Return to the Carnivorous Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Posted by bob123how Austin, tx (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 29, 07 at 13:52

I just bought a sundew from lowes in a clear plastic cube, the big one. I've never had a CP before, but I know the basics. It is sitting under an 85 w CFL with 3 orchids near a south facing window. When I got it home, I opened to the top for a bit to give it some fresh air and I misted it with distilled water. 1. Is this enough light? (its on for about 18 hours per day) 2. should I leave it in its container or repot it? 3. If I should repot, in what and with what medium. The relative humidity on my room fluctuates between 50 and 70% with temps between 70 and 85 degrees. Do I need to keep it in a dome, or will misting it 2-3 times per day suffice? Sorry for these basic questions, but I havent found anything online answering my questions sufficiently. I intentionally make it a point to avoid buying orchids at HD and Lowes because they're usually in such poor shape, I'm sure the same goes for these, but I couldn't resist.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
Update!

I got impatient and worried about Hubert (the sundew). I took him out of the plastic cube and put him in a small plastic pot. I filled the bottom 2 inches or so with the soil that was in the bottom of the box, and them I filled the rest of the pot with the moss it was packed in with Hubert snugly on top. I took the top of the box and filled it with about 1/2 inch of distilled water and set the pot in it. Unfortunately I tipped him over during repotting and one of his leaves is sundewless. I hope he can pull through this tough time and live to eat the little moths, fungus gnats, and fruitflies that come into my room because of the lights when the sun goes down.


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Ok, here ya go. The sundew in a lowes cube is a drosera adelae. Unlike a venus fly trap or a sarracenia, they don't thirst for full sun. I found that I burnt my first one to a crisp before I moved it away from full sun. Partial sun would do well. The nice thing about these particular drosera is that they're hard to kill. Often times with a little patience, you'll find that it will grow additional plants in the same pot from the roots.

So, yes, grow it in an inch of water or so. (distilled water or RO water, not tap water) Repotting it out of the cube was a good idea. Using the soil from the lowes cube in the pot... good idea. When I repot mine, usually for division, I use long fibered sphagnum and cut the pre-existing soil into sections and just put them int0 the new pot packed in the sphag.

One of the most important things about these plants is a little patience. Once you've got it out of the cube and in its own pot, be patient. It'll likely lose its dew at first. This is normal. Don't worry about misting it, from my experience they don't particularly enjoy being sprayed.

Just give it time and patience and if you need help or have any other questions, feel free to email me. Your first CP can be fun, infuriating, and addicting :-) enjoy.

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


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Oh gosh, I went to work thrilled about Hubert, came home and he was completely flat, still green, but flat and dewless. The humidity has been around 65-70% all day, temp around 80, and he was about 7 or 8 inches from an 85 watt CFL, but I imagine he was at about 100% humidity with no light, and stale air at lowes. I put the top of the box back on and moved him back from the light a bit. Is this normal, will he pull through, and if not, where can I get CP's that aren't just barely grasping on to life, preferably in austin, tx, if anyone knows of a place in particular?


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Well, after they come out of the cubes they will very likely shock and lose their dew. Patience. Mine took a couple weeks to start growing new healthy growth.

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


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Just to make sure what we are talking about, does it look like this former Lowes plant?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Or is it more like this one?Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The advice above is sound, irregardless!


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Hi bob123how,

Yeah it sounds like humidity shock to me too. Temperature is important too. D. adelae like their ambient temperature to be around 65-75 degrees fahrenheit and do not like temperatures too much above 80 degrees. D. adelae can go on partial sun, so they can tolerate lower light conditions than Venus flytraps, however, they can and will prosper in higher light intensities (not full sun). Mine are growing 5-6 inches from 4 40 watt flouros 12-16 hours a day (according to season) and produce narrower red tentacled leaves in such light, also overdoing it on dew production.

This plant was divided and repotted, all its dew lost, just a couple days ago. It has only average dew production here. Normally it produces twice as much in the conditions I described.

First off, harden them to lower humidity by gradually lifting the dome on one end for a few days at a time, then the other end, then higher every 3-4 days. This will give the plant time to harden off over the course of 2 or so weeks. You can also just cut the leaves off and wait for new growth if the plant seems vigorous enough. Since it is flat and dewless, it sounds like a humidity/temperature problem combined. How hot does the light raise the temperature where the plant is located? In any case, keep babying it along until you have it uncovered and about 5-6 inches from strong flourescent cool white light. Also, a large tray of water 1 inch or so deep under its pot will raise the ambient humidity a bit after it is uncovered. Soon your plant will perk up and grow like a weed, literally.


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Well, Hubert has more or less levelled out. He is standing on his own, but still without dew. His new growth is coming slowly...very slowly. I no longer put the box top on anymore at all, but I run a fogger near him for a few hours each morning.

