Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pygmy sundews should be propagated every year

I wanted to do a quick little post about my pygmies. Then I took too many pictures, so I'm going to keep it pretty heavy on pictures and light on commentary. I've been wanting to make a pygmy post for a while, since they're one of my favorite groups of plants, and I want people to understand them better.

Pygmies are short-lived perennials – it's a rare pygmy that makes it to 5 years old. In general I've noticed around 30% attrition annually in my pots. What that means, of course, is that the conscientious collector will propagate from gemmae every year. Now, not all pygmies make gemmae every year in all conditions, but last year I didn't do any personal propagation. As a result, my collection is looking a bit iffy heading into gemmae season.

Some pots are total (or near total) losses:

Dead Drosera patens.
Dead Drosera patens.
Dead Drosera pygmaea.
Drosera pygmaea never liked me anyway.
Dead Drosera pulchella.
I think Drosera pulchella also got aphids.
Mostly dead Drosera roseana.
Drosera roseana burned too bright.
Sad Drosera spilos.
Drosera spilos actually just always looks bad for me.
Other pots are looking almost perfect. There don't seem to be any broad trends in terms of what has done well and what hasn't – pygmy sundews are all quite specialized, and you may see totally different results in your culture.

Drosera callistos.
Drosera callistos Brookton is a hero.
Drosera oreopodion.
I love Drosera oreopodion.
Drosera helodes.
Drosera helodes has performed quite well over all as well.
Drosera scorpioides.
These Drosera scorpioides are a year older than everything else and they're still pretty decent.
Drosera sargentii.
Looks like Drosera sargentii either split their growth tips or I failed to harvest all the gemmae.
Drosera barbigera.
Drosera barbigera are absolutely wonderful.
One of the things that's hard to tell with a top-down photo is that several of these species have developed significant stems. Consider the above D. barbigera from another angle.

Drosera barbigera stem.
Fat little stems.
It's even more dramatic in a couple other species.

Drosera dichrosepala.
Drosera dichrosepala growing in a tiny pot.
Drosera nitidula.
One of the few surviving Drosera nitidula.
Drosera ×Dork's Pink.
Looking great, Drosera ×Dork's Pink!
The stems are quite interesting, and I'm curious to see how long the plants will keep going. However, this next year I'm going to do a full reset on my pygmy pots so I don't lose any more species. Luckily, I've shared gemmae with friends, and I also sold quite a lot last year, so hopefully I should be able to restock on what I've lost. Always share your propagules!

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