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Nick1234

Drosophyllum seedlings

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I'm really excited. My first ever Drosophyllum seedling has just poked out of the compost and I'm aware that they are fragile from this point, particularly through their first winter. Could anyone please give me some tips as to how to handle this/these seedlings from this point on. When to transplant? What kind of compost? When to water? Overwintering temperatures etc etc?

Thanks in advance.

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Guest Sheila

Drosophyllum grow so fast that by the time winter gets here your little plant will be big enough to cope with it. That is if you can get it through the next couple of weeks during which damp off disease is your biggest enemy. Make sure it gets very good ventilation until it is established to try and prevent the fungus getting a hold. They can happily withstand cold temperatures. Mine are kept in a greenhouse for the winter and are kept just frost free . Don't water from the top, they don't like to get wet. They have very long roots which are encouraged to grow down to the bottom of the pot by watering from below. They can be stood in a water tray during the summer months but are more likely too be annual, dieing back after flowering. It is best to water them around twice a week in the summer months and once a week in the winter. Don't ever let them dry out completely, even for a day, that would be sure to kill them. If you can get the watering right, they will live for many years.

Don't attempt to repot or transplant them. They should be planted in the pot they are going to spend their whole lives in. I think you may be able to get away with moving them just after germination, but great care should be taken to disturb the roots as little as possible, or they won't survive. They need a very open mix. I use sand, perlite and vermiculite in equal quantities but you can use peat, sand and perlite, also in equal quantities just as well.

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thanks for the help. Here's hoping they don't get damp-off!

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Wow! That is fast growth. I'll feel happier when mine get to that size. It must be easier to avoid damping-off in sunny climates like California than in damp north of England! Having said that, we haven't had a bad summer but just as my seedlings came up the rain started and the temperatures dropped.

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We live by the coast where it can be moist and foggy, and last winter I lost lot's of plants to fungus of one type or another, but like you I asked questions, and only water from the bottom 2 times or so per week. I just hope I get seed to be sure, as this is just a lovely plants.

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My plants do great in the damp north of Seattle. I will put them under cover in the greenhouse during periods of heavy rain but otherwise they are happy outside.

I think air circulation is the major factor in having success growing these plants.

Brian

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Well thanks for that guys. It is good to hear that others of you manage to grow this plant in damp climates. You are right about their rate of growth my seedling is storming ahead! By the way, when you water them from below I am assuming you don't leave them sitting in water?

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For me, just enough that the soil can absorb it in a few minutes. But Vic has a double pot method that he's used to keep his plant alive for years.

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Is that the method recommended by Slack?

I'm picking up a plant from Visee next week and am doing my research too.

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Can you fill me in a bit more about what 'Slack potting' is? Ta

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Nick - Slack recommends placing the Drosophyllum pot inside another larger pot so that the rim is 3/4 inch higher than the outer pot. The inner pot rests on compost, and the gap between the pots is filled with live sphagnum. You water into the sphagnum and the inner pot (which is clay) absorbs water from the moss giving a steady water supply. Slack recommends a moss wick in the drainage hole of the inner pot - although I've never grown Drosophyllum, I'm a bit sceptical that this would make any difference - what are people's experiences?

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Jonathan, Gardenofeden grows his like that and they looked good. Small inner pot, I think some were net-like pots, larger outer, and good growth.

I'm looking foward to trying my hand in the Autumn/ Spring. :-)

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Guest Aidan
Heres a question:

Can you Bonsai dewy pines?

You can Bonsai carob trees, can you Bonsai Drosophyllum?

Are you serious??? :D

For starters, Drosophyllum is not a tree.

Secondly, it is hardly a large plant to start with.

Add to that the fact that the plant is notorious for dropping dead when disturbed.

I think you get the idea...

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Heres a question:

Can you Bonsai dewy pines?

You can Bonsai carob trees, can you Bonsai Drosophyllum?

:D

Why would you want to :?

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I've always had mine in large (12"+) pots with a very airy medium of perlite, pumuce, and just a pinch of peat. Weekly I will lift up the pot and if it feels very light I will squirt the medium with about 10 oz. of water.

The plants tend to look silly at first being so small in such a large pot but they grow very fast and after just the first season they fill the pot nicely.

Brian

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Hi Starman,

Common plant names often have nothing to do with botanical accuracy. Drosophyllum just looks a bit like a twig from a long needled fir tree.

Those who manage to grow Drosophyllum have them in very deep pots to give the roots plenty of room. Half an inch of soil in a bonsai dish? I think you're doomed, but good luck anyway.

Bill

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I think it would still be a stuggle Dino but, if you succeed, yet another way to grow CPs :-)

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I seem to find Drosophyllum a lot tougher than people give them credit for, especially as seedlings. I always start my seed of in pots and stand them in the water tray until germinated. When I finally get round to it I prick them out and repot into a large 8" pot, at this stage they remain out of the water tray and are not disturbed any further.

I do not need to worry about pot size, I cannot provide enough light during the winter so after a couple of years my plants begin to look somewhat straggly. I harvest the seed and start again!!

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