Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Windowsill Nepenthes

Sometime in the last 6 months I wound up acquiring a few Nepenthes. I've been pretty vocal about not really caring for neps, but I've been pleasantly surprised by how nice it's been to have them on the windowsill in my kitchen. It's a pretty ideal environment for them – higher-than-average humidity, cool nights, convenient for watering. They make the kitchen much more festive!

This Nepenthes sanguinea is the largest of my windowsill neps.

Nepenthes sanguinea.
N. sanguinea looking all clumpy. Nice!
Nepenthes sanguinea.
Pretty good color too.
There are two separate growth points, and a huge amount of pitchers. This is a pretty ideal plant right now. Dunno what I'll do in a year or two when it starts vining everywhere, but that's a bridge to cross when we arrive at it.

This Nepenthes tobaica × aristolochioides was impossible to resist when I saw it at California Carnivores in July.

Nepenthes tobaica × aristolochioides.
Cute little thing.
Nepenthes tobaica × aristolochioides.
I like the leaves too.
The pitchers are nice and squat, with a good dark color. Apparently it stays fairly compact too, which is a definite plus for someone who does not want to mess around with greenhouses etc.

This cute little Nepenthes ventricosa definitely gets the most attention from house guests.

Nepenthes ventricosa.
Just hanging out, you know.
I guess I can't really blame them. It's pretty cute.

Off in the corner, getting a lot less light, is the big old vine of a Nepenthes ×ventrata I got a year or so ago. It doesn't pitcher much, but at least it does so in a manner that is consistently hilarious – right in the dish rack.

Nepenthes ×ventrata.
My current houseguests aren't great at loading a dish rack.
Keep on truckin' guy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What happens after 3 months of neglect?

So we all know that I haven't been giving my plants quite the attention they deserve lately. But what really drove it home for me was seeing Drosera prolifera take things into its own hands.

Drosera prolifera plantlets.
Thus the name I guess.
Drosera prolifera plantlets.
Look at these little plantlets just dangling in midair. Tell me that's not hilarious.
Hahahah whoops! Let's see what else is going on around the collection.

Drosera 'Emerald's Envy' doesn't seem to have enjoyed the handful of heat waves we've had recently.

Drosera capillaris 'Emerald's Envy'.
Sorry about the heat little dude.
I don't think this guy is toast though – there's a new flush of leaves there, and the weather should be cooler over all pretty soon.

As I was preparing this post, I was planning on saying "The smaller Pinguicula reticulata died while I wasn't looking," but then I went in for a picture and realized it was just dormant.

Dormant Pinguicula reticulata.
So tiny I almost lost it.
So tiny! The larger plant didn't go dormant, and is looking great.

Pinguicula reticulata.
What an unbelievable red.
Check out that color! I'm swooning here.

The Drosera occidentalis that I had given up on as a lost cause sprouted up out of nowhere on me.

Drosera occidentalis var. microscapa.
I'm continually surprised by how hard it is to actually kill a plant.
Look at those cute little nubbins! I don't know why everyone isn't an obsessive pygmy collector.

The Drosera madagascariensis, which I've been needing to trim back for a year, have given up on the stakes and are just splayed out everywhere.

Drosera madagascariensis et al.
Stems everywhere!
There's a lot of flowers stalks I need to trim in there too...

I've missed photographing 2 Byblis liniflora flowers during the last couple months, but it looks like a couple more might be on the way.

Byblis liniflora.
The colors in this plant are so subtle and fine. I love it.
I really like this plant. It's so fragile-looking.

Finally, the best thing to come out of this period of neglect is my Pinguicula 'Aphrodite', which is looking absolutely stunning right now.

Pinguicula 'Aphrodite'.
Again, thus the name.
The color plus the dew is nuts. And it's offsetting!

All told the collection is still looking pretty good inside (don't ask me about my Sarracenia – that's for another, more somber post). I'm really fortunate that the climate in the Bay Area is very sundew-friendly, and that my growing setup is so self-regulating. The timer keeps the lights on the right cycle, and the cool nights keep the plants from frying. I even got quite lax with water – letting my trays go dry for several days at a time – and the plants didn't noticeably suffer.

This is not to say that I could ignore my plants forever. I've got a lot of trimming and a bit of repotting to do to keep things tidy in my collection. Fortunately the Bayer 3-in-1 seems to have finally taken care of my aphid problem. Looking forward to a good autumn. It's almost gemmae season!