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MWilko86 last won the day on May 29 2018

MWilko86 had the most liked content!

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  1. MWilko86


    Various photos of own collection and visited displays. Ignore dates and times on some photos.
  2. Sorry, I'm not sure what you're asking.
  3. Ok, thats interesting to know. The planter was in a position last year where it would of got blasted by winds traveling between ours and next doors house. Does make sense that the cold of last winter may of weakened it and the wind then finished it off. I don't have much luck when it comes to VFTs and find Sarracenia and Drosera are easier to keep. Even growing them from seed. Aye D. capensis don't particularly like the cold as I've found with some seedlings that I left out in the cloche the other year due to losing their label and me thinking that they were D. intermedia. But D. capensis need a dormancy period or do they slow down with the drop in daylight hours?
  4. Hiya It hasn't got to a stage to cause worry at the moment as I've only seen one or two slugs on sides of the terrarium, some eggs (which were chucked out of the window) and the odd young sliding around. There doesn't seem to be any damage caused to the neps in the terrarium aside from the odd notch in a couple of leaves and it has only been the boston fern that got munched which has now bounced back. Would it be an idea to let loose some nematodes into my bio-active setup to prevent a possible slug problem? If not, is it possible that there is another way without disturbing the whole setup and harming the clean up crew? Mike
  5. Hiya Nice border you there Karsty and a smart idea to insulate VFT roots from the cold. Here's a couple of photos I took of my planter when it snowed in December. Last week I took off the ferns and some larch needles to have a peak at the crowns of the Sarracenia and all seems to be ok. I did have a VFT planted in the other year but it didn't do so well last winter and gave up the ghost last year.
  6. Hiya I've got a Jungle Arcadia Dawn LED lamp for the setup I've got which is an 60x45x60cm exo terra and its doing the trick. Just don't do what I did and switch it on whilst its facing you. Its like getting the sun in your eyes. Mike
  7. Ah, ok. Cheers for bringing this up. I only knew that nicotine is frowned upon when it comes to organics and didn't know that you can't home cook your own pesticides anymore. Sorry for inciting any illegal activities through my own ignorance.
  8. Hiya I've got myself some seeds the other day from The Carnivorous Plant Society stall at Tatton Flower Show which are Nep ventricosa x Rebecca Soper, Nep ventricosa x talangensis and Sarracenia oreophila. I've had some success with growing Sarracenia and Drosera from seed. But thought to take on a bit of a challenge and something new with the neps. The lass who was minding the stall was quite knowledgeable about the neps that were on display, she said that the seeds aren't as hard as what people think with them being highland varieties to get going if kept to their basic conditions and not let them dry out. I've followed what she had instructed me on how to sow the seeds which was to get a clear plastic tub, line the bottom of the tub with kitchen paper, soak the paper in rain water, sow seeds, put a clear bag over the top, leave in a bright position and keep the paper moist. Then transfer seedlings onto some sphagnum moss when they are germinating (this might be wrong as I can't remember exactly what she said when to transfer them). I've used clean take away tubs and have left the lids slighly ajar to give some ventilation in the thought to lessen the risk of damping off. I've only got an east facing window sill at my disposal that gets plenty of light throughout the day and is the only suitable place I've got to use for the time being. After some poking about on the net to make sure on what to expect such as how long it takes the seeds to germinate, I came across a post on here from a few years back titled Nepenthes seed germination for beginners by Gareth Davies and is an interesting read. But its the part where he mentions about lighting and using 9 watt fluorecant lights for kitchen work surfaces to give the seeds more light. This is where I would like to ask is this necessary to use these lights as well as sunlight and will the additional light help to achieve a high germination success rate? Any other tips would be helpful to further increase the chance of my nep seeds to germinate. Cheers Mike
  9. If an infestation has gone beyond using manual control, Nicotine sulfate works well with no damage to sensitive plants such as CP's and is pretty easy to make. Thats if you know anyone who smokes and don't mind the stink when making and using it. This article is a good read: and gives an idea how to make a spray but can't find the actual recipe that I used. Mike
  10. Taken some pics of the beer traps that I've set up in my planter and is a use for the cheapo basic stuff from supermarkets.
  11. Resistance is futile with the weather that we've been having at late and less so when theres a refreshing golden or pale on the pumps.
  12. I find that you may not get all their eggs as slugs can lay theirs deep in the soil or at the bottom of the pots and it is tedious with the re-potting or re-planting. Luckily enough that the molluscs are all alcoholics and can't resist beer. I find that beer traps are the fool proof way to control slugs and snails. After setting traps in my planter and cloche after fresh leaf tips getting nipped last year. I've not had much of a problem since.
