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Drosera Petiolaris Complex Growing Methods

By Allen Lowrie

While all species of the Drosera petiolaris-complex grow reasonably well in 50/50 peat/sand which I still recommend for Drosera falconeri and Drosera kenneallyi, I have found that better results are achieved with the remainder of species in the complex using 60/40 peat/perlite. Also with Drosera falconeri and Drosera kenneallyi I have found pure peat moss works extremely well. The peat I use is Lithuanian Peat Moss from Klassman or Canadian. (You can not use sphagnum moss). The perlite grade size I use is all-in from pieces about 5 mm down to pin-head size particles even the dust.

Plant the plants into the soil up to the very base of their lower basal leaves. When you have planted up your plants…water them in thoroughly so that soil particles are washed around the plants and insuring the soil is well washed in about the old as well as new roots.

The following is most important. I will now explain the methods and the reason why.

Place 3 bamboo stakes or similar at 120-degree intervals around the rim of the pot (I find 15cm deep pots work well with this group) and place a large clear plastic bag up-side-down over the stakes and over the rim of the pot to almost touching the water the pot is standing in. This will keep high humidity around the plants while they are establishing themselves into the new soil mix. It will also ensure the plants are slowly acclimatized to your growing conditions.

Stand the pot in a little (no more than 5 mm in depth) water. After a couple of weeks or as soon as the older leaves or the younger leaves show signs of dewy glands on their lamina…cut a corner off the plastic bag….then a week later cut the other comer off…. then later remove the center of the bag….then later the entire top so one has a tube-like plastic bag surrounding the pot…then finally remove the plastic bag altogether. This should all be done over a period of personally judged timing. This method ensures the plants have a good chance to get established gradually into your own growing conditions with a greater degree of success than if they were just thrown into a foreign new growing situation straight out of my parcel. This is one of the reasons plants are lost in the first place.

These plants require high (25°-35° C) temperature and high humidity conditions, with good air movement to prevent fungus attacks to grow.

Note! when temperatures are too low the plants will perish…they hate the cold.

In the wild, these plants commonly enjoy daytime temperatures of 33° C with only a 3°C drop in temperatures at night. At ground level, it is not unusual for these same plants to experience temperatures of 40° to 50° C during the day. They love the heat. Dormancy in the wild is mostly dry HOWEVER I have not been able to grow these plants dry in cultivation as yet during dormancy. At this time I find I still have to keep them slightly moist as well as warm to hot to keep them alive during dormancy.

These plants love strong sunlight and lots of It (about 12 hours per day sun-up to sun-down) to achieve good strong colorful plants. Additional light can be gained through the use of 12-hour day/night cycles under grow-lux-or similar – lamps on their own or as a supplement to your natural light, Tropical Drosera species are reasonably new to cultivation and we are still experimenting with various
methods so we can grow these plants successfully in cultivation. If you find anything new ideas that you feel would help us to grow these plants better please let me know of your experiences so I can pass them on to others.

Good Growing. Allen Lowrie

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