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…
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.
Sarracenia oreophila section – all squared away.
Dionaea, Pinguicula, and Drosera (Drosera out of shot in background) cleaned and organized.
Dormancy: Sarracenia oreophila
Sarracenia alata – maroon throat A few pitchers still hanging on.
Seedling: Sarracenia leucophylla x “Eva” pitcher still vibrant.
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 tiveyi
Nepenthes thorelii x aristolochioides
Nepenthes (eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x trusmadiensis
And 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.
This last weekend I had an opportunity to nerd-out over carnivores at Drew Martinez’s place with fellow carnie-heads Mike Wang and Josh Brown. It was brilliant getting together with these fellow growers and talk plants. Hella (plant) nerd. With this time of the year, most of Drew’s Sarracenia were on their way out, but many plants still looked great. By the way – you can see Mike’s photos on his thread on The Sarracenia Forums here.
The amazing thing is — THIS. Yeah, click that link. Back in 2012 Mike, Josh and I helped put the greenhouses together and it was quite delightful to see the houses and yard packed. Drew and Selina – thanks again for your hospitality in hosting us carnivorous plant-dorks.
My camera and one of my lenses are still in the shop as noted in the last post, but special thanks to Drew for letting me use his camera body to let me snap a few shots!
View all photos in full screen here. A few highlight photos below!
Recently my family and I visited the SF Conservatory of Flowers and got a chance to see the Chomp! exhibit. If you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend stopping by and immersing yourself in the beauty that is the SF Conservatory of Flowers. Below is a slide show featuring a few shots from around the conservatory, as well as a few highlight shots from the exhibit. Chomp! runs from 11 Apr 2014 – 19 Oct 2014 so be sure and visit soon! (And in case you didn’t already know – plants in the exhibit are from none other than California Carnivores… sweet!)
One of the awesome and dangerous things about being in this greenhouse, especially in the winter, is that I’m able to try my hand at new things. I’ve only begun to play around with Heliamphora, and so far so good! I mean, I’ve had one for a few years, and it did (and is still) doing well. But yeah, more pitcher goodness for me to play with now! I recently got the itch to break things apart and… I did. (See the photo above.) Heliamphora seem quite brittle when compared to Sarracenia. With the Sarracenia, I would just break and tear rhizomes up like a Karraayyzzayyy hungry honey-badger. When I was splitting the Heliamphora apart, quite a few sections of plant just kind of fell apart without having any root attached. DOH! So I just stuck that rootless piece of greenery it in some media anyway. The media that I’m using is just a lighter mixture of long fiber sphagnum, peat moss, and perlite.
I was a bit worried and asked around if other Heliamphora growers have had success in propagating Heliamphora this way. Turns out that many folks have! Check out this article by João Roberto Gabbardo on the International Carnivorous Plant Society site. Very cool! Well, the humidity in the dome is high enough that I don’t really have to worry too much about it, but I threw a large Tupperware bin over them anyway to keep the humidity up. It doesn’t get that hot either under the dome as I have shade cloth that keeps things cool. I’ll keep that Tupperware bin for a while until I see the new growth really take off. Others have had success by bagging the pot (covering in a plastic bag) and placing it in a cool yet bright location. Heliamphoras are awesome. All this is new for me and I look forward to sharing my Heliamphora adventures with you all!
Hey everyone! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted! Hope y’all been well! Honestly I haven’t been down to the greenhouse much recently just because things have been kinda busy. It’s all good. The plants are dormant or about to hit dormancy anyway. There’s still a few plants that look okay here and there, such as a few of the leucos and their hybrids – but for the most part the sleep has begun. I am still doing a lot of cleaning and organizing, and will be continually doing so throughout the course of the winter. I’ll probably bust the katana blade out later to do some slicing of old foliage… that should be fun.
During this time period, I keep the Sarracenia on the dryish side – not watering as much or as frequently. I just make sure that their soil is still moist/damp, but I don’t leave them constantly sitting in water as I would during active growth.
The cool thing is that the Nepenthes are sending out pitchers, so I’ll share a few photos of those in upcoming posts. I am also seeing pitchers grow and open up on the Cephalotus, as well as the Heliamphora. I will share those in a bit. For now here are a few photos of how things are goin’ in the Asylum.
Plants starting to go dormant. Again, I’m leaving most of the old long foliage on there and still letting plants get that light they have missed out on.
Yes, I know it looks messy. These are young plants I am still growing out. Again, you can see the long and stretched foliage.
The Nepenthes are doing well and loving their dome!
It doesn’t look like much, but I’m growing out some sphagnum moss. I basically took a pot of sphagnum and just tore it up and am growing them in trays.
Here’s the anthocyanin free section. You can see the older leaves browning up. I’m looking forward to watching this table grow out next year!
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Blog warning: I am not a plant expert. No freekin' way. I just love growing these plants and sharing what may or may not work for me. I consider myself a student - always learning, and always growing, sharing what I learn along the way!
The plant material I distribute is propagated by me. I have not, and do not collect field specimens for propagation, for sale, or for any other purpose. I do not sell plants or seeds that have been field collected by me or my contacts to fill plant orders.