Cultivating Carnivorous Plants

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  1. — Interview with Mr. Natch Greyes, author of the Cultivating Carnivorous Plants book
  2. Earlier on this blog
  3. The Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants

This is definitely a book you can flip through and just enjoy the imagery! As a personal preference, I also like the pages being matte and not glossy. My only critique was finding a few grammatical errors and incomplete sentences. As this book is self-published, some errors are bound to get through even with proof-reading.

I let Natch know of this, and he worked with another reader to find and correct all the small errors in the book. Definitely a labor of love! Its information is useful and easy to apply without being overwhelming. Its use of vernacular names makes it easy for the beginner to learn scientific names ie: chapters are titled Venus flytrap rather than Dionaea muscipula.

But it does cover a lot of non-beginner plants and cultivation techniques that may be overwhelming. Or get a signed copy directly from the author here! Thank you for reading this review! Do you own the book? What do you think of it? Got any further questions on it? This process is called thermal stratification.

— Interview with Mr. Natch Greyes, author of the Cultivating Carnivorous Plants book

Alternatively, the hormone gibberelline can be used to break such dormancy. Apparently, there are some factors that inhibit germination, causing dormancy, such as abscissic acid ABA.

It is likely that the proportion of gibberellins to germination inhibitors, such as ABA and auxin, also determines how long dormancy lasts. Germination inhibitors are removed via cold stratification or by increasing the concentration of gibberellin. Abscissic acid may be removed by soaking the seeds in water for a period of time.

Seeds of European species butterworts Pinguicula will germinate within several days if sown directly in water. The storage of these seeds in water and in a cold environment allows seed viability to be prolonged for as long as several years due to ABA removal. It also appears that uniform germination of the seeds of Drosera arcturi is enhanced when the seeds lie on damp or water saturated media and are subjected to temperature changes. The artificial use of gibberellins to break dormancy is useful if there are mostly inhibitory substances in the seeds, especially those such as auxins.

Gibberellins may also compensate for poor lighting, increasing germination rates.

To stimulate germination of CP seeds, a To prepare the desired solution we place 1g of GA 3 in 1 litre of sterile distilled water. Clean seed should be soaked in this solution for 24 hours, soaking seeds enclosed in a hard coat for longer, at most three days. Keep the seeds at room temperature with occasional careful shaking. The seeds may then be sown. Seed germination rates of poorly germinating species, such as those from the genera Byblis , Drosophyllum , Drosera , Genlisea , Heliamphora , Nepenthes , Sarracenia , may be greatly increased via the use of GA 3.

The application of GA 3 leads to uniform germination in a shorter time, breaking the dormancy exhibited by many seeds. When your plant is affected by fungus, simply remove and destroy the source of the infection. Sometime it may be useful to lower humidity. If the infestation continues to spread or appeared too late, it may be necessary to spray the affected plants with a systemic fungicide or to dust the affected parts with a fungicide.

Use of clean seeds and pots, sterile or boiled water, and top quality planting medium significantly decreases the risk of any contamination. Some seeds are already contaminated with microorganisms. They should be washed wash in water with a fungicide or a weak solution of potassium permanganate KMnO 4 , which has a pinkish colour. Of course, it is best if you do not use any chemicals. Various larvae appearing as small worms or caterpillars may take a fancy to the planting medium. This is a sign that a poor quality media was used, usually living sphagnum moss.

In that case, long term insecticide may be necessary. If algae or moss have appeared in your pots, the cause again is probably use of low-grade or contaminated medium. Algae often overwhelm small seedlings and may even prevent the germination of seeds. This problem cannot be solved by using chemicals. Sometimes humidity may be decreased, but an optimal solution does not exist. I have noticed in books on cultivating cacti some information indicating that charcoal inhibits the growth of algae. Unfortunately I have not tried either of these possibilities when attempting to control algal growth.

