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Help with Pinguicula setup

Fernando Rivadavia

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Hello Fernando,


You can use paper towels to remove some of the excessive salts from the corner of your wall.  Use the towels that have an open texture, not the flat towels.  What you can do is twist them into a point at one end of push it into the soil in at salty area.  Make sure the soil and the towel fuse together by using a little water.  It is easier if the paper is in the air where it dries faster than the soil can.  Sometimes the paper has to be soaked to get the salt moving out, but not always.  Over the next several days or so, you'll see the brown salts wicking into the paper and out of the soil.  :) 


Just don't let the salty paper touch any of the plants--it will burn the leaves on contact.  When it looks like no more will come out remove the paper and throw it out.  You can repeat a couple times unlit the salt level drops to a comfortable level for the plants.

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Awesome, it just comes to me ely to view photos from your Ping Wall. I congratulate you for the time and care on this project and I wish you continued success in getting its cultivation.


Best regards,



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Hello again everyone,


I just took a few pics today to show you all some of the interesting flowers I have on my wall right now.


Here's an interesting hybrid which had only flowered for me once, about 2 years ago. I don't know what it is and the rosettes seem to stay in the dormant stage non-stop. My guess is that this is P.debbertiana X P.agnata. Tell me what you think it is:





And here you can see this hybrid (single flower out of cluster of rosettes with narrow hairy leaves) surrounded by other Pings, including a P.moranensis (the small "Molango" form maybe?) with purple flower and numerous flowers of what I believe is P.emarginata X P.cyclosecta (a very prolific hybrid on my wall!).



And here's the same group, but zoomed out, showing more flowers of P.emarginata X P.cyclosecta as well as two other hybrids. One is at the very bottom, has a dark purple flower, also very prolific, and I think it is P.emarginata X P.laueana. The other hybrid is on the top right. There are two flowers. It looks a lot like P.X aphrodite, but the flowers are larger and leaves wider. Maybe P.moctezumae X P.gigantea?



Here you can see two more flowers of P.moctezumae X P.gigantea(?) near the top, as well as 3 flower of P.emarginata X P.laueana (?) on the right side, and then 3 pink flowers near the center and left of what may be pure P.moranensis or maybe P.moranensis X P.esseriana/ehlersiae: 



Here's a close-up of this pink-flowered plant:



And here's a 1st timer, it had never flowered for me before, maybe it's P.moranensis X P.agnata??







And a last pic showing more flowers of P.emarginata X P.cyclosecta, two flowers of P.X aphrodite (center and right), and a pink flower on the left of P.moranensis "Molango" (yes, it sometimes flowers pink and sometimes purple on my wall, even though it's the same clone):




Hope you like it!

Fernando Rivadavia


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  • 7 months later...

Hello everyone,


It's been several months since my last update. A lot has happened this year. Most importantly, I accidently killed halfthe plants on the wall by using the wrong insecticide... :-P


This is the last full picture I took of the wall back in October 2014:





And this is what it looked like in January 2015 after the stupid accident:



















I was quite bummed and lost several species/ hybrids. But it was probably good timing since the wall needed a make-over sooner rather than later. The Sphangum had decomposed very quickly (due to the salt build up issue), resulting in numerous holes and sagging bird netting. Plus, Steve and I had devised several improvements when we built the wall at California Carnivores. And we're always discussing new things to implement next time around. Best of all, it's the perfect time of year to replant Pings!


So I made plans, bought the necessary materials, and gathered my courage to rebuild the wall after almost 3 years that it's been up!


This was done over the past week and I will post pictures here later, describing the changes and improvements.



Best wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia
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OK, so last weekend I took down the first of the two panels. It was pretty dry, thus manageable for a single person to carry. Here's the empty wall after I removed the panel. I was happy to see there was no mold and it seemed in perfect condition - probably thanks to the hard plastic sheet we placed behind the sphagnum panel. Here you can see the empty space with just the porous hose irrigation sticking out:









I covered my floor with a big plastic sheet and placed the panel flat on the ground, then removed all the remaining Pings, then with scissors started cutting the bird netting and nylon fishing line we'd used to sew everything together. Peeling back the bird netting, removed the old soil and threw it away in a garbage back, saving any remaining Utrics - while collecting any worms and pill bugs (there were a lot!!) to feed my aquarium fish.








