Apoplast

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    Minnesota, USA
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    Winter growing sundews, and a bit of the rest.

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  1. Hi Dave - While I am glad you have a soil mix that works for you, I am a little confused by your posts when taken together. I do agree that the quality of peatmoss varies which is why I rinse all my peat as I indicated in my description of the soil mix in my first post. Your response to that indicated you thought that too few nutrients was part of the problem. Then in your last post you suggested the solution might be to replace a portion of peat with milled sphagnum, which if anything is lower in nutrients. I guess I am a little confused because your diagnoses seem entirely contradictory. Oh well, maybe we are both a little confused. Though it is tangential to the main discussion, I simply must to say I thoroughly enjoyed the irony or your insistence that the phrase "sounds right" is a turn of phrase , while focusing your ire on "tribal knowledge". Brilliant. I must admit I am also unsure who these "natives" are on whose behalf you have decided to take offense. We are all native to somewhere, it's really just a matter of scale in time and space. Best of luck with everything Dave.
  2. Hi Dave - Good to hear from you. You might be correct that the low humidity is causing a wicking effect and exacerbating the solute issue. I disagree completely that pygmy dews don't like peat (I don't grow wooly dews, so I won't speak to that). It is true that many pygmy dew species grow in soils with fairly low organic content in situ. However, it is equally true that the conditions under which plants grow in habitat are not necessarily those under which they perform best. For a carnivorous plant example compare the conditions in which Byblis gigantea can grow in habitat to the loose, rapidly draining mix people have found works well in culture. I find it interesting that people have focused so much on the soil in this case, and peat in particular, given that the soil mix I am using is a recipe used by the commercial producer of the sundews, from whom I purchased my plants - though they don't use the sand on top. Straight contact with the peat mix works best for them. Until all of this began I had no idea there was this idea out there that peatmoss harbors this concealed evil - humic acid. Humic acids are part of nearly every CP soil in habitat, they clearly tolerate it. As far as the propensity for pygmy dews to take up resources through their roots, while multiple conclusive studies have not been done; they don't do it well. There is a tremendous amount of tribal knowledge out there in this hobby that you need to be wary of. Luckily, there are also some really good researchers working to uncover the facts so we don't have to make up what "sounds" right, we can actually know what is correct.
  3. Hi Ada and Berkay - Thanks for the responses. I thought I should address some of your concerns about the pygmy dews. Though they are small, the produce shockingly deep tap roots for their size. I've pulled up dead ones that had intact roots 10 cm long! They develop these roots pretty quickly from the gemmae. It is true, though, that the media might have been a bit dry at the surface, however; I kept it damp for the first two weeks. I'll go back to misting it daily to keep it moist for a wile longer. About the peat, I rinse it to reduce the solute concentration and decrease the likelihood of moss growth which can quickly choke out pygmy sundews. True, it also reduces the nutrients available in the soil, but I'm not concerned about that. Though all CP's have evolved carnivory as a means to appropriate nutrients not available in their environments from animals, not all carnivorous plants are created equally. Some CP's can do well with added nutrients in their soil in ways similar to typical garden plants, such as Sarracenias. But pygmy sundews have evolved perhaps the greatest dependence on carnivory of any group. There is good evidence that, in at least some pygmy dew species, they have lost the ability to take nutrients out of the soil! Therefore, if I left more nutrients in the soil, they wouldn't go to helping the pygmy sundews grow. I also have trouble believing that it could be an acidity problem from the peat (this is akin to the humic acid build-up argument). To begin with they do very well in soils made up almost entirely of peat for many people. But additionally, sundews naturally grow in peaty soils, though pygmy dews do naturally occur in sandier soils. I am starting to think it is some sort of a solute build-up. That still doesn't explain why some individuals died and others were doing well in a single pot, but it seems the most likely cause at the moment. I've since top-watered each of them to rinse any solutes through, and changed out the water in the trays. Hopefully this will help. Wish me luck!