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Complete elimination of the spores of fungus, moss, and other pests may be assured by steam sterilization, e. Growing medium is placed into the microtene bags or glass jars and sterilized for minutes. This procedure eliminates both desirable and undesirable soil microflora and is used only rarely.

The biological clock plays a role in various plant processes, which includes those involving seeds. Some seeds of CP require a signal to break inhibition of germination. Once suitable conditions occur, germination can start. Stratification is a cold or heat treatment required by some seeds for a period of time to break dormancy.

Earlier on this blog

Seed are sown on the surface of moist planting medium, the "wet method," in prepared pots. It is necessary to control the spread of molds, which we do by dusting the seed with a fungicide. After this time we remove the pots from the refrigerator, put them in a bright place, and then treat them like other seeds that do not require stratification. The so-called "dry method" gives the worse results. Prepared seeds are sown outdoors, e. The seeds are then placed in a common growing area. The best results are received when we use both "wet" stratification and gibberellic acid. Whatever method used, it is very important to control the occurrence of mold on a regular basis, treating the seed with a fungicide.

This can be done for the following species: Darlingtonia californica ; Dionaea muscipula ; Drosera anglica , D. It is interesting to note that a part of the fresh seed crop of species of Drosera , Pinguicula , and Sarracenia sown immediately after being harvested will germinate within the same year. However, seed from the same crop stored until next year requires stratification before being capable of germination.

Heat stratification is used to germinate species from frequently burned areas, pyrophytic plants, or species from an area where some season is very hot. During this unfavorable season the plants survive in the form of dormant bulbs or roots. Similarly, seeds of these species are adapted to these temperatures. The natural trigger of germination consists of undergoing the hot season followed by a subsequent decline in temperature.

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This form of stratification is applicable especially for the endemic Australian species of the genus Drosera , Byblis gigantea , and South African caulescent sundews Drosera. Until now, procedures for enhancing germination based on burning straw on the surface of the wet planting medium on which the seeds have been sprinkled or the pouring of boiling water over the seeds of Byblis gigantea have not been very effective.

On the other hand the application of the hormone gibberellin may be recommended and allows very good results in many species requiring heat stratification. Seeds of the Australian tuberous sundews Drosera and Byblis gigantea may germinate if they are sown on the planting medium mixed with cold ash. The presence of some substances in the ash likely stimulates the germination of these seeds. There are two interesting methods publishing by an Australian grower, Allen Lowrie. These methods are applicable for most of the Australian and South African species of Drosera.

The first method consists of sowing seeds on the moist planting medium and then placing the pots in a smoking chamber or near the smoke from an outdoor frying grate, fireplace, or barbeque for an hour. The second method is based on using so-called "smoke water" that is probably ash or smoke leachate which an Australian firm offers for sale.

Seeds are soaked in this solution for 24 hours and then are sown. I do not have detailed information about any of the ingredients of this solution. The Czech grower Mr. Jan Flisek had an interesting experience. He put seeds into a paper bag and attached them to the warm central heating of his apartment for several weeks or months to allow heat stratification. His results have been very encouraging. Seeds of the tuberous and pygmy sundews germinate uniformly while seeds of these species sown without stratification germinate at low frequency. You should pay attention to the ecological requirements of each species.

Try to look for as much information as possible about the natural environment of a given species in its natural growing medium, if it prefers a sunny or shady area, etc. This can help you to understand what the optimal growing conditions are. These details are usually the most important information. Do not underestimate their importance! Sometime plants germinate without any problems only to die later on. You have made some mistake!

This year I sowed seeds of the rare P. I sowed the seed according to the best of my knowledge and personal observations, but the seedlings died after they had germinated. It turned out that I had significantly underrated the importance of the pH of the mixture. In the end a mixture with pH was found to be more appropriate. This simple mistake resulted in the loss of these rare plants. This example shows that we must respect the ecological requirements of the plants. Top quality peat moss for seed sowing. I have been using highland peat moss for seed-sowing medium for several years.

