Hargrave Triffid

A Photographic Record of Plant Growth


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Potting, Re-Potting and Ready to Eat

Just a quick note about a few pieces.

Firstly, I have potted my new Moroccan Mint, presenting:

New Mint 27-07-15 New Mint 27-07-15 (2)

Essex Mint

(Currently on the patio table facing South and East)

Moroccan Mint

Mentha spicata

Five plants delivered through the post via first class mail from Battlesbridge, Essex and planted on Monday 27th July 2015

Not a very original name as yet but now I have a Kent vs Essex mint battle – who will give me my first cup of tea? Have been waiting so long.

Secondly, I have also noted that Luke’s Pitcher is now fully open and waiting to receive whatever morsels are tempted within. Looks absolutely magnificent. Have always preferred sundew to pitchers but I must say that with Pitch doing so well and Luke now also getting in on the act the pitchers are certainly competing for my affections.

Luke 27-07-15 Luke 27-07-15 (2)

Thirdly, last and by no means least – I have finally attempted to tidy up, sort out and re-pot Snake. Following the instructions on http://www.gardenbanter.co.uk/united-kingdom/183358-help-please-houseplant-mother-laws-tongue-dying-no-idea-what-do.html I removed the soil and as much rotting vegetation as I could. Two parts were saved, the main part of the plant which has been replanted in the centre and another separate leaf which I re-planted at the edge of the pot which is a lot larger. Having never seen the roots of this plant I was quite struck that some of the base of the leaf stems was quite a vivid orange – whether this is a sign of rotting I do not know but if that is true then all may be lost. The pictures below at least give a flavour of what I encountered and quite what the orange and red stuff was I do not know, it was the colour of peppers. Very bizarre. It looked like it needed removing but now I must leave it in the lap of the Gods.

Snake 27-07-15 Snake 27-07-15 (2) Snake 27-07-15 (3) Snake 27-07-15 (4) Snake 27-07-15 (5) Snake 27-07-15 (6) Snake 27-07-15 (7)

Snake is currently residing in the kitchen in a fairly sunny spot. I won’t be watering him for a while but we will see what happens in the coming weeks. Fingers crossed.


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Dendritic Reflective: Week 58

The builders are back upstairs scraping their paint. As it rained so heavily for most of yesterday I have been collecting fresh rainwater as my stocks are running so low and do not want the new stuff to become contaminated. After remonstrating slightly with the builders I have worked out that they have now finished at the back of the house so I have moved my rainwater collecting trays – am hoping for a bit more rain – and have covered my largest tub, this effectively being my butt, my main store.

Temp 22-07-15 (2) Temp 22-07-15

The heatwave has returned this week and, as can be seen above, the temperature in direct sunlight is pretty hot. Probably a bit too hot for all but those triffids used to Californian or African sunshine. However, as I mentioned there have been prolonged periods of rain which is perfect for me, and with more scheduled for tomorrow and possibly Monday, it is a good chance for me to replenish my water stocks before Summer returns as seems highly likely – a beautiful Summer this year and the best I remember in a very long time, even Wimbledon managed to avoid significant rain and that’s almost unheard of.

Here is my review of progress after fifty eight weeks:

 

The Basil Brothers

Basil 25-07-15 Basil 25-07-15 (2) Basil 25-07-15 (3) Basil 25-07-15 (4)

Some evidence of new leaf growth on one of the tall stems but otherwise just waiting for cuttings.

 

 

Pitch

Pitch 25-07-15 Pitch 25-07-15 (2) Pitch 25-07-15 (3) Pitch 25-07-15 (4)

The flowers have nearly all shed their seeds now so who knows where there are going to be little sarracenia plants popping up. The flowers are also beginning to die off with the first turning brown and shriveling up.

 

 

Luke

22/07/15

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Not sure if I have been asleep for a while but do not understand how I missed the development of this beautiful white pitcher. I thought that I had been sent a plant with a cut pitcher and that I had beheaded the other during removal from the packaging. Imagine my shock the other day when I saw that a white pitcher had been developing. How have I not seen this before? It’s as if the fairy triffid-godmother has waved her magic wand. From looking back at older pictures, and obviously there was a bit of a gap for a few weeks, it seems like this pitcher must have come from the new shoot that was growing incredibly slowly for ages, but appears to have been on steroids in the last month. Whichever stalk this pitcher has come from the growth rate has been phenomenal. Am happy, proud, flabbergasted and astounded all at the same time.

 

 

Sunny

Sunny 25-07-15 Sunny 25-07-15 (2)

Sunny continues to develop with new vigour. My notes from last year indicate that she had a similar growth spurt in July last year so am not sure that the move to the shadier patio table can take all the credit. Although the sundew leaves are still much smaller than those in Venus’s pot, they are beginning to grow tall and strong and there seem to be many more green shoots appearing. Considering that I though Sunny had gone to meet her maker this is a great resurgence.

 

 

Drake

Drake 25-07-15 Drake 25-07-15 (2) Drake 25-07-15 (3)

No real change this week although the slightly overhead shots do show the amount of green shoots developing.

 

 

Piggy

Piggy 25-07-15 Piggy 25-07-15 (2) Piggy 25-07-15 (3)

Piggy is definitely not looking as jolly as he did a month ago. I am not entirely sure if this is to do with the paint flecks, being out of the sun or whether there is something else of which I am not aware. It’s not that he doesn’t look well, just not as well as he has. Oh well. Have kept him on the patio table but moved him to a slightly sunnier position so hopefully he will benefit. One to monitor.

 

 

Venus

Venus 25-07-15 Venus 25-07-15 (2) Venus 25-07-15 (3) Venus 25-07-15 (4)

The party is still rocking down at Venus’s pot. The round sundew is unchanged but Sunny’s daughters have been very hungry and there are plenty of signs of them dining. There is also a fair bit of activity with some very tall new sundew leaves developing and also a flower stalk I believe. The main event, rather than wilting under the pressure continues to carry her weight with two traps shut showing definite signs of dinner, and another two soon to be opening and fully functional. Can’t see any new traps developing at the moment but there is still plenty of time left this Summer.

 

 

Aphro

Aphro 25-07-15 Aphro 25-07-15 (2)

It seems to have been open season on Daddy Long Legs with about four ending up as dinner for Aphro. I thought he’d been going off his food in recent times but it looks like he’s back to his best. Possibly this new penchant for Daddy Long Legs could be due to the change of location in that the plants are now much lower down and much much closer to the rather wild back garden. There is also a huge jasmine bush very near by which offers passage from the back garden to the patio table. a few signs of new growth which is good and all in all I’m happy that bigger, healthier, hungrier traps seem to be forming. What more could I want?

