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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3133
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#435558
Last September Chef, in his kindhearted, jovial, kingly-way, had a Utricularia sandersonii giveaway of which I was a very happy benefactor of. He sent me a nice plug of the bladderwort and some other goodies. Nice guy, I don't care what the peasants were murmuring about back in those days.

Anyhow, I got my utric plug and ceremoniously plopped it down on top of a small glass bowl of live sphagnum moss. I did have a little trouble figuring out which side was up and whether there was a left or right side to the utric, but eventually I was satisfied with it's placement and left it alone to "settle in".

Well, I never did see any flower stalks start growing, though I did see some horizontal stems criss-crossing the moss a bit and some of the duckfeet leaves growing. As time went buy I saw less of the utric...the moss seemed to be enjoying it's new digs, though. A few more months went by until there is nothing visible above the moss. The moss has grown a good inch...maybe inch and a quarter...but who's counting (or measuring, eh?). :| But, I'm seeing the sandersonii through the side of the bowl! It's alive!!!!! (kinda like the monster, ya know...ask Chef if you don't).

Ok, that didn't work out the way I thought it would with a nice cloud of dainty flowers growing on the windowsill with my wife cooing about how great these carnivorous plants are.... No, didn't happen like that. Matter of fact, I had to move a few pots off the windowsill of other things. Nope, didn't work out.

So, what'd I do wrong? I've definitely got the subterranean thing going, and it's kinda cool...yeah. But, it'd be cool to have those really neat-looking little blue flowers growing. I might could even slip it up on the windowsill and get SWMBO's approval. :?

So, what should I do? Punt? Fake a fieldgold? Plead amnesia? Plead the fifth? Go to Hollywood to be the next Clark Gable? Win the lottery? All of the above?

PS - If I'd known I was in the pictures I'd have waved.
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Nope, ain't nothing growing up top'cept moss...
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Yep, thar it is!!!
Yep, thar it is!!!
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I told ya it was thar!!!!
I told ya it was thar!!!!
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By Huntsmanshorn
Posts:  942
Joined:  Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 am
#435560
Intheswamp wrote: Sat May 20, 2023 3:44 am
So, what should I do? Punt? Fake a fieldgold? Plead amnesia? Plead the fifth? Go to Hollywood to be the next Clark Gable? Win the lottery? All of the above?
Well, I guess you could do all that... or you could just plant it in peat.
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By ChefDean
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Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#435561
It looks like the growth of the moss just outpaced the growth of the bunnies. Bunnies grow pretty slowly in my experience, looking at yours makes me remember that I thought it strange that it was suggested I put it in dead LFSM. Specifically told dead, not just LFSM. Perhaps that's the reason why. Some of my LFSM wasn't quite dead, and the live part doesn't have any bunnies visible.
They're still alive, so, if you have a free weekend, you could dismantle that setup and put the stolons into dead LFSM or peat. I've never tried peat, maybe I'll transplant some of mine and try it.
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#435562
You mentioned to me to plant it in LFSM. I had live sphagnum and OCD-Me kept telling me, "But, live is better...right?".<sigh> ICPS recommends a peat mix or live sphagnum. <sigh> I started out with the utric on top (where else?) of the moss. It started growing, reaching out across the top of the moss with horizontal stems(?) and a few leaves (some white-looking). Then it was like a submarine alarm started blaring..."DIVE!!! DIVE!!! DIVE!!!". :roll: I never did see a flower stalk or upward growing part.

I first had the moss an inch below the rim and would keep the water an inch below the surface of the moss. The water level would naturally recede and I'd raise the water level back up. I think the live moss simply was "too good" and the sandersonii is just living the "Life of Riley", happily swimming through the soft and easily penetrable live sphagnum. In reading an article, U. sandersonii--a Siren from Utricularia it seems that my growing medium (live sphagnum) would suit the aquatics and semi-aquatics better than the epiphytic types of utric like the sandersonii. So, maybe, due to the soggy grow mix and the chemical(?) actions of live sphagnum the sandersonii reverted to "the ways of its grandfathers". :|

I'll go with a less wet, better draining setup if/when I break this down and start over. I'm not sure how easy it will be to separate the utric from the sphagnum, but the utric seems to be rather resilient. It's cool seeing it growing "underground" through the glass but not exactly the eye-catcher a bunch of blue rabbit faces would be! ;)

A last thought... I've kept this bowl of moss and utric beneath a grow light for the last eight months or so. Probably 10-12 inches beneath a pretty bright light. Temperatures in the old trailer fluctuate with the weather/seasons but they usually lean toward the warm side due to the lights in the room. Temperatures from the mid-40Fs to the low-90Fs. I wonder if the warmer temperatures and the bright light might have encouraged it a bit to go subterranean? Just thinking...too much, probably. :mrgreen:

Thanks for the replies!
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By Supercazzola
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Joined:  Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:57 am
#435563
Mine goes through stages. It gets a lot of leaves and flowers and then dies back. I trim everything that is brown away, and then a few months later, they emerge again. I think you shouldn’t get worried about the plug growing roots and setting more runners. Your utricularia may just need some more time to establish itself. If it wants to grow more roots and more runners and is propagating under the LFSM, then that just means when it does pop up, it will put on a spectacular show !

