U. pubescens flowers? + Peat Pellets!

Robert Allen (Robert.Allen@Eng.Sun.COM)
Wed, 23 Aug 1995 13:22:12 -0700

My small pot of U. pubescens, which I and others locally
have always had a tough time growing, has been doing pretty
well over the past year, after previous years of doing
poorly and nearly dieing. Last night I noticed that it's
apparently blooming. I'm just hoping that this is truly
U. pubescens flowers and not something else that has
infected the pot. The flowers are about 1/4" wide (this
is from memory), and pink pastel color, possibly with some
variation in shading nearer the center. I didn't have a chance
to look close and my grow lights are somewhat pink which
is why I'm vague right now. Does this sound like the right
flower for pubescens?

U. pubescens is such a cute little plant when you get a
pot of it going. I've kept it indoors all year under lights,
about 6" from the lights, in one of those seed germinating
mini-greenhouses with water tray. The plant LOVES the
high humidity.

In other news, the thorough cleaning of my Nepenthes tank,
and the spraying of all the plants for thrips, has born
fruit. Everything is coming on gangbusters, particularly
with my periodic application of Miracid, and the potting
of all plants in Schwarz Torf (sp?), which are black peat
compressed pellets from Deutschland. These pellets do not
break down when wet as they are used for fish aquarium filters.
They are presumably acid, drain nearly like pea gravel, and
yet stay damp for the roots. They don't compress, or slime
over, and they resist mold pretty well. The only down side
is they are extremely expensive, $7.00 a box of about 500 grams
if I recall correctly (the box is about 4" x 4" x 8"). I
ordered a case of 15 from Nippon Goldfish in San Francisco
and got the price down to $5.00 a box, but that was nearly
$85 when tax was included. Ouch. But it was worth it,
particularly since I have a reasonably small number of small
Nepenthes plants. Unfortunately the accelerated growth
in S.T. is so fast that a couple of plants are rapidly
getting to big for my 55 gallong tank.

BTW, these peat pellets also work as well for Heliamphora
as they do for Nepenthes. I'm growing one hybrid plus
H. minor in the pellets and they're very happy.

Robert Allen