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bluemax

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Some years back I saw a short article in the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter where a grower was describing how they had taken some of the plantlets that are often formed on the old flower stalks of Drosophyllum lusitanicum and rooted them into new plants. However, it seems no one I have heard from was ever able to reproduce that feat. The plantlets just slowly died when cut from the mother plant and placed in moist growing medium. Still, when looking at a stem just loaded with the little devils it seemed like there must be a way.

P1036601.jpg


While I was considering this it just so happened that I had made up a standard-strength batch of gibberellic acid (GA3) solution to treat seeds in an attempt to rouse them from a deep dormancy. Since the already mixed solution was just sitting I took 3 plantlet cuttings and stood them in the shallow container, cut-end submerged, for one hour each. I then planted them into my standard Drosophyllum medium giving them more water than adult plants usually like.

P5286724.jpg


For several weeks I watched the plantlet cuttings and waited for the eventual wilting and death of the little green sprigs. But that's not what happened. In fact I became convinced that they were putting out new growth and getting larger. So I decided to sacrifice one just to see what was really going on.

P5286729.jpg


P5286725.jpg


P5286725%20-%20Crop.jpg
Circles show the original cut points

Since Drosophyllum hate having their roots disturbed I 'knew' that the plant was very likely hash, but I repotted it anyway. It continued to grow and eventually produced flowers of its own.

P5286732.jpg


Of 3 cuttings taken for propagation 3 survived and became independent plants. I believe that anyone who successfully grows this plant can reproduce these results.
 
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DJ57

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Mark: Glad you posted about your success with this! This is something I am definitely going to try myself as past attempts with no treatment have failed to produce rooting. Perhaps you could explain further exactly what part you cut and planted, just the little plantlets from the flower stalk or did you cut and plant part of the stalk they were growing from?
 
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I've got some seeds from one of those cuttings. I'll have to try to germinate them this year.
 

bluemax

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Mark: Glad you posted about your success with this! This is something I am definitely going to try myself as past attempts with no treatment have failed to produce rooting. Perhaps you could explain further exactly what part you cut and planted, just the little plantlets from the flower stalk or did you cut and plant part of the stalk they were growing from?

Thanks, DJ. I cut the stalk, hence the two cut surfaces in the photo, but I wonder if they could not be cut closer to the base of the plantlet and still have success. The root actually sprouted from higher up so it seems the stalk was not really necessary. No way to be sure of that without actually trying it, though.
 
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I just pulled the leaves off the main stalk, trying to get as much of the white connective basal tissue as possible. Then I just stuck them in moist vermiculite in small peat pots under humidity domes. Newer leaves work best.
 
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With certain difficult-to-propagate woody perennials, I've had excellent results by pinning the new vegetative shoot into a pot of media while still attached to the parent plant. That way, you allow it an opportunity to make roots without having to give up the flow of nutrients and water from the parent. This may be worth an experiment with Drosophyllum too.
 

bluemax

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With certain difficult-to-propagate woody perennials, I've had excellent results by pinning the new vegetative shoot into a pot of media while still attached to the parent plant. That way, you allow it an opportunity to make roots without having to give up the flow of nutrients and water from the parent. This may be worth an experiment with Drosophyllum too.

I agree. This 'ground layering' sort of method is possibly a way the plants reproduce in nature, explaining the usefulness of all those plantlets.
 

apoplast

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Hi Bluemax - I am late to the party here, but nice work! Detailed explanation, photographic detail. Great stuff! Not the "I've totally done that" garbage that gets thrown around here. It's an interesting result too (hormonally speaking). What ppm of GA3 did you use?
 
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