Category Archives: Blog

Nepenthes robcantleyi in UV Light

As seen in this previous post, my young Nepenthes robcantleyi has finally put out a decent pitcher in the new tank conditions. It’s been a while since I last tinkered around with the 254nm short wave UV light as seen with the Red Queen here, and some other Nepenthes here; so I wanted to try it out with this new pitcher. I ran a 90 second exposure to really get the glow to show. The resulting shot was hauntingly beautiful.


Nepenthes robcantleyi under 254nm UV Light.
90 second exposure, f 9.0, 50mm. Mouse over to see the plant in normal light.

2015: Signs of Life

Things are moving along here in The Asylum! There’s still a lot of trimming and clean up to do – but there are signs of life.

The rains in months past have washed all of the whitewash from the greenhouse roof. Plus it has been relatively sunny and warm. And it is even warmer under glass. Interesting note: I notice that the plants that I haven’t trimmed back have not really begun to wake up yet. I suspect because the pitchers shade out the rhizomes from the sun keeping them cooler and dormant for just a little longer. Growth is inevitable though. The cycle is starting again and soon The Asylum will be engulfed in growth and vibrant color.

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Sarracenia oreophilaSarracenia oreophila

Sarracenia oreophilaSarracenia oreophila

Sarracenia alata - TexasSarracenia alata

Sarracenia alataSarracenia alata

Sarracenia 'Adrian Slack'
Sarracenia ‘Adrian Slack’

Sarracenia 'Adrian Slack'
Sarracenia ‘Adrian Slack’
This was a back end rhizome cutting. Notice the little nubs of new growth.

Sarracenia legacy
Sarracenia “Legacy”

Snapshots from The Tank and The Greenhouse-in-Greenhouse

While most of the plants currently in their winter slumber, I’m keeping myself occupied by growing a few other plants. At my place, I keep a 50 gallon tank filled with a few Nepenthes, Cephalotus, Heliamphora, and a few other things. In The Asylum, I have a smaller greenhouse that I partially bubble wrapped for insulation.  That’s where I have a few tropicals just hangin’ out. Here’s a few shots from both of those worlds.

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First off a few shots from The Tank.

The TankThe Tank. It is lined with something shiny. Because I like shiny things. And the light makes the plants happy. Yes. Also, notice the 10″ x 20″ trays with the fluorescent egg crate cover that I trimmed over those trays. Excess water drains into the trays after I water the plants, and the crate keeps the plants from sitting in the water while that drainage water contributes to the the lovely humidity in the tank.

Cephalotus follicularisCephalotus follicularis

Cephalotus follicularisFrom the Powazek collection: Cephaltous follicularis growing in a hanging teardrop planter. Brillant.

Platycerium coronariumSpeaking of hanging things, I have a recovering Platycerium coronarium that didn’t like how cold it was getting in the greenhouse, so I moved it here. Seems to like it as it’s putting out new growth.

Pinguicula mesophyticaPinguicula mesophytica bloom.

Nepenthes hamataA young Nepenthes hamata pitcher.

Nepenthes hamata and Nepenthes burkeii x hamataLeft: young Nepenthes hamata pitcher. | Right: young Nepenthes burkeii x hamata pitcher.

Drosera regiaDrosrea regia vs. moth.

Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata - Red Hairy FormNepenthes singlana Tujuh x hamata – Red Hairy Form… Beast!

Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata - Red Hairy FormNepenthes singlana Tujuh x hamata – Red Hairy Form – check out the red/orange fuzz! Sweet!

Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata - Red Hairy FormNew pitcher recently opened of Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata – Red Hairy Form.

Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata - Red Hairy FormNew pitcher recently opened of Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata – Red Hairy Form – a closer shot of the same pitcher above.

Heliamphora heterodoxa x minorI did a few Heliamphora divisions and some reside in the tank and are adjusting quite well! This is Heliamphora heterodoxa x minor. The older pitchers look crappy but the new pitchers are coming up quite nicely.

Nepenthes robcantleyiA recently opened pitcher of Nepenthes robcantleyi! YEAH! I’ve had this for years and it has never really grown well for me. After moving it into the tank, it immediately let me know it was happy with these new conditions.

Nepenthes robcantleyiNepenthes robcantleyi. Ugh, that peristome tho. So magnificent. I can’t wait for this baby to put out larger pitchers! The whole pitcher will color up as it gets more mature. Seriously love this plant.

Tank - FanHere’s what I use for some air movement inside the tank – an Evercool computer fan. I currently have one on the left side of the tank but I’m planning to add another on the right side for better air movement.

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And now – a few shots from inside the partially bubble-wrap clad greenhouse inside the greenhouse. (So bontanically inception-y, eh?)

Nepenthes houseThe Nepenthes/Tropical house.

Nepenthes lowii x campanulataNepenthes lowii x campanulata

Nepenthes thorelii x aristolochioidesNepenthes thorelii x aristolochioides

Nepenthes "Eglantine"Nepenthes “Eglantine”

Nepenthes burbidgeae x platychilaNepenthes burbidgeae x platychila

Nepenthes Poi DogNepenthes – Poi Dog Hybrid

Nepenthes Poi Dog - maxima hybridNepenthes Poi Dog – Maxima Hybrid

Nepenthes platychilaNepenthes platychila – new pitcher steadily growing.

Nepenthes maxima x aristolochioidesFrom the Powazek Collection: Nepenthes maxima x aristolochioides

Nepenthes spectabilis x platychilaAlso from the Powazek Collection: Nepenthes spectabilis x platychila

Nepenthes densiflora x glanduliferaYoung pitcher of Nepenthes densiflora x glandulifera

Nepenthes x ((eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x x trusmadiensis)Nepenthes ((eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x x trusmadiensis)

Nepenthes spectabilis x singlanaNepenthes spectabilis x singlana

Nepenthes jambanNepenthes jamban – check out the pitcher in the back.
There’s a slug going for a swim in that pitcher.
I found it that way.

