Darlingtonia

Discuss Sarracenia, Heliamphora, Darlingtonia, Cephalotus plant care here
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floridadancerguy

 
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Darlingtonia

by floridadancerguy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:37 pm

I'm attempting Darlingtonia again. I found a pretty nice specimen at Lowes in one of those death cubes. (I know I'm taking a risk starting with one of the death cubes) I think they might have just arrived so I picked it up. It is a good sized plant. I'd say about 7" tall. I haven't had good luck with them in the past, although last time I grew them I was in hot sunny Florida. We shall see if growing in Missouri changes anything. I've heard people having success growing them in wide shallow pots or kitty litter pans, so I have repotted mine in a 3" deep 10" wide water tray that I poked drainage holes in.
The picture shows the plant before repotting. Let me know if you have successful growing tips.
Charles
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hackerberry
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Re: Darlingtonia

by hackerberry » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:57 pm

Congrats on the newly acquired CP. Very interesting plant indeed. You can grow them like any other North American CPs, only keep in mind that they need their roots cooled in hot days.

hb
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Re: Darlingtonia

by manzano167 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:22 pm

go here to learn about them these people are super expert! http://cobraplant.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=77
Take a look at my Growlist!
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Steve_D

 
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Re: Darlingtonia

by Steve_D » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:30 pm

Darlingtonia can develop a deep and extensive root system. Often those that are recently purchased have a lot of top growth (leaves) but not very well developed roots. This can make watering tricky, and if the underdeveloped roots are not able to successfully hydrate the leaves on a hot and dry day (add some wind in to make it worse) the plant can look like it has died in just one day.

However, that may not be the case. New leaves can come back from the roots if given plenty of time to do so (don't throw them away and continue to water them for at least 2-3 months to see if this will occur).

In addition, Darlingtonia are not as hard to keep alive as their reputation would lead one to believe. They have tough, wiry and sinuous roots (not fleshy and brittle like Cephalotus, for example), and the key is good root development (compared to top growth) and keeping the root zone from overheating. This does not mean placing frozen distilled water cubes on top of the soil or creating a homemade air conditioned cold box to sit them in, however! :P

Here are two suggested guidelines for Darlingtonia, and other growers will also have good advice; these suggestions are based on just my own experience with these plants so far, and I still have a lot to learn about them.

  • Allow the plant to grow conservatively. That means, encourage its roots to grow more actively and extensively than the leaves until it has a well developed root system that can easily support a lot of pitchers. This can be achieved by careful watering and in particular not overwatering, trying to aim for moist, not wet all the time. Overwatering will tend to encourage the plant to grow leaves more than roots, but then the plant will become dependent on a ready supply of water for its few roots to quickly take up, and can start seeming very finicky about watering and prone to droop and dry out on top. If the leaves are not able to stay hydrated well (crisp and full of water) after transplanting or when the plant has only recently been purchased, then it would be OK to trim one or two of the older leaves from the plant so that its roots don't have to support so much above-ground growth and have a chance to recover and grow until they can well support new leaf growth. This technique of trimming leaves when transplanting is often done with all kinds plants, with iris as a common example; one will also notice that Venus Flytraps too often naturally sacrifice a few outer leaves just after transplanting.
  • Keep the plant and especially the roots out of intense direct sun for a while. Consider growing it in somewhat shadier conditions until it is well established, and consider shading the sides of the pot by placing its pot inside another, larger pot, with perhaps perlite or lava rock between. Any kind of styrofoam or polyurethane foam container will also work well to insulate the growing medium and root zone. This will prevent sunlight from heating the sides of the pot at the root zone to such an extent that the roots bake.

Not everyone in every climate needs to take special precautions with Darlingtonia. But if you happen to live in a climate where you think they might benefit from a little extra care, you might want to keep these two suggestions in mind, that's all. :)

Steve

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Re: Darlingtonia

by floridadancerguy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:41 pm

Thanks for the great info Steve!

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hackerberry
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Re: Darlingtonia

by hackerberry » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:14 am

Very well said Steve! That is everything a person needs to know to grow this magnificent plant

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Re: Darlingtonia

by kittyklaws » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:18 am

Congrats on the cool plant! :D
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Re: Darlingtonia

by marvin1997 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:31 am

Again I am so envious.. :lol: Couldn't help you in any way except telling you how beautiful your plant is!"Your plant is so BEAUTIFUL!!" :lol:
Sarrs didn't survive fridge dormancy :(


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