Re: P. planifolia

david bressler (
Thu, 13 Oct 94 16:32:09 EST

Hey guys,
My name is Dave Bressler, and I've been a subscriber to the
group for about 4 months now, just watching the messages
go by, and I figured it would be about time to introduce

I've been growing CP on and off (mostly off) in
Pennsylvania for the last 18 yrs or so, but only within the
last year have I decided to intensify my efforts at building
and keeping a collection. The efforts have paid off, and now
I have a small, but thriving collection of Drosera, Dionaea,
Pings, Sarracenia, Utrics and even one fairly sizable
Drosophyllum. I'm interested in any of the unusual species
of CP, esp. Drosera (tuberous), Pings, Aldrovanda (anyone
out there grow it??), etc.

Since this is my first message to the group I'm not even
sure whether this will end up where it is intended to go!

Anyway, I just thought I'd add my two cents about how I've
been growing my P. planifolias for the last couple of years.
They seem to like a semiaquatic lifestyle outside in full
sun (don't we all?). I grow mine in plain white sand with a
little (very, very little) peat added to keep the pH of the
water (always use distilled or clean rainwater) at the
proper level. During the summer my plants are usually kept
submerged, at least up to leaf level (allowing the water to
evaporate to just below the leaves every week or two so they
can catch whatever wildlife happens to be hovering nearby).
I fertilize the plants with a very light dilution of Miracid
about once a month with no problems noted, but find they do
pretty well on their own without fertilizer.

In late fall (early to mid-November), I gradually cut back
the water till the sand is just barely damp, but try to keep
the light intensity fairly high. Mine are kept outside on my
deck for most of the spring summer and fall months where
they get the better part of a day's worth of southeast sun.
Even now with temps around freezing in the mornings around
here, they are still in excellent health (of course, all
that water probably buffers the temp. changes better).
During the winter (early November to late March), I bring
the plants inside and set the up in a partially covered
aquarium. Last year I had only the sun as a light source.
this year--plant lights--we will see how the plants fare
this winter. I don't keep the plants submerged in water the
whole year, but I suspect this could work work (I've seen
them growing naturally in the Florida panhandle under a
bright December sun, submerged under 4 to 6 inches of water
and just as happy as could be!) as long as you kept the
light intensity high. On the other hand, I think that
growing them just barely damp and with good air exchange and
a lower light level is better than a half-submerged plant,
low light intensity, and a saturated terrarium
atmosphere--this quickly leads to rotted P. planifolia (this
is pretty true for most temperate Pings).

With any luck, P. planifolia begins flowering about the
middle of February, but you should probably lop these first
flowers off, so the plant can put more energy into early
spring growth. This is also a touchy period for the plant,
so if you've grown it dry up till that point--don't change
anything too quickly, the same goes if you've grown it
submerged. By late March or early April the plant should be
ready to be grown under normal summer conditions again.

Hope this little bit of info on growing these beautiful
plants helps out.
Dave Bressler