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David Stanley

Drosophyllum Seedlings Dying - Any Advice?

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There I was, feeling very pleased with the three Drosophyllum seedlings I'd managed to raise from seed to the 'three leaf stage' when, all of a sudden two of them seem to have got tired of life and keeled over!

I'm growing them as per Slack's double-potting method although as they are not yet big enough they are still in separate single pots, in a partially sunny but unheated conservatory, watered on the tray system to keep the soil permanently damp but not sodden.

All three seemed to be growing strongly when, without any root disturbance, two of them seemed to halt their growth and turn a sickly yellow colour. Five or six days later they have withered away to nothing.

I know there has been some debate already on this forum as to whether individual plants are capabable of chemically suppressing the growth of neighbouring species rivals - could this be the case here or can anyone think of anything I'm obviously doing wrong based on what I've described.

Any help appreciated!

Thanks

David

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Guest Aidan

Keeping Drosophyllum alive through the seedling stage is the hardest part of keeping this plant. It is probably damping-off which they are prone to do.

I believe that chemical suppression is highly unlikely. I have had two plants growing in the same pot for the better part of a year and they are coexisting happily side-by-side.

Where's Jan when you need him? :D

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Like you, I did manage to germinate Drosophyllum this spring. I kept them close to a computer fan (see also this post) to help avoid fungal infection, and it seems to work: I haven't lost a single seedling to damping of until now.

At what size are Drosophyllum seedlings safe? i.e. what size was the largest seedling you ever lost?

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Hi its the wrong Jan...

I germinated some seeds with great success now (4 out of 6, still germinating). I used a substrate which came from a friend who grows those great plants for many years. His biggest plant is a whole bush and some years old. Instead of Slack-potting he uses a mix which is commercially available here and used for decorating graves on graveyards. He never lost many plants through damp-off. From experiments he knows that substrate allows to keep the plants in trays without problems.

Until now this substrate works great for me, too. I hope that my Drosophyllum lusitanicum and Roridula gorgonias will grow well in it. If it is suitable in my tray conditions over a longer period I will check the source for those soil mix and post the ingridents here!

Cheers,

Jan

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I have some seed but I've been scared to death to germinate it because I always seem to loose the seedlings at some point. The largest I ever lost had 3 leaves.

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Here is Jan!,

You can acheive a survival rate to the 6 leafed stage to around 90% when the plants are not treated with a fungicide. Using a fungicide to fight damp off disease will lead to even higher survival rates. When the plantlets reach the 6 leafed stage, the plants are out of the danger zone. I even sow Drosophyllums when it freezes, with no problems.

There are some tricks to keep in mind:

1. Always use fresh seeds. This will increase the odds.

2. Seed treadment is not required (scarification, hormones, etc.)

3. Slack potting is not required.

4. At all times keep the substrate very wet! When placed in the full sun

the substrate can quickly dry out. This seems contradictory, but it is

not! Portugese summers are very dry. This is when the plant releases

the seeds. In autumn, when the top layer of the soil is moist again the

seeds germinate. I have had seedlings germinating outside in autumn

surviving the Dutch winter (exposed to -13C).

5. Place the plants in full sunlight (min 6 hours a day). During the summer

the motto is: The hotter the better. Light is very important in winter. At

our latitudes the days are a bid to short in winter.

6. The best results are acheived outside of your house! Rooms tend to be

to dark and to hot (in winter) for them. Greenhouses are often not well

aerated and the air is stagnant. If you are in your greenhouse you can

check with holding a hair whether the air is stagnant. If the hair moves

about in your hand you are ok. Light conditions are ok when the

tentacles are red and the plants do not produce a long stem.

7. Keep the plants very well ventilated! Humidity levels are allowed to

drop below 30% during the day. Best results are acheived when the air

humidity fluctuates diurnally between 30% and 90%. Higher humidity

evels are tolerated but you have to be careful for fungus attack.

Especially when the air is stagnant.

8. Do not after germinating move the plants. They are very susceptible to

shock. When the plants are bigger than the 6 leaved stage they can be

moved around.

So,this is the Drosophyllum recipe. I grow then now for 6 years. My oldest plants are small shrubs. I hope you all will have succes! If you show me pictures of your plants, I can tell if the plants are ok.

Jan

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1. Always use fresh seeds. This will increase the odds.

2. Seed treadment is not required (scarification, hormones, etc.)

A few years ago, I found a package of Drosophyllum seeds in my lab refrigerator at work. I had collected and put the seeds there 22 years earlier! As a lark, I thought I would try to germinate these 22-year-old seeds. I scarfied them by rubbing on sand paper. I placed 100 seeds on moist vermiculite. 95 of the 100 seeds germinated.