 

 

Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)

Mint 25-07-15 Mint 25-07-15 (2) Mint 25-07-15 (3) Mint 25-07-15 (4)

I have now formed the opinion that the Sisters’ problems are due to too much sunshine and not enough water rather than the fungal infection mint rust, although I reserve my right to change my opinion in the future as more facts become known. Certainly still no chance of mint tea and I have taken the liberty of buying some new Moroccan Mint plants to satisfy my tea requirements. Might keep these inside though. We will have to see. Will be interesting to have the comparison, for a mint tea drinker you can never have enough mint, as long as it’s in pots!

 

 

Gronda

Gronda 25-07-15 Gronda 25-07-15 (2) Gronda 25-07-15 (3) Gronda 25-07-15 (4)

Poor old Gronda does not look very well in these pictures. This is how he often looks but tends to perk up once watered. Yesterday I sprayed his leaves and this morning I watered him around the base of his stems but he is still not looking particularly happy at the moment. I fear that the 40-50°C temperatures arising from the sun glare may be too much for him. Am considering a temporary re-location although there aren’t a great many possibilities for re-location so will have to think carefully.

 

 

Hulk

Hulk 25-07-15 Hulk 25-07-15 (2)

Nothing to report. Happy as Larry.

 

 

Snake

Snake 25-07-15 Snake 25-07-15 (2) Snake 25-07-15 (3)

Seems to have stabilised since moving from the bathroom to the less damp more sunny kitchen. Am almost totally convinced that I will have to repot though. Have cactus soil but just need a new pot.

 

 

Flapjack

Flapjack 25-07-15 Flapjack 25-07-15 (2)

Completely happy with life this little one.


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Rust and Rot

I have been carrying out some research into what is wrong with Snake and how to determine whether I have actually have mint rust.

 

Rust

I certainly believed last year that the mint had picked up rust which sounds very bad. The plant looked better when it came out of dormancy but even before August has reached us it is again beginning to look very poorly.

The Royal Horticultural Society describe mint rust as being, “a common fungal disease of garden mint, but also affects marjoram and savory. The fungus causes dusty orange, yellow and black spots on leaves. [Symptoms include]

  • Pale and distorted shoots in spring
  • Dusty orange pustules on the stems and leaves. These may be followed by  dusty yellow or black pustules
  • Large areas of leaf tissue die and plants may lose leaves” [https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=220]

According to [http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/mint/treating-mint-rust-fungus.htm] , “Rust on mint plants looks similar to other rusts in later stages, with orange to rust-colored spots covering the undersides of lower leaves in early spring. Mint rust symptoms may progress, manifesting as leaves that turn completely brown and drop from affected plants. In late summer and early fall, when these dropped leaves regrow, darker spots often appear instead. The very early stages of mint rust may appear as white bumps on mint leaves.

 

According to http://www.herb-gardening-help.com/how-to-get-rid-of-mint-rust/ there is no chemical remedy, the site says that, “If you correctly diagnose that you have mint rust on your growing mint it’s important to act quickly to deal with it because the “spores” which develop with this herb disease drop onto the soil and affect your mint in following  year.” It recommends the following procedure:

Step 1:  Cut off all the stems of the growing mint immediately the rust is noticed, and keep cutting them off during the growing season.

Step 2:  During the winter make a small fire with straw over the top of the mint roots.  This kills off the spores which carry the disease

Step 3:  In the spring watch carefully for a repeat of the herb disease rust in your growing mint.  If it returns repeat the procedure or dig up the mint plant and destroy it.

 

Below are pictures of my plant. Mint Rust? Am not so sure, could just be that it has had too much sun and not enough water. It has been hot this year.

Mint 22-07-15 (5) Mint 22-07-15 (4) Mint 22-07-15 (2) Mint 22-07-15 (3)  Mint 22-07-15

 

Rot

I do not however have to reason whether something is wrong with Snake because it is pretty obvious that there is.

Snake 22-07-15 Snake 22-07-15 (3) Snake 22-07-15 (2)

A search of the internet reveals a condition in Sanseveria laurentii called root rot.

In answer to a question about ‘what is wrong if the leaves rot out at the root?http://houseplants-care.blogspot.co.uk/2006/05/snake-plant-care.html states that, “Most of the time, root rot is caused by overwatering or improper drainage. Try watering your plant less often. You may want to repot the rest of your plant in new soil to prevent the root rot from spreading to the other leaves.

http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extnews/hortiscope/flowers/snsevria.htm says that when rot develops, “Try dividing the plant at the crown and toss out anything that appears rotted or take leaf cuttings from healthy stock and root them.

It seems that the only way to save Snake may be by completely re-potting him.

 

http://www.gardenbanter.co.uk/united-kingdom/183358-help-please-houseplant-mother-laws-tongue-dying-no-idea-what-do.html rather practically advises that,

Firstly, cut your losses. Get the plant out of the pot and free of all soil. Discard anything at or below surface level which is rotten.

If any of the offsets (new plants forming below soil surface level) are ok, pot those up separately. Use commercial cactus compost or 1 part John Innes (No. 1, 2, or 3 – doesn’t matter) with 2 parts sharp sand or 1 part sharp sand and 1 part grit (about 5 mm). Put the remaining full-size healthy
plants in the same mixture. Do not water for a few days, then start watering carefully, but only once a week and then only to dampen the
compost.

If any of the leaves are rotten at the base, but ok above, you can grow new plants from the healthy parts. BUT if you have the Mother-in-law’s Tongue which has a yellow edge to the leaves (most of them are this type), then any new plants will not have the yellow edge.

Cut the leaves across completely so each bit is about 2 inches long. Put the bottom end half an inch into the potting mixture mentioned above. Make
sure you have the bottom end, as the top end will not root. Do NOT water the potting mixture – just put the cut leaves in it in a place which is
fairly light but out of direct sunlight. After 3 months the bottom ends of the leaves should have formed roots. If any haven’t, and have dried out,
throw them away.

After several more months, new plants will begin to grow from the base of the old cut leaves.

I have no idea why yours have rotted, other than it got cold as well as wet. A small amount of dampness in winter at surface of the soil could lead to
collar rot. I’ve had mine for over 15 years without problem, but I almost never water them from the end of September to the end of March. From April I start watering carefully, and give them a good amount in summer. Even so, I never let them stand in water at any time. Sometimes they reward me with a flower or two!