  4. Hello all - I've been running into a problem (or problems) with some of my sundews recently. I'm fairly new to the hobby as I have only been growing carnivorous plants for a little over 5 years. There are two groups of plants having issues, which may or may not be a related problem. First, I've never excelled at growing pygmy dews, despite how much I enjoy them. My first go round with them resulted in the loss of a couple of species, but I've still maintained the remainder. I recently purchased some gemmae in hopes of expanding the species richness in my care. The gemmae arrived quite healthy, and started to grow well. Then things took a turn for the worse. The plants started to blacken at their apical growth points, and eventually yellowed and many already have died. At this point, I've lost some entire species - frustratingly some of the ones I was trying with again. They are in a 40:40:20 rinsed peat:pumice:acid washed sand soil mixture, with about 2-3 cm of the washed sand as a top dressing to reduce moss growth (which isn't going to be a problem choking out dead plants). The pots are 12 cm tall, sitting in about 1.5 cm of low mineral water out in the open and uncovered. Temps are about 22C. Here is a photo of the afflicted little plants just trying to get going: It is happening with at least one plantlet of each of my new species, but none of the older pygmy dews are the least bit affected. Some of the new plants have done very poorly as you can see: For other species, some individuals are dying and others are apparently surviving, if not truly thriving: The second, and possibly related issue, is happening with some of my older rosette forming subtropical sundews. They seem to wither away over time - though some faster than others. They begin to develop stunted leaves with no tentacles that are often more pubescent than one would expect. Eventually the aboveground growth dies, and in a futile effort they try to resprout only to continuously loose the new growth until they are exhausted and die. This is best exemplified at the moment by one of D. aliciae plants: Taking cuttings is no help as the new plants succumb even faster than the old plant would have. My feeling is that I may have some disease or that I may have some sort of a solute issue (my TDS meter died and I have a new, and nicer one on order). I've been told it might be a humic acid problem, but I have trouble believing this. For one, the aliciae has no dark coloration around the growth point. And secondly, can plants that are highly adapted to humic soils really succumb to humic acid? Does the problem with the pygmy dews have the same cause as the rosette subtropical species? Has anyone experienced either of these problems before? Or even heard of this happening? If so, what is it, and what is the fix? Thanks for any advice, it is most appreciated!
  5. Hi Manders - Good to know! It makes it even more appealing that if I can get some plants flowering I could help out folks all over. Hi Silverman - True enough. I understand the basis of the concerns, but appropriate implementation in ways that achieve the important goals without hindering other efforts is always going to be problematic.
  6. Hi Manders - Well, at least I don't feel too foolish for not knowing. International restrictions do make things a challenge. I feel as though the availability of all CP's is better in the EU than here in the States. However, that may just be a perception of the grass being greener on the other side of the pond, if you will. Can you not ship pollen internationally? I thought it was only prohibited with CITES 1 species, making it possible for most neps. Seems like I should read up a bit more on CITES as well. Thanks again for your replies, they have been greatly appreciated!
  7. Hi Manders - Thanks for the information. Fantastically helpful! It sounds like it is going to be a challenge and I should pick one species to begin with, which will better allow me to grow the numbers necessary. Though I do grow my plants under artificial light, I'm pretty good about varying the daylight seasonally (though not as good as a local CP grower I know who has programmed his lights through a controller he built to perfectly mimic the sinusoidal day length variation at a chosen latitude). I go to the effort of modifying the day length for my plants to synchronize dormancy in some of my plants, particularly the winter growing sundews. I'm hoping the same will work for neps someday too - only time will tell. I don't know what "Dicons species list" is. A quick internet search wasn't much help. Could you elaborate? I'm also glad to hear there is someone else who isn't enamored with all neps. At my local society meetings everyone, and I mean everyone, besides me is enamored with every nep species and hybrid out there. It manages to make me feel atypical within a hobby that is already atypical. I can see what attracted you to them from your story. A wall of neps would be an impressive site. Maybe I just need to find a way to afford to see them in the wild. Thanks again, you've been most helpful!
