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When to let my Droso babies dry out for the summer?

Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
240
Location
N. Virginia, USA
Apologies in advance if this has been covered before. I did search the forum first. I promise :).

I successfully germinated Drosophyllum lusitanicum early this year (thanks again, Mike W. for the seeds), and the plants have transitioned nicely from their seedling peat pots to large clay pots sitting in trays of water.

Here (USDA Zone 7A, US Mid-Atlantic piedmont), the weather is starting to warm up (finally!) to mid-70s to mid-80s F during the day and low-to-mid 60s F in the evening. This will soon rise with minimum evening temperatures in the 70s (typically) and highs in the 80s to 90s. The plants are in a well-ventilated greenhouse protected from rain.

My question (after that long intro):

When should I start letting them dry out? The 14" pots are dry on the surface, and the 9" pots are just barely damp on the surface. I don't want them to rot, nor do I want them to dessicate.

Does anyone have advice here? I'm assuming that I should do it gradually, but not sure when to start, or how quickly to transition.

Also, should I worry overmuch about our local humidity? I'm assuming that these Mediterranean coastal plants would naturally get moisture from the ocean. Is this analogous? I can't do much about our water vapor, except through the ventilation, but I'm curious if I should try harder.

Thanks in advance for any help y'all can provide.

Jay
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Messages
1,446
Location
Hacienda Heights, CA USA
I would start by removing them from their trays and seeing how long they can go without being watered. If the plants are drying up you will know because the leaves will wilt at the tips but if you are overwatering I'm not sure if the plants will give signs. In southern California I water mine every other day, since it is so hot and dry. If I go a few days without watering the plant wilts.
 

Bio

Plant Whisperer
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
514
Location
SC
I grew a large one successfully (more or less) for over a year here. Growing these in the east is difficult, but I remove the pot from the water when they reach a certain size, or when I can actually see the plant from a distance.

This page really helped me out when i first started to grow drosos. http://mysite.verizon.net/elgecko1989/Drosophyllum_lusitanicum.html
I hope no one minds me posting the link.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
973
Location
Athens, GA
Honestly Jay, the thing I learned about this plant is that you've got to watch it like a hawk, and read what it's telling you. The wilting signs are much more subtle than in 90% of plants I've ever grown. Preventing rot is done for you if you craft the right soil mix and use a clay pot of appropriate size. I can recommend some good fungicides if you run into trouble.

Essentially, if this makes sense, you want to hit in the middle of "bone dry" and "damp."

Djoni (DJ57) knows a serious, serious amount about Drosophyllum and I would seek out her advice if you can.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
240
Location
N. Virginia, USA
Thanks, everyone!

I'm optimistic about my pots (14" clay pots) and my mix (mostly sand and coarse perlite with a little peat). Even sitting in trays, the tops of the large pots are bone dry, and just barely damp an inch or two below the soil level).

Now that we've officially hit summer, I've started to let the trays dry out before filling (and only filling half way instead of to the tops now). I'll continue to taper off fairly quickly and watch the plants (as long as I'm home from work travel to be able to watch them :-().

I'll also check out the link and reach out to DJ (we've traded a few plants).

Jay
 
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