Utricularia biloba cultivation

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I acquired some terrestrially-grown Utricularia biloba about a month ago and flooded it, which caused significant lengthening of the leaves, but the plant hasn't really grown since then.


I am growing it in a 8-cm glass jar with peat and keep it underwater constantly, with the water level varying from 1 to 3 cm. After the initial growth spurt from flooding the plant, it hasn't really changed much. None of the leaves seem to have died but the plant doesn't seem to be spreading or making new growth. This is my first affixed aquatic so I'm not really sure how they spread.


The plant is kept on a northwestern-facing windowsill which gets plenty of sun during the day. Temperatures vary from about 12 to 23 degrees since the window is kept open all the time.


I'm not sure what is stopping the plant from growing. Could it be the lower temperatures since it is wintertime here? I could move the plant to a larger tub but it wouldn't fit on the windowsill so I would have to move it somewhere else where it would receive less sunlight.



Here is a picture of the plant right now (the yellow color on the leaves is due to the desk lamp)




Also, does anyone who grows biloba ever have it grow really long like in this thread? http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=18649  Is it just a matter of adjusting the water level?

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U. biloba does not have to be grown much submerged. It prefers to have water on the soil level and only occasionally, temporarily submerged in 0,5-1cm water. But it will grow just fine with water constantly near the soil level.


It depends on what you want to have, an aquatic looking plant or a flowering one. Have a look here: http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=47987

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I looked at that thread before getting my plant. It seems like I got the plant around the same time of year as you. Besides the differences in temperature, it appears that my setup is rather similar to yours.


How fast did biloba grow for you? You said that it filled the pot before summer, but did the growth pick up once the weather warmed up? If the plant's growth normally slows down during the colder months then I have no worries.

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  • 3 weeks later...



I grow my plant in a tank for more than a decade now. The substrate level is much higher on one end than on the other one so that the plants can grow in their preferred water level range. The water level is not really constant but nevertheless it is easy to see that U. biloba grows well submerged whereas the flower stalks usually develop in the half of the tank with the higher substrate level.


Here is some pictures I made in 2005. The tank still looks very much the same, although some erosion took place as the sand layer is about 3 cm thick at the deepest part of the water level:







The substrate is pure peat with a thick layer of sand (2-3 mm diameter). Currently, I have U. biloba, U. fulva and U. gibba plus U. subulata as invader growing in the tank. The first 3 species are all in flower although not as much as it was in fall when U. biloba presented about 20 flower stalks.

All I do is to fill in some water once the substrate surface at the lower end is no longer covered with water.


This tank needs a bit more space than just a pot (20 x 30 cm), but maybe it can serve as an inspiration to create something which fits into your space.




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Actually, initially I had some algae forming and I removed them manually from time to time. But not so for the past 5 or more years under the same conditions. All I need to do now is to add some water from time to time and to move the tank in spring into my wintergarden and in late fall in some place protected from frost (even though the plants will mist likely survive mild frost, the tank may not...). It is spending this winter in the shelves under fluorescent bulbs, but I also had it without extra lights in previous winters.

It really is a very easy to maintain tank. Initially I changed water after a few months (e.g. to reduce the algae), but it is long ago that I did that the last time.


Certain minerals should accumulate over the years, even if they are just contained in small amounts in the water I use for watering, but so far I did not observe any problems which might be caused by that.

However, the pictures I posted were made a couple of years (or so) after starting the tank. Originally I made it for U. volubilis, but that species was very difficult to maintain for me in the long term. the Aldrovanda you see on the picture were ok, but I lost them at some stage. U. biloba and U. gibba really grow very well in there for many years now. U. fulva is a more recent addition (about 1.5 years ago), so I can not say much about the long term success.


Best regards


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