Re: Pygmy Drosera

Phil (
Sat, 28 Oct 1995 23:05:08 GMT


> Terry and Dean, Thanks for your answers, I think I've found some
> answers to my confusing situation. Yes the flowers are orange, but
> being aa artist specializing in painting landscapes and light, i tend
> to see colors a little differently. But when you described them as
> large, I remembered some details that may clear a few things up. My
> original 4-5" tall pot of D. callistos are smaller than their children
> by gemmae who I sowed awhile back in a 14" hemispherical pot with a
> very open perlite/sand and peat mix. The 14"pot sits in a large
> saucer, and the soil conducts a large amount of moisture to the
> surface where it provides a very humid microclimate w/o saturating the
> soil. These sit outside in full sun from 1-2pm onward and are very
> happy, 3/4 to 7/8 of an inch across, but few flower and these haven't
> produced gemmae in over a year. These do grow larger and fuller
> beginning in my fall when the sunlight weakens.
> Their elders in the smaller pot are smaller, 3/8 to 1/2 an inch
> across,
> the flowers look much larger in comparison to these plants, and these
> produce some gemmae. I was puzzled as to how to treat them because
> some plants in the small pot are going dormant, some aren't, and the
> ones in the large pot are going full steam. Perhaps the smaller pot
> and the larger proportion of peat in the soil is making a difference.
> I'll try putting the small pot through dormancy, let the others do
> what they want and see what happens. But I am beginning to wonder if
> light and temperature matter more than time of year in inducing
> dormancy. This could really confuse my plants as I have a VERY mild
> climate where I live In Berkeley. Thanks for the insights,
> ------------------------------

You can force pygmys into dormancy by drying the pots out. I have had
to do this several times often if we have a poor spring here in the UK.
Dormancy is probably triggered by several factors. One is certainly the
photoperiod - I'm not so sure about temperature but it probably has an
effect. Some species however, seem to have a definite built in cycle
and will start into dormancy either as flowering ends or even before it
starts. These needless to say are the more difficult to grow.

I usually dry all my pygmys out until around the end of August when they
are re wetted. This normally brings everything out of dormancy within a
month. However, this year (through sheer neglect) I didn't dry any
pots. To my surprise I have not lost anything, but it is too early to
tell what the longterm effects are. Possibly a plant which doesn't get
a dormant period will gradually lose vigour.

If your plants are not producing gemmae it is probably because they are
too small. I'm not sure what the answer is. You could try raising the
peat content. Allen Lowrie told me a few years ago that he uses pure
peat. Here this would quickly result in the demise of the plants given
the general low light level and temperature during the winter but for
you it may suit better. It is also possible that low nightime
temperatures may be a factor.

Finally if you think that your climate is the problem you could always try
another species. There are some other good orange flowered species such as
D. echinoblastus, D. leucoblastus and even an orange flowered D. pulchella.