Sunday, October 19, 2008

My N.Ampullaria now has pitchers

A number of months ago, this pitcher was going really well. But I thought I needed it was time to repot. Wrong! Almost immediately after it did not look well and went into shock , lost its pitchers and did not look well. I kept watering it hoping for the best.

Finally a month or so ago, shoots started coming up and branching out. But no pitchers. I hung in there with it.

Finally a week ago two pitchers appeared. Here is one. Other leaves appear on the verge of pitchering. Seems the Amp is back in business and that is great!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

the CPS are really active here in Kansas

My S.Purpurea (N. America pitcher) has grown four huge pitchers to go along with the other ones.

The rosette of pitchers have gradually grown since April. But the big pitchers have really arrived in September right before the colder weather.

Notice their bright reddish-purple veins .

More cobra pitchers have sprouted as well. They are still bright lime green.

They are difficult to grow but they have done well in the bright Kansas Sun nevertheless. The key I feel has been to cool their roots top down watering in the morning and usually later in the afternoon or night.

Meanwhile the big VFT have been going overtime. They have been catching flies and other insects constantly throughout the summer.

Some of flies with their outer shells seem like they have not even been digested but that process went on inside their bodies. (see the one at 9 o'clock)
A surprise greeting me when one trap opened again. Their were two flies in one trap! I could not take a decent picture of it before the rain came (trip is at the left bottom around 7 o'clock).

Friday, September 5, 2008


I have several of these buttworts. This is a common one P.Primuliflora.

Longish slender leaves with slickly curling lips on the side. A pretty light green they have slightly sticky surfaces and are able to capture small insects. Not as flashy as a Venus Fly Trap, but it does its job.

I now have several really small Pings that are growing. They are finally becoming noticeable.

It is difficult to identify this Ping. It has hairs on the edges of its oval shaped leaves.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Venus Flytraps:Most wonderful plant in the world

These unique plants have been called "Most wonderful plant in the world." They are awesome. They are only found in North Carolina and a small part of South Carolina. These marvelous plants have evolved over time.
One unique feature is that when the inner 3 hair on the inside lobs (3 on each side making 6) are triggered, a mechanism then shuts the trap, trapping insects. But the green rib sticking up from the lobes then overlock. THis makes it even more difficult for insects to escape!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nepenthes Ampularia doing well

This Asian pitcher is coming back to life after disappearing after I repotted it when it was doing well.

CP Confuscious say "if it is going well don't repot as some like Asian pitchers are very picky)

These are now about 3 inches long in a weeks!
Two other shoots are between 1-2 inches long
while this one ( bottom Right photo ) just started emerging from way down further . Looks like 2.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The N. Ampularia is really growing and spreading out very quickly unlike my other Neps that have failed to create pitchers.

I have no idea why it does so well. It might be the sphagnum moss soil.

This pitcher is not supposed to sit in water. I water them once a day in the morning too TOP DOWN.

Venus Flytrap flower

The VFT flower opens up a series of pretty white flowers.

This flower opened from VFT #2. Unfortunetly it did not open for some reason.

more pitchers sprouting and the inside bristle hairs

This pitcher grows like a plumpish sprout. (there is a smaller one in the photo below)

Notice the interesting purple veins that run down the sides.

The top is first closed and the the slit of the
crown opens up and unfurls the top of the pitcher.

Here you can see
* the inside purple veins

* Notice the spike like hair on the inside lips of this North American Pitcher.

(1) Why did the pitcher develop these?

Supposedly their is a sweet scent on the inside lips of the crown of pitcher. Insect are attracted to it as food is.

The hairs on the inside lips of the pitcher point downward. Insect stepping on the inside of the pitcher are forced to go down as these sharp hairs impede their ability to go back up.

* Eventually the insects fall into the opening below which is filled with water and chemicals. They drown and their bodies are broken down to be used by the plant for nutrients.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oh Joy ! The N.Ampularia is growing

I thought it was dead. The plant was going so well in the winter and creating many pitchers. But then I thought it was time to repot like the other plants which usually need it once a year at least. I never should have done that. Almost immediately, the pitchers stopped growing and the whole plant seemed to sicken. The pitchers went and so did the buds and more. I held out hope that is would "come back" in the summer.

A few days, I could see that there two buds beginning to grow on one of the big stalks and 1 on the bigger stalk. Oh joy! The Amp is back I hope for sure will once again be displaying its beautiful big traps soon!

In the Kansas bright Sun, my CPs are doing well

In the Kansas bright Sun, my CPs are doing well.

Outside VFT1 has 7 new big traps, several which caught insects and are showing the results after digestion.

VFT2 is more of a cluster type and now has at least 15 VFTs of all sizes.

S. Purpurea (Northern Pitcher) is coming back strong this year after incubation. It has 4 new leaves , 3 old ones and 1 coming up.

The difficult Cobra is doing quite well. It has produced 11 new pitchers, with their bright green glistening hood.

Notice the cobra fangs on the inner side.

Also on the top are little "windows" of transpararent type material. The cobras have adapted over time to create these windows. Flying insects that go inside the underside of the cobra (lured by sweet nectar on the cobra inside) bump against the walls and are more likely to plummet into the well of the cobra below where the chemicals in their water moat break down the insect and use it for decomposition.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Carnivorous plants under the Sun in Kansas and in terrarium

Outside, the CPS are doing well in the warm Kansas sun.
The Bigger VFTs are growing buds and traps capturing insects.

The S. Purpurea has a new sprout. The sprout grows and then slow the slit opens revealing the hairs on the inside edges.

The difficult going Cobra continues to do well in its second year. This year a big cobra started and several others sprouted. They start out bright lime green with their signature cobra style.They then slowly darken.