It is of very good quality and can be bought without concern about pests or diseases. Also sold on the Czech market are Lithuanian or German peat moss, but unfortunately these are often contaminated with moss and algal spores. The acceptability of these for seed sowing must be tested. Unsuitable is the peat consists of a high amount of plant and tree remains, with a higher content of nutrients. The best medium for sowing seed is pure fibrous peat moss. Silica sand. This pellucid sand used for glass-making, with 0. If you cannot obtain it, you can use fine-grained river sand for similar results.

River sand should be sterilized before use. Recently I tried Sandofan and Dithane with good results. I have always used the concentration recommended by the manufacturer. Foreign suppliers. There are several major firms in the world specializing in seeds of CP. Seed quality varies considerably, and I must say that the rarer a species is, the worse the germination will be.

Germination depends on the length of storage, dormancy, the site of the collection of the matured seed, and the reliability of the supplier. Rare species Cephalotus , Heliamphora which contain a small number of seeds per portion , germinate poorly. Combines with cultivation difficulties, these plants are often unrewarding and it is not worth the trouble to order expensive seed. Czech CP Literature. Only two books about growing CP have been published in the Czech Republic:.

This book contains complete information about the ecology, distribution, and cultivation of most genera of CP. Although this book has not been published during the past 13 years, it contains much practical information and is suitable for all novice cp growers. I recommend this book for everyone. Unfortunately this book can only be obtained in second hand bookstores. If you find it, buy a copy, whatever the cost! The author of this recently published hardcover book specializes in cultivation of orchids and Tillandsia. While it provides basic information about growing CP, the author makes many fundamental mistakes, especially with regards to growing procedures.

Therefore, this book can only by recommended for beginners as a source of very basic information. For growing procedures you should consult an experienced grower or other literature. Specialized Czech CP literature is also occasionally published:. It consists of translations of the most important journals and other literature from around the world. It is acceptable for a person who wants to keep up to date and to read some interesting news about CP.

This magazine continues with publication of the excellent magazine, Pel-Mel numbers , which had been discontinued. Since the plants are rare, and the seeds even more so, experience in sowing these seeds is limited. Nevertheless I have obtained quantities of these seeds recently from various of European localities. It seems that germination is rather poor with seeds requiring a long period of dormancy. Utilization of gibberellin appears to be a useful procedure for breaking dormancy. Based on my experience, the fresh seed sown after harvest starts to germinate in sporadically after two months.

A white protuberance with a black tip 0. Such seeds can be stored in the refrigerator for several months. The young seedlings remain about 0. Seeds are sown in the early spring February-April on the surface of the standard seed sowing medium peat moss: sand at , in plastic pots e.

Seed germinates within several day or weeks. Occasionally, the plants survive the winter and continue growing in spring. Since the plants grow as annuals, they must flower the same year that they germinate in order to produce sufficient seed for the next year. After Byblis liniflora matures, it should not be repotted because it has a sensitive root system, which will not regrow if damaged. Only the young plantlets cm may be transplanted, very carefully before their roots establish themselves securely in the planting medium. That way the roots will not be destroyed during transplanting. When transplanting, remove a ball of soil with the roots.

Seeds of Byblis gigantea require heat stratification see previous chapter , though good germination has been obtained using gibberellic acid. When using gibberellin, seeds are soaked in the gibberellic acid solution for 24 hours and then spread on the surface of the planting medium peat moss: sand at 2: 1. Seeds of Cephalotus are sown on the surface of the mixture peat moss: sand at 3: 1 or living sphagnum moss eventually mixed with perlite.

Fluctuations in temperature are required for seed germination. Seed usually germinates within several months, with up to five months mentioned in the literature. The young seedlings are very sensitive and often die. They can be transplanted one year after sowing. Unfortunately, due to the rarity of the seeds, there is little practical sowing information available. Seeds of D. Like this presentation? Why not share! Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Education. Full Name Comment goes here.

The Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants

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