  8. Hi Silverman - Thanks for the tips on which species are easier to grow! I have to be honest though, I'm not actually interested in all neps. I am sure this will draw ire from some, but I find most neps look dull, uninteresting. It's the big reason I've never grown any before. They've never really appealed to me before. There are just a few that are exceptions in my eyes, and that I would bother to grow. The list I included previously is darn near all of them. Hi James - Nope, they aren't for a windowsill. I grow my plants under lights in a basement. I'm currently setting up two chambers. One will be for my big interest in CP's, winter growing sundews. This one will be allowed to get quite warm in the summer and will be connected to my free outdoor air conditioning in the winter (it typically gets as low as -35C here). The other is going to be a highland chamber, mainly built to better grow epiphytic utrics, but will have a good deal of extra room in it, and that's why I thought I'd try some neps. I have a dedicated portable A/C unit for this chamber, and I intend to keep the temperature below 22-24 in the summer, but it's likely to get down to 10 in the winter. This is why I was thinking highland neps might be more appropriate. Of the list you were kind enough to assemble, N. vogelii is sort of interesting. It sounds like it is just going to be a bit of work tracking down the genders of the species I'd like to grow. I am a little surprised nurseries down't keep better track of this given that I would assume cuttings from known females seem as though they would fetch a higher price. I guess I have a lot to learn about how neps are bought, sold, and traded. In this regard, they seem so unlike the other CP genera. Thanks again for the tips!
  9. Hello all - I am branching out. Moving to the dark-side. I have decided to try to grow some neps. The sticking point for me is the dioecious nature of the genus. I like species (I'm not interested in hybrids), and I like to share my plants with others. I enjoying knowing I can make seed from the plants I grow and share the enjoyment these plants bring me. I suspect it is no mystery where this is going. I'd like to grow several individuals of just a few species, but I want a chance at getting both genders; whether that be finding a good source for fresh seed, a nursery that grows or TC's their plants from seed, or a nursery that will divulge when they know if their cuttings are from males or females. Any of those give me a real shot at ending up with both genders of a species. Being new to this, I am happy to hear any advice. Seriously, any advice. If it helps, the species I grow will have to be highland (I can't maintain high enough temperatures for lowland species - but I can keep conditions cool). And, the species I'm most interested in are: Good N. alata N. ventricosa Better N. dubia N. glabrata N. inermis Great, but no real chance N. hamata N. macrophylla The dream! N. pervillei All thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and wacky plans are warmly welcomed. Thanks for your help!
  10. Hello CPUK. I don't often post here, and largely lurk. But I posted something about my concerns for successfully cultivating my imminently arriving U. mannii to the ICPS forum. It was pointed out to me that those with the proper experience are typically found here. I have included the other post below, but in essence I would like to hear from successful growers of U. mannii about their cultivation techniques. Any advice would be most welcome. Thank you all for your time, whether simple reading this comment or for forthcoming assistance! ----------- Hello all - Let me start out by saying that I like tubers. They are awesome! Chubby little storehouses of life modestly hiding just below the surface. Never boasting of their importance to the rest of the plant. When conditions are good the gaudier parts of the plant unfurl and make grand displays, but when times get rough those flashy parts fade away and life retreats back to the security of the tuber. I grow several tuberous sundews, but given the location of this thread I am sure you know where this is going. I have been trying to better succeed with the tuberous species of bladderworts. I have kept U. endresii for 5 years. It always makes it, but never does anything spectacular. I have been doing great with my U. alpina, but who hasn't. I had a U. quelchii for one season, a small tuber that was gifted in a trade and only ever put up one tiny leaf before it blinked out - though I'd like to try it again someday. On to my current concern. I have just ordered U. mannii. This may have been foolish. I am both excited and nervous about successfully cultivating this difficult species. I would love to hear from someone who has successfully grown this species, but I'd also like any information people have on its successful cultivation. I'd like to know temperature regimes, both diurnal and seasonal (hopefully more than just "keep it cool", I misinterpreted that with my Drosera schizandra and I think I killed it with cold temps), watering needs including seasonal changes, humidity requirements, and critically, substrate preferences. Right now, I am planning on growing it in a small net pot with live sphagnum moss either sitting in a small tray of water or misting it well daily, and keeping the temperature around 15-22C. Does this sound like a good plan to those with experience in highland utrics?