I also have a few cactus plants outside next to the CPs.

One has a nice reddish cactus flower.

Each morning it opens wide and closes during nighttime.

Very cute.

Tropicals are going in the terrarium some better some not so.

I made the mistake of repotting my beautiful N. Ampullaria when it was doing so well ( I thought it was time for repotting). Mistake and there is only one leaf left. I am hoping it rejuvenates itself.

These Mexican butterworts are a nice light green and are doing well in the watered spaghnum moss. Many continue to grow in the cluster. I have repotted some to possibly sell.

The Adelae sundew is best sundew with much dew on its many tendrils. The red flowers continue to grown.

Every once in awhile I would catch some ants and place them on the dew of the sundews. Usually the stalk will curl and encompass the insect.

Monday, March 10, 2008

what's growing and not lately:Sundew , Pitchers and more

A boy of a friend is planting some CPS from seed with a kit. I thought I might as well give him some big ones to look at while he waits. I have repotted a Mexican butterwort and a sundew to give to his son. I also gave him a care sheet and a bottle of rainwater. A big CP carekit. I gave this to him a couple of days ago.

This butterwort has been shooting up pretty little lilac flowers with a yellow center.

The D. Adelae "lanceleaf" has pretty red flowers. Meanwhile some other ones are finally "dewing" possibly from the extra hour I put on the artificial timer and the added sunlight that is coming in from the southern window in front of the terrarium.

The D.Spatulata rosetta sundew I repotted. It hasn't been doing anything for over a year or more. No dew, no growth just sitting there. It was time to try something different. I repotted it. A couple of days ago I put it a little closer to the artificial lights. It looks like some stalks are turning dark so we shall if that is bad or good or what. Hopefully it is getting rid of the old and getting ready to renew some new stalks.

The D. Alicia (left) is growing very nicely under the grow lights. Lot of dew and the stalks are arching toward the lights.

The N. Spectabilis I did repot and it has done nothing for well over a year. Well it finally died big time. Maybe something will sprout instead. Not yet though. So I will not throw it away just yet.

The N. Bicalarata has several new stalks but the leaves are so small. It is said they are easy to grow but I guess not for me . The Savage Garden book says it need hot, high humidity. Maybe the environment is not hot enough or humid enough. It is a lowland species like the N.Amp so they should both do well.

The only thing is pitchers are not forming. They get the little "nub" at the end but don't produce.
Maybe a little spray of orchid in water may help?

Well soon it is will be time to repot my towering Ampullaria.

This N. Ampullaria has really grown.

One stalk is now 14 inches high and the other 7 with both producing nice pitchers

The pitchers of this species grow a vinelike extension that drapes away from the main plant off of a leaf. A little bud grows on the tip. As it grows a little lip starts to form as well (on the right top).
I also measured the biggest pitcher which is 1.5 inches and other are 1 inch or less.

There are also little a crowd of tiny pitchers around the main stem in different places . I can call these ground or lower stem pitchers. Soon it is will be time to repot my towering plant

I have already started to repot the cp plants as one should do at least yearly to cleans the soil and renew it.

I repotted the N. Ampullaria last year and that seemed to spur tremendous growth. I hope it won't alter its fantastic growth.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My North American plants Hibernating

My North American plants (normally outside in the Sun) are the
VFT, Cobra and S.Purpurea (purple pitcher) are now hibernating during the winter.

They reside in front of terrarium between it and the window so they can weather the winter (hope this works).

Last year I did not give them enough water (I think) and they died. I could leave them outside but I feel the frequent blustery cold winds and chilling cold than plunges the temperature ever so often here in Kansas would kill them.

Cobras are not easy to grow. One before did not make it. But I wanted to see if I could get the Cobra to grow in the sunny Kansas weather. Supposedly are hard to keep, but mine did very well this year and more pitchers shot up so I must have been doing something right. The key I learned is keep the roots cool, do top down watering and don't let water sit around in the pot (more later about the cobra).

I just make sure I give the water and keep them in the dark area behind the terrarium. We shall see if this works and if the grow back and health once out of hibernation in March or April.

I was pleased also the VFT thrived in the Sun and did not shrivel away. Nice pink red in their lobes told me they were getting lots of sun which they like. They were snapped shut all the time so that told me insects were liking them too! Several opened to show the end of the meals and kept on catching more.

My S.Purpurea also great and sprouted new ones. I was pleased with it too. More to come about the sundews, butterworts, other things that went right and things that did not.

MY CP garden in Kansas

I have learned so much more about CPs then I first tried to grow them in 60's and 80's.

I know more about all the factors (but still learning) to get them growing. I am really pleased how my CP garden grew in 2007. I have found the internet, books and correspondence emails from other CP people very helpful. Commercial growers and websites have been helpful too.

I like using my terrarium for my tropicals: (1) They are in one place (which makes my wife happy); (2) I think it helps keep the humidity in for my tropicals; (3) can view all at same time; (4) easy to water. But it is getting a little crowded though.

My pride an joy (well they all are really my pets!) is the N. Ampullaria (big plant you see here).
It is a lowland variety and has done very well. It keeps sprouting huge leaves and nice plump squarish like pitchers. Pitchers start out by growing on a long tendril.

The tip expands into a pitcher. Usually in this species then are sandy orange -red with speckles all around.

What is cute is there is a little strip like appendage off of the lip (on this one on the left). Not sure what they are for. Possibly a place for insects to step on to walk over so the lip/mouth of the pictcher? The pitchers last for a few weeks and then get brownish and wither away. I cut them off then so the there is more strength for the rest of the plant to produce more pitchers!