In a related vein, I was at Lowes, buying more lights and they had just gotten a shipment CP's in and I bought one of the D. adelae's in the small box. This time, however, instead of opening it as soon as I got home, over a period of about 4 days I heated up a piece of thick gauge wire and burned holes in the top. Every so often I would (I know this is gross) suck nasty stale sphagnum air from the box to let fresh air in. Yesterday, I opened and repotted it and it reatined its dew! It looks about as dewy as the picture above. Unfortunately, the weather has been so nasty, there haven't been any bugs hovering around my lights for it to eat. Do we think this one is in the clear? And I wish Hubert would grow faster.


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Hello bob123how,

Your doing fine with hardening them off. That was a good idea to punch holes a few at a time in the "cube of death." In any event, just water them, leave them in good light, and leave them alone for days at a time. You will be surprised at how well plants do when people aren't hovering over them all the time. You don't really need to suck the air out of the cube. Just punch the holes and make them bigger over time and more numerous until you can safely remove the dome like you did. Hubert sounds like he will be O.K. He just needs a couple of weeks to recover. His new leaves should dew normally. In any case, it is good light, not humidity, that allows a sundew to produce glue on its tentacles. Do not worry about insects to feed your plants yet. They can and will live for a long time without prey. Just let them recover for a few weeks first. D. adleae can and will catch a lot of gnats, mosquitoes, and fruit flies on their own. If they do not catch anything for a month, you can place them a few feet from a patio light when it gets dark and they will catch plenty of insects that blunder into their leaves. Just don't leave them out there for too long or they might overeat. One or two small insects a month is sufficient for carnivorous plants. Light, mineral free water, acid soil, good drainage, and normal room temperatures around 75 degrees fahrenheit are the first considerations to growing carnivorous plants. They are just like normal plants, just specialized to catch their fertilizer while it is still alive. Never fertilize the soil of your plants, their roots will burn and rot.

One other thing, now that you have two D. adelae, I hope you bought a lot of pots and have a lot of space. They reproduce themselves by root runs, so every few months you will see several plantlets growing around the parent. The parent plants only live a couple of years, but their offspring grow fast and continue the cycle over and over again like rabbits multiplying. My D. adelae produced 10 new plants that are mostly half grown in only a few months time. The adult plants will flower, but produce no seed as they are all clones that need cross pollination with genetically different plants. After flowering, an old adult plant will die slowly as it produces new clones of itself from it's roots. These plants are actually considered a weed due to their prolific growth patterns. You can chop an entire plant back and you will get six more just like it in a month or two sprouting from the old roots.

Just one Lance Leaf Sundew became 10 new plants in under 4 months.


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

These are easy plants, bright, filter sun and keep about an inch of water in the tray bottom. They LOVE fungus nats!

Tom


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

Basically, the fastest you buy a plant from time of shipment arrival, the less likely the plant will be neglected and weakened, requiring a lengthy acclimation.

I just received a cobra lily in the mail, from a hobbyist who must have just bought it. I repotted immediately and set it up at a window sill. I didn't do any acclimation and it didn't react. It really depends upon how long it was kicking around at the store and how big a difference there will be between the store and what you do with it.


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

whoa! Two bugs per month!!? They (Hubert and friends) live under lights, and when the sun goes down, if my window is open (and it always is), any number of moths and gnats and little green bugs, and recently a lot of little yellow and black beetles fly in and hover in and around the plants and lights. Now I don't expect Hubert to rid me of the bugs, I see the bugs as a resource that Hubert allows me to tap into. Anyway, I can see him getting two or three bugs per night at the very minimum what will happen if he overeats? I'm hoping he will realize that he lives in a bountiful environment and adapt to lots of bugs. I hardly think obesity is a problem in the plant world. Hubert's gonna be a fatty.


 o
RE: first sundew from lowes, what do I do?

If they catch more than 2 a month, they will be fine. I was just indicating that they do not need to be fed to survive. My Drosera capensis captured about 10 insects one night. The main thing is to make sure the plant has plenty of light, water, and unfertilized acid soil first, then they will be healthy enough to eat.

Check out all the craneflies, moths, stinkbugs, and mosquitos this plant caught in just two hours under a porch light.

This plant will not need to eat anything for a good long time.

Carnivorous plants adapted to get fertilizer from catching and killing insects and spiders then digesting their proteins, breaking them down into nitrogen, potassium, magnesium etc. They only have so much leaf surface, like a human stomach only has so much space, so can only catch a certain number of insects anyway. It will take them at least 1-2 weeks to digest prey as they can't chew up their prey and they have to eat their way through the exoskeleton first. You can see carnivorous plants as the opposite of ivy. Ivy adapted to extremely low light conditions, however; get plenty of nutrients where they grow, making it a great plant for really low indoor lighting. Carnivorous plants adapted for really low nutrients, requiring very little, however; need much more light than ivy.

In any case, let the plants catch what they will. They know what to do with what they get.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Carnivorous Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here