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Everything posted by notostracan

  1. I ended up re-potting this plant from pure peat to more like 60% aquarium silica sand (large grains) and 40% peat - its done very well for me and is flowering in winter on a north facing windowsill with 9w of supplemental CFL lighting 4 hours a day. I water with de-ionised water lightly just keeping the constantly peat moist. Does this still look like Pinguicula 'Tempa' to everyone? :) Love the flowers, I also love that they are covered in trichomes, as this Tipulid fly found out to it's own dismay:
  2. The 'Dentate' is currently spending its first night outside, took it from the windowsill at 15*C and its reading 10*C on the other side of the window now so hopefully not too much of a shock for it. It's in a bucket with half a sheet of glass covering it, so there's some ventilation. Putting a mulch over the pots would probably be a little awkward, but I may experiment before the really cold days come! From the sound of it, keeping them dry enough is one of the most important things as rot seems to be a bigger risk than freezing. Although as Steve says, mine are in pots, so probably far more at risk of damage from freezing than plants in a bog benefiting from the buffer of ground heat! I'm going to be saving bubblewrap and polystyrene to wrap around the pots, as well as any other insulation I can think of that wont reduce ventilation too much. Will certainly ventilate the mini greenhouse, I think I'll only close it fully when expecting a sudden cold snap or anything like -17*C! The shed has a wee window but it faces East just a few feet away from the house wall so not exactly the brightest lol. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, I'm feeling a bit more comfortable about putting them outside now .
  3. Many thanks for the advice guys. Indeed, the plants being shocked by putting them outside is what I'm mainly worried about, since this is the plants first winter with me here. I presume they were grown in unheated greenhouses before I got them, so have previously had gradual introductions to their winters. Strangely enough, the plant that's flowering is the only one of the three that doesn't receive any extra lighting! Its in the living room instead of the bedroom...the fireplace is located in the livingroom though. Perhaps its the warm indoor temps combined with shorter autumn hours of light that have confused it into thinking its now spring? Mantrid - great idea with the bucket and sheet of glass - I actually do have both a spare bucket and sheet of glass so will do this with the 'Dentate' tomorrow in hope of stopping it sending up any more flower spikes, cheers! At the end of the week I think I'll order a cheap plastic greenhouse with an additional fleece cover for frost protection and move them all in there ASAP. The longer I wait, the larger the temperature difference when they go outside. Ada, my problem is that in a few weeks time, it will be even colder outside, and outside is really only the "cooler" place I have (apart from the shed, which isnt much warmer and has less light). Do you think its still worth keeping them inside without the lights for a bit before putting outside? Has anyone ever had/heard of a Dionaea being killed by the cold? I probably should have just moved them outside earlier so they wouldn't have nearly has much as a temperature shock, but I was enjoying watching them grow indoors so much that I've been dreading the boring dormancy period where I can do nothing much to helps them apart from worry about them being too cold lol.
  4. Since skipping dormancy doesn't seem to be an option then, I have just cut the flower stalk! Going to have to start doing something for dormancy ASAP though i case the others start flowering too. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Ive just noticed a small flower stalk rising from my Dionaea 'Dentate', and have mixed feelings! I would actually quite like to see the "boring" flowers, and also like the idea of collecting some seed, however i really don't want to kill my plant. I only bought the plant at the start of July, at which point I re-potted it into a bigger pot, it put out loads of new traps over the summer and its roots have reached bottom of the new pot - so I think its growing strongly. I've also been feeding some dried mealworms and its had a couple of 1/2 strength mistings of Orchid Focus in the summer. Im not sure what I'm doing for dormancy yet - I have two other Dionaea I need figure this out for soon as well. I currently keep them on a South facing windowsill, with a couple of fluorescents over them as well. My main issue is i cant think of anywhere cold enough that still gets enough light for them. I was thinking of putting them in the shed with a single fluorescent above them, but am unsure this would be enough light, and am also worried the shed would be too cold. Another option could also put them in a cheap plastic "greenhouse" outside the south facing window - but an worried this may also be too cold for house-grown plants. So now...some questions! :) Anyone have any thoughts or recommendations on dormancy? Does Dionaea flower in response to light or temperature cues? What would make them flower in autumn? (I wonder if this sometimes happens in nature.) And if I was to let my 'Dentate' flower, should I skip dormancy and keep it indoors this year? Here is the plant in question: Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. As other have said, beautiful photographs! You are inspiring me both to collect more pings, and to use my camera to take better pics of my plants! :)
  7. Does this mucous serve a function for the plant, or is this currently unknown? Do any other Utricularia spp. produce such mucous? Is it just nectar to attract pollinators? If it is nectar - it looks like a lot! Either way, looks beautiful, nice pics :).
