Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Drosera adelae and various seedlings

Last week I received a few plants from Natch Greyes' little store: Drosera adelae, Utricularia livida, and Utricularia sandersonii "blue". I'll talk about the utrics more later (once they start to spread in their new homes), but it looks like the D. adelae is starting to get acclimated. The lower leaves look a bit ratty, but there's one on top that's nice and green, and putting out some decent dew.

Newly-arrived Drosera adelae
This plant is about 3/4 inch tall.
Drosera adelae getting acclimated
There's a lot of room to fill in that pot!
Hopefully as it continues to adjust to my conditions and recover from being shipped I'll be able to start feeding it and getting it to beef up a bit. It's planted on mostly long-fiber sphagnum moss, but there's a bit of 1:1 peat:sand mix down lower, since I didn't have enough LFS prepared to fill the pot on the day the plant arrived.

It's time to check up on my seedlings! I bought the seeds from Crystal's Carnivores, which is unfortunately closed for the winter now. These were all sown in the week between Christmas and New Year's, so this is almost 3.5 months of growth. First up is Drosera burmannii from Humpty Doo, Australia.

Drosera burmannii seedlings
I'm delighted every time I look at these guys.
D. burmannii was one of the first plants I really wanted once I started collecting. Reading/watching videos about them at Grow Sundews, I was excited by tales of its voracious appetite and quick growth when well-fed, as well at that brilliant red color and gem-like shape. Also "Humpty Doo" is a totally hilarious place name.

These guys have lived up to my expectations! The first month or so after germination (which was on January 12th) they were quite slow, since I still had them covered in plastic wrap for boosted humidity. Once I transitioned them into the regular tray and started feeding they really took off! I'm going to need to move some of those around (and maybe into a new pot) to make sure they have enough growing space. How cute though, right?

The second group of seeds in that set was Drosera intermedia 'Cuba'. They were the first to germinate, and have had far and away the highest success rate.

Drosera intermedia 'Cuba'
I always seem to find a new plant when I look closely in here.
The second Drosera intermedia 'Cuba' pot.
This is a 1:1 mix of sand and peat, rather than LFS. Guess we can see which they prefer.
As you can see, I've already split them into 2 pots, and a 3rd will probably have to be added soon. This is a lot of plants! The biggest ones are bigger than the D. burmannii, though with the longer petioles and milder colors they don't have as much visual pop. I'm looking forward to having some big mature specimens though.

The final set of seeds were Drosera capensis 'Albino'. I'm 99% positive I ordered D. filiformis 'Flordia All-Red' instead, but who knows. At this point in my collection I'm not quite so picky.

Drosera capensis 'Albino' seedlings
They still basically look like specks. Get a move on guys!
They're lagging a bit behind my other two species. They germinated last, and were still just barely putting out the tiniest carnivorous leaves when I took them and put them in the general tray. I'd transitioned the other two pots to lower humidity more slowly, so the shock may have set these guys back. They also might have been somewhat less fresh, or from a less robust mother plant. Who knows. They're finally getting growing at a nice pace again, after a month of very little action, so I'm hoping they'll start to take off in time.

Finally, here's a new pot that I sowed with some of the seed from my last D. capensis scape.

Tiny Drosera capensis seedlings.
I tented up the plastic wrap with cocktail straws. I initially used wooden toothpicks, which got gross and moldy. Bad move.
The pot is 9x5 inches, and I sowed it really heavily with seed – in part because I had more seed than I could do anything with, and in part because I want this pot to form a dense, bush-like clump of plants. I'm planning on giving it to my mom to use as a windowbox plant in her kitchen – there's a super bright window behind the sink that would be perfect for something like this. It's gonna take a while to get to impressive size, but I think it should be looking good by Christmas at least.

Will the plants suffer being so crowded? I don't know, but this picture over at Grow Sundews looks promising! In any case, I only need like 8 plants to get to maturity for the thing to fill out. And I seriously needed to use up some seeds – I ended up tossing about half of the harvest from that plant. Not like there's going to be any dearth of D. capensis seeds in my future.


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