Friday, July 4, 2014

Repotting a few sundews

Yesterday I took on one of my big tasks – repotting a couple sundews that desperately needed it. There are still more to work on, of course, but there are always more.

I chose a terrible time to go repotting. It's relatively windy near my house, and I was out around 7 pm, which is right when the wind really kicks up heading toward sundown. The plants didn't like it, my LFS was blowing all over the place, it sucked. I also don't really have a nice repotting area, which is something I've been meaning to put together. In any case, I certainly didn't get any pictures of the process. Suffice to say it was messy and a bit stressful (I'm always worried about damaging the roots, especially since these weren't species with big robust roots), but I'm glad I got it done.

First up were my Drosera capensis 'Albino'. They'd been getting packed pretty tightly in there, especially the largest plant. Looking great though.

Drosera capensis 'Albino'
I love that delicate pink color on the tentacles. And that dew!
Unfortunately these were planted in that terrible Mosser Lee LFS, which made separating the plants out more difficult, since sometimes it was hard to tell the roots from the moss fibers. Still, with a bit of wiggling I was able to separate off the 3 biggest plants and get them into new pots. The remaining plants I left in the old media to size up a bit more before getting transplanted.

Drosera capensis 'Albino' in a fresh pot.
This is definitely a mature, full-sized plant now. Not bad in just under 7 months.
Pair of Drosera capensis 'Albino'
These two are a bit smaller, but still looking good.
Drosera capensis plantlets in cheap terrible moss.
I don't want to have to worry about separating these out until they're a bit bigger.
I can't wait until I'm done with that terrible Mosser Lee stuff.

I also repotted my Drosera intermedia 'Cuba', which was distinctly more difficult than the D. capensis 'Albino'. The D. intermedia 'Cuba' were smaller, with more delicate roots, and packed in more densely. Again, I had to struggle with the moss.

Drosera intermedia 'Cuba', freshly-repotted.
These 10 largest plants look pretty good. Hopefully feeding will be easier now.
Small Drosera intermedia 'Cuba' plantlets after repotting.
The small plants look more ragged. They should bounce back soon though.
I think I lost one of the bigger plants in the top photo, and one of the smaller ones down below, but the rest seem to be doing fine a day later.

Dealing with the roots is the fiddliest part of the process definitely. I clean off as much of the old media as I can, and then poke a hole in the new media with either my finger or a toothpick, depending on how large the root system is, and then work the roots down into the hole. I then pack the media down onto the roots and usually add a bit more at the base of the plant to make it sturdy. It's worked pretty well so far.

The most difficult repotting I had to do was my Drosera capillaris, because that also required separating the clump. One plant came off easily, and was planted up quickly, but the other two were quite closely joined. I had to clip off a lot of dead leaves and do a bit of prying to separate them. One of the resultant plants ended up without much in the way of roots, and the other was small and sort of sickly-looking, so I potted them up together and put them under a humidity tent to give them a head start. I also clipped off their flower stalks so they didn't waste energy making seed instead of setting new roots.

Freshly-separated Drosera capillaris.
I hope the leaves can spread out a bit more now.
Drosera capillaris in post-separation high-humidity recuperation.
Good luck little dudes.
The last plant I repotted was the Drosera admirabilis I bought at the BACPS Show and Sale. I've heard D. admirabilis likes to have lots of room for a big root system, and also likes to be out of the water, so I decided to give it something bigger than the pot it came in. This was an easy job compared to the others.

Drosera admirabilis in a new pot.
I'm happy to finally have a D. admirabilis.
I can't say I really enjoyed repotting, but I'm certainly glad I got it done. I bet my plants are glad too!

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