Nepenthes jambanAnother angle of Nepenthes jamban – you can see the slug a little better in there.

Nepenthes "Enigma"Nepenthes “Enigma”

AechmeaHad to throw a bromeliad up in here… (A type of Aechmea, not sure what the species is. You bro experts let me know what it is!)

January Update

Greetings all! I hope you’ve had a great start to the new year so far. My wish is that you, your loved ones and your plants will find happiness and health all throughout this coming year. Things are quite busy on this end with winter clean up. All this in preparation for the growth that will soon follow. The Sarracenia in The Asylum are all brown and crispy and pot-by-pot, table-by-table… slowly they are getting their shave on. Winter fun, yes? I’m about to burn them all down… :)

Yet, with all the dead foliage that surrounds me, I’m still growing things. A few plants (both carnivorous and non-carnivorous) around the greenhouse are doing well. I have a few plants in my office cubicle that keep me company whilst I’m at the office. And YES – I’m still tinkering around with the Nepenthes. Remember this last year? Ugh. Sheeeyaaatttt….  I hope to do better this year. And so far, so good. That greenhouse-within-a-greenhouse (woooah, that’s so botanically Inception-y) is doing wonders for them. Man, those things are so fascinating and beautiful. They give me something to grow while the rest of my botanical world is not as green. I still have the tank going on that I referenced at the end of this post. I’ll update you with a few photos in my next entry, so stay tuned for that. In the mean time, here’s a handful of frames of what’s been going on in The Asylum.

Clean UpThis is my winter-ish-zen moment. Yeaaa, gettin’ this mo-fo cleaned up.  For the most part, this is my view – carting out dead pitchers, weeds, and old media wheelbarrow load by wheelbarrow load. Oh joy, oh rapture! It’s such a cleansing experience!

30 Dec 2014
Thought this was pretty cool, a few of the S. alata “Maroon Throat” pitchers still looking quite nifty!

30 Dec 2014Another angle of those S. alata “Maronon Throat” pitchers.

30 Dec 2014
S. alata “Red Mustache” with a couple of pitchers. Don’t mind that mess in the background.

30 Dec 2014The flytraps now all spiffy and ready for the growing season.

Sarracenia 'Reptilian Rose' x (flava var. rubricorpora x leucophylla) clone 8Ah, you know. a small pitcher of S. ‘Reptilian Rose’ x (flava var. rubricorpora x leucophylla) – Clone 8 just hangin’ out in that mess of dead pitchers…

Sarracenia leucophylla "Purple Lips"S. leucophylla “Purple (kinky) Lips” and her burning-out phyllodia tips. The traps normally do not form that way, it just happened that this one opened weird for some reason and ended up looking… kinky.

This year promises to be a pretty good one! There’s a few things in the works, and some neat crosses that will be sown soon. And YES, I hope to have some plants/rhizomes available in the shop once I’m able to get a little more organized. (Right now, there’s still a few seeds available… check it out) I’ll post some photos from the Nepenthes house as well as photos from the grow tank in the next post. In the mean time, I’m off to the next table… Woohoo!

Clean upOff to the next table…

Winter Greetings

Winter greetings all! I hope this finds you all well and that this winter season has been good to you and the plants. Now that it is winter and the plants are asleep, activity in The Asylum is ramping up. This winter season is a busy one indeed. I’ve been doing some cleaning, trimming, moving plants about, and even some sorting of seeds (Yeeessss, I know – many of you asked about seeds. And divisions. So stay tuned for that update…)

Here’s a small selection of photos from around the garden. First shot below is a doozy. What a complete mess this is. Yeah, I gots my trimming work cut out for me. Most plants have long since put away the glory of the season past. They are once again clothed in the sleep of crispy crunchy pitchers. Soon enough, this place will be bursting full of life again…

Time for clean upDormancy

And of course, my trusted garden helper – my katana, puts some work in…


Quick clip: Slicing through Sarracenia.
Sorry for the quality. Filmed in slow motion (120 FPS) on the mobile device
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Sarracenia oreophilaSarracenia oreophila section – all squared away.

Dionea clean upDionaea, Pinguicula, and Drosera (Drosera out of shot in background) cleaned and organized.

Sarracenia oreophilaDormancy: Sarracenia oreophila

Sarracenia alata - Maroon ThroatSarracenia alata – maroon throat
A few pitchers still hanging on.

Sarracenia leucophylla x "Eva"Seedling: Sarracenia leucophylla x “Eva”  pitcher still vibrant.

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And while the Sarracenias sleep, the Nepenthes crew bask in these cooler temperatures. Watching the Nepenthes and tropicals grow during the winter helps break up the monotony of all the lifeless pitchers. I like them ‘cuz you know, I always have to be growing… *something.*

Nepenthes ventricosa x tiveyiNepenthes ventricosa x tiveyi

Nepenthes thorelii x aristolochioidesNepenthes thorelii x aristolochioides

Nepenthes (eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x trusmadiensisNepenthes (eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x trusmadiensis

Grow TankAnd finally – back home is the grow tank. I turned an unused 50 gallon tank into a refuge for some Heliamphora, Cephalotus, Nepenthes, a Pinguicula and Drosera. There’s a variegated vanilla orchid growing in the corner and a mounted staghorn fern (Platycerium coronatum) that was not taking too well to the cooler temps in the greenhouse. Be looking for updates from the grow tank in the future.