 

It is good for me that this article recommends using commercial cactus compost as I already have some of this after sorting out Flapjack.

 

If I am repotting, which looks highly likely http://www.instructables.com/id/Save-a-Rotted-Snake-Plant/ suggests a clay pot as this, “offers more aeration for this desert loving plant.”


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Dendritic Reflective: Week 57

Here is my review of progress after fifty seven weeks:

Absolutely scorching in London this week although there is still a cool breeze. I would normally expect this to have disappeared by now but it appears to still be with us. The thermometers on the South Eastern facing windowsill are both showing temperatures of 40°C, due to the cloudless sky and the sun shining directly onto this area.

Dare I say, at the risk of jinxing further nasty surprises, but the building work on the outside of the house appears to have been completed. The triffids are still on the patio table under the protection of the large umbrella but as I must also fear the umbrella up-ending the table sending the triffids flying if a stormy gust of wind takes hold, I should probably return the triffids to their normal spots. However they seem to be flourishing in their new locations so I think I may leave them there for another week and review.

 

The Basil Brothers

Basil 19-07-15 Basil 19-07-15 (2) Basil 19-07-15 (3) Basil 19-07-15 (4)

The basil is still doing very poorly with only the extremities of the original brothers remaining green. I think I will take a cutting of the green leaves on show and try and re-plant.

 

 

Pitch

Pitch 19-07-15 Pitch 19-07-15 (2) Pitch 19-07-15 (3) Pitch 19-07-15 (4)

This lad continues to improve at a phenomenal rate. What more can I say. Whatever life throws at him he just keeps going. May possibly move him back into the stronger sun as this is what he likes but in the very strong sun seen recently, his water tray goes dry every two days or so and I am beginning to run out of rain water stores. If he copes well in the shade I may well leave him here. August is the hottest month and I need to start rationing my water.

 

 

Luke

Luke 19-07-15 Luke 19-07-15 (2) Luke 19-07-15 (3) Luke 19-07-15 (4)

Yawn. Nothing continues to happen. Even in this spot this water tray goes dry far too often and I am going to have to replace the tray with something similar to that used by the others.

 

 

Sunny

Sunny 19-07-15 Sunny 19-07-15 (2)

Sunny has responded impressively to the more shady relocation. Definitely worth leaving her here for a while longer whilst she recovers.

 

 

Drake

Drake 19-07-15 Drake 19-07-15 (2)

Drake looks a little pathetic in the pictures above but I assure you that this is merely the change of angle. Drake normally prefers half shade and is the only triffid normally resident on the South West rather than South East facing windowsill. This means that the current conditions should suit him pretty well. Will review next week.

 

 

Piggy

Piggy 19-07-15 Piggy 19-07-15 (2) Piggy 19-07-15 (3)

Was more worried last week about the effect of the paint flecks on Piggy than on any of the other triffids. One week on there are no noticeable signs of any harm being done, although it was always going to be likely that the effects could not be felt for weeks and even months. Another candidate for being moved back earlier than the others although last year I did fear a bit of scorching in sun similar to that at the moment. Will review next week and keep a close eye.

 

 

Venus

Venus 19-07-15 Venus 19-07-15 (2) Venus 19-07-15 (3) Venus 19-07-15 (4) Venus 19-07-15 (5) Venus 19-07-15 (6)

It’s getting crowded in there. The daughter of Sunny has certainly benefited from a week in the shade with those sundew leaves enlarging rapidly and more on the way. There is no visible growth with the circular sundews but in a small pot they continue to take up a significant surface area. Meanwhile Venus herself continues to grow and develop new traps at a pretty rapid rate. There are also signs of the largest traps feeding on something although I have no idea what is left in that front trap.

 

 

Aphro

Aphro 19-07-15 Aphro 19-07-15 (2) Aphro 19-07-15 (3) Aphro 19-07-15 (4)

Aphro looks like the move to more shady climes has also had some benefit. There are so many traps in that pot now and there are a few signs of new growth in the pot. The largest traps both seem to have been eating spiders or daddy long-legs or some such and there are several other traps that have closed with potential kills inside so this area certainly seems to be more fruitful for prey. Will review next week to see if this could be a better position during the hottest part of the summer.

 

 

Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)

Mint 19-07-15 Mint 19-07-15 (2)

The sisters are not as impressed with their move. Have been trying to give them a bit more water than I have before but the leaves are looking pretty scorched and the white mottled spots on the leave do not seem to be paint but it seems that the rusting has taken hold, earlier than last year – although I do not think that it was this hot until later in Summer last year so this may account. Perhaps I will need to find an even more shady spot for the sisters.

 

 

Gronda

Gronda 19-07-15 Gronda 19-07-15 (2) Gronda 19-07-15 (3) Gronda 19-07-15 (4)

There are no signs of any more of the leaves having died or beginning to die over the last week. It is very hot and I have been regularly spraying Gronda’s leaves whilst also watering the base of the stems with rested tap water every week or so, or often when the plant is looking particularly droopy. If outside on the external windowsill it is registering over 40°C then it is certainly possible that the sun coming through the South Eastern facing kitchen window is making Gronda’s spot very hot. So far this year there has been very little humidity when it has been hot and thus Gronda is probably getting little water himself. A few new leaves still developing though.

 

 

Hulk

Hulk 19-07-15 Hulk 19-07-15 (2)

Despite the hot position near that South Eastern facing window there is no sign of particular spine droopage. This is a cactus after all. Watered last week so will not be watering until I see signs of droopage.

 

 

Snake

Snake 19-07-15 Snake 19-07-15 (2) Snake 19-07-15 (3)

Something is going seriously wrong with this plant and now more of the upstanding leaves are beginning to lose their rigidity. This has been the first stage of death in all other cases. Have now relocated to the kitchen so the plant will get a lot more sunlight. Will not water yet but need to do some internet research about what’s going on before more leaves suffer the same fate. Such a shame.

 

 

Flapjack

Flapjack 19-07-15 Flapjack 19-07-15 (2) Flapjack 19-07-15 (3)

Flapjack continues to grow very well. Gave him a drink last week so will now not water for a while. The original remaining part of the plant is looking increasingly more and more dead but still cannot quite bring myself to remove it, just in case. Viva Flapjack.


