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
Well, one of my Dionaea (my giant cultivar) has aphids. I first noticed that something was wrong as it was coming out of dormancy. The traps were coming out all misshapen. Then I noticed the telltale white exoskeleton husks around the crown of the plant and saw the little critters on the leaves.
Strangely ironic that an insectivorous plant is itself being eaten by insects…
I read in The Savage Garden that Orthene is a good insecticide for use on CP’s. It also recommended that I use a wettable powder if possible. I was not able to find this, so I am going to go with the liquid. Hopefully I should have some results shortly.
Last month I found the usual CP display at the local Lowe’s home center. By usual I mean that most of the plants were dying or dead. Some had disappeared altogether–merging with the long-fibered sphagnum moss.
However, there was one Nepenthes (species unknown) that still appeared to be in good shape, so I bought it. Once I got it home, I put it on the table next to my N. ventricosa and popped it out of its plastic dome.
Over the next few weeks it doubled in size and started to grow upwards with 1/2 inch of stem between the leaves. Each of the newest leaves are already larger than the largest leaves of my N. ventricosa which I have had for two years.
Now it is finally starting to pitcher, so perhaps I will be able to identify it soon. I have heard that most of the home center type of Nepenthes are hybrids, so it might not be possible to id, but we shall see…
I thought that I would put in some historical items to help get things started here. This dates back to last spring. My friend Dave got ahold of several Cephalotus plants. Because he is a nice guy, he passed one on to me. I should point out that at this point I had no experience with Cephalotus.
I had read that you can keep Cephalotus outside, so I put it on my front porch along with my flytraps and my Sarracenia. I also removed the plastic cd-r box which was covering the plant. This is where the trouble started.
The weather was particularly windy at this time, but I thought that this would not be a problem (Wrong).
After a couple of days (and following the correct watering instructions) I noticed that the traps were closed–I thought that this was a little odd but perhaps not out of the ordinary. Then some of the leaves started to turn a little silvery, which I definitely took as a bad sign indeed.
I immediately brought the plant back into the house and put is on a table where it could get morning sun (right next to my Nepenthes ventricosa) and put its plastic ‘dome’ back on. Sadly, leaves and traps continued to die off until there seemed to be nothing left.
But, this story has a happy ending. There was one bud that survived the ill-treatment, and the rhizome must have been in good shape as well, because, over the next weeks, it began to sprout new leaves and traps.
Since that time, it has been living on the same table and continues to do well to this day.
Welcome to the Kimoto Carnivorous Plant Blog!
This is my first entry in my new CP blog. I will be posting here as often as possible with CP related news, tips, etc.