Want to grow but how?

tragikmuseMarch 15, 2007

I recently became interested in CP. There just a certain appeal to having something that eats those annoying things like like to buz around my face. I haven't been able to find a whole lot of information on the web that isn't directly contradicted on another site. As i only work part time and am a student, i have a limited budget. My questions are as follows.

Is it better to buy an existing plant or germinate from seed? In either case, any recommendations as to where i can aquire them? I would like to know the exact scientific name which is why i ask for reputable sources.

I woudl like to try my hand at actually growing them from seed and I have read that some require cold stratification and others don't but is there a good source of information as to which do and which don't?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to a nice range in the types of plant as well as form and color? I would like a nice variety and being female generally tend towards colors other than plain green. I have seen some beautiful mutlicolor ones so i know they are out there =)

I appreciate any help you all can give me!

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Growing from seeds vs. mature plants have both advantages and disadvantages. When attempting germination from seeds, there is no guarantee of seed viability. All the best techniques in the world would fail if the seeds are no good. One never know whether they will get 1 or 2 or 200 seedlings. The advantage is that they get established in their environment and are less likely to be upset by changes in their environment. They also take a good year or more to mature.

A mature plant,whether purchased through a retailer like Lowes or an online place or just pay shipping charges from a hobbyist, may have to live through shipping shock or die on the way or die shortly thereafter. OTOH, is they survive shipping stress, they could flower for you later on in the season or next grwoing season.'

Here are some examples of what I have grown from seeds:

Here are some that I propogated through leaf cuttings:

Here are some from gemmae (like crocus bulbs):

Here are some that can be grown from plantlets (vegetative propogation):

This is just plain cute:

And some can be propogated through combinations of seeds and/or leaf cuttings or through the roots:

BTW, the contradictory nature of a discussion forum has a lot to do with varied experiences; how people were taught early on; budget; facilities; tolerance of the species itself; and a bit of dumb luck. I've always said that if you ask a question about how to approach watering or soil media or lighting or dormancy or.... and get 5 responses, 4 will be variations on a theme and the 5th will seem to be off the wall - but...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 9:54AM
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Lots of pinks thrown in there tho i have to say the first picture is probably the most stunning. You have some beautiful plants! Now, you mentioned something about mature plants and flowering. is there a general rule as to when they flower? And is there anyway you can tell me what types the 1rst, 10th andthe 13th in your pictures are?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 9:23AM
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The first pic is a D. paradoxa. #10 is D. pygmaea. #13 is D. erricksonnii. All are from Australia. The latter two are what are called pigmy sundews and are started from gemmae. D. paradoxa is part of the Petiolaris Complex of sundews. Hence the forum name of Petiolaris.

CP's flowering varies widely. Most do so in the spring and summer, but some butterworts and bladderworts will do so in the winter.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 10:58AM
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Hey petiolaris, love your collection of pings. I managed to kill what few I had. I also like how you took the picture of you Byblis, no wonder why they call it the rainbow sundew.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 3:54AM
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Thanks for the compliments!


At the time I most of these pictures were taken I was working for an environmental laboratory and I had the majority of my collection in a storage building next door. The rest were at home. I didn't have a camera of my own, except for this "complimentary camera" from Earthlink, that cannot take clear pictures of small objects. Hence the blurry picture of the U. sandersonnii. So I borrowed co-workers and their cameras to take pictures every so often. Most of their cameras and pictures were okay, but not professional quality. But my supervisor had a real good camera, one that came with an instructional manual that was 2" thick. So ya know it can do a lot and compensate for less that the best conditions, like adequate lighting. Anyways, one day after work we went to the supply building and he took a bunch of pictures, such as the B. liniflora, D. paradoxa, D. madagascariensis, D. aliciae, and the D. adelae. (The D. spatulata and P. primuliflora were different cameras and different times). And then he allowed me to take his camera home with him to take pictures of the rest, which are those pigmy sundews. I am no skilled photographer and the lighting at home wasn't all that great. But the camera was capable of compensating. I "swear", thos plants didn't look as good in real life, as opposed to how they came out in the pictures. It was like looking at the grocery store pictures of fresh produce. I am still borrowing a friend's camera and it isn't like that of my old supervisor. I have to play with lighting and distance and dark backgrounds, etc... to get anything decent.

Would you like another go at Mexican butterworts? I have sprouted many from the leaves and have extras. They are really easy to take care of, so long as they don't get drowned. I speak from experience!


Pigmy sundews are attractive plants. They have 2 detractors. The only successful way to obtain them is from gemmae. Seeds don't work and they don't produce plantlets or sprout from leaves. But gemmae are produced in the fall and the season for harvesting them is pretty well over. I just received some that a friend collected in January and kept in the fridge for several weeks. Many still sprouted in his fridge. This brings me to the second drawback. They come from an area in Australia that has harsh, arid summers, where they dieback for that time. Their adaptation to the lack of water and intense heat is to develop long, thin roots. But these roots also make them very sensitive to being disturbed. They can easily die if just bumped. I have witnessed that! So shipping mature plants is basically as setup for failure.

Below is a link to the current inventory

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter 2007

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 10:43AM
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Hello tragikmuse,

Also, contradictory information might also be the result of different people growing different plants. Tropical carnivores, like Nepenthes and some sundews, do well in partial sun for the most part, so can be grown indoors and do not require dormancy. Temperate carnivores, like Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytraps), Sarracenias, and some sundews, like the prototypical Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera filiformis require the dormancy period and greater light levels.

What I would suggest is trying a few of the tropicals that are known easy growers, like Drosera adelae, Drosera spatulata, Nepenthes sanguinaea, Drosera binata, and Drosera capensis (some of my favorites) at first, then work up to temperate species that might need to grow outdoors for optimal conditions (particularly flytraps and Sarracenias). I would suggest obtaining healthy, young plants from a reputable grower that provides feedback and easy to follow information about the species you acquire. Some growers will send you sickly plants bareroot with contradictory or difficult information while others will send them healthy, vigorous, with good info, and in pots very quickly by mail. Just do your homework in seeking a good nursery and go from there.

If you like to wait, try seeds from tropical sundews. They grow fast and vigorously and do not require stratification. Just get them from a reputable and established source.

In any case, remember the mantra, no fertilizer, acid soil mix, good light, and distilled or rain water only. Also, high humidity is not required for most. I grow all my tropicals in southeast Texas indoors in pots under flourescent lights. The sundews are flowering now and the Nepenthes is producing pitchers nonstop.

Have fun with this addictive and cool hobby.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 7:39PM
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And getting them from forum members for just the cost of shipping is a whole lot cheaper!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 7:46PM
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