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Everything posted by JuanP

  1. Well, it surely has been an interesting journey these past few years. Learnt a lot, and started getting into more challenging plants as I went along. Here are a few recent pics of the collection. https://flic.kr/p/2mCYEH9
  2. That's the only point I differ on. Spraying the solution over the plants, there is no way to avoid it going onto the substrate, and this will build up and burn the roots over time, surely? Even if you flush the pots regularly, with top watering (which not all seedlings like) the ferts will be in the soil, and peat being highly absorbent, it will retain some. I use a syringe, so it only forms drops at the needles tip, then apply it only to the carnivorous leaves or inside the area where traps digest prey. I assume after a rain storm excess will be washed off and into the soil, but hopefully most nutrients would have been absorbed by the plant's leaves. On my adult plants I do a top watering occasionally, then a day later take a tds reading of the tray water, to see if anything has leached into the soil and flushing through. Using 0ppm RO water, I give them a good flush if the tray water exceeds 10ppm. In any regard, it's always good practise to have a TDS pen around, and regularly test the trays. This ensures you always know if any rise in nutrients are happening in the pots.
  3. After a year of growing from my first plants, I'm a strong believer liquid ferts have their place, used in moderation, at very weak mixes. I have given my plants every opportunity possible at catching their own food. Placed outside in the open, even solar led lanterns above the pots to attract the smaller insects that are too scared to roam around during the day. But, the plants I used a liquid seaweed emulsion solution on (Drosera especially) have grown so fast, seedlings and root sprouts look bigger than the adults they came from. Sarracenia and Neps I fill up once they open, then just top up with RO every now and then when I can see they are drying out. Vft's even close when fed this solution, while misting them with RO, they remain open. Quite peculiar. Also, traps that open wider than normal, indicating it's reached end of life and won't close again, if fed with the solution, stay alive and well far longer than traps left alone to dry and go black. Once you get the hang of it, and not get brave in trying to mix stronger doses (fight the temptation, less is more, and still better than nothing) the plants respond very well. I've even joked saying some of my plants are Vegetarians, growing better on the Seaweed than live prey....
  4. What I've read about using Betta pellets or the like, is the chance of mould forming rather quickly if you over-do it. So far the liquid solution seems to not have this problem, even if I wet the entire leaf, it's dry by the next day, with the dew glistening off the tentacles again. It also seems, the plant does not need dew present, for it to be able to draw nutrients out of the solution. I fed a capensis that I moved to my new place, straight after getting here. And by the next day it was covered in dew again, not a sign of travel shock, or adjusting to a new climate which had much less humidity than it's previous home.
  5. All my plants are on seaweed emulsion called Seagro (our version of MaxSea) Mixed 1ml to 500ml RO water, with a pinch of freezedried bloodworms. I apply it using a syringe and 18G needle, so it covers only the tentacles, and doesn't go into the soil. This feeding boosts seedling growth rate, and adult health and new divisions. Also works great filling up pitchers of Neps and Sarras, even VFT's grow well on it.
  6. Finally things are looking up for me. Got an interview in early Feb, and out of all the applicants, they chose me! Moved back to Johannesburg, and last weekend moved my plants over. Staying on the first storey I could place them for optimal sun exposure. Here are some quick cellphone pics of the ever growing collection...
  7. Don't think there is any way to completely get rid of the moss, without harming the Utrics... Moss will always find a way to infiltrate where they find suitable growing conditions, so starting a new pot with only Utrics planted, and discarding the moss overgrown one, will only solve the problem till new moss spores fibd their way into the new one. I'd say only way is manual removal with long nose tweezers, to keep the moss in check. In my setups I find the Utrics don't actually mind the moss cover, they still grow well and flower all the time during the warmer seasons.
  8. The D. pulchella Gemmae are growing up rather quick, a quick head count was at 50+ so basically 100% sprouted. I'm steadily introducing them to less humidity into exposed air outside, while also increasing direct sunlight exposure. Gave them their first feeding with a weak seaweed emulsion that's extremely diluted in pure RO, that I feed the adult plants with too with great success so far. Using a syringe with 18G needle, making a drop form on the tip, then letting it rub off on the tentacles of the plant. This ensures it gets absorbed into the leaf while avoiding any fertilizer to enter the substrate. Nothing else too exciting happening. Just collecting loads of seeds, while watching all the plants grow at a steady pace....
  9. A quick update on the Drosera pulchella Gemmae. They were sown on 11·11·2017 And this pic was now taken on 26·11·2017
  10. So today I noticed something is up with Mr. Pinguicula ehlersiae. After much deliberation and Google-Fu seems it's throwing out adventitious roots, and probably getting ready to divide. They just seem a tad high up on the plant though? The D. pulchella are still spitting out Gemmae at a steady rate. Around 65 were collected off two plants on Saturday, and by today they are filled with new ones, with an additional two plants having some too. Seems I'll be doing lot's of out of season trading, have already been offered VFT offsets in trade (7 VFT's for 130 Gemmae) which sounds very fair to me.
