Thursday, August 6, 2015

Aphids: My Tiny Foes

This aphid thing is getting out of control.

Drosera capensis Baineskloof with aphids.
Aphids all over Drosera capensis Baineskloof.
There are several pots in my collection that look like this. Limited applications of Pyrethrin haven't proven effective, and I'm not willing to use it more heavily, considering that several different species reacted poorly even to the light applications. I've ordered some Bayer 3-in-1, which is a rather toxic systemic. Luckily this is my indoor collection, so I'm not too worried about hurting pollinators or anything. I just...I need to get rid of the aphids. I've been busy lately, and the aphids are just another discouragement when it comes to spending time with my plants.

Okay, let's cheer ourselves up. I've got a couple Drosera tomentosa germinations!

Drosera tomentosa seedling.
It's easier to see if you click through to the large sized photo.
Just a couple, but this seed sat around for a while before I got around to sowing it, so I'm happy with anything.

I picked up a really nice wide-leaf Drosera capensis on my last visit to California Carnivores.

Drosera capensis wide leaf.
I feel like more people are digging D. capensis lately. That's awesome.
Big, strappy leaves. You can never have too many D. capensis varieties.

My Drosera ultramafica × spatulata was looking spectacular so I had to take a photo.

Drosera ultramafica × spatulata.
A prize-winning plant! Love this hybrid.
Easily the brightest red plant in my collection, and an easy grower to boot.

Finally, my Drosera natalensis pot is also looking excellent during this period of neglect.

Drosera natalensis.
Fluorescent lighting really shows the dewdrops well.
So dewy and perfect! I like the nice color contrast with the moss as well.

Okay, I feel better now. I'll feel a lot better once I get this infestation under control though.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I've been really busy!

It's been so long since I've made a blog post. I feel bad about it!

Byblis liniflora budding.
Byblis liniflora forming its first bud. Cute!
As I mentioned in my last post, I've started a new job recently. I've also been visiting family, and had family come visit, and helped a friend move. There's been almost no time for plants.

Drosera burmannii from Gunung Keledang.
Little tiny Drosera burmannii from Gunung Keledang.
Luckily my plants pretty much grow by themselves at this point. I've been meaning to make a post about my setup (hopefully soon), but as long as I keep it watered they just chug along. Luckily I started some seeds just before I got all busy.

Nepenthes tobaica × aristolochioides.
Nepenthes tobaica × aristolochioides. Looking forward to this guy growing out.
I've even bought a couple Nepenthes lately, of all things. They're living on my windowsill in the kitchen. It's a good place for Nepenthes.

Nepenthes sanguinea orange form.
Nepenthes sanguinea orange form. I like easy neps.
One never stays this busy forever. I've got all sorts of plant projects that I want to get started with, and I'll make sure to keep the blog abreast of everything. It's not like I'm going to stop getting new plants hahahah.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Small plants getting bigger

I've started a new job recently, so it's been hard to find time to spend with my plants. Hopefully things will settle down a bit in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, my Drosera spilos seem to have stopped sulking and are starting to put out some carnivorous leaves.

Drosera spilos.
Even unhappy pygmies are adorable.
Let's see if they actually start growing now.

The largest plantlet of my little Dionaea 'B-52' pot is looking mighty cute.

Dionaea 'B-52' plantlets.
There are like 6 or 7 rosettes in there. Nice!
This clone was selected for its large trap size primarily, but I think that the best things about it are the nice strong contrast between the red mouths and the green margins and petioles, as well as the very tidy shape. It's a really fantastic plant.

It's less tidy than the D. 'B-52' plantlets, but my Utricularia cornigera is really taking off.

Utricularia cornigera (and friends).
All the cool kids are growing Utricularia these days.
It's hiding behind the Drosera 'Marston Dragon' and the Utricularia humboldtii, but there's a leaf off to the left and several to the right. I should get this guy somewhere where it can stand out more, because it's looking wonderful.

For the really tiny though, you need to peep these Sarracenia seedlings.

Sarracenia 'Lamentations' × 'Extreme Unction' seedlings.
Maria calls Sarr seedlings "baby brontosauruses."
These are Sarracenia 'Lamentations' × 'Extreme Unction' – two Peter d'Amato cultivars that are just loaded with good genetics. Maybe in 5 or 6 years I'll have some fantastic clone to show off! We'll see.

And in terms of baby Sarrs, my Sarracenia leucophylla f. viridescens are getting bigger.

Sarracenia leucophylla f. viridescens.
They're almost glowing! I can't wait to see these grow out.
Well, they're actually mine and Anne's. We split the bid in the NASC auction. Come on little guys!

Saturday, July 4, 2015


I guess it's summer now for real. I can tell because Drosera cistiflora is finally giving up the ghost.

Drosera cistiflora.
Goodnight, sweet prince.
Now comes the real challenge – I've gotta get it to sleep, then keep it alive during dormancy, and then I need to wake it up in fall. Fingers crossed!

Right nearby there's some funny leaves in the Drosera adelae pot.

Drosera adelae.
Mmm. Lettuce.
You can clearly see the affinity with Drosera schizandra here. This big old colony is hilarious.

In terms of summer, my Pinguicula sp. Tehuacán is leafing out into carnivorous growth, and dang this is a cute ping.

Pinguicula sp. Tehuacán.
Looks like that pulling I took didn't take. Oh well.
It's got great color and nice neat leaf margins. Upturned leaf margins are one of my favorite characteristics on pings.

Finally, I made a very silly image to offer in lieu of fireworks for the Fourth.

Pygmy sundews as fireworks.
I'm not ashamed.
It's pygmies! :-D

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Response to Take Down Garden Spray

As you may remember, I've been using Take Down Garden Spray on my collection recently to combat aphids. The active ingredients are pyrethrin and canola oil, so it's pretty gentle stuff. Still, some plants have reacted better than others.

Drosera collinsiae and Drosera ×snyderi have definitely not appreciated the applications.

Drosera collinsiae.
Don't look so down buddy.
Drosera ×snyderi.
Fried! Frazzled! An unhappy plant.
A handful of other plants have had a similar, but less severe, reaction. I'm using a 2% solution right now, and this is after I applied it twice in 5 days, and then didn't apply for a week. To be fair though, these two plants were both slow to settle into my conditions, and have both seemed a bit on the fragile side.

Other plants, like Drosera anglica CA × HI, have totally taken the spraying in stride.

Drosera anglica CA × HI.
I know I can always count on this guy to do well.
It's even blooming again! It bears repeating that this is one of the most vigorous plants in my collection as well. It just seems like the finicky plants are going to be finicky, and the robust plants won't mind (my Drosera adelae has also been fine, for example). It's not a surprising finding, but it's good to know.

On a related note, my Drosera spiralis is definitely not phased. Not only is it flowering again, but it's put out an offset for the first time!

Drosera spiralis.
Look at those cute little baby leaves.
I'm really inordinately fond of this species. It just does so well for me, and gives me all sort of nice surprises. Looking forward to the little guy growing up a bit.

Of course, none of this has addressed whether or not the aphids are being beaten back. Well, I think they are? I hope they are? I'll need to apply a few more times before I make a solid decision. However, I am considering going systemic pretty soon. My patience is wearing thin. We'll see!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Some new plants

Everyone (in the US at least) should check out Carnivorous Plant Auctions and Sales on Facebook. It's a great group to find uncommon plants for sale. Just recently I bought a couple plants from Brie, a grower in Washington state who has an amazing collection (I'm especially fond of her pings).

The first plant I got was a mature Pinguicula reticulata.

Pinguicula reticulata.
Some leaves fell off during potting, so I'm hoping I get some babies.
I just couldn't resist! I didn't want to wait for the little guy I got in the NASC auction to grow up.

Pinguicula reticulata.
Come on little guy!
And who knows, maybe it'll be two different clones and I can try cross-pollinating them at some point.

I also picked up a mature Dionaea 'Justina Davis'.

Dionaea muscipula 'Justina Davis'.
Flytraps are pretty cool I guess.
This all-green cultivar was registered by Barry Rice back in the days of yore (2006). Definitely a less-than-common cultivar with a funny story behind the name.

Finally, since I've been moving things around a bit under the lights I had room to start some new seeds. It's been a while since I started seeds!

Starting various Drosera from seed.
Starting from seed is so exciting.
These four pots contain seeds of Drosera burmannii (Gunug Keledang), Drosera filiformis "Florida all-red", Drosera brevifolia (Kountze, TX), and Drosera tomentosa. It's been a while since I've started from seed, so I'm excited to watch these guys get going.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A study in dew

I'm off traveling right now! I took some pictures of some of my dewiest plants before I left so I could share them with you all.

Drosera hamiltonii.
Drosera hamiltonii looking about as good as they ever do. It's pretty good!
Drosera prolifera.
Drosera prolifera has really liked the cooler temperatures in the garage.
Drosera capensis red form.
Drosera capensis red form leaf just showing off.
Drosera aliciae.
Drosera aliciae from the Community Pot. Great plant!
Drosera adelae.
These are the best-looking Drosera adelae in the colony right now. Lovely!
Sundews are the coolest.