From: A.J. Paton (
Date: Thu Apr 22 1999 - 16:24:14 PDT

Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 00:24:14 +0100
From: "A.J. Paton" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1424$foo@default>
Subject: Introduction

Hello list.

I thought it was about time that I introduced myself, as I have been
subscribed to the list for the last couple of months. My name is Andy -
or more usually A.J., and I live in Berkshire, England. Looking back
through some old CP stuff before I wrote this, it would appear that I
have been growing CP\222s since about 1989 - I was wondering why some of
my plants looked like they needed repotting!

As it was a while ago, I am a bit vague on my first plant(s), but I think
that it was probably a VFT (and possibly also a D. capensis) from a local
garden centre. Needless to say, the \221weed\222 flowered and set seed. Not
knowing better (and having always hated throwing anything away), I lovingly
sowed the seeds and then pricked them all out into individual pots. I now
had, and - probably more worryingly to members of the CP community - still
have about 100 examples of this plant. Luckily, I have tolerant parents, and
also commandeered a greenhouse and space in front of our south-facing patio
doors for my collection, where they fight for space with a number of cacti.

Over the years I have built up a very modest collection, including a few
Sarracenias, more Droseras and some Pings. Many of these have been
\221rescued\222 from garden centres (where labels are often no more
descriptive than \221pitcher plant\222) and, consequently, I am unsure
of what many of them are. I have also had varying success with plants
obtained from specialist nurseries (probably due to my own
incompetence). Here is a list of some of my failures - perhaps being
on-line at last I can find more up to date cultivation information so
that I may kill any new plants more slowly :-}.

Heliamphora nutans - killed 2 fairly quickly in the early 90\222s while they
were still quite expensive.
Darlingtonia - lasted for a couple of years but never looked like growing
very much.
Pinguicula moranensis - 2 or 3 attempts. The leaves never looked fleshy or
healthy like they did in the nursery.
Pinguicula gypsicola - 2 plants which went into hibernation but refused to
come out again.
Drosera stolonifera & D. erythrorhiza - the first time I tried tuberous
sundews I let them dry out completely over winter, resulting in no plants
the following spring. The next (and last) time, I kept the soil slightly
damp. They came up OK the next year but then didn\222t make it through the
following winter.

Perhaps there should be a RSPCP (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Plants) who would take away any sick or ill-treated plants and nurse them
back to health again :-}.

I have had some success in the past with an unusual propagation method
for some of my VFT\222s. I have not seen this method mentioned in any
of the UK CPS newsletters over the years. It involves removing the
flower spike when it is a couple of inches tall and simply
\221planting\222 it in the soil. Wait for up to a couple of months, and
if you are lucky a new plant may sprout from the base of the
\221cutting\222. I\222ll admit that this is a bit hit-and-miss as a
method of propagation, but it does save having to find a bin when
getting rid of the flower spikes!

Finally (forgive me for rambling on for so long), do any amateur growers in
the UK have any experience in selling surplus plants (i.e. hundreds of now
quite mature D. capensis) to garden centres, and if so, what sort of prices
are they likely to pay - I would like to grow some more different species
but am running out of space :-}.


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