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About paradisaea

  • Birthday October 19

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    Herts, UK
  • Interests
    Entomology, herpetology, botany, horticulture, art, design & taxidermy.

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  1. Ok, thanks! I will see if I can get it taken back. Such a shame. I got so excited to finally have some to use!
  2. Hi, So, I am extremely new to mixing my own potting media and have been reading in various places online about peat and which types to use and the lessened availability of late etc. I am still looking into peat substitutes and how to use them but am not having too much luck finding solid info at the mo. Any info on peat substitutes would be great! In the meantime, I asked my friends/family to keep an eye open for sphagnum moss peat on their travels & today I came home to a 100litre bale of Irish moss peat... Unfortunately it's Westland brand which, upon investigating on this forum, I have learned has a pretty bad rep! I don't know what to do with it as I can't return it. Is it completely unusable? Is there anything I can do with it to make it less potentially damaging? I can always palm it off on my mum for use in her garden, but if I can get any use out of it at all, I'd like to as I can't find anything else in this area! Thanks :) Edit: I should mention that I was hoping to use it in seed growing experiments as well as repotting. A couple of the recipes for seed sowing mixes (for Nepenthes) I have found online have given peat moss, sphagnum and perlite as ingredients. Also, for seeds, is live sphag recommended? I have some Gardman 'Fresh' sphag. Any good?
  3. Ian, you are quite right. It had been. I read up some more on them after posting this and realised my error there! They are now standing in a dry tray and are misted regularly with rainwater and kept damp, as you say. Thank you for confirming that for me! I'm finding Nepenthes to be far more of a challenge than everything else I am used to keeping which is great! So far they seem to be doing fine and are growing and sending out new leaves and pitchers which is good to see. The plant pictured has some damage to the older leaves which occurred before I got it and these leaves have now started to yellow... is this normal? Is anyone here able to point me in the direction of accurate information regarding the differences between lowland/highland/intermediate varieties? I have another couple of small plants both of the same variety (presumably) that I am unable to identify (I will post pics here if anyone thinks they may be able to help). Any good info online or book recommendations would be greatly appreciated as, right now, I'm totally winging it with the neps! Haven't really got a clue! Thanks again :)
  4. Hello Stephen, Thank you for your response! As this is my second year of growing from seed I don't yet have much in the way of a variety but I am hoping to sow every year from now on so I too hope to reach a point where I have plants of varying levels of maturity. I am satisfying the impatient grower in me with other types of plants at the moment. I shall bring them inside and try them under my light for a while and see if they are any happier. How many hours of simulated daylight would you recommend? This will be the first time I have used a grow light so I don't know whether mimicking our current daylight pattern is enough or if these plants would ideally prefer something different depending on the daylight hours occurring where they originate from... if that makes any sense! Here are a couple of pictures of my Nepenthes. Thanks again for your advice! As I said, this plant was given to me and as far as I'm aware just came from a normal garden centre. It's a bit battered and the pitchers that were on it when I got it were starting to die off. I have trimmed the dead ones off and now just have these left and two or 3 new ones coming through. If it looks like something that'd be happier going back in my gh then let me know as I'm really not sure what to do with it as I have no idea what sort of hybrid it is! Nepenthes are not currently my strong point
  5. Hi :) I have tried searching for info on here that might help me out but to little avail. Perhaps if I have missed something glaringly obvious, somebody may point me in the direction of an existing thread that I can read though, but in the meantime, here goes! I got back into keeping carnivorous plants just over a year ago and now that I have the time and space to do a better job of it, it's gone a little way beyond a few plants kept on a windowsill. I have a cold frame greenhouse that I keep most of my plants in year round, with the exception of some of the more delicate ones I have obtained recently that I will treat accordingly when the time comes. Anyway, amongst those that I have out there are some yearling seedlings- both vft's and cobra lilies. They were out over winter and survived just fine but they are so very slow growing, I am wondering if they may do better if I were to bring them inside and put them under my T5 grow light? I just bought it for other plants but I would like to use it for my carnivores if it will be of benefit to them. I also have a bunch of sarras, some more Darlingtonia and a new lot of giant vft seeds that I sowed