Saturday, 26 January 2013

.....and thaw!

So after a rough week or two of cold temperatures and snow, warmer weather is here. Not sure how long for though. This could signify that the worst of the winter is over, or it could simply be a brief warm spell before we go back to colder weather.

This has allowed me to go out to the greenhouse and continue repotting. Unfortunately I am going to have to buy another plant table and some more compost cause the compost has nearly all gone. This means so far (im probably over half way through repotting now) I have used 90 litres of compost!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

A climate change

1 week ago, the outdoor temperature was 10 - 12'c. Baring in mind, this is currently the middle of winter, and we were getting near spring temperatures. Mother nature has suddenly remembered that this is winter and now the temperatures are just a few degrees above freezing, and next week they are expected to drop below freezing and snow is meant to arrive. Obviously these cooler temperatures make me reluctant to want to go outside and repot any plants.

I did notice something today though. I think my greenhouse thermometer is broken (yes I am writing a post about a thermometer, how exciting!). Obviously as a carnivorous plant collector and enthusiast, it helps to know the temperature and environment in which I am raising my plants. Its about 3 degrees celcius outside, and according to the thermometer in the greenhouse, its 16'c in there. Last time I checked, you aren't visibly able to see your breathe when you exhale in 16'c temperatures. Still, the thermometer itself is about 7 years old. So I ordered a new one which as digital and displays the humidity as well as the temperature; which should help for as and when I decide to get tropical carnivorous plants.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

290 plants, and counting.........

So I have done some repotting this weekend. I felt a bit ill and tired yesterday and it was odd when I was outside repoting, as normally I am quite happy to do it as it is a hobby, but yesterday with a combination of lack of sleep and feeling 'under the weather', I got a lot of fatigue just by repotting maybe 20 plants.

Yesterday evening, I felt a lot better and even went down to the local garden centre to get one of these:

Absolutely perfect for what I am after. Today I did some more repotting and Ive already used 1/3rd of the trays, for some unknown Sarracenia's that I need to get a species check on, and Sarracenia dixie lace.

Between yesterday and today, I was outside for about 4 hours repotting my plants. I estimate that I am just over 1/3rd of the way through my entire collection and am already at about 290 plants. I am also going to need some more compost because despite ordering 72 litres, twice as much as last year, I am now down to the last few bags, and they wont last long.

The weather should be interesting over the next few weeks because at this moment, despite being in the middle of winter, its about 12'c outside, though I hear that it is going to get much cooler towards the second half of January.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

My Wish List

Although I have many carnivirous plants, Im still after more. These are the plants I would like to have:

Drosera indica
I only first noticed a picture of this plant on a forum a few days ago. Being a CP enthusiast and regularly seeing odd looking plants, I can be hard to impress. But any plant that can make me say "woah" out loud is worth looking into.

Drosera regia (the "king" sundew)
Althoug sundews look pretty in the sunlight with the sparkling of their dew, they typically only catch small to medium prey.  The Drosera regia re-writes the rulebook on this. Its known as the king sundew and its leaves are capable of reaching 50cm/20 inches long and have been known to catch wasps.

Nepenthes rajah
I have read that this plant is quite hard and quite slow to grow, but the reward, if I were to succeed, would be having one of the largest types of carnivorous plants in the world.


Nepenthes attenboroughii

If you want a big carnivorous plant, why not go for the worlds largest? I have yet to come across a website that sells these types of Nepenthes, and if they did sell them, they would probably cost £50 each, and the fact that they were discovered in the Philippines means they would probably be a chalenge to grow in Britain. Still, imagine the reward of growing one of these.

                   (credit: wikipedia)
Drosera enodes
Although I like sundews, the drosera enodes is tiny and is only capable of catching tiny flies and as far as I know, it doesn't have 'spring traps' (traps that move to hold insects in place within seconds) like other small sundews do. But it does have one thing going for it, beauty:


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

From 1 comes 14

I really like repotting my carnivorous plants. At the moment, its one of my happiest times during the way. The reason being is because of how proud I feel. I feel proud because each time I look at a pot, think 'there are 4 plants in that pot, so I will get 4 pots ready', only to empty the pot and realise there are actually many more, makes me happy that not only does that mean I have more than I thought I did, but also means that I am a good grower. After all, the plants would not divide so vigorously if the conditions were bad.

Today was a great example. I started with this plant (taken from a bigger photo):

I looked at it and counted 4 venus flytrap plants in there. Great. I will get 4 pots for this one then. When I emptied the pot...........there was 14 of them!! Most of them were babies, or at least small to medium size.

The photo is crap quality as it was taken from my mobile phone, and all of the VFT's are from the pot pictures above. It just goes to show that you never know how many you'll get. This came from what I call a 'cluster' pot, which is when I know that there are at least 4 VFT's in a pot. I have another 15 of these cluster pots to repot, not to mention all the VFT's with only 2 or 3 in each pot. In other words, a lot of plants :)