re: Darlingtonia

From: Mark Pogany (
Date: Mon Mar 01 1999 - 21:16:00 PST

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 00:16:00 -0500
From: "Mark Pogany" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg640$foo@default>
Subject: re: Darlingtonia

Robertivore wrote:

Oh Maaannnn! I live in East Texas and just planted several hundred
Darlingtonia seed, because I read in some CP books that all you have to do
is water Darlingtonias with cold water twice a day to keep the roots cool
if you live in hot climates. Now I read that if the root temp reaches 64F
or abouve they will die. I'm thinking maybe I should pack the pots in ice
for the summer as well as watering twice a day with cold water and
repacking the pots in ice every morning and afternoon. I am requiring
massive amounts of detailed information on this matter. *help*

Before I began "trying" to cultivate Darlingtonia I read up on its cultural
requirements. This was from the standard reference books and old CPN's. One
article told of the difficulty experienced by growers in the Southeastern
US. One thing that I remember it saying was "100% mortality after prolonged
root temps above 64f".

I acquired some plants, 2 years old on up to large mature specimens, from
other growers. These were potted in large ( 12" to 14" clay) pots, kept in a
shady spot, and flushed with large amounts of cool water in the growing
season. I supplemented this with a few "blue" ice picnic packs around the
base of the pots. I stuck a darkroom thermometer into one of the pots to
monitor the root temps. This setup of mine was done during the 1997 and 1998
growing season ( March thru October). The first 6 to 8 weeks saw new growth
and even a few small plants budding off side shoots.

Once the weather started to get warm and muggy I kept up with the waterings
and noted the root temperatures. On a cool day the reading would come in
around 55f or so. On hot and muggy days the probe shot up to 65-68f. Cold
water was immediately passed through the pots. Not being able to water them
twice or three times a day, the pots had to wait for their owners return
from work in the evening. I noticed no new growth once I had 65f temperature
readings. These occurred on a daily basis, only cooling down in the evenings
after a good dousing. Gradually my once robust Darlingtonias faded away, one
by one.

When I continue with Darlingtonias the pots will go into basement this time,
as per David's method. I unfortunately found out that there is no getting
around root temperatures with this genus. Maybe plants raised from seed
would adapt better to my growing conditions.

Mark Pogany
Cleveland, Ohio

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