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Alexis

Cobra lilly root myth

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Has anyone actually lost a cobra lilly through having its roots too hot? I find that darlingtonias are extremely tough and suffer no ill effects from having warm roots. My plant is planted in 100% pure sphagnum moss and sits in water in the 35C summer heat of the greenhouse. It survives fine - it is in a terracotta coloured pot and the moss feels warm, but it seems happy. Is the freezing cold root idea a myth?

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Guest Aidan

I've never seen the necessity of faffing about with ice cubes etc. It's more likely to kill the plant by fussing too much! Having said that I do have plants drop dead on me now and then for no readily apparent reason. :? I don't think it has anything much to do with excess heat though.

Growers in more tropical parts of the world may have greater difficulty than we do, as the UK appears to have the ideal climate for Darlingtonia.

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Alvin, 35 °C are not so hot as rome 40-45 °C :D. Then, terracotta pots are ideal for Darlingtonias as they have a natural refreshement due to water IN the pot itself. (it is so difficult to say it in english :( )

Then you have to consider that you grow it in living sphagnum moss: it make possible transpiration and air movement (it is the best). And you grow it in your greenhouse -> great humidity...

So, if you live in Rome, grow your Darl in a square black pot and you use peat and perlite, there is the possibility that your Darl will become like this -> :sh**: , if you do not use refreshed water...

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No problem with them for me down here in Summer. I don't sit the plants in water though and they are grown in live sphagnum and perlite. They often experience temps in the high 30's without any ill effects.

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Here in NE Florida we have to ice the roots. Any direct sun on the pot that does not sit in water with Ice in it will die. In indirect sun it seems to be okay. Of course the temperatures go to the mid-high 30's and we do not have cooler nights.

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I never believed that they were sensitive in 25 years of growing until last year, when my plants dried out a bit whilst on holiday. I lost 2 plants but both the same clone (large form) which I got the year before, whilst all my other plants were fine. So it seems to depend on the clone you grow in my experience...

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I grow my plants in plastic pots. I use LFS, Peat Moss, and Lava Rock for my soil.

I live in SE PA. I had 2 plants. I grew 1 inside the house as a windowsill plant. The other I grew outside. The 1 outside was fine in spring, when summer arrived it died. I believe do to the hotter weather. The plant I grow as a windowsill is still alive and doing great.

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When the water temperature rises, the oxygen solubility drops. This leads to declining oxygen concentrations at higher water temperatures. When a Darlingtonia plant grows in a not well aerated substrate and the soil temperature increases, the plant will quickly deplete the soil from oxygen. This quick depletion of oxygen is caused by the elevated metabolic rate of the plant, the lower oxygen concentrations in the soil (dropped solubility of oxygen) and slow influx of oxygen (poor aeration).

I think this gives an explanation for the myth that Darlintonia plants do not like high temeratures around its roots. To solve this problem, I grow Darlintonia in a well aerated substrate and avoid spaghnum and peat. I grow Darlingtona on pure perlite or other well aerated substrates. I keep my plants in full sun and the roots of the plants are often exposed to temperatures above 30 Celcius. I never had plants, that slowed down growth while exposed to these high temperatures.

Therefore, my hypothesis is that Darlingtonia likes high oxygen concentrations around its roots. This hypothesis is also substantiated by the fact that Darlingtonia often grows in seepage bogs or small creeks in relatively open substrates. Under these conditions well aerated water is flowing over it roots.

Jan

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Guest ALLOSAURZ

I think it's a myth. I live in Ohio and last year where temperatures got up into the high 90s. The plants were in full sun. They were plants I got from Lowe's so I am pretty sure they weren't the healthiest of plants. Sometimes it seems as if the more I neglect them the better they grow. I grew them in one of the aquatic plant baskets with Long fiber sphagnum and lava rock. However this year I planted them in a big white plastic pot with basically the same mixture $10 says they die now.

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