Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Help! Darlingtonia dying!


For some reason, my 4 year old Darlingtonia has decided to die on me! I have grown this plant without problem since 2009, including through heatwaves exceeding 40*C. I am stumped as to what has happened.


Here is a close up of a typical example of a dying plant. As you can see, the growing point has died, while the roots and rhizome are still healthy.


And another example. While most of the affected pieces are mature stolons that were not separated from the original plant, the original plants are also dying in exactly the same manner.

What did I do wrong here? I am convinced it was not hot weather that is to blame, and the fungal growth on these plants has been identified as non-pathogenic by some colleagues who are plant pathologists. I admit it has been three seasons since these plants were divided and that the growth was getting a bit dense. Should I have divided earlier?

Growing conditions were:

  • Live Sphagnum moss media (which was growing beautifully)
  • Watered so Sphagnum  was moist and growing prolifically, using tray method
  • Pot was a foam vegetable crate ca. 15 cm deep x 45 x 30 cm.
  • Grown in part shade year around (although moved to denser shade with our recent move).

I have taken as many healthy looking stolons as possible and have converted them into cuttings, with the hope of keeping at least some plants alive. I have other Darlingtonia alive still, but they are much smaller.

Any advice will be gratefully received! Many thanks!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Selective desat_blog

Its the end of the Australian summer now, and the entomofauna here in Canberra is at its peak! The pitchers are quickly filling up with flies and hosting a range of other insects that aren’t necessarily caught.