  8. Beautiful plants and pics.
  9. Unfortunately LUX is a useless measurement for plant growth, and would only be a little bit more useful for a rough comparison if the light sources outputting the same wavelengths of light. LUX is only a measurement of light that human eyes can see, not what plants can use, you would need a PAR meter for that. Your twin SMD strips may be just adequate to keep your plants alive and maybe growing, but they wont nearly equal the light intensity from twin 24W T5HO bulbs. Theoretically red/blue lights are more efficient as more power is going into wavelengths the plants can use, however this may not be the case for all plants in all stages of growth and the difference is very small IMO. The picture you posted looks the same as the LED light strips I've used many times before on aquariums. Personally I find them very poor for plant growth, they are cheap for a reason IMO. Brilliant for lots of applications, but there are far more efficient lights for growing plants. Maybe perfect if you don't mind your plants growing slower to save electricity/cut down on heat.
  10. I would agree with the others unfortunately, one of those 5050 SMD LED strips wont put out nearly as much PAR as the equivalent length T5HO tube (or even 2x that), even if it looked just as bright to your eyes. What is your goal for using LEDs? Higher light intensity in a smaller space, less heat or energy savings?
  11. Thanks for the reply, exactly the sort of info I was looking for :). Earlier today I put once of the germinated seeds on some waterlogged peat/sand/sphagnum that's kind of like a slurry, you reply gives me confidence. Yes, I meant species like Nymphoides spp. etc, it's the "slurry" stage I am worried about, as I'm thinking algae growth might overtake the seedlings. Only one way to find out I guess!
  12. Here's a couple of pics for the sake of it, if I manage to get any further with these I will post pics of their progress.
  13. Hello, I was wondering if anyone has any experience growing aquatic Utricularia (or any other aquatic species) from seed? I received a packet of U.volubilis as a substitute in a seed order and have successfully germinated a few of the seeds in a cup of DI water with some peat and sand at the what do I do with them? This is the first fully aquatic plant species I've tried to grow from seed. If they can grow terrestrially, then that sounds like the easy option, but I cant find any reference to this being possible for U.volubilis. My fear with growing them submersed is of algae smothering them before they reach a suitable size for placing in an aquarium. I have much experience growing aquatic plants (from "high-tech" to Walstad-style), and currently have a CO2 injected planted tank fertilised using "Estimative index" principles, which I'm sure mature specimens of U.volubilis would thrive in - however this tank is full of fish, shrimp, snails, etc. and the tiny plants would just get eaten/lost/overgrown in there at their current size. My current plan is to see how big I can get them in the cup before transferring to a small clear "breeder box" in the planted tank, but if anyone has any other suggestions please let me know! :)
  14. Not yet, but I will probably order some from at the end of the month to test them out. One of my non-carnivorous indoor plants has a colony of white springtails living under one of the pots, I managed to put at least ten into one of the seedling pots, but only one was caught by my biggest D.tokaiensis when I checked back later. I've also been experimenting with feeding fish flake to some seedlings, seems it has to be removed after 24h or it will go mouldy, but the ones I fed do look noticeably bigger. Btw, are your D.binata or D.spatulata any particular cultivar/form/location or whatever? Cant decide which D.binata I want to try, might try two types in one pot.
  15. Nice work, 15 weeks and already catching flies! :) The next seeds I get will be D.binata, it looks great now that its taking its adult form! My oldest are at week 7 I think and pretty much all look pretty much the same (D.capensis, D.tokaiensis and D.burmannii). D.regia is the only species I have that really looks any different at this age. A couple of my D.intermedia have finally germinated though, so will see what they look like .
  16. Stunning shots, enjoyed them a lot. The variation between flowers is interesting too. Thanks :).
  17. I'm feeling the same way about mine too, so I think I'll just keep them there until I "need" my valuable windowsill space for something else lol. As mine are inside I'm always worried about feeding them, I've tried fish food flakes on some of them, and noticed the ones I've fed are about twice the size as those unfed. Was actually thinking about buying some springtails used as feeders for dart frogs on the internet and letting some go in the pots (outside so they don't escape). Convenient having the flies! If I were you I would just bring them in sooner rather than later, its warmer so they will grow faster anyway, unless they got less light. Look forward to updates, my fastest growing from seed so far is D.tokaiensis, they are my biggest "dots" at about week 3 :).
