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So I, like so many of us, have gotten into things with a little more plants and a little less fish and water. Mine has taken a more sinister turn. I have carnivorous plants! This thread is going to be part journal and part educational. These plants are insanely interesting and closer than many of us might think ;)

Now for the pictures of my current setup.



Your eyes aren't deceiving you. All of these plants are outside, and they stay that way year-round. Most of the famous carnivorous plants don't come from steamy jungles. They come from the eastern US. Venus fly traps are only found on a small stretch of land roughly 60 miles around Wilmington, NC (google it if you don't know where it is--nice beaches). The pitcher plants have a larger spread going from Canada down to Texas, following the coast. So if you live in a coastal Atlantic state, there is a chance these guys might be growing in a bog near you!

Now let me introduce you to the species and cultivars I have.

Venus fly trap (Dioneae muscipula)



I have about 8 of these now. There are certain cultivars with interesting traits, but I just have the basic plants right now. They are surprisingly easy to grow if you have the right conditions. They need 6+ hours of direct sunlight and moist, acidic soil. They DO go dormant in the winter; this is one of the reasons they aren't recommended as house plants. They expect a cold winter and will actually die if they don't get dormancy.

I have six cultivars of Sarracenia (pitcher plants). They all have about the same basic care. Keep outside, need lotta sun, and need dormancy. Three species are found with flytraps. (These pictures are about 2 months old, but the plants still look the same).



Sarracenia flava, the yellow pitcher plant. These guys have a rather wide distribution, ranging from Virginia down to Alabama. These plants have the potential to get about 3 feet tall. Mine isn't nearly that size this year, but when I get it into a bigger pot I can expect great things!



S. leucophylla, the