  11. Ofcourse it's true, who lasts 3 hours to get such spectacular results!?
  12. Another normal day in my strange life... While inspecting the Drosera pulchella I noticed they look different (I'm a first time pygmy owner, have had them since July though) After consulting Peter Hewitt , Therese and Jaco van den Berg turns out they have Gemmae! That in it's own isn't unusual, right? Except I'm in Pretoria, South-Africa, and it's the 10th November with Spring being at it's peak... Kinda strange seeing them with flowers all over and covered in Gemmae too.
  13. A good general insecticide is the one from Margeret Roberts, all organic formulation, as suggested by Peter Hewitt to treat Carnivorous plants with. My D. capensis had a bad infestation, and that cleared it right up.
  14. That looks like a Nep from Hungry Plants. Peter Hewitt ID's it as Red Lantern, a N. gracilima x ventricosa hybrid, or aka N. Rebecca Sopor. Hungry Plants has it ID'd as N. Red Bell, a N. Alata x unknown hybrid. As for the red spots, I'm assuming that would be light related, where it got hit with too intense or unfiltered sunlight? If that's the case the leaf will keep it and will only be able to remedy it on new growth by avoiding too bright light or direct sun.
  15. Hi and welcome from a fellow SAfrican! I'm over in Gauteng, Pretoria's side.
  16. I've got the normal just under full palm of hand size outside in the garden. Please, don't let them escape to outside... They decimate in order of most expensive down to cheaper plants it seems. Haha
  17. Congrats man! Prickly pear's used to be one of my fav's when growing up, buy a bucket full on the way home from school and they would not survive the trip before being all eaten up I see unfortunately this one is an invasive here, explains why it was EVERYWHERE
  18. Went to have a look at one of our local nurseries on Tuesday, friendly guy named Jaco of Bizarre Tropicals. And yep, you guessed it, more plants for the collection! First off some Orchids. A few new Carnies. And while I had the camera out, some snaps of the D. capensis flowering.
  19. I ordered some extension tubes from Wish about a month ago, which arrived at the post office yesterday. Took a few shots using the 55-250 lens, and seems much easier to use than the reverse ring method, and can get a bit more of the subject into the shot. Well, here are the first trial shots. Will practise a bit more in the coming days.
  20. It was identified as an adventitious root which is still steadily budding out. Signs that the plant is maturing. Spring is now in full swing! D. tracyi, D. capensis wide leaf, D. capensis all red... Everything shooting up flower stalks Last count on the red form, the first stalk has around 40 flowers budding, and if nature does it's thing well about 100 seeds per flower, even if only half are viable that's a hell of a lot of new potential plants. And it is busy shooting up a second flower stalk, so who knows how much seedlings may come from this plant
  21. The pulchella are still flowering along. At least one flower per day, which starts opening at around 9am and is almost completely closed by 12:30pm. Today two of them had a flower that bloomed in sync. Mr Hitchhiker Binata is also making steady progress... Also have my first successful strikes on capensis leaf cuttings that were first floated in RO water, but moved them to a wet peat bed rather for stability, everything moved all over when I looked for progress every time while in the water container.
  22. I realise this is probably boring to the vets, but being my first CP's I'm quite excited that my Drosera pulchella's first flower opened today!
  23. Today received new plants from Peter over at Pan's Carnivores. Drosera tracyi, Drosera scorpioides, Cephalotus, 3 Pings with bloody long names from his personal collection, and on the house an all green 'kermit' VFT from his personal collection and a wide leaf Drosera capensis. Took some quick cellphone pics, will pull out the DSLR once they are nicely settled in their new homes.
  24. We have local organic brand called Copper Count-N. The liquid is blue and very little is needed per application. For general algae issues you can get some Yellow Sulphur (chemist shoukd have) then just google a bit for dosage strength. Flowers of Sulphur is also a very good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal that can be applied in it's powder form to cuts on succulents and cacti like where you took off a pup or took a segment to grow a new plant from.
  25. I've seen that myself, but believe me it didn't clear up my algae, it just masked it, coming back with a vengeance. The water does not clear it up in my containers, I think the wetness just makes it blend in and probably thins it out to look clearer, but this means it then comes back from a wider area where the spores have been spread to. Only the organic stuff that's basically Copper Sulphate, cleared it. But being such a potent ingredient I use it very sparingly, and so far it hasn't had any negative effect on germination, with the added benefit that it also combats damping off disease.