Re: How to grow Cobra Lilies?

Ron Schlosser (RonS@nesbbx.rain.COM)
Thu, 17 Aug 95 21:09:09 PST

In <Pine.SUN.3.91.950817100320.20776A-100000@pican>, "Frank Udovicic (UA)"
<> writes:
> G'day everyone,
> I have just joined this group and would like some advice,
> re. Cobra lilies.
> A brief background: I live in Canberra, Australia. I have been growing
> cps for about six years. I grow VFT, lots of Sarras, Cephalotus and
> Droseras. I grow these outside, all year round, in full sun for nearly the
> whole day. They are exposed to the rain and this is supplemented by tap
> water. About a third of the Sarras are in pots in trays and the rest
> are in big undrained tubs that act as mini-bogs. I use 3 peat: 1 sand.
> Now to my questions: growing medium?, amount of light? &
> watering method for Cobra lilies?
> -Is sphagnum better than peat and sand?
> -Most books recommend less light than for Sarras, is this necessary? I
> was contemplating putting the Cobra in a spot with about three hours of
> morning sun and then full shade for the rest of the day.
> -It would seem that keeping the roots cool is essential (hence the old
> methods of applying ice!). From my reading they also seem to dislike
> stagnant water, which rules out using a tray, or has anyone used the tray
> method successfully? Does this mean that you water them from above? Is
> preferable to use a styrofoam or terracotta pot, rather than black plastic?
> By the way, I will probably purchase a fairly advanced plant rather than
> a small seedling.
> Any advice will be greatly appreciated by me and the plant!
> Thanks,
> Frank Udovicic

Frank, I've been growing Darlingtonia for several years and have had very
good luck. Of course I live in the Pacific Northwest where the plants
are native and so have some of the needed conditions. I have personlly
only seen them growing in one spot on the coast but I have talked with
others who have seen them elsewhere. The ones I have are growing in a
large (45 gal) plastic pot that I have buried in the ground to keep the
roots cool. It has drain holes in the bottom which slowly let the water
out into the surrounding soil. They are currently in full sun with the
daily temps in the high 80's to low 90's when we HAVE hot weather. I
water them when I water the others and fill the pot til it is brimming in
water and let that slowly drain out.
The plants I saw on the coast have filtered sun all day with a slow
moving stream of water running through them. I didn't test the soil,
but I'd say peat and sand would be OK. These plants were HUGE, bigger
than anything I've been able to do with the pitchers at least 3' high and
the hoods 4" across!
Hope this info helps.

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