New Darlingtonia not looking well


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Dear everyone,

   I am new to the forum and I am looking for some help about Darlingtonia.

I recently bought my first plant for this species. It arrived in a very good shape, and I had it for some time on the windowsill.

Since in Italy now is very hot, I recently transferred it in my new terrarium, where I keep roughly 11 hour of light.
Temperature in the house is almost constant around 25-26°C (I do not have air conditioning), but I spray the plant 3 times a day. I also add ice in its water pool two times a day.

Nonetheless, the plant situation is the one you can see in the attached photo. The center of the plant seem rot, and I already cut some of the traps, which were almost completely dead.

I do not get what I am doing wrong. Is there any hope for the plant? Do you have some help or suggestions?

Thank you in advance!





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Hi Damiano,

sorry, your Darlingtonia looks dead. It will not recover if the rhizome is completely brown even if the pitcher tips are still green. You could cut the rhizome to remove all brown parts until you get to the whitish/green part, but probably it is too late now and nothing wil be left. Darlingtonia rots easily if the substrate gets too hot or if the plant got too hot during shipment.

Next time: Find a spot with good sun in the moroning and avoid direct sun after noon. Darlingtonia likes a lot of light as long as it is cool but it will live happily in semi shade when it gets hot. Adding ice to the water will produce extreme temperature changes that most plants don't like.  Rather: Use a big pot - it will stay cool longer that way. Surround the pot with other pots or lower the pot in a peat/sand plunge, so the sun can't shine onto the pot. Don't use a lid / glass cover. A place with good air movement will help to keep the plant cool by evaporation. A Sphagnum cover is good as long as it does not overgrow the plant. Spray now and then. As long as the Sphagnum is happy Darlingtonia will thrive too. 



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Hi Podunk,

    thank you for your detailed answer, it is full of very useful informations. I will apply them from now on.

I think the problem was the periodi I left it on the windowsill, right after it arrived. My setup was not ready yet and, as a coincidence, that period was very hot here in Italy. So probably even if the window was not receiving direct sun (except for a couple of hours), temperature between the window and the curtain could have reached something like 30°C.

I will try to look at the rhizome nonetheless. Thanks again for your explanation!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Damiano, grow a darli in Italy is possible but could be a very very hard challenge (i live close to Modena, so a little bit hotter than Trentino). Podunk gave you very helpful advices! next time keep the plant outside in a shaded but luminous place, don't use ice (o siberini come nella foto, anch'io persi la mia prima darli cosi'): you will be forced to change them too often, they like cool substrate but don't like when temperature jumps up and down

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Hi Picol, nice to meet another italian grower!

I will definitely follow Podunk suggestions next time, and luckily I didn't started to use ice also on the other plants!

Another thing that came to my mind, is to buy plants in the colder part of the year (or at least not in the hotter). In fact I remembered that the shipping company waited 3 days before handling the package, and during very hot days, this could have been lethal for a delicate plant like this one.

I think I will wait to have some more experience before going with a second attempt, but I will definitely try another time. For now let's concentrate on drosera and nepenthes!

Edited by Damiano
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