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Thanks for all your advice folks - especially that great post, Jan: really helpful.

Alas, my only surviving seedling has stopped growing and has started to turn that sickly yellow colour that I now know inevitably means the end is just days away :cry:

Here's looking forward to my next effort with this tricky plant!

By the way, what fungicide would people recommend. I've heard of something called Cheshunt compound. Is that appropriate? Can any of the UK people recommend a particular, widely available brand?

Thanks again,

David

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Thanks for all your advice folks - especially that great post, Jan: really helpful.

Alas, my only surviving seedling has stopped growing and has started to turn that sickly yellow colour that I now know inevitably means the end is just days away :cry:

Here's looking forward to my next effort with this tricky plant!

By the way, what fungicide would people recommend. I've heard of something called Cheshunt compound. Is that appropriate? Can any of the UK people recommend a particular, widely available brand?

Thanks again,

David

I lost my Drosophyllum under similar circumstances even although my most adult plant was quite big. :cry: Tricky beasts.. I hope my next batch of seed germinate and I can try again. Cheshunt compound contains copper and is posionous to all cps. There seems to be fewer and fewer fungicides now available. Will try Trichoderma on my next attempts to see if it helps.

cheers

bill

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Hi guys,

The fungicide I use for protecting Drosophyllum is Topsin. Topsin is the European trademark of the following chemical: thiofanaat-methyl. This is a broad spectrum fungicide.

Search the internet for a product name, that can be available to you (Cleary's 3336, Domain and Systec). But be careful! Always use these chemicals according to the provided instructions. These agents are toxic!

Here some background information on Topsin:

http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/fung-...nate-ethyl.html

Jan

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Thanks again guys for the advice. It never fails to amaze me how generous people are with their time and expertise on this forum. Very much appreciated.

I'll see if I can find that particular brand of fungicide or its equivalent in my local garden centres.

David

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I must admit that following the steps of Visee almost all Drosophyllum survive...many thanks for such a useful tips!

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I don’t recommend fungicides, there is no better way to fight bad fungus, than to have a good fungus that fights it.

I am interested in mycorrhiza partnership of our carnivorous plants. For that reason I took some very sandy (lime free) soil from a Pine Forrest. Some roots of live cranberry related plants included for possible mycorrhiza fungus.
I put it in a normal ceramic pot I had at hand. In two other pots I had seeds of Drosophyllum germinating (Feb. this year). Some of these little seedlings (11)
I transplanted into this pot. All took and grew happily.
From a friend I had seeds of different plants which grew near this species from a original place in Portugal.
I dispersed this seeds in all pots. 4 Species germinated, but I had to dispose of most plants from one species. Maybe it is some kind of Verbascum or Salvia. It grew too fast. Transplanting in other pots succeeded and I will find out what it is.

One very weak looking plant started to flower in May. Only a few leaves and one flower. I left it and it set no seed. All summer it stood in a friend’s garden and the same plant flowered another time with one flower, and set seed (still not ripe?)
I told my friend how to take care, but he knew better. They got water every day in the tray and on top. This summer was very hot.
They grew like mad and the honey smell filled the garden. No plant died yet. I only hat to cut off every week some of the wooly leafs of the unknown plant.

They get now water in the tray every time it is nearly gone. One time I was too late and they had nearly no dew. It took them a week to recover. It is now more than a month past and in that little light the sun provides here at the window in my studio seems to be enough. It’s quite cold there 5-10 C°.
I hope I will get them through the winter that my friend will take care again.

That’s what it looks like today.

Drosophyllum-not-alone_zpseqokfppf.jpg


It seems to be easier when you grow it with some company.

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Mine grew for two years outside, they died this winter but only after flowering and i collected seed off them so will sow them in spring again. They seemed determined to die after flowering, not sure why, except we had a lot of rain and maybe they rotted but i suspect they just werent really strong enough to flower...

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I met this year a grower which had them 5 years in a pot (all summer outside. They flowered several times). This end of summer there are only two left.

He says, he vergot to water them once. So he will start anew.

Mine are now less than a year old and I hope they will not die after flowering. I even intend to repot them in the next year. There are three pots and I don’t mind risking one for this experiment. Provided they get through the winter. ;)

Most people have them dieing after flower. That’s why I tried a different approach.

 

But I have not lost a single seedling. Not at the original pots and none of the transplanted ones in the two leaf stage.

I dont know why and have no real clue. It is my first attempt.

 

The transplanted Pot contains 11 plants one 5 and one 8. There are now two more plants in one of the original pots. Two more plants had germinated in the middle of summer from excess seeds still in the ground. Maybe there will be more after the winter.

There are still seeds left.

Edited by partisangardener

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