I'm fudging up pretty badly with these plants...I accidentally knocked over the D. menziesii pot today and the tuber came spilling out. Most of the stolon was broken and a significant portion of the skin (and even tuber itself) was damaged. Chances are I'll get fungal attacks before it can regenerate. I've thought about using petroleum jelly to seal the wound temporarily - should I do that, and is there anything else I can do to encourage a recovery if it's possible?


  • #12

Parafin wax (used for candle making or food canning) No greater than 53°C
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  • #13
Stay away from petroleum jelly. Try dabbing some melted wax on the wounds. You can buy cheap blocks of parafin wherever canning supplies are sold. Try not to get any wax on the stolon or directly on the eye of the tuber since it has already emerged from dormancy.
  • #14
Plain old white glue makes an excellent "liquid bandage" for rhizomes and root cuttings.
  • #15
White glue will not set and can even reconstitute in wet or overly humid environments.
  • #16
Thank you both. I have sterilized the wound and sealed it with a thin layer of melted parafilm wax. I'm pretty much set back to square 1 with both tubers, so only time will tell what will become of them now.