  11. Hello CPUK. I don't often post here, and largely lurk. But I posted something about my concerns for successfully cultivating my imminently arriving U. mannii to the ICPS forum. It was pointed out to me that those with the proper experience are typically found here. I have included the other post below, but in essence I would like to hear from successful growers of U. mannii about their cultivation techniques. Any advice would be most welcome. Thank you all for your time, whether simple reading this comment or for forthcoming assistance! ----------- Hello all - Let me start out by saying that I like tubers. They are awesome! Chubby little storehouses of life modestly hiding just below the surface. Never boasting of their importance to the rest of the plant. When conditions are good the gaudier parts of the plant unfurl and make grand displays, but when times get rough those flashy parts fade away and life retreats back to the security of the tuber. I grow several tuberous sundews, but given the location of this thread I am sure you know where this is going. I have been trying to better succeed with the tuberous species of bladderworts. I have kept U. endresii for 5 years. It always makes it, but never does anything spectacular. I have been doing great with my U. alpina, but who hasn't. I had a U. quelchii for one season, a small tuber that was gifted in a trade and only ever put up one tiny leaf before it blinked out - though I'd like to try it again someday. On to my current concern. I have just ordered U. mannii. This may have been foolish. I am both excited and nervous about successfully cultivating this difficult species. I would love to hear from someone who has successfully grown this species, but I'd also like any information people have on its successful cultivation. I'd like to know temperature regimes, both diurnal and seasonal (hopefully more than just "keep it cool", I misinterpreted that with my Drosera schizandra and I think I killed it with cold temps), watering needs including seasonal changes, humidity requirements, and critically, substrate preferences. Right now, I am planning on growing it in a small net pot with live sphagnum moss either sitting in a small tray of water or misting it well daily, and keeping the temperature around 15-22C. Does this sound like a good plan to those with experience in highland utrics?
  12. I just wanted to express my appreciation for the selected species epithets. If it was you who did the convincing then, thank you Fernando! I love it when people get creative with their species epithet descriptions. If ever I am in a position to name a species, I may just have to call Fernando for some advice. In all seriousness, I would also like to congratulate the entire team for all of the wonderfully detailed, and much needed work on this group of plants.
  13. To all of you Yanks out there from the Upper Midwest: A small but dedicated group of enthusiasts from the Twin Cities have been meeting for over a year and have decided to make it official. We have formed the Upper Midwest Carnivorous Plant Society, or UMCPS. If you are from MN, IA, ND, SD, northern WI or da UP this group is for you. As those of you from the area know, the population density in the area is often low, providing few opportunities to meet and speak with other "local" enthusiasts. Meetings are held in the Twin Cities, but the UMCPS intends to operate across the region by making virtual attendance available and potentially, forming regional chapters. The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 6th at 6pm central time. All of our regular meetings are always open to the public, so you don't have to be a member to check it out; just curious. If you are interested in attending and need directions please PM me or check out the web site: umcps.net
  14. Hello all. I have been following this forum for a while now, but decided to join in the discussion. I have been growing carnivorous plants for some time. I am interested in several genera, but I am most drawn to the winter growing Drosera from SW Australia and the Cape region of South Africa. Thus far my growth areas are in divided sections of my basement. Greenhouse someday. I hope. I am a plant physiologist by trade, but do not directly study carnivorous plants. Oh well, maybe someday.