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Dendritic Reflective: Week 56

Here is my review of progress after fifty six weeks:

It has been a busy few weeks and I have not been able to update on all that has been going on, and it has certainly been a busy time. There has been a heat wave with temperatures hitting the low thirties and Summer has definitely arrived. Last night it was 21°C at Midnight. It has proved quite difficult to keep the outdoor triffids sufficiently lubricated as the heat continually evaporates the water, have thus needed to be much more diligent than useful.

The building works has also finally started and are still on-going. The plan was that my girlfriend would be here for 2 weeks whilst they were on and would move my plants if anything threatened them. Unfortunately, the building work stopped for some time as the main builder had tonsilitis and I came home in the middle of last week to discover that paint flecks had appeared all over the outside floor.

Paint Flecks 11-07-15 Paint Flecks 11-07-15 (2)

My girlfriend who had stayed for 3 weeks had finally had to go. I guess that building works never work to plan, but builders never seem to care particularly about the damage they do to the immediate environment, most appear to operate with a tunnel vision focused on their specific job. The mint has suffered worst from this paint invasion but several of the pots have paint flecks both on the plants and in their water trays and rather annoyingly I fear that some may have also infected my rain water stores.

Paint Flecks in Drake's Water Tray

Paint Flecks in Drake’s Water Tray

There are even some flecks stuck to some of the sundew leaves which I am not very happy about. The paint flecks are unlikely to be ion neutral and as I have previously stated it was builders who killed my last set of triffids with their plastering work, although these were kept inside. I have a slight sense of fear going forward as to what will happen. May also have to investigate alternative water sources as it does not look like it will be raining anytime soon.

As the work is still going on and the builder appears to be unable to give a finish date I have moved all the carnivores onto the patio table with the umbrella up. As it is reasonably breezy this brings a new worry that the umbrella will up end the table sending the plants flying onto the floor. Will have to watch the wind but at least the plants will be protected from falling paint and masonry.

Plant Relocation 11-07-15 Plant Relocation 11-07-15 (2)

Also, my bathroom ceiling fell in around two weeks ago and Snake also suffered falling masonry and a temporary relocation. More on that later.

Ceiling Collapse 11-07-15

 

I have now had the second wave of plants for an entire year. I will therefore provide my annual comparisons first before updating on the others.

 

Drake

01/07/14

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01/07/14

Drake 27-06-15

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Drake 27-06-15 (2)

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Drake 27-06-15 (3)

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11/07/15

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11/07/15

Although Drake is not quite as full as he was when I first got him he is still doing pretty well since coming out of dormancy. There are plenty of sun dew leaves and new ones developing all the time. The pictures above from 11/07/15 show that Drake has taken a bit of a showering from the paint flecks but I have at least attempted to remove as many flakes as possible from the water tray with a teaspoon. Am looking forward to seeing how Drake will improve now that he has been in my care for a year as he gets more used to his new surroundings, there is still plenty of time for a late growth spurt through August and into Autumn. All in all I am very happy, provided he survives the paint.

 

 

Aphro

01/07/14

01/07/14

27/06/15

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27/06/15

11/07/15

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11/07/15

One year on, Aphro still has a large number of traps, although as we enter the second year the traps are notably smaller than previously and the red colour inside the traps is not as pronounced as previously. Post-dormancy I have finally got some new traps that are not so close to the ground and there are many more developing. The 11/07/15 pictures record some of the paint damage but have tried to remove as much as possible from the water tray and hopefully this will not phase Aphro too much. Am certainly less worried about how the VPTs will survive than I am over the sundews,

 

Gronda

01/07/14

01/07/14

27/06/15

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11/07/15

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A year on it feels that Gronda has thinned out somewhat although it took me a long while to get his watering habits right and he has certainly worried me at points in the last year that he may not survive. Have continued to spray him most days, particularly as it has been very hot, and when he has looked particularly droopy I have given him a little water directly to the base of the stems. Unfortunately in the last few weeks two of the leaves have turned yellow and are beginning to die. Not currently sure, why this is. It could possibly be due to overwatering as I have probably watered him more than I should because in the recent heat he has looked far more droopy than normal and spraying does not seem to have hit the spot. There is also a possibility that some parts of the plant have not received enough sun recently as I had pulled the kitchen blind down for a few days. All in all I will continue to monitor and if more leaves begin to die then I will reassess.

Pending this little wobble, I am very happy with Gronda’s recovery from some pretty dark days. He has survived Winter and this wonderful plant looks pretty happy most of the time. He has been producing quite a few new leaves recently and the growing season for these plants is still to come so hopefully I will be looking forward to the appearance of many more stems and leaves.

 

Hulk

29/09/14

29/06/14

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Looking at the photos from a year ago I can see just how many spines Hulk has lost. It certainly took me a very long time to get to grips with his watering regime but now I am fairly confident that I know what I’m doing, particularly as these plants need little care. No more spines have fallen since I found the optimum watering regime and they are looking far less droopy than before, indeed new ones have grown. Onwards and upwards.

 

Snake

29/06/14

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27/06/15

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27/06/15

11/07/15

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11/07/15

After a year of looking more like a plastic copy than a real plant, poor old Snake has fallen on hard times. Having had a dead leaf about a month ago which I removed the situation has not improved. When the ceiling fell in, the plant was temporarily relocated to the kitchen, an area with far more sunlight, heat and drafts and far less humidity.

I returned him within 2 days and all looked well but in the last 2 weeks one of his leaves became very flacid and began to turn from green to yellow. This has now happened to a second leaf and there are others that do not look particularly happy either. Although the picture does not really show it, several of the other leaves are losing their colour and rigidity. I am going to move Snake to another location, probably the kitchen and hope that this is just a temporary blip. One to monitor carefully. Perhaps Snake is not indestructible after all.

 

Flapjack

01/07/15

01/07/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

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11/07/15

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Flapjack is a recent success story although obviously I have treated him pretty badly in the year I have had him. He was always the runt of the litter and he had no proper spot. However, I have now cracked his watering regime and he is happier than ever. He does not look as good as a year ago but the substantial growth that he has put in since being re-potted should ensure that it will not be long before he is back to his best. Meanwhile the residual part of flapjack remaining in the original pot definitely looks to have had its day.

 

Piggy

05/07/14

05/07/14

Piggy 27-06-15

27/06/15

Piggy 27-06-15 (2)

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

 

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Although Piggy was a later addition, arriving around about the 5th July 2014, he has also now been with me for a year. He looks much more happy than a year ago and has branched out quite magnificently after being a lot more compact upon arrival. Piggy is another who has copped a load of paint flecks over the plant and in the water tray. I have removed as much as I can from the water tray with a teaspoon but am still worried that he may suffer. In his temporary spot he is also going to be out of the direct sunlight for a few days so perhaps he will not like that either. The sooner the builders go and the plants can return to normal the better. Will monitor closely during this transitional period.