Finally I was able to remove the "top" layer of soil and thus separate the eggcrate from the 'back" layer:




As mentioned above, I cut the eggcrate into two pieces, to make it easier to move the panels in the future. And this time I decided to do only one side of the eggcrate, leaving the back exposed. It was really not necessary to have the back side anymore, because I had decided not to fill it with a soil mix like we had before.


I recently got my hands on a bunch of rockwool from my friend Mike Chinn (thanks Mike!) and decided to try using this as the first layer on top of the eggcrate. And for the second and last layer I chose just pure sphagnum moss. Here they are soaking before being applied:




So here I am spreading the rock wool onto the eggcrate:














And then spreading the sphagnum on top of the rockwool:








I then grabbed one of the two new panels and placed it on top of a bucket for support, proceeding to then place a large piece of bird netting on top of it:








Then I started attaching the zip ties, smaller ones all around the edges and larger ones in the middle:






I did the same for the second half, and about 8h later both panels were done and up on the wall again!




The new panel was is held in place by strong fishing line, sewed through the panel and tied to nails on either side drilled into the wall. The porous hose was then sewed along the top of the panel using a very thin fishing line.


Here's a view of my work space right before the second panel went up. You can see my bucket stool with a set cushion, as well as 2 garbage bags of old soil:


Edited by Fernando Rivadavia
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During the week, I began working on the left side of the wall, slowly removing all the remaining PIngs. Here's a view of when it was about 1/2 done:




And here with all the Pings removed, but still with lots of Utrics (which were under the mesh):




Here's a view of some of the plants removed from the wall as well as a tray with leaves (which I hope will make many new babies to repopulate the new walls):




I proceeded to pick the Pings clean of their leaves, not only to use them as leaf cuttings, but also because it's easier to replant the Pings when they are reduced to just their center-most leaves:







All those leaves filled several trays and tupperwares:




This past weekend I began working on the second (left) panel. Here's a picture of the panel on my floor, about to start the work (Ping leaves piled high on the bottom left):




Here's a view of the wall after removal of the second panel:








Here's the panel on the floor, the beginning of another 7h of work:




Here's me trying to slowly peel back the mesh, while cutting the fishing line holding it in place, and trying not to damage the U.asplundii: 




Half the panel clean of soil:




And here completely clean (notice on the background the package of dried Sphagnum, bag with cubes of rock wool, and roll of bird netting):




The U.asplundii were separated from the mesh, seen here together with some Pings:




But the smaller Utrics like U.sandersonii were placed into a strainerm for later separation from the soil using strong jets of water (a technique I developed many years ago for making nice clean herbarium specimens back in Brazil):




Flipping the eggcrate over, it was suprising to see that the Sphagnum on the backside looked pretty good and not decomposed (as with the other panel removed a few days earlier). There was even some etiolated U.asplundii growing there:






From there I did the same as with the previous panel: cut it in two smaller pieces, cover with a layer of rock wool, then a thick(er?) layer of Sphagnum, cover with bird netting, tie it all together with zip ties, then back on the wall where it is tied to nails using fishing line, and finally the porous hose is sewed along the top edge.



Here are some pics of the panels going back on the walll:






And the finishing touch was to replant all the Pings and Utrics:






I also added some sundews I got from friends Dana Gardner and Josh Brown (owner of Predatory Plants). I did not add that D.hamiltonii you see in a pot in some pics because it is about to flower and I don't want to bother it -- I've never seen live D.hamiltonii flowers, but hope to see some soon!  :)


Anyway, I hope you al enjoyed! I will continue updating regularly, wish me luck!



Best wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia
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Oh so sorry for your lost.... :(

But if rockwool will do the job perhaps ill try something like that too. I now have tiny "wall" just with sphagnum moss (it's about 10cm x 10cm) just to check how my pings are feeling vertically.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dani: although I lost a lot of plants, I probably didn't lose any species/ hybrids.


Carlos: It took 8h for the first panel and 7h for the second panel, but I've spent at least a few more hours planting all the baby Pings from those leaf cuttings - and I've still got 3 tupperwares full of leaves!


Mantas: show us your wall! :)


Here are two pics of the first part of the wall where I planted the leaf cuttings, they're coming in nicely:







All the best,

Fernando Rivadavia

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  • 1 year later...

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