nepenthesfreak_2007April 10, 2007

I am planning to start growing pygmy sundews this summer, and wanted to know a few things;

1: About how many gemmae do the pygmies produce a year?

2: is it extremely difficult to collect gemmae from tiny plants like occidentalis?

3:Species recommendations?

5; This is kind of off topic, but if you buy a collection from california carnivores, do you have to pay the $5 wrapping fee for all the plants in the collection or only once?

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1/ At a guess (I've never actually counted) I'd say between 20-100 depending on the species and size of the plant - probably more for some species. One healthy plant can produce a pot full the following season.

2/ It can be a bit of a pain to collect from species like occidentalis and pygmaea but not exactly difficult. If the plants are healthy, the crowns aren't that much smaller than some of the larger species when they produce gemmae (maybe only 1/2 the size). The problem with the smaller species is that they're more susceptible to being smothered with moss etc which can make collection a little tricky. Keep the moss under control and you should be fine. Moreso the problem is getting plants to produce gemmae if you live outside USDA zone 9-10.

3/ IME pulchella is probably the most adaptable species but most readily available species adapt well to cultivation. Other species I've found to grow with little effort would be dichrosepala, ericksoniae, enodes, paleacea, roseana and scorpioides. Most of the available hybrids are pretty easy.
4/Hmmm tricky question :-)
5/No idea about California Carnivores

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 10:49PM
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When collecting gemmae, you got to be careful. When you touch the cluster of gemmae, it has this thing that it tends to burst. Sending gemmae flying all over and landing everywhere and before you know it, you have pygmies growing in places you donÂt want them to grow.

Not only that, if you have a collection of pygmies species in separate pots, you can end up one species growing in anotherÂs pot and before long, you donÂt know what you have. Especially when you want to distribute gemmae to other growers.

It isnÂt that difficult collecting gemmae from occidentalis. I turn the pot upside down over a sheet of white plain printing paper and using a small brush with a fine point, just gently brush them off. That way I donÂt contaminate my small collection and it doesnÂt do much harm to the little plant and it also keeps the gemmae from flying all over the place.

It only produces gemmae when lights are lowered. If you donÂt want it to produce gemmae, keep it growing under bright light. I have mines growing on a bookshelf under 2 $10 fluorescent lights bulbs bought at Wal-Mart of at least 2200 lumens.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 2:25AM
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Thanks for all the help. I am planning on windowsill growing the pygmies since I have tons of light year round in my south and east facing windows. The photoperiod shortening should trigger gemmae, right?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 8:28AM
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They characteristically produce gemmae in the fall. And it really doesn't much matter which ones you get, though scorpioides, pulchellas, nitidulas, and palaceaes are the most common species. They do very well at window sills:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 3:47PM
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thanks again for all the help, and nice pictures!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 5:16PM
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Great looking pygmies petiolis, makes me want to try to grow some myself!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 5:22PM
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Thanks! The bad thing about them is that they are very root sensitive and shipping them is almost a total setup for failure. The way to go with them is through their gemmae and the season for gemmae production is essentially over until next fall.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 8:25PM
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I got a bunch from California Carnivores a while back and they all made it so I was pleased. I also found some gemmae on ebay and was pleasantly supprised how nice they came up.

How I grow mine: I have found them to make excellant 10 gallon aquarium plants. I have a small cat box I use as a water tray and I keep about a dozen pots in it. They've been thriving since I got them.

My favorites thus far are occidentalis spp ccidentalis but everyone seems to have a different favorite. I would highly recomend a magnifying glass to view them better, no matter how good your eye sight it.

I've got about half dozen species in my grow list on my site if you want a better look.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly Delights

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 9:10AM
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I did the same thing, bought my first pygmies at California Carnivores, met with Peter DÂAmato and gave me some advice on how to grow them. Then bought some gemmae at ebay.

Here a couple of pic of my pygmies.

D. occidentalis.

and D. nitidula.

They flowered recently but none gave seeds.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 2:31PM
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With the exception of a few species like pulchella and ericksoniae most pygmies are not self fertile. Most of the pygmies in cultivation outside of WA originate from a handful (often only one) exported plants and the majority of people only have single clones in their collection. There is insufficient diversity in cultivated pygmies to produce viable seed.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 8:38PM
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That's probably what I'll do, order some from california carnivores or sarracenia northwest. I hope I have as much luck with pygmies as you did! Thanks again for all of the help.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 9:44AM
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