Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Plant trading, part one

Trading plants is one of the best ways to develop your collection. I remember when I first started really collecting plants I was sure it would be a long time before I would have enough material for trades, but it's amazing how one can accumulate plants.

This last week I set up a trade with a grower from Florida. He's looking for D. capensis and its cultivars, as well as D. binata 'Marston Dragon', among others. Excitingly, he had D. filiformis 'Florida All-Red' to offer. As you may remember, that's the plant I thought I ordered with my other seeds, when I actually got D. capensis 'Albino' instead. I also got some D. capensis 'Albino' hitchhikers along with my D. 'Marston Dragon'. So it's trading time!

First up, I needed to unpot my D. 'Marston Dragon' to get at the little D. 'Albino' plants hiding in there. This was no mean task. I had hoped to get more pictures, but there's only this one from the beginning of the process.

Drosera binata 'Marston Dragon' and two forms of Drosera capensis
An intimidating bundle of plants.
After that my hands were just covered in peat and mucilage, so I didn't want to handle my phone. It was sort of stressful, and I was glad when I was done. I got the plant into a bigger pot, and managed to get out that little D. 'Albino'. Luckily there were just bunches of roots, so I got several cuttings to share.

I also separated off a D. capensis typical form to send. It's one of the plants in the background in this photo, from Feb. 15th (it's bigger now). In the end, this is what the shipment looked like.

Drosera 'Marston Dragon' root cuttings and D. capensis 'Albino' and typical plants ready to trade.
I'm still learning the best way to pack these. Guess that comes with experience.
I actually wrapped the cuttings and the roots of the plants with a damp paper towel as well before packing it into a small flat-rate priority mail box and sending it off to Florida. They should get there on Thursday at the latest, and should still be in decent shape, though they'll take a bit to get acclimated to their new conditions. Hopefully he's happy with the shipment! I'm looking forward to getting my new plants.

As a brief side note, I noticed a bloom stalk on one of my plants for the first time today. This is a mystery hitchhiker that came in the pot with my Drosera aliciae – in the thread where people identified the D. aliciae guesses for this one included D. venusta and D. collinsiae and D. tokaiensis, so basically I don't know what it is. Maybe the flower will help in the ID. I have a completely unfounded suspicion it might be D. spatulata. Who knows.

Drosera allantostigma and a blooming mystery Drosera.
This is my mystery pot. I feel like any collection will end up with one.
There's that D. allantostigma in the foreground, looking great.

I'll make sure to make another post on Thursday or Friday when my plants get here. Happy growing!

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