 

 

The Basil Brothers

Basil 27-06-15

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Basil 27-06-15 (2)

27/06/15

 

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Oops. There’s been so much going on that the poor old Brothers have been neglected somewhat. Most of Tall and Short basil are looking like they’re finished although Short Basil has one healthy looking section of stem left. The newer basil is looking okay. Gave them all a drink in the week and again today but maybe it is time to put these working plants to bed and replace them with new ones. The fact is that they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing i.e. Providing fresh basil for my culinary excursions. I do not have these plants to look pretty.

 

 

Pitch

Pitch 27-06-15

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Pitch 27-06-15 (2)

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Pitch 27-06-15 (3)

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Pitch 27-06-15 (4)

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Pitch 27-06-15 (5)

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Pitch's Pot 11/07/15

Pitch’s Water Tray 11/07/15

Sunny's Water Tray 11/07/15

Sunny’s Water Tray 11/07/15

Pitch is just the don. Through all he carries on. The flowers have now gone revealing the seeds within. The many seeds within. As the latter two pictures show, these seeds have been getting everywhere so who knows where new Pitcher plants may be springing up in the near future. Those young new shoots have now grown into mature pitchers and there is still new growth coming. Wonderful.

 

 

Luke

Luke 27-06-15

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Luke 27-06-15 (3)

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Luke 27-06-15 (4)

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Not a lot to say with this one. Yawn. Was dying for a white pitcher but guess I’m going to have to wait till 2017 at the earliest. That immature pitcher does not appear to have grown at all in the past 2 months. Amazingly slow when you consider the rate at which Pitch’s pitchers have matured. The round sun dew visitor has little purple flowers and still do not have the heart to remove the flower and stalk, although really don’t want more seeds from this one.

 

 

Sunny

Sunny 27-06-15

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Sunny 27-06-15 (2)

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Sunny 27-06-15 (4)

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Sunny 27-06-15 (3)

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Sunny 27-06-15 (5)

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11/07/15

Now, I thought Sunny had had it. Thought she was deceased, was no more, had shuffled off her mortal coil and gone to join the choir invisible. But she lives on. There are a number of very small sun dew leaves in two distinct patches growing healthily. Unfortunately, Sunny has probably copped more paint flecks than any of the other plants. In her case, not only did I remove the flakes from her water tray with a tea spoon but I drained her pot with rain water to try and dislodge any flecks from her sun dew leaves. This has been a reasonably successful mission although some flecks remain in positions too difficult to remove. I can only hope that she keeps on surviving. Never thought she was up to much but she has really surprised me with her tenacity.

 

 

Venus

Venus 27-06-15

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Venus 27-06-15 (2)

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Venus 27-06-15 (3)

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Venus 27-06-15 (4)

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Venus meanwhile is on the up, with 3 maybe 4 new traps developing. Despite the flower stalk incident her traps remain to develop much larger than Aphro’s. I have also not had a deformed trap yet since the freaks of last year post-stalk. Elsewhere in the pot, the progeny of Sunny are now fully developed and are threatening to take over. They are much larger sundew leaves than their mother by some distance and the plants here are doing much better. The round sundew visitor is beginning to cause problems in the pot, namely interfering with one of Venus’s remaining dormancy traps. I think that it may have caused the trap to close. This pot is gonna be heaving come the end of Summer and will definitely need re-potting to a much bigger pot come next year.

 

 

Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)

Mint 27-06-15

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11/07/15

Not only has the mint been significantly covered in paint but it’s temporary relocation due to the building works has also meant that it has been somewhat scorched by the sun. The second generation mint is now looking pretty tatty when as the pictures show, only two weeks ago I was considering having a mint tea. Should have moved a lot faster. I’m pretty sure that this was what happened last year and I certainly didn’t get any mint tea then. I am tempted to buy some more mint plants and re-pot the lot. Will definitely need to move the plants to a more shady space, if I can find one. Have been giving reasonably regular water in the evenings but as it has been so sunny and hot perhaps I should consider watering every night.

 


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Happy Hargrave Birthday (Dendritic Reflective: Week 52)

Here is my review of progress after having some of the triffids for an entire year:

 

The Basil Brothers

15-06-14

15-06-14

Basil 13-06-15

13/06/15

Basil 13-06-15 (2)

13/06/15

After a year it could not necessarily be said that the Basil Brothers are looking better, the plants are now very tall but it is the lack of foliage that is the most striking issue twelve months on. Cuttings time!!

 

 

Pitch

Pitcher 15-06-14

15/06/14

Pitch 13-06-15

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Pitch 08-06-15 (2)

08/06/15

Pitch 08-06-15

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Pitch 08-06-15 (4)

08/06/15

Pitch 13-06-15 (2)

13/06/15

Pitch 13-06-15 (3)

13/06/15

Pitch 13-06-15 (4)

13/06/15

Pitch 13-06-15 (5)

13/06/15

13/06/15

13/06/15

Whether Pitch has improved or declined is something of a moot point. Some of the original pitchers still exist though they have seen better days, and are now larger brown, dead or cut back. There has however been significant new pitcher growth particularly in September last year meaning that the foliage is much denser than it was a year ago. As the last picture above shows, the back section of the rhizome appears to have died and has produced no new growth in some considerable time. It seems that I probably did not bury this part of the rhizome well enough. Insufficient coverage with soil exposing the rhizome to the elements is enough to cause harm and that looks like it has happened here. In my defence, the rhizome was a pretty odd shape and it was very difficult to keep some bits above the soil whilst ensuring that other parts do not get buried too deep as this can also be harmful, increasing the chances of infection. One thing that Pitch has given me for my first anniversary are the rather odd but strangely beautiful flowers, they really are quite something. I await his progress through the next year.

 

 

Venus

Venus 15-06-14

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Venus 13-06-15 (2)

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Venus 13-06-15 (3)

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Venus 13-06-15 (4)

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Venus 13-06-15 (5)

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I note with a wry smile that Venus was actually sent to me with a flower stalk, long before I realised the significance of its presence and began to remove on sight. Apart from the presence of the flower stalk there is not really much difference with Venus one year on. The claws of the traps look longer a year ago and the trap is slightly redder in colour but Venus seems to be in slightly better shape now. Despite the strength sapping abilities of those flower stalks, Venus has more traps than a year ago even if the newest has not developed fully yet.

