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By dmagnan
Posts:  608
Joined:  Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:37 pm
#85446
I finally found a website selling them, for only $9! I got the second to last one. So now, I need to set up for its arrival. I've read about people using a double pot method, with the actual plant pot inside a larger pot. The space between the two is filled with perlite and water, to produce an evaporative cooling effect to keep the plant's roots cool. Has anyone used this technique, successfully or unsuccessfully?

Any other advice?
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By Steve_D
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Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#85461
dmagnan wrote:Has anyone used this technique, successfully or unsuccessfully?
I use an insulated polyurethane foam pot for Darlingtonia, but I'll bet that so called slack potting, (double potting as you mentioned, a technique used and promoted by carnivorous plant grower Adrian Slack) would work fine. I believe that Linton in Australia grows Darlingtonia in regular porous low-fired red clay garden pots with live sphagnum moss as the growing medium, cooled by water evaporating from the outside surface of the porous clay. (Linton posted photos of the pots and technique elsewhere in the Forum.)
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By dmagnan
Posts:  608
Joined:  Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:37 pm
#85499
Thanks, I did see that. I'm just concerned, because it's in the mid 90's 7 months out of the year here, and I really want to figure out the most effective way of doing things. I should ask him how often he re-pots, too, since doesn't clay leak salts into the soil?
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By Steve_D
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Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#85505
dmagnan wrote:it's in the mid 90's 7 months out of the year here, and I really want to figure out the most effective way of doing things.
I can tell you my experience with Darlingtonia so far, if you like. The climate here in New Mexico is very hot during the summer, with many days in the 90s and 100s Fahrenheit. The high-altitude sun (4050 feet) is very intense with less atmospheric diffusion. The air is very dry, almost desertlike.

These conditions are just about the opposite of what Darlingtonia are reputed to like. People say that they need wet growing medium with regular water changes, that the roots need to stay cool, that the plant can die in one or two days if a rigorous regimen is not followed.

However, from my experience with them, I have come to believe that they are not as delicate as people say they are; if one grows them conservatively (not overwatering all the time) and allows them to be in semi-shady conditions or in dappled sunlight or bright but indirect light while not overwatering, they can develop a strong and extensive root system that can keep them hydrated in hot weather in dry climates. If grown wet all the time, the root system suffers, or rather, doesn't grow so much, while the leaves grow faster (because of the water, but are somewhat weak or delicate) and the leaves' dependency upon the roots increases. With a rather weak root system but lots of leaf growth, a spell of adverse conditions above ground can cause too much stress on the plant, it may not be able to adequately hydrate itself, and the leaves may rather suddenly collapse and dry.

But Darlingtonia do have a weak spot or Achilles Heel, from my experience, and that is the growing crown right at the soil surface. If intense sunlight falls directly on the growing crown (the point at which the leaves emerge) during very hot weather, it can damage, even kill the tissue of that one all-important spot of the plant from which its entire above ground growth originates, in which case the leaves can collapse. Then, with no point at which to grow new leaves, the plant is forced to try to recover by growing an underground runner from the (hopefully strong) roots and put up a new tentative growing crown and small new leaves. This sets the plant back by several to many months.

To me, the keys to growing Darlingtonia (and others' views may differ) are these--
  • Don't give them quite as intense or as much direct sunlight as Venus Flytraps; they appreciate slightly diminished sunlight to even rather shady conditions, especially if there are occasional harsh winds or dry air; treat them somewhat like Cephalotus, giving them shadier conditions during the heat of summer.
  • Be attentive to watering, but don't keep them wet all the time or their root system will be weak and underdeveloped and not able to sustain a lot of above-ground leaf growth, which is as true with Darlingtonia as it is with many other plants. Many people will say that in nature Darlingtonia grows in slow or fast-moving water, in very wet places. Many of those places are somewhat shaded, and in exposed areas they frequently have a constant source of water flowing over them or around them to keep them hydrated and the growing crown cool. But in cultivation, encouraging them to develop a very good root system since they are placed in a relatively small and fast-drying environment (a pot) is good "insurance against sudden loss." :)
  • If you can, grow them in a pot the sides of which don't get very hot, or take steps to shade or insulate the sides of the pot. I believe that "Darlingtonia's roots need to be cool" is for the most part a myth, in that one doesn't need to put ice cubes of distilled water on the soil surface nor build an elaborate, cool-air circulating environment, but hot sides of a pot can stress most plants' roots, and Darlingtonia may be somewhat more sensitive to this than other plants.
That's just my experience, and I don't claim to be a Darlingtonia expert, so just take it into consideration but of course rely on your own instincts and judgement as you attentively grow the plant. :D
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By dmagnan
Posts:  608
Joined:  Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:37 pm
#85511
WOW thanks very much for that response! I know it probably took a while but I certainly appreciate it! I feel a little more prepared for this arrival now, and I really do appreciate the "this is my experience," rather than "this is what you should do."

I would go so far as to say that that should be stickied (in its own post) under pitcher plants.
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By Steve_D
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Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#85518
dantt99 wrote:Steve, how to you get the bullets. Code please
Code: Select all
[list]
[*] Item one
[*] Item two
[*] Item three
[/list]
:D
By HarrisAz
Location: 
Posts:  1393
Joined:  Tue May 18, 2010 3:53 am
#85525
wow Steve!
thanks for the infos on darling snakes!
so do u give them the same condition for germinating too?

Thanks :)
HArris
By Daniel_G
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Posts:  5472
Joined:  Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:27 pm
#85569
For germination,they need stratification first,and mine seem to like sopping wet soil for germinating (but i treat the seedlings the same as seeds)
By Gothic TRAPS
#85827
Nice write up Steve :) !

Though every Darlingtonia owner has their own unique growing situatations whether be it for coastal or mountain variety, my hats off to you for laying out some basics on growing these gorgeous plants from you personal experience. One thing that I noticed consistantly with all CPs is sticking with their growing basics and enjoy them grow while slowly acustoming them to your global climate within their limits and tolerance.

Thanks again for your personal insight Steve ;) .
By dmagnan
Posts:  608
Joined:  Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:37 pm
#86772
It arrived! The plant is bigger than I expected, and was described when I asked as dormant-ish. I am excited!
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By Steve_D
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Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#86813
Yep, very nice looking plant, Dave. If it was grown wet, it may have a rather weak root system compared to all that lush top growth, so you might want to just treat it gently until it gets accustomed to your environment in Texas. As I mentioned in my previous post, growing it a little dryer while keeping it in dappled or semi-shade or very bright indirect light may encourage more root growth and conservative (less) leaf growth, until it has a great root system that can keep the plant hydrated and comfortable even in sunnier and hotter conditions. But that's just one grower's thoughts-- :)
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