a little while back which are now beginning to show (well, not the vft's, it's a little soon for them yet I think). Would they be happier in more stable temperature/light conditions do you think? Everything else that has been kept outside in the little greenhouse is doing really well but I am still very new to growing from seed so if anyone has any advice regarding what I could do to give these seeds/seedlings a stronger start, that would be great :) For information's sake, the seedlings are all about 1.5cm across, the darlingtonia each have a bout 3-5 little tiny traps and the vft's a few more and the new lot of sarra/darlingtonia seeds that have germinated started showing maybe a week or two ago. They are all in appropriate carnivorous plant mix compost with no moss at this stage. Also, I have one small nepenthes hybrid (no idea what... it was a garden centre gift from someone) that was in the cold frame but I have since brought it inside after reading more about their care. It gets wonderfully warm and humid on sunny days but I fear it might get a bit too cold for it at night out there. I don't have many bright windowsills in my house that are not in direct sunlight. Where would you suggest I keep this plant that it may thrive? I have a modified shelf in the cold frame that blocks direct sunlight but is still bright but I just don't know if it's a good idea to put it back outside at the moment! Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  6. Thank you so much for all you input everyone! I have still got those seeds sitting in the fridge. I'm about to put them in some moistened compost as they're just in their bag at the moment. I've been advised to put them outside to get the benefit of the last of any cold weather we may have and, as I am considering a mini greenhouse for my balcony, I think this will be the way forward for the seeds I've already planted. I'm not expecting results any time soon, but I don't want to be doing it completely wrong and sitting about waiting for a bunch of seeds that have actually failed ;) Thanks again!
  7. Thanks very much Stephen. I'll sprinkle the other seeds in as well then! Cheers for your help guys!
  8. Hi Alexis. Thank you very much for your response. I shall take the domes off now then. I'll see if the seeds have been stratified as well, thanks. Do you reckon I should just pot the rest of the seeds I have up the same way then or perhaps try something else to see what works best? If so, any suggestions? Might it even be worth sprinkling them into the same pot or will that be too much? I think there must have been around 30-40 seeds in total, half of which are in the one pot. Cheers :)
  9. Hello all. I recently bought a seed kit from one of the UK based carnivorous plan nurseries online containing a handful of Darlingtonia seeds plus a small pot with cover, carnivorous plant friendly compost and instructions. There were quite a lot of seeds so I saved some and have them in the fridge at the moment. They are labelled Aug '11 so I am assuming that, as it was a 'ready to plant' kit, the seeds have already been stratified. I was wondering if you guys could perhaps offer me some tips or alternate/more effective methods for sowing the remaining seeds and hopefully having them germinate successfully! I'm a complete beginner when it comes to growing these plants from seed so any/all info would be a great help! The ones I have already sown are in the small pot sown on the surface of rainwater soaked CP compost (with a very small amount sprinkled over them) , standing in 1cm of rainwater, with a pot cover over them to keep humidity, as instructed. Come to think of it, that's them in my user pic. It's only after reading a lot of the propagation posts and searching through the forum for seed info that I'm beginning to wonder if there's something better I could do for the seeds I have left! Also, my pots are on my windowsill which is SW facing and gets direct sunlight until about 11am and then gets shadier as the day progresses. I'm guessing this isn't idea in the long run? Thanks in advance :)
  10. Hello all, My name is Tea and I am from Hertfordshire, UK. I am very new to keeping carnivorous plants as a serious hobby though I have kept various species over the last few years purely out of an appreciation for them visually. I have kept 3 or 4 different species of Sarracenia, numerous venus flytraps and sundews before and now, I am attempting to grow a few plants from seed for the first time. I now have 3 pots (respectively containing Sarracenia, Dionaea and Darlingtonia seeds) hopefully doing something on my windowsill :) Waiting has never been my forte so the likelihood of me going out and buying a few grown on plants in the meantime is high! I did research & conduct a couple of studies on these plants whilst studying towards my BSc in animal biology & ecology which was very interesting. It gave me a better understanding of them from a biological point of view which only served to massively increase my fascination! It also explained why my earliest experiences with them as a teenager hadn't gone so well... but I digress. Anyway, I am here to learn from people who are actively involved in keeping these fascinating plants so I look forward to talking to you all and hopefully sharing some of my own experiences and observations soon!