Having left the plants to their own devices for eleven days I have now returned from my holidays. I actually returned on Monday but having given them a good once over to check for any pressing issues I left them be until the following evening whereupon I returned them to their smaller trays and performed some gentle housekeeping. This is a record of their progress following twelve days in their holiday situ and then an extra day in their new state:
The Basil Brothers
The Brothers were given a good drain and soak before I went away and the morning I left I also gave them a good glug of water. Now I must admit that I was so convinced that they wouldn’t make it that I took cuttings before I went. Imagine my surprise upon my return to find the Brothers looking much the same as when I left, although Tall Basil has definitely got taller. Maybe my neighbour was watering them whilst she came in to feed the cat. Otherwise this is a remarkable turn of events and fantastic resilience on their part. To top things off, some of the cuttings have also produced new shoots so I will look to transfer these to pots of their own at the weekend. Chuffed.
Pitch has been perfectly happy sitting in my temporarily constructed pseudo-bog for the last two weeks and still shows good signs of that late Summer/Autumn growth spurt. I have tidied him up a bit by removing some of the browner slowly dying pitchers. This has allowed me to look inside and lo and behold, a number of the pitcher tubes are crammed absolutely full of dead flies. Pitch has silently been gorging himself all Summer by the looks of things. Silent but deadly indeed.
Sunny has been another net-improver from her holiday in the temporary bog and boy has she flourished. May have to consider attempting to replicate the holiday conditions if her growth halts now that she has been returned to her stock position.
Conversely to his Drosera cousin poor old Drake has declined further and quite considerably over the two week period. Now, Drake has been declining since ‘dry Thursday’ a month ago but the severity of the decline as viewed upon my return, and in comparison with his state before I left, is hard to bear. This little blighter is my only indigenous carnivore and I am feeling wretched that he seems determined to pop his clogs.
I have been postulating in recent weeks that, discounting any permanent damage caused by ‘dry Thursday’, Drake may be getting too much sunlight and that this may be contributing to his downfall. http://www.growsundews.com/sundews/growing_sundews_outdoors.html states that sundews should be prevented from overheating or getting scorched and that placing them in a, ‘partly sunny or somewhat shaded location‘ reduces the risk of scorching even if the sundew does not receive as much light as it needs.
I am well aware that with such limited growth remaining that it is a gamble to try something new at this late stage but it seems that the alternative is to allow Drake to drift towards destruction. I have therefore moved him to join Piggy on the South West facing External Kitchen Window sill. This move certainly rejuvenated Piggy when he was a little down and this window sill is distinctly more shaded than the South East facing Window sill. It has been a hot summer and when the sun has shone it has certainly scorched. Perhaps, my indigenous sundew has suffered in such strangely sunny English conditions whilst his South African and North American cousins have taken it in their stride. I will have to closely monitor Drake’s progress between now and the weekend.
Piggy looks much the same as he did before I went away. Was always a little concerned that he may get too much sun in his new spot but he seems to have faired pretty well. There is even evidence of some new shoots growing in the pot. Hooray.
Venus doesn’t seem to have been particularly bothered by her brief holiday. The trap that steadfastedly refused to open before turning black has finally gone and I have tidied Venus up a bit by removing the dead flower stem. She’s still really struggling to open up those new traps though. Why go to all the bother of growing new traps if you’re not going to open them fully? Each new trap has a different deformity and it’s beginning to look like a freak show inside that pot. Roll on dormancy and let’s hope we get a hard reset over Winter.
Aphro has not taken to kindly to being consigned to the holiday bog. I had noted that within two days some of the lower traps had begun to blacken and die. Being in a shorter pot than Venus, Aphro remained partially submerged for the entire two week period, the balance between sunshine and rainfall apparently causing no loss to the water level. Obviously my gamble was to overwater temporarily rather than risk a dry out. It isn’t all bad though as the remainder of the non-submerged traps remain healthy. Interestingly Aphro’s new growth development also seems to have slowed down considerably which seems to suggest that maybe growth in VPTs simply slows down in the latter stages of the year as they approach dormancy. A point to note for the future.
Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)
Evidence of some gastropod attack, a few white blotches and some of the leaves looking a bit more ragged than I remember but all in all the sisters do not seem particularly bothered by my absence.
Of all the plants written about within this blog, poor Gronda has missed me the most. He looks rather out of sorts and in need of a bit of TLC. In an attempt to cheer him up, yesterday I gave him a good drain and soak and today I have misted his leaves. I have also tidied him up removing 5 dead brown leaves. This leaves Gronda with a curl factor of 3. Am hopeful that I can nurse him back to rude health.
If I didn’t know that I’d personally taken this new picture today then I might have believed that I’d used the same picture from two weeks ago. What can I say. Not a lot has happened. However, in the context of weeks previous to my holiday this news constitutes good news.
Think that someone might have replaced Snake with a plastic imitation while I was away.
Like the Basset hound of the Hargrave plant world, Flapjack continues to droop his way through life. He seems a little perkier than when I left but maybe my neighbour has just rotated him so that I’m now viewing him from a different angle. The weekend will bring a care review.