  13. Cheers Aljo, that was an interesting read. But with the article mentioning that these enzymes are in the pitchers' fluid, what about the stuff that is caught and doesn't reach the fluid like that in tall Sarracenia? The genome bit is interesting and I've always wondered about a couple of origins of some pitchers with one of them possibly being Bromeliads, particularly Sarracenia and Heliamphora. I could be adding two and two together but with majority of the Bromeliaceae family originates in the Americas and the way the rainforest geneses collect moisture in pools at the base or centre of their leaves. Then some of them being able to collect dead leaves in these pool and then broken down to feed the bromeliad. I'll have to look into that bromeliad - pitcher link myself later. Yeh Manders, some scientists thought that those large neps caught rats and it must of blagged their heads to see a shrew using one as we do with the porcelain thrown. But then its an added bonus to the plant if the animal takes a wrong step and slips in. That Attenborough program on Kew Gardens is cracking and as you said about the fluid in neps being viscous. Dave said in that program that the fluid acts like quicksand as the proteins in it sticks to the prey and more so as it struggles. With the water reservoir bit, does make you wonder and some of these warm places that most of our plants originated from must have droughts now and again. I've not seen it with my neps but then again they're indoors and they possibly fill a bit if put out in the rain. But the Sarracenia out in the planter have filled up with rain water and I sometimes have to empty them before the weight of the water weighs them down. It could also be all down to the physiology of the plants themselves as the leaves must get pretty warm with absorbing light and the fluid possibly be the first thing to go and then its most likely be down to the plant's tuber for its survival.
  14. Possibly, S.purperea have adapted in a way to purposely capture rain water in their traps and prey then falls in and drowns. Saying that it is interesting to think whether the enzymes and digestive fluid becomes diluted or they put more into the water. I have seen with mine that the gunk in the bottom of their leaves have gone gammy when there isn't much fluid and especially when a slug drops in.
  15. Hiya peeps I've had a good poke around on the tinterweb to find care sheets for my new N,alata and N.hookeriana. I've found that a handful of folk feed their Neps by watering them with orchid feed instead of feeding caught insects or fish food flakes into the traps. The reason they said they do this was because they didn't like the look of mouldy things in the bottom of the traps and possibly the smell of decay. Which led to a thought popping up which was, can fungus/mould in the traps of pitcher plants be beneficial to the plants? I'm no microbiologist but I do have some understanding on how fungi work and it does fascinate me. Except for mouldy bread and rot on my plants. I do know that fungi are a secondary decomposer that can break down dead or decaying matter down to its molecular state. For multi celled fungi to get the nutrients they need is to send out growth known as mycelium through the soil or into dead material for new sources of food. The fungal root hair at the edges of the mycelium (known as hyphae) acts like minute pneumatic dills by increasing the water pressure in the tips of the growing hyphae which then pushes or punches the head through whatever its growing into. These microscopic hyphae are known to penetrate even the most toughest of materials and is the reason why people get fungal infections in their toe nails. Then the mycelium secretes enzymes and acids into the material to break it down to a more soluble form to absorb. My thinking is that with this in mind the fungus could help with the feeding process of pitcher plants, whether they are Nepenthes, Cephalotus or gluttonous Sarracenia. Especially in tall Sarracenia such as S.leucophylla or S.flava where their traps get filled with all kinds of creepy crawlies and out of reach from the digestive juices at the bottom of the leaf. Despite the leaves can become damaged when they are too full, I think the fungus that grows on the prey would be able to get their hyphae through the joints and air holes on the bodies of the insects and any excess nutritious juices then drips down into the leaf. These fungi could also help speed up the digestion process with something as big as a fat blue bottle which has a small surface area and may take a while for the plant's own juices to get into it to break it down. It would be interesting what everyone thinks on this and more so if anyone knows any research material on the subject. I've had a gander with no luck and one article mentioning that some Japanese scientists have found that the fluid in neps have anti bacterial and fungal enzymes which could be used to help people with infections in the gut. The following photos are of my N.'Bloody Mary' which is living the thug life on the landing window sill and one of its traps contains a mouldy fly. By the way the tea lights are there from black outs the other year and never get lit. Mike