  18. Looks good, nice pics to see, at a similar stage to my seedlings :). I also have D.capensis Albino and D.intermedia (Mount Roraima), and like you my D.capensis is ahead with my D.intermedia not having sprouted yet... Are you feeding yours, and are yours in a greenhouse?
  19. The people at the desk at Royal Mail love telling you that when something goes wrong, however: . You purchase Parcelforce services from Royal Mail staff at the post office too. I've had a very bad experience with them sending something valuable abroad, and a few other small issues with damaged goods from the UK.
  20. Old post, but since it has no replies and I'm doing some reading on the subject, I thought I'd post some links for others who come across this thread while doing the same. There is some conflicting information on carnivorous plants ability to host endophytic fungi, the key points seem to be: 1. Most carnivorous plants live in root environments that are less than ideal for mycorrhizal colonization, such as acidic, low nutrient and waterlogged (low oxygen) peat/sand. 2. Carnivorous plants have essentially evolved methods of self foliar fertilisation, so are less reliant on nutrition coming from the roots, which makes them less likely to evolve symbiotic relationships with root-colonising fungi. 3. Many carnivorous plants are in the order Caryophyllales - which also contains other plant families that don't form mycorrhizal relationships, as well as many more that do. However, some studies have in fact found endophytic fungi on some species of carnivorous plants, even if in lower density than usually found on other types of plants. Here's a paper that lists the endophyte species found on a couple of Drosera spp. roots: . Here's an abstract of a paper discussing endophytes of Drosera rotundifolia: One more link, here's a good website for information on mycorrhizal fungi in general: . From my reading so far, I think application of mycorrhizal fungi to carnivorous plants in cultivation could potentially be noticeably beneficial - I wish I had a greenhouse to do proper experiments on rows of various genera of plants! In the mean time, however, I can't see the harm in adding some to my plants in a peat/sand mix as an uncontrolled experiment. I wouldn't bother adding mycorrhiza to pure sphagnum moss as I've read it has anti-fungal properties in the first place, as well as a poorer nutrient profile than peat. Would be interested to hear if anyone has experimented with this in the past - if so, do post here! :)
  21. I know the original correct common name is "Venus's flytrap", however "Venus flytrap" has been in such common usage for so long that most books and dictionaries list it. My understanding is if everyone uses a certain word for a specific thing for long enough, language evolves and it does eventually become "right". Nowadays, "Venus flytrap" is a more common in usage than "Venus's flytrap", so I would personally find either acceptable. What nobody seems to say (with the apparent exception of this book's authors) is "the Venus's flytrap", and from my understanding of grammar, there's a good reason why! "Venus" is a proper noun, so doesn't need the article "the" in front of it, doing so goes against all modern convention and implies that "Venus" is instead a common noun, like "goddess". "The Goddess's Flytrap" would be perfectly acceptable (if not a bit vague lol), as would simply "Venus's flytrap". If Dionaea had been named after the Greek instead of Roman goddess, "the Aphrodite's flytrap" would also be incorrect. If the goddess Venus was my friend, I wouldn't say "I'm going to the Venus's house"... So unless the history section specifically explains how 18th century grammar convention makes the title appropriate as an anachronism, I think they should have used a different title. Does it use the phrase "the Venus's flytrap" throughout? That sounds great, I'd particularly like to read more on the origins of the various cultivars - or at least the functioning ones that don't just look like they are suffering from insect or chemical damage. Now that my thoughts on the title are publicly known I feel a bit more comfortable spending money on it just to see what its like .
  22. It says "delivered by Parcel Force", so Royal Mail .
  23. I know I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, however while I'm thinking of buying this book, I'm seriously put off by the title. "Dionaea - The Venus's Flytrap" just sounds and looks plain wrong to me and has since I laid eyes on it. "Dionaea - Venus's Flytrap" would be correct or even simply "Dionaea - The Venus Flytrap" would be acceptable due to the modern usage of the common name "Venus Flytrap". Saying "the Venus's flytrap" is like saying "the Sean's house", it should just be "Sean's house". Both "Venus" and "Sean" are proper nouns, so don't need the article "the" in front of them. They should have just called it "Dionaea - The Tippity Twitchet" lol. I don't want to let one example of questionable grammar put me off a potentially great book, but I also don't want to spend about £30 on a book that might repeatedly frustrate me as I read it lol. /rant over :) If anyone thinks I'm wrong or that its worth getting anyway, please explain why, I'd actually like to believe its a great book I can look forward to reading.
  24. I've signed too, I do however wonder how much weight non-US citizen signatures have. I agree and think this should apply to more than just plant poaching, however, at least this petition and bill will bring some public attention to the plight of Dionaea.