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Posts posted by jimfoxy

  1. Here shows the problem. Using a formula for the media on its own is not the whole story. The conditions (humidity, light level, 'airiness', foliar feed or not, temperature (including extremes/variation), in Winter, in Summer, how much watering, etc) are what should accompany anybody's recommendation for growing media. Growing on a windowsill inside a house will have a lot less humidity than a plant growing in a greenhouse or terrarium. These plants do not have much in the way of roots. The environment above ground is as important as below.


    My guess for manders plants are left: north/east/west facing windowsill (foliar fed), middle: south facing windowsill (or shaded greenhouse), right: greenhouse (a little shade, little or no feed). Or thereabouts!


    Also, different plants have different preferences. They come from many different habitats; some grow on cliff faces, some in damp forests. Some are more fussy to grow than others.

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  2. Sow on surface of compost. Sprinkle very fine peat powder layer on top if you like to hide them. Wet compost from bottom of pot/tray. Put outside under shelter but with plenty of air movement and light. Shelter is just to keep rain off. Well ventilated part of a greenhouse is another good solution. If wet, wind will not blow them away. With overhead shelter rain should not splash them out. Cannot advise re children other than to put them high up, maybe (seed tray, not the children).


    Frost rarely does damage and can actually promote germination.


    If you keep them somewhere with no air movement and little natural light, botrytis mould is encouraged.

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  3. I find perlite in the mix often dominates the surface and creates a relatively dry surface. My plants sometimes do what yours do right next to plants that are fine. The surface moisture conditions are very important as most plants have very little in the way of roots. I prefer a bit more organic material in the mix to promote this when growing on windowsills which have relatively little humidity.

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  4. Just about anytime, really. But it is easier when the plant growth is a bit tighter (winter mode) though if flowering the flowers may cause the plant to topple over a bit. Any leaves that break off can usually be laid on the surface and may grow a new plant. Depending on your growing conditions, to minimise chances of mould attacking, early spring may be the best time. Beware that these plants have little in the way of roots.

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  5. P. x 'Tina' can pull through a UK Winter outside if you are lucky. I never have enough room for them all inside the house during the Winter and my spares of these are the first to be banished to the greenhouse. Probably depends on dampness and humidity levels (linked to the media) but I have not studied it. London can be a little warmer than less densely populated places I guess, too.

  6. As discussed in another thread, it is a result of the late surge of insects this year. The benefit has been that we have had good looking pitchers for longer before this.

    I always have too many flies being taken every year for my liking (rotting pitchers very soon after opening and a stench of rot in the greenhouse). I keep telling myself to put fine netting up across the windows to my greenhouse but I have not got around to it yet. I intend to leave one or two manual operating windows without netting so I can control fly intake in the Summer but definitely want to net the automatic windows. I guess for the door I need a clear fly door screen - whatever those dangly things are called you see across grocery shop back rooms.

    The ecology inside a rotting pitcher is interesting. Often, maggots thrive for a while having hatched from eggs from dead flies, and feed on the rotting prey of the plant, speeding the digestion process I guess.

  7. To me a mature plant is a plant of flowering size. So each flowering size crown is a mature plant

    A problem arises when you separate a small crown/division which happens to have produced a flower (when it was attached) from a much bigger rhizome. The division is not 'of flowering size' but has a flower.

  8. So will this happen pretty much each time I buy a Mexican ping that gets sent in the post?

    No, this usually does not happen if they are given humidity in transit and not exposed to high temps. The problem is, you never know what temperature range they will be exposed to.

  9. I bought the older version on ebay shown by Phantom above about 3yrs ago and it packed up; possibly because I kept it in the greenhouse which was not really sensible with the heat. The LCD display lost a few segments so I had to start guessing.

    I bought the new one (as shown by Phantom) recently from ebay. For £7 or whatever, 3yrs life is ok for me. For CPs, you don't need much accuracy.

  10. Most insects are late this year, as with most wildlife. Craneflies recently exploded onto the scene along with aphids here around Cambridge. Bees have picked up in numbers (both my little boy and myself have been stung by honey bees on clover flowers in the lawn for the first time this year!). Not many wasps around but I think they are just around the corner.

    It is nice not having so many early insects for my Sarras to eat. The pitchers look good for longer and only now am I starting to detect the first stench of decaying flies.

    A weirdness for me this year was finding an Orange Ladybird on one of my potato plants one night.

  11. Is anybody else noticing an unusually high number of distorted Sarracenia flowers this year? My minors are just opening now and the styles are very withered. This has been the case with many others, too, particularly leucophylla.

    I am just wondering if this was due to the long Winter.

  12. Two things I think:

    1) Giving away freebies is fine if you already have the time to sell plants through the post but this takes a lot of time with the admin and packing. I have very little time and would rather spend it with my fingers in soil and looking at my plants than with working out postage costs. With the popularity and available of CPs now, prices are a lot lower than they used to be, taking inflation into account. Other than those really nice clones which brings me to the second point...

    2) Perhaps it is vanity, but some of us feel selective about which clones we think worthy of cultivation.

  13. A couple of things:

    Rocks - ensure they are of a type that will not dissolve.

    Maybe think about a capped drain hole at the bottom if possible. Just in case you want to drain the whole thing out to make it lighter for moving or if an animal has a pee in it and you need to wash it through. Most of the time you would keep the hole blocked off.

    I have found that a thick deep strip of sand is a good boundary to help keep the sphagnum from encroaching. You could use anything like gravel etc just make sure it is washed thoroughly first.

  14. It can be consistent but rarely is the flower distorted in exactly the same way every time. I find flower distortion is common, maybe particularly with hybrids(?) Not sure if I am noticing more distortion this year than usual. I think distortion is usually undesirable to most growers unless there is consistency or symmetry (e.g. S. leucophylla 'Tarnok.'). Clones with poor flowers are often 'weeded out' for this characteristic but I think most clones can kick out an odd flower now and again.

    The flower is developing in the growing point many months before it starts out so maybe it is a combination of factors during this time?