Midsummer Report

Tue, 26 Jul 1994 9:20:51 -0400 (EDT)

I've had all my CP's outdoors since mid-May, and
the status of the plants is reasonably good in general.
The Droserae (capensis, binata, multifida extrema, spathulata,
filiformis) seem to be holding their own in the hot weather
and biweekly thunder showers. Some are doing better than
others. One D. capensis fried in the sunshine, but it's
sending up new leaves. I expect the new growth will be
more sun-tolerant (the fried parts were soft growth which
sprouted under lights during the winter). The D. binata
isn't as large as it used to be, and I've received suggestdiosn
to repot it in sphagnum. It is now in a peat/perlite mix.

Also potted in a peat/perlite mix are my Dionaeae, and
I've been told that the mineral content in perlite can affect
the growth of these plants. The general suggestion I received
is to grow the American species in a peat/sand mix, and I intend
to repot the plants when they start to enter dormancy this Fall.
Despite the potting medium, the plants I have are surviving alright,
putting up some traps, and catching a few bugs. They're not as
large and spectacular as the plants I've seen in the collections
of Bill McLaughlin and Rob Sacilotto.

My cephalotus seems to be growing and spreading in
its tray. It is planted in a large tray along with some
Droserae and Utriculariae, and the tray sits in partial
shade in the grass. There is evidence that some kind of
caterpillar or slug has munched on a few leaves, but the
plant seems to be doing okay.

Despite the recent high humidity in the DC area,
my Nepenthes are now pitcherless for the most part. One
N. alata came out of its winter bag with fourteen pitchers,
and they were gorgeous. I guess the humidity in May was
a bit lower than it is now, and the pitchers browned and
shriveled up. I pruned the N. alatas and N. khasianas
back to stimulate basal growth, and the plants look like
dreadful sticks with a few leaves now. New growth is
occuring, but painfully slowly. I might try hitting the
plants with some dilute fish emulsion (and superthrive),
since they don't have traps and therefore can't catch
bugs. I figured that photosynthesis would allow them to
make enough food for growth, but maybe some fertilizer
will help. The smaller plants (rooted cuttings) are
putting up new growth as well, and the leaves of almost
all the plants show quite a bit of reddening even though
they receive dappled sunlight or late day sunlight.
I've been told that the plants will become hardier if
they're not pampered all year by growlights and plastic
bag enclosures. Maybe so, but so far the tradoff is
that they look like hell.

Happy growing, everyone!

Perry Malouf