Pitcher flop & VFT predators

From: mrbones@mindspring.com
Date: Sun Oct 17 1999 - 09:14:39 PDT

Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 12:14:39 -0400
From: mrbones@mindspring.com
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3599$foo@default>
Subject: Pitcher flop & VFT predators

> hi guys, i`ve been trying to grow sarras for 2 years
> now and when the traps are relatively new as now
> ( australia ) they keep falling over in rain or a breeze.
> i have grown them in 50/50 sand and peat and am now
> trying live sphagnum only, same result!

Hi Steve,
I'm writing to second David Mellard's point that the plants in the wild are usually somewhat shielded from breezes by surrounding grasses. (David is also correct that you can only get an email virus if you *open* an attachment, not just by reading an email but that's another story!) I would also like to add a few observations of my own. The pitchers of my plants (S. flava, minor, rubra and leucophylla) fall over too. Not surprisingly, the tight clusters of relatively short pitchers produced by S. minor and esp. S. rubra are less prone to falling over than the tall, lanky S. flava & leuco pitchers. I think that when a taller pitcher gets filled up with insects, it gets pretty topheavy. In any case, I've seen plenty of pitchers (new and old, but mostly old) in the wild that have fallen/flopped/been knocked over too. Plants do this naturally to some extent, so don't assume you're doing something wrong.

I HAVE FOUND (sorry, shift key sticks since I spilled apple juice on the
keyboard) one way of preventing pitcher flop that ties into another
recent conversation on the list. I have VFTs in the same (large) pot as
my S. flava. The local squirrel population has done quite a bit of
damage to these plants while burying or digging up nuts and I lost a
number of plants to them. I fashioned a "cage" out of rabbit fencing (2
inch x 2 inch rectangular wire mesh) that goes overtop the entire pot.
The large mesh keeps the squirrels (or raccoons) out while allowing most
everything else (bugs & sun!) in; it has the side benefit of preventing
the S. flava pitchers from flopping over. The downside is that it is
pretty ugly.


Good growing,

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