Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Leaf cuttings – D. capensis and D. 'Marston Dragon'

Today I decided to start some leaf cuttings. I've got several people curious about growing carnivores, and I've made vague promises to all of them. I'd also like to start growing some sundews outside, to see how they fare in the elements. Also I have all this extra space under my lights that I might as well fill. Heh.

I went with D. capensis and D. 'Marston Dragon' because they're easy-growing, handsome plants that anyone could enjoy. Also I have plenty of material to work with. Next time I do any repotting of my plants I'll make sure to take some root cuttings, which are supposed to develop into mature plants much more quickly, but for now leaves will do. I'm still learning anyway.

Tools used for the leaf cutting process.
A ragtag assortment of tools.
I'm using the water float method to get the cuttings to strike, which is pretty straightforward: place the cuttings in a container with pure water, cover/seal it somehow, and stick it under the lights. Once you get some nice little plantlets, transfer them to the pots of your choice. I'm using some plastic punch cups and sealing them with plastic wrap. The chunks of wood will be used to get the pots up under the lights.

First I filled the cups with a bit of water. Since they're going to be right near the lights, I didn't fill too high.

Distilled water in cups for leaf cuttings.
Lots of growers recommend using test tubes, but I don't have those. I have punch cups.
Then I took the cuttings. I used two whole leaves (lamina and petiole) from my D. capensis, and about half a lamina from my D. 'Marston Dragon.

Drosera capensis leaf cutting.
I picked the 2 nicest fully open leaves.
Drosera 'Marston Dragon' leaf cutting.
Luckily I had no lack of parent stock.
The D. capensis leaves I cut in half, and the D. 'Marston Dragon' lamina was cut into 6 sections. They were divided between 4 cups, so 2 cups got 2 D. capensis cuttings each, and 2 cups got 3 D. 'Marston Dragon' cuttings. Hopefully that means that in a month or two I'll be swimming in plantlets! We'll see.

Drosera 'Marston Dragon' cuttings floating on water.
These are D. 'Marston Dragon', but the D. capensis look pretty much the same.
My cuttings in place under the lights.
Things are looking precarious in my grow space.
I really should stop trying to fit more plants under these lights.

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