I live in FL and the temps in my house on the windowsill never quite get below 70, and always above 75, usually 80F. My mix is one Peter D’Amato recommends: 3 peat to 1 sand
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By DragonsEye
Posts:  1299
Joined:  Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm
#435564
I had sandersonii for several years before it started blooming for me and now it blooms quite regularly. I honestly have NO idea why. (I think it was talking to my orchids ... Orchid hobbyists know that many orchids have a mind of their own and basically have the attitude "I'll bloom when I'm good and ready dammit! You want to try and rush ME?! I'll show you! You just added another three years to my time table of when I was considering blooming.")

Anywho .... don't give up. I would suggest a change however. IME, many -- not all -- terrestrial utrics seem to do better in lower light conditions. My suspicion is that the lower light is less favorable to mosses like the "star' moss so the competition becomes more of an even playing field. In brighter conditions, the mosses just grow too rambunctiously. I've never tried sphag for mine. I have mine growing in a 50/50 mix of peat and Turface. (Which after making sure was thoroughly moistened, I nuked to hopefully kill off some of the inevitable moss spores, then cooled, and finally planted a utric plug in it.
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#435573
Thanks for the feedback, ya'll!

SuperC, thanks for the encouragement on giving it more time. I'll give it a chance and see what it does...I've got enough irons in the fire to keep me busy. You mentioned D’Amato's 3:1, peat:sand mix. I've got two questions for you. What type sand are you using? And, when you measure your portion of peat do you wet it before measuring or do you measure dry. The reason I ask is that I've been trying to do a 1:1 ratio of peat and perlite on most things....sundews and sarrs. I've measured the peat while it was dry and the resulting mix seems to be *very* light and fast draining and I usually end up adding another portion of peat to the mix. I'd like to try using more sand in the mixes but so far the best option around here seems to be pool filter sand which leans to a less-coarse size.

DE, so orchids have an attitude, eh? They *do* seem a bit haughty-seeming as I walk by them in the stores. I swear sometimes when I walk by them I hear one belch and then a choros of giggles from the rest of the crowd...but, it must be my imagination. :? Maybe the sandersonii has an orchid penpal that's giving it bad advice! ;) I think I'll try what you've suggested on going to a lower light level. I'll keep it in the live sphagnum for now so as not to have too many variables.

I'll give it time and a lower light level. To be honest, I don't see how I could get it out of the live sphagnum moss without a *lot* of hassle...so it'll definitely get time! ;)
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By Supercazzola
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#435574
For me, I pre-moisten before mixing. Not because I am rinsing, but because I find if I don’t, the silica sand (play sand I found at Home Depot) sinks to the bottom. Honestly, I try my best to get the ratios as close as possible, but a little off isn’t going to hurt anything.
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#435576
Thanks for the info. I think I'll start measuring with the peat moist...it should give me a slightly peatier mix with a little more water-holding capability.

I've been looking at the different sands at the BBSs. I guess I'll just have to grab a bag of something and see how it is. My wife had bought some play sand at Walmart a few years ago for a children's activity and I've used some of it. I looked at it magnified and it looked good (mostly clear crystalline). I did the "vinegar test" to it and saw no activity, but not sure about long-term use. I think this time I might rinse whatever sand that I get and then let some sit in distilled water for a week or so and see if the pH or TDS changes.
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#435580
Roger using perlite. I've kind of grow an aversion to perlite. It seems when it rains the perlite goes *everywhere* and make a mess of things. Sand seems to stay in place better. But, perlite does work well for drainage and for being light weight. Most of my mixes are peat and perlite.
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By DragonsEye
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Joined:  Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm
#435581
Play sand is generally too fine and is more subject to compaction. Better if you can find a coarser sand.
Intheswamp wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 12:05 pm Roger using perlite. I've kind of grow an aversion to perlite. It seems when it rains the perlite goes *everywhere* and make a mess of things.
That's why I like using Turface in place of perlite for "swampers".
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#435583
The "turface" looks like it would be good stuff. I checked the local BBSs but none show it listed. Amazon has a 2-quart bag for $14+...a little rich for my my mason jar. (Besides being "OCD-Me" I'm a cheap ol'phart!) ;) I'm thinking of a blend of pool sand and perlite for most of the pot and then some peat and sand for the top inch or so. Looking at some small "local" sundews they seem to grow in a fairly fine sand in the wild...kinda "dirty" sand. Or, is that considered a coarse sand???? :?:
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By evenwind
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#435585
Turface is good stuff but I've never seen it at a BBS. I got mine at a landscaping supply store, the kind of place that sells to folks that are working on fixing baseball fields. Just for fun, I tried a Google search for "turface retailer Alabama". There's actually a few in the southern part of the state (Andalusia, Troy) however close that actually is to you. Also, be aware that turface comes in various grain sizes - check their website. (I think mine is "MVP".)

You might also want to look at chicken grit. The decomposed granite kind might work for you. There's been discussions here about it - for instance post367876.html#p367844
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By Intheswamp
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#435589
Thanks for the search, evenwind! Troy or Andalusia are just a few country miles away....30-45. I'll check those spots out for it.

I've been looking at the chicken grit but it seems more and more manufacturers are adding "probiotics" to the grit. Maybe this week I can go by the local co-op and see if they have some regular old grit.

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