It is also notable that the presence of the invaders in the pot cannot be detected a year ago. Still not sure where the round sundew came from but am very happy that Sunny’s legacy is living on here in this pot. Did not previously recognise how effective sundews are at self-propagation.

 

 

Sunny

Sun Dew 15-06-14

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Sunny 08-06-15 (2)

08/06/15

Sunny 08-06-15 (4)

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Sunny 08-06-15 (3)

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Sunny 13-06-15

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Sunny 13-06-15 (2)

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Sunny 13-06-15 (3)

13/06/15

A year on and it looks like Sunny has almost gone. Whilst there are some remaining signs of growth in the pot, the colour they have now turned, reddish brown, is the colour of impending doom. Most other growth turned this colour before dying including the new leaf that appeared to be rallying so strongly about a month ago. The rate of decline in this pot has been immense and whilst Sunny was never the strongest of plants I did think that she would last longer than a year. The contributory factors to this state of decline are still somewhat confusing. Her leaves had shown a large amount of decline whilst still in the house before she was moved outside indicating that it has not been caused by temperature fluctuation. There were a couple of dry days at various times which did not seem to agree with her but these were minimal. The previous one occurred whilst she was still inside and she rallied strongly after this. Scorching cannot really be a factor as the progeny present in Venus’s pot show no similar signs and indeed, flourish in the same conditions. I am beginning to wonder if there was some sort of element of infection, fungal or bacterial. For this reason I will not re-use the soil from Sunny’s pot. I will however leave it over Summer with water just in case there is any miracle recovery.

 

 

Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)

Mint 15-06-14

15/06/14

Mint 13-06-15

13/06/15

Definite decline here after a year. Those mint plants looked ripe for tea making upon their arrival last year. Unfortunately, after subjecting the sisters to a fair bit of scorching and not giving them enough water they proceeded to then suffer slug/caterpillar attack before also contracting what looked like mint rust. The recent picture still indicates that the mint rust is around. I have been watering the mint in the evenings once in a while but perhaps I need to give it a whole lot more water, growth has not been particularly impressive this year.

 

 

Luke

Luke 13-06-15 Luke 13-06-15 (2) Luke 13-06-15 (3)

The newest of newcomers. Not a lot happening. Slow development of the new picture and will have to wait till later in the year at the earliest for any real action to start, if at all!

 

 

Drake

Drake 13-06-15 Drake 13-06-15 (2) Drake 13-06-15 (3)

Drake’s progress continues. Going in the right direction although his first year anniversary is likely to show that he is not as fully developed this year as he was last.

 

 

Piggy

Piggy 13-06-15 Piggy 13-06-15 (2)

Lapping up the outside sunshine and surely further proof that conditions for Sunny should be perfect. Piggy was the more sensitive last year but under current conditions he appears to be thriving albeit in quite a laid back manner. Little real change in the last few weeks but still looks strong.

 

 

Aphro

Aphro 13-06-15 Aphro 13-06-15 (2)

Evidence of new traps developing but the majority of the remaining traps are very small. The reversal of fortunes and progress amongst the two Venus Fly Traps is quite amazing, especially as Aphro was never allowed to properly develop any sort of flower stalk. Despite this he appears to have declined, particularly in trap density and size. Will be interesting to see if he rallies later in the year. It must be remembered that he did not really go into dormancy over Winter, if anything he seems to be going into dormancy now, in Summer. Still have my fingers crossed that he will show a late surge in the very near future.

 

 

Gronda

Gronda 13-06-15 Gronda 13-06-15 (2) Gronda 13-06-15 (3) Gronda 13-06-15 (4) Gronda 13-06-15 (5)

Gronda’s recovery continues apace with even more new leaves presenting themselves. Gave hm a water a the stalk bases during last week as the leaves were beginning to curl. Have still been spraying a fair bit but perhaps only once every two or three days at the moment. A plant that does require a fair amount of care but worth every minute. My girlfriend does cook with the back door open though and I remember reading that calatheas did not like drafts, so I have yet to see how this may affect his prolonged recovery. Roll on the proper growing season in late Summer/Autumn.

 

 

Hulk

Hulk 13-06-15

No watering for Hulk over the last two weeks and little sign of spine droopage. Probably due for watering next weekend.

 

 

Snake

Snake 13-06-15 Snake 13-06-15 (2) Snake 13-06-15 (3)

That dying brown leaf is still a cause for concern but there does not appear to have been any replication on any of the other leaves, although Snake does everything so slowly that it could take some time for any infection or condition to spread, by which time it could well be too late. Yikes. Continuing to monitor more closely than ever before.

 

 

Flapjack

Flapjack 13-06-15 Flapjack 13-06-15 (2) Flapjack 13-06-15 (3)

Is the original piece of Flapjack still going? It does not look very healthy but I still cannot put it out of its misery just in case some new growth appears. In the other pot, the son of Flapjack continues with his happy development. No water over the last 2 weeks but must be due by next week.

 

 

Addendum

Whilst repairing the fridge last week my girlfriend managed to lose my Sarracenia seeds so that line of investigation will have to wait until I acquire some more.


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Alien Invaders (Dendritic Reflective: Week 50)

A fair bit to talk about this week. It looks like fairly wet weather scheduled for next week but mercifully the temperatures will remain fairly mild with the coldest overnight temperature threatened as 7 or 8°C. As this is only for the one night with overnight temperatures otherwise remaining around 10-11°C I am not really that worried. What is more concerning is the lack of sun but I guess this cannot be helped, am sure it will put in an appearance at some point.

Here is my review of progress after fifty weeks:

 

The Basil Brothers

Basil 30-05-15 Basil 30-05-15 (2) Basil 30-05-15 (3)

The brothers look pretty healthy and the new leaves are continuing to develop. There is still some quite serious death coloured dis-colouration on the left most stalks and I have not watered either of the two original brothers this week. I did however water the newest basil plant introduced by my girlfriend as this was looking a bit thirsty but perked up considerably, returning to a healthy normality once I had provided a good drink. Still at a bit of a loss to consider why the older plants are just not producing many leaves but perhaps this is just something that happens when the plants get too tall. My cuttings plan is still very much a goer.

 

 

Pitch

Pitch 30-05-15 Pitch 30-05-15 (2) Pitch 30-05-15 (3)

Pitch is still largely in a state of flux and I continue to patiently wait. The new growth is still developing but it seems to be taking an age to mature. Carnivorous plants featured recently at the Chelsea flower show http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05wj79j/rhs-chelsea-flower-show-2015-episode-13 starting at 19:43. It is notable that the pitcher plants on show at the carnivorous garden display at Chelsea are all already fully in bloom. My neighbour went to the live and event and actually spoke to the chap running the garden. He told her that he removes the dead foliage from his Pitcher plants. Am really wondering if I should remove the old Pitchers. My current plan is to remove any dead bits as they die and discolour, based on the fact that the plant is probably still drawing nutrients from the beasties being digested within the parts of the pitchers that are still alive. It must be hungry work producing all those flower buds.

Speaking of the flower buds – the middle picture above seems to indicate that this one at least may be about to open. Excited, impatient and slightly worried all at the same time.

 

 

Luke

Luke 30-05-15 Luke 30-05-15 (2) Luke 30-05-15 (3)

If Pitch is slower than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping, to quote Blackadder, then he is still developing faster than Luke. I am beginning to wonder if I will be able to gaze at beautiful leucophylla white pitchers by the end of the year, let alone Summer.

http://www.carnivorousplants.org/howto/GrowingGuides/S_leucophylla.php has the following to say regarding their care: “Sarracenia leucophylla is found in wet savannahs in the southeast USA, from northeastern Florida to eastern Mississippi. S. leucophylla pitchers are green with the top quarter being white with red or green veins. Pitchers produced in the spring are narrower and not as white as pitchers produced in the fall. Under extremely warm conditions, this species may produce phyllodia (pitcherless leaves) in the middle of the summer. The flowers are deep red.

Adult plants enjoy full sun outdoors. They require seasons in order to survive long term. Typical summer temperatures where they grow naturally are in the mid 30’s C (90’s F). Winter temperatures can be below freezing at times. In captivity they do survive being frozen solid but this species is more susceptible to freeze damage than the more northern species.

It seems that the Spring pitchers will develop slowly and will not mature into proper white pitchers. Like Pitch, it appears that Luke will also show his best growth during the Autumn and I may have to wait a very long time. The only currently growing new pitcher as seen in the middle image, is growing slowly but surely but there are no signs of any other growth.

‘The weed’ present in this pot mercifully appears to be behaving itself, relative to its nearby relatives, as will be seen later in this piece.

The other event of note, as seen in the last picture, is that I have also swapped Luke’s position with that of Sunny, largely because Sunny, unlike her name demonstrates looks like she may require a bit more shade. The spot that Luke was occupying is rather in the shadow of Pitch, who is a pretty bulky fella. The new position will hopefully give Luke a lot more sunshine, which according to the advice above may well suit him, and maybe, will even speed his development – I want this plant to have at least one active pitcher.

 

 

Sunny

Sunny 30-05-15 Sunny 30-05-15 (2) Sunny 30-05-15 (3) Sunny 30-05-15 (4)

Despite it not being particularly sunny this week, Sunny appears to be struggling. As the pictures above show there are now very few sundew leaves remaining as another 3 or 4 have now browned and died and the very small new growth appears to also be browning in a manner that does not look healthy. However, all is not yet lost. Not only has the best surviving sundew leaf caught a fly which it is currently bust devouring but as the pictures above show, there is some very strong new growth near to this remaining healthy sundew leaf. This new leaf was not apparent last week which demonstrates that there is life left in this plant yet.

As mentioned above, I have swapped Sunny’s position with Luke meaning that now Sunny is next to Pitch and will be afforded slightly more shade over the course of the day. What worries me is that nearly every website I have looked at for advice on care suggests that for optimal growth this species requires full sunlight. There is a possibility here that the plant may have a fungal infection. There are a few sites that suggest that this species can be over-watered, in that it can lead to the roots rotting. This plant did rally in late Summer last year so if it can survive until then then I will see whether I am just being paranoid but I a currently at a bit of a loss as to whether this plant is unhappy. Reading the signals seems to suggest that she is.

 

 

Drake

Drake 30-05-15 Drake 30-05-15 (2) Drake 30-05-15 (3)

My boy keeps on improving. Also beginning to catch flies. He certainly got pretty hungry last year.

 

 

Piggy

Piggy 30-05-15 Piggy 30-05-15 (2)

Piggy changes very little from week to week. She still looks very happy but nothing significant to speak of.

 

 

Venus

Venus 30-05-15 Venus 30-05-15 (2) Venus 30-05-15 (3) Venus 30-05-15 (4) Venus 30-05-15 (5)

Venus, oh Venus. Firstly, one of the larger remaining traps has shut although there appears to be nothing in there that I can see. As the last picture above shows, the new growth is still developing and it looks to be growing tall and looking healthy which is a very good sign. I also had to remove another developing flower stalk this week so all is looking good for Venus remaining a happy and strong plant.

The biggest news in Venus’s pot this week, is however, the invaders. ‘The weed’ at the back produced a long flower stalk, which probably means that it is going to try and seed itself elsewhere, which I will have to keep a very strong eye on. Until Winter I had no circular sundews and now there is one in Luke’s pot and at least two in Venus’s. These pesky critters are at risk of taking over.

In addition to this, it appears that there is another invader as seen in the second to last picture near to the circular sun dew. Now this looks all the world to me like a Drosera nidiformis like Sunny. Sunny did produce a flower stalk last year which did briefly flower before dying back. It seems that it has actually led to Sunny propagating herself. Good news at a time when Sunny herself appears to be in strife, but rather shocking news for me in that it is completely unexpected, and perhaps this influx of sundews into Venus’s pot risks harming his continued existence. She has never been the most resilient looking of plants, although admittedly she is rallying quite well at the moment.

It has certainly been a hotbed of propagation at some point over the last year. If Sunny herself does not survive then perhaps it will be best to simply transplant Venus into Sunny’s pot leaving the sundews in Venus’s old pot to fight it out amongst themselves. It’s like a French farce. That nidiformis, if indeed that is what it is, has also managed to catch a fly already. Stunned.

 

 

Aphro

Aphro 30-05-15 Aphro 30-05-15 (2) Aphro 30-05-15 (3)

No new dead traps to report and a lot of good healthy central growth. Aphro rumbles on.

 

 

Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)

Mint 30-05-15 Mint 30-05-15 (2)

Very little to say about the mint. It does not appear to be spreading much although it’s still quite early in the season. Not much evidence of interference from beasties so am happy.

 

 

Gronda

Gronda 30-05-15 Gronda 30-05-15 (2) Gronda 30-05-15 (3) Gronda 30-05-15 (4) Gronda 30-05-15 (5)

Who’s back. Who’s bad!! My care of Gronda has been pretty excellent over the last few weeks and he continues to respond. I have been misting his leaves almost every day and also gave him a wee drink mid-week at the base of each set of stems. The new leaves are beginning to unravel and it’s not even his proper growing season yet. Am confident that by the Winter he will be back to his best. Proud.

 

 

Hulk

Hulk 30-05-15 Hulk 30-05-15 (2) Hulk 30-05-15 (3)

Haven’t watered Hulk this week but he is also recovering strongly. No signs of droopy spines any longer and signs of new growth.

 

 

Snake

Snake 30-05-15 Snake 30-05-15 (2) Snake 30-05-15 (3)

Clearly I have been doing Snake a dis-service by accusing him of never changing, growing or in any way looking any different from week to week. As I discovered mid-week, one of the leaves at the back has in fact gone brown and looks pretty shriveled and dying, if not dead. Am I finally also going to have to keep an eye on old faithful here? This is the only leaf that appears to be in any strife but the worrying aspect is that there does not appear to be any apparent cause. Am pretty sure that this is quite odd behaviour for this almost indestructable plant. In the next few weeks I will have to look at Snake, just that little bit closer.

 

 

Flapjack

Flapjack 30-05-15 Flapjack 30-05-15 (2)

Like yin and yan, the plant that became two parts has those parts in opposition. The remaining leaf is looking more and more like it’s had it. Meanwhile, there are signs of new growth on the re-planted section. Whoop, whoop. This means that the transfer and re-potting has been a success. If the remaining original leaf dies then at least Flapjack will go on. The re-planted part is looking happy as Larry. Have not watered these plants this week but will if there are any signs of droopage.

 

 

Addendum

An extra section this week. This is because my aforementioned neighbour, she who attended the Chelsea Flower Show and spoke to the carnivorous plant man, brought me back some seeds from said man at said show. The seeds are wrapped in light card and on this card is written, ‘Sarracenia Hybrid Mixed’. Now, I have never actually grown any carnivores from seed before.

https://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/Articles.asp?ID=270 explains that, “Many US-native carnivorous plants produce their seeds in early fall, right before the first frost of the season. If these seeds germinated too soon, the young seedlings would surely die because they wouldn’t have time to fully acclimate to upcoming winter weather. To prevent this from happening, these seeds contain enzymes that prevent them from germinating before the onset of winter. … In order to germinate these seeds, you must expose them to cold damp conditions in order to deactivate the enzymes. When the enzyme is deactivated, the seeds will germinate when the temperature warms up again. This process of preparing seeds for germination is called stratification.

http://www.bestcarnivorousplants.com/sowing_seeds.htm#Germination%20and%20lifespan%20of%20seeds states that, “The best time to sow seeds of CP is in early spring (February- April), but seeds can be sown at any time. The seedlings are very sensitive to a lack of light, thus the requirement for artificial light in the winter.

http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3160.html  has Barry Rice providing the following advice: “seeds of Sarracenia … must experience a cold spell before they will germinate well. (The key word is well—some will germinate without a cold treatment, but you will get much better results by providing the treatments.) This cold treatment is called stratification.

During stratification, the seeds must be kept both cold and moist. (The seeds need to absorb water to begin the germination process). I prefer to sow such seed in their pots, and give them a wet, chilly winter just like the mature plants get. In the spring, after a few months of cold, they start erupting from the pots. It’s quite exciting. (Sometimes the thrill is so great I have to sit down and rest for a while.) About four weeks is the optimal stratification time for most Sarracenia. Shorter stratification periods will result in less complete germination. Longer stratification periods for S. leucophylla can result in smaller germination rates. Some Sarracenia may do better with a stratification of about six weeks; S. purpurea var. venosa, S. purpurea subsp. purpurea, and S. jonesii respond to this treatment by germinating faster, although the same overall germination rate is ultimately the same.

 

If it is best to plant the seeds between February and April and 4 weeks is the optimal time for cold stratification then I have missed the boat this year, so to speak, unless I consider trying to stimulate germination through artificial conditions, although the web indicates that there is quite a lot of disagreement over how to make this happen – with one bag of seeds I am only going to get one shot at this.

https://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/Articles.asp?ID=270 says that, “There are two ways you can stratify your seeds. The first method is by far the easiest and has the fewest risks. It follows the natural rhythm of the seasons. Essentially you sow your seeds in fall and look for seedlings in spring. Use this method if you live in zones 9 or colder.

The second method is best used if you need to germinate your seeds during the off-season, such as spring and summer when it is too warm for proper stratification.

 

I will therefore consider storage of these seeds until Winter next year when I will revisit.

http://www.carnivoreplants.co.uk/sarracenia_seeds.htm and http://www.bestcarnivorousplants.com/sowing_seeds.htm#Germination%20and%20lifespan%20of%20seeds both recommend that the seeds are kept in the refrigerator until required and these and other websites suggest that seeds can be kept like this for some time. The latter site here also suggests that, “Seeds should not be stored in absolutely dry conditions as relative humidity levels above zero help promote seed viability.

However, conditions should not be too moist. http://www.carnivorousplants.org/howto/Propagation/SarraceniaSeed.php explains that, “Storing the seed dry in the refrigerator isn’t stratification. Stratification is storing the seed in a cold and damp environment usually with natural materials that may aid the process of convincing the seed it is time to start growing.

 

All in all, I prefer the natural method and Barry Rice and others suggest that one can plant the seeds in Autumn and wait until Spring to see what germinates (although this appears to be at odds with his advice of not having too long a period of cold-stratification). It is possible that heavy rain and the sort of mild Winters that London has been seeing in recent years may make this unfeasible but this is a question for closer to the time. For the time being the seeds are going to wait in the fridge.

 

The following wesbites are listed as providing interesting advice relating to the growing of Sarracenia from seed:

http://www.carnivorousplants.org/howto/Propagation/SarraceniaSeed.php

https://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/Articles.asp?ID=270

http://thepitcherplantproject.com/blog/tag/sarracenia-seeds/

http://www.bestcarnivorousplants.com/sowing_seeds.htm#Germination%20and%20lifespan%20of%20seeds

http://www.sarraceniaobsessed.com/the-nursery/growing-program/

http://www.carnivoreplants.co.uk/sarracenia_seeds.htm

http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3160.html

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