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Guest DennisS

Drosophyllum potting mix & repotting

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Guest DennisS

I live in Adelaide SA and we get very hot 38oC + days for 3-4 months of the year, I have 3 15 cm tall Droso's growing in a 1" black plastic seed pot and a 20cm tall one that has come up in a seedling tray of cyclamen ( which will be sacrificed for the Droso ).

1'st what mix should I use ?

2nd how do I go about repotting, especially the one in the seed tray in commercialy bought seed raising mix ?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Dennis.

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Hey Dennis, I too live in Adelaide - Hawthorndene, Adelaide Hills. The soil should be very free draining and peat is generally not required. The plant grows in dry alkaline soils, not wet acid soils as many CP's do - I use a mix of 1/2 coarse sand, 1/4 perlite and 1/8 vermiculite with an addition of 1/8 peat - I added the peat to the mix to help retain some moisture.

Make sure that you use a tall pot - prefeably a nice looking ceramic one - remember that your plant will be in this new pot for the whole of it's life and you'll have to look at it! In the bottom of the pot, include a good drainage layer of coarse gravel and a good covering of sphagnum moss over the top of the gravel, this will serve to hold water (like a reservoir) and also prevent your compost from washing out of the bottom of the pot.

Personally, I would not try to divide the 3 plants in the pot. Just 'double pot' - plant the entire pot into a bigger container and use silica sand or fine granite chips as a top dressing to hide the plastic pot, the roots will eventually find their way out of the drainage holes and into the surrounding soil.

The one in the seedling tray will be difficult to transplant and you may well lose it in the process as these plants despise root disturbance - take as much soil with it as you can and plonk (gentle plonking mind you) the whole soil plug in the newly prepared pot. You'll probably have to top water it for a while until it gets re-established.

In the future, think about maybe using compostable pots to sow your seeds in - like the pre-formed 'jiffy' pots, then you can just plant the whole thing in the new pot with no hassles and no root distubance and the small pot will just breakdown over time.

Happy growing!

Edited by linton

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And be careful - Drosophyllum usually keels over if there is any disturbance to the roots!

Slack agrees.

Friends of mine found that Drosophyllum hates to have its stem bent.

(No, that's not a euphemism, before you ask). :hi:

Vic

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I had numerous drosophyllums in clay pots on my aluminium staging. The tray they were on wasn't strong enough to carry so much weight and it crumpled in on itself, so the whole lot ended up on the floor, plants out of pots, and some half out. It was quite a mess.

As I was in a hurry, I just grabbed the plants shoved them back into their pots with very little care, replaced what compost I could and expected them all to die on me. In fact they all survived and were none the worse for their experience.

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As I was in a hurry, I just grabbed the plants shoved them back into their pots with very little care, replaced what compost I could and expected them all to die on me. In fact they all survived and were none the worse for their experience.

Nice to hear a happy ending!

Hope-Slack-is-Wrong-on-This of Letchworth

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Guest DennisS

Thank you all who replied,

Like I said the one in the cyclamen was a stuff up as I reused the mix, I was quite surprised to see it come up in a mix of commercial seed raising mix and the peat sand mix I used for the droso seed.

The other 3 are now in a largish ceramic pot and seem none the worse after a week.

Will keep you posted on there progress.

Cheers Dennis.

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I believe that anyone interested in cultivating this fascinating species should read this report:

Below are two quotes taken from this report:

"Soil on the south coast of Spain is sandy or loamy, slightly acid to neutral, lime-less and poor in nutrients. The geologic underlay consists of sandstone. Drosophyllum also grows directly in sandstone crevices."

"During our observations in its native habitat, we have never seen Drosophyllum growing in alkaline soils, despite several intensive searches at suitable places."

It appears that the belief that Drosophyllum, in situ, grows in alkaline (high pH) soils, is mistaken.

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It appears that the belief that Drosophyllum, in situ, grows in alkaline (high pH) soils, is mistaken.

Well, I guess that would be why mine likes growing in media with the addition of peat. Thanks for sharing this info Joseph.

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According to my observations, I can confirm this: "During our observations in its native habitat, we have never seen Drosophyllum growing in alkaline soils, despite several intensive searches at suitable places."

I have only seen DL in two natural habitats in Portugal, but the soil was more rocky, without limestone, but sandstone was observed at one of these localities.

Let me share somephotos, taken last spring in Portugal just to show how is their surrounding and soil:

Drosophyllum lusitanicum growing under pine trees, sorrounded with rosemary and sandstone in the background

1.jpg

Sandstone, just some meters from plants

2.jpg

Heather-bell? (Erica cinerea?) Quite likely to observ together with D. lusitanicum. This heather likes acidic soils.

3.jpg

Drosophyllum and sandstone

4.jpg

DL with a dwarf oak tree

6.jpg

Drosophyllum with dried Erica flowers

7.jpg

Surface of the soil (quartz sand)

8.jpg

Shrubby environment with quartz sand

9.jpg

Flints with quartz sand

91.jpg

Rosemary

92.jpg

So if You guys are coming to Portugal, already known the signs to look for :-)

Edited by Astroman

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