Spring has arrived.Â The plants in the minibog stir.Â New leaves begin to appear.Â Blah, blah, blah.
Anyway, the plants in my minibog have started to come out of dormancy.Â The VFTs were first, followed by my Sarracenia.Â The Drosera don’t really go all the way dormant, but they are starting to grow more vigourously now.
Unfortunately, some kind of critter dug around in my bog during the winter and I lost several of my VFTs.Â A couple more seem to be coming back but don’t really look happy.Â Only time will tell…
It has been quite some time since my last post–having a new baby definitely limits your free time! Anyway, on with the post.
It looks like it is time for winter dormancy for the plants again. The Dionaea are definitely looking less active with slower growth and more dead leaves. Strangely, a couple of them started to put up flower stalks, which I quickly removed.
The traps of my Sarracenia have started to die back, with little new growth, but the Drosera are still looking fine as expected, though they are definitely growing more slowly than before.
Here is a picture of the bog as of this morning (11/30/2006):
With the exception of one Dionaea (as mentioned here), all the plants that I put in the minibog appear to be doing well now. Several of the Dionaea died back significantly due to transplant shock, but are now sending up new growth.
All the Drosera capensis appear to be very happy. All are blooming and sending up dew-covered leaves. However, all of them appear to be sending out shorter leaves than they did prior to the transplant.
I have a Sarracenia rubra that I am thinking about adding to the bog, but I worry that the S. rubra along with my S. x ‘Dixie Lace’ might crowd out the other plants in my bog.
Well, what started as a Dionaea with transplant shock has turned into a slimy black spot.Â I suspect that it was not in very good shape to begin with since I bought it from a hardware store nursery, where it was living with theÂ houseplants.
Other than one additional somewhat unhappy Dionaea, the other plants are doing well.Â The Drosera capensis seemed happy from the beginning and are all sending up new leaves.Â I may be adding a few more plants, but I don’t want to overcrowd things.Â Maybe I need a second bog!
Also, I finally got around to fixing the water inlet pipe.Â I removed the pipe and drilled a bunch of 1/4″ holes on the part that extends into the underbog reservoir.Â Then I was able to put the pipe all the way to the bottom of the bog instead of just to the top of the water reservoir.Â Now when I pour water in, I know that the level in the pipe is very close to the true water table level.
Just another quick update today. The bog overall appears to be doing well, but it looks like my some of my Dionaea are suffering from a little transplant shock. Hopefully they will recover soon.
On the other hand, the Sarracenia and the Drosera are doing very well. The Drosera are all covered with dew, which is a good sign.
Today I made some changes to the minibog. First, I resculpted the surface to make a low-lying area toward the back of the bog. Then I added some new plants. These included:
- A Sarracenia x ‘Dixie Lace’ which I have had living in its own pot for 2 years
- Four Drosera capensis that came as free-riders with my above Sarracenia
- Three new Dionaea
- A mystery Drosera which I ‘rescued’ from my local Lowe’s home center
Once I had transplanted the new plants to the minibog, I added some long-fiber sphagnum moss as a top-cover over the sand/peat mix, mainly for cosmetic purposes. Here is a picture of the minibog as it now appears:
I should point out that the underbog reservoir continues to work well. I have been adding just a little water each day–I’m pretty sure that I could leave it for several days without harm, but for now I will continue to check frequently. I still have not had a chance to drill hole in the reservoir access pipe, so the pipe still extends up several inches out of the soil.
Although the Dionaea have adapted well from the tray method to the bog, I don’t know how the Sarracenia and the Drosera will like it. I will be reporting in coming days as to their appearance.
Just a quick update today. The Dionaea in the minibog seem to be doing well–no wilting or browning, so perhaps the transplantation was a success.
Also, the water reservoir appears to be working well also. I usually top off the water via the PVC pipe each day, though I think that I will be able to cut this down to once every few days once I get a better feeling for the soil saturation level.
I have a potted Sarracenia x ‘Dixie Lace’ that I plan to add to the back of the bog this weekend. I have set up the minibg with a deeper area toward the back for species that prefer a higher water table, so the Sarracenia should do nicely in that area.
The pot also has a number of Drosera capensis plants which I will separate from the Sarracenia and clump together elsewhere in the minibog.
As I mentioned near the end of Part II, I found a bowl-shaped pot that I thought might work as a water reservoir. The more that I thought about it, the more I thought that it would be too tall, so I decided to look elsewhere.
While I was searching through my local Orchard Supply Hardware, I noticed a stack of 5-gallon plastic buckets. This was the perfect solution. Not only are those buckets nearly indestructible, but I could cut off the bottom to whatever depth I needed.
The dremel tool cutting wheel made quick work of cutting off the bottom of the bucket and the hole saw rapidly cut the PVC pipe opening.
I (very carefully) removed the Dionaea that I just transplanted the other day (risky, I know) by lifting out much of the surrounding soil along with each plant. I then dug out the soil in the center of the container until I reached the bottom. Fortunately, the sand/peat mix really sticks together, so it was pretty easy to make an opening for the water reservoir without having to remove all the soil. In fact, I used the cut-down bucket to cut the hole in the soil.
Once I had completed the excavation, I placed the reservoir on the bottom of the pot and stuck the PVC pipe through the hole that I had cut in the top (which was the bottom of the bucket). I then filled the pot with soil again and replaced the plants.
I should mention that I ran the pipe all the way to the bottom of the pot. This shows that I had forgotten by basic physics. When I started to fill the reservoir, the water began backing up into the pipe almost immediately–the pressure from the air above the water was keeping the water from completely filling the reservoir. I solved this by pulling the pipe up so that the mouth of the pipe was very near the top of the reservoir.
I plan to temporarily remove the pipe and drill a series of holes in the bottom several inches of the pipe to remedy this, since I really don’t want to have the pipe sticking up as far as it is now, and I want the added stability of having the pipe rest on the bottom of the pot.
Coming next: Adding more plants!
Once I obtained the minibog materials, including a couple of new Dionaea from Orchard Supply Hardware, I began construction. I should point out that I did my initial construction without consulting any of the CP sites, or the CPUK BBS, as you will see.
I started by standing the cut PVC pipe near the center of the pot and began to mix small lots of sand and peat with distilled water, adding the blend only after all the peat had absorbed water and had been thoroughly mixed with the sand. I continued this procedure until the pot was completely full of the sand/peat soil.
I then began to plant my Dionaea in the soil. Within a few minutes, I had planted all my Dionaea (and one Drosera that came with one of my Dionaea) in the minibog. This all worked very smoothly and the plants seemed happy.
Then I read about the use of an inverted pot at the bottom of the minibog to act as a water reservoir and to make watering easier. This particularly came to mind as I attempted to water the bog overhead–thus doing some hydraulic mining of my minibog and leaving a hole behind. Defininitely not what I had in mind.
After doing some more reading, I began to look for an appropriate pot/vessel to put under the bog. I found a plastic pie-saver which I thought might work, but it cracked as I attempted to cut a hole in the top through which I planned to run my PVC pipe. Back to the drawing board…
Then I found a low-profile plastic pot that I had lying around the shed. The size looked pretty good, but perhaps a little too tall–perhaps nothing that a dremel tool can’t handle?
Coming next: Reservoir construction
Thus far I have always grown my outdoor CP’s using the tray method. I use undrained glazed ceramic pots with plastic pots nested inside. This way the plants get water level that they prefer and yet it looks nice.
However, the number of individual pots had reached the point where it was getting unmanagable, which led me to investigate creating a minibog.
After looking at various places, I finally found a large, undrained pot that was glazed both inside and out at my local Sloat Garden Center.
I then bought some washed sand and sphagnum peat to make the soil, since I was planning to plant primarily Dionaea. I also bought some 2-inch PVC pipe which I thought that I would use to monitor the water table level in the pot.
Coming next… Construction