Ali Baba

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Ali Baba last won the day on March 10

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  1. Platycerium from spores

    Looks good. I usually stand my pots in a little cooled boiled water with a very weak addition of potassium permanganate . The water prevents the pots from drying out and the permanganate is supposed to stop algal growth. There are many ways to grow spores though, the key is to keep the soil moist and keep out those other spores from your cultivated ferns. Or you may end up with pots of dryopteris or adiantum
  2. Platycerium from spores

    $100 for plants but no minimum order for spores apparently It will be interesting to see what types of fern grow on the dicksonia. Mostly UK natives or spores from the original habitat of the dicksonia?
  3. Platycerium from spores

    Hi Karsty I've grown various ferns from spores on several occasions over the years. I've not found Platycerium to be particularly easy compared with other ferns, but that may be due to spores not being fresh enough or not using the right medium. I'd suggest using a fairly rough textured medium of mixed substrates of low nutrient content such as peat granules, perlite, bark etc, in the hope that some of the spores will grow on something that they like! Spores do best sown in spring in my experience, they seem to benefit from the lengthening days, of course if you use artificial lights that is another matter. I use boiling water to sterilise the substrate and then sow very sparingly. I'd probably move them to a warmer spot, if germination is too slow they inevitably get overgrown by algae. Thanks for the info about Siam Exotics, I'd not come across them before, I've ordered some Platycerium veitchii spores myself! I have Platycerium 'Lemoinei' which grows very well in full sun in a cool greenhouse (it is a hybrid with veitchii as one of the parents so likes the sun). It is quite easy to grow and very pretty with silver fertile fronds, and soon offsets to make a good clump. It has spores but I've never bothered to sow them. Good luck with your spores!
  4. Does anybody else grow bamboo

    Looks expensive you might want to shop around a bit, try this for instance I've not grown bamboos from seed myself, but from what I've read they need cooler conditions once germinated, and protection from strong winds and frost for the first year or so.
  5. Does anybody else grow bamboo

    Pond liner is too thin as you found out, you need a specialist heavy duty rhizome barrier specially designed for bamboos. Have a look at installation.htm for example. Pot growing is OK but you really need very large pots, lots of water, and every other year you need to cut the whole plant in half with an old saw, cut off the bottom third of the rootball and repot to maintain vigour. Plus any tall bamboo will blow over in the wind unless the pot is very heavy. I have Qiongzhuea tumidissinoda in a 130 litre pot (a bit bigger than a domestic dustbin) and as yet it is growing well and hasnt escaped. It is the bamboo equivalent of couch grass . It is way too big to repot but eventually I will probably have to cut the rootball up, probably a 3 man job!
  6. Does anybody else grow bamboo

    Pick your bamboos carefully! Although some are clumpers and some are runners, this also depends on growing conditions. So many Phyllostachys are runners, but will stay as a clump grown in the cool climate of most of the UK. However if you live in a warmer part of the UK it may eventually run. Others are just runners and any attempt to hem them in will be frustrating for the gardener and result in a plant that does not thrive. When you plant them make sure you leave lots more room than you think they will need, a large clump of bamboo will arch over dramatically in wet weather and under the weight of snow. It is very difficult to dig them out once established, bamboo wood is as hard as oak, as I can testify when I transplanted part of a clump of Thamnocalamus which I had planted to close to a path. It took the best part of 2 days to dig a chunk out and half way through I had to go and buy a long handled axe... Smaller bamboos grow well in pots but they do need to be well watered and split every other year at least to stop them from deteriorating. I have a large plant of a very vigorous running bamboo in an enormous pot which is doing very well. Concete barriers are overkill, you can buy heavy duty plastic to sink in the soil to prevent running, or plant on a mound with a ditch around to cut escapees. Best of all plant an appropriate bamboo for your conditions. Fargesia rufa is good, I have a tidy clump in my front garden, which hasn't outgrown its alloted space yet in 7 years, and no sign of runners.
  7. Musa tropicana

    Dwarf is a relative term also, unless you have a tropical greenhouse with considerable headroom you will not get it big enough to fruit. If you like the look of bananas and don't mind not having fruit try musa basjoo or sikkimensis outdoors Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Not crocus but Colchicum which has crocus-like flowers in autumn and is confusingly called autumn crocus in the U.K. Colchicine is extremely toxic to humans so unlikely to be easily obtainable Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Utricularia sp. hermanus - leaf traps?

    That is fascinating but shouldnt be surprising, as the plant organs we call 'stolons' in Utrics merge together with the leaflike bits in a way that defies simple classification in comparison to the well defined and ordered structures we call leaves, shoots, roots etc in most plants. So traps arising from leaflike bits is just another example of the weirdness of Utricularias see for a long read on the subject
  10. Mite treatment

    Plant oil based products kill mites effectively, but they are contact miticides so it might be difficult to eradicate mites unless you spray repeatedly. It would be a good idea to identify your mites before you treat them, a lot of mites are harmless, and cause no damage. Perhaps post a picture?
  11. Sarracenia pollen and hay fever

    Hay fever is caused by plants which are wind pollinated such as grasses and trees . They have highly mobile pollen. It can also be caused by insect pollinated plants grown in large numbers ( e.g. Rapeseed) when the wind stirs up the flowers. Sarracenia pollen is unlikely to cause you problems unless you are growing large numbers outside, and you have developed an allergy to the pollen. Generally insect pollinated flowers have stickier less mobile pollen. As long as you aren't sticking your nose in the flowers to pollinate them you should be OK [emoji3] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. You can get replacement cylinders for auto vents, with various ranges of temperature response Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Anyone who grows Utricularia bisquamata will know that it pops up in every pot after a while, and seems impossible to weed out. I tolerate it for its lovely flowers which were once visited in my greenhouse by a hummingbird hawkmoth in late summer. I was tidying up the spent flower stems today and was gratified to see that the sundews are getting their own back, Drosera slackii and D. regia seedlings in the Utricularia pot
  14. Ping recommendations

    I have P laueana and moranensis growing happily in about the same winter temperatures as you Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. U. Reniformis, getting it to flower

    Mine is kept at about 5deg C in the winter, and kept just damp at that time. It flowers every year, but it didn't start flowering until it was very pot bound in a largeish pot. In the summer it stands in a tray of water.