Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I don't understand large Utricularia

I feel like I'm pretty good at growing the small, terrestrial Utricularia. That's sort of like saying you're good at playing Candyland, but bear with me. The larger species though, they are a bit odd.

I've got a couple new leaves coming up on Utricularia humboldtii.

Utricularia humboldtii.
Utric "leaves" are so funny and weird.
This is an odd species that I've been growing for around a year now. It put on a couple of leaves last spring, but since has sort of just been holding steady. Not sure what it needs – maybe more water? Brighter light? Possibly nutrients? No idea. It's found at quite high elevations in Brazil, so cool temperatures are definitely important.

Another member of Section Orchidioides I've been growing for a bit less than a year is Utricularia cornigera, which has also been known as Utricularia reniformis 'Big Sister'.

Utricularia cornigera.
I hope the additional water helps this guy get back into gear.
I know why this one has been stalled out. It had been sharing a tray with a large Drosera 'Marston Dragon' that had a bunch of Selaginella and ferns that were very thirsty. That tray goes dry all the time, and that is definitely not what this plant wants. I've recently moved it to a much wetter tray that hosts a number of other utrics, so hopefully it'll get better soon.

Last year I had really good success with Utricularia longifolia.

Utricularia longifolia.
I tend to spill a bit when I'm watering this plant.
It sent up two big flower stalks and had a nice bloom show going on, but it also contracted a nasty case of aphids on the flowers, and that definitely set it back. The yellow and brown leaves are from last year. This year's growth is smaller, but that could be temperature. I should just put this in an enormous pot to see how big it can get hahahah.

Finally, my other plant from Section Foliosa is Utricularia calycifida.

Utricularia calycifida.
I feel like I should separate this guy out and see how many rosettes there are.
I got a very nice, long bloom show from this guy, but it hasn't sent up any new scapes in a few months. I may try potting it in long-fiber Sphagnum rather than the peat:sand mix that I'm using now. Maybe the warmer weather will kick it into gear too. Fertilizer? Who knows.

Utrics are fun. Very enigmatic plants.


  1. Devon- I've also become quite interested in Utrics of all varieties, and am drawn to the ones with large, odd leaves. Regarding the U. calycifida, I put it in a mix of peat/sand like you mentioned, and it looked great for a while...It is still putting on a flowering show, but the leaves are drying and the whole plant looks crappy. A friend of mine recommended switching it to a pot with LFS, and a top dressing of live sphagnum, and also decreasing the amount of light it gets (I have mine under T5-HO's). I also have longifolia kept in a net pot; mine throws out tons of shoots, and new leaves, but I noticed mine also has the brown tips that yours has. I'm not familiar with the first 2 plants you've posted...However do I notice a gorgeous D. schizandra photo-bombing in the background!? Haha

  2. Good read. I have a Utricularia longifolia as well. For the past year. No flowers yet though. Great plant!

  3. Seconded the recommendation to put the calycifida in LFS. I had a plug that did great for a while in peat/sand too, and then it flowered and immediately died. I have since been growing in LFS and it grows and flowers like crazy!