Undrained containers

From: Elliot Smith (e.smith@cs.bham.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Jun 30 1999 - 03:44:38 PDT

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 11:44:38 +0100
From: Elliot Smith <e.smith@cs.bham.ac.uk>
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2384$foo@default>
Subject: Undrained containers

Re: a recent comment:

an observation I wanted to share in response to Thomas's remark about
"absolute" statements for VFTs... I have always heard that you *must*
water from the bottom, but I have a whole group of VFTs in an undrained,
shallow container. (Wayne Tierney)

My VFTs are not in undrained containers, but in holed containers with
the water level up to the brim at times. They're very wet all summer,
and drier in winter; at times, the water covers the crowns. They love
it! I recall previous posts talking about semi-aquatic VFTs, which fits
my experiences.

I have three species in undrained containers: D.capensis, U.sandersonii
and U.subulata. All seem to really enjoy the conditions: U. sandersonii
is flowering profusely, with dozens of flowers, in a 6" pot. I keep the
soil damp most of the time, and occasionally wet, in good indirect
light. D.capensis will grow anywhere (of course), but I find it grows
really nicely in an undrained container. As an aside, it's also in a
completely shaded window, which gets no sun AT ALL, and seems not to
have noticed. (U.subulata is too small to comment on yet.)

An intermediate idea is a partially drained container: no holes in the
base, but holes in the sides, a few inches down from the brim. This
means there's a reservoir in the bottom of the pot, but water can drain
away from the surface. This works well for outdoor bog plants and CPs,
though it's probably worth adding charcoal to stop the medium getting

I'm thinking of switching a couple of other species into undrained pots.
Advantages: they take up less space (no saucers) and you can get the
level really high for species which like it. D.intermedia and many of
the tropical utrics (and lots of others?) should thrive.


Elliot Smith
School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
email: e.smith@cs.bham.ac.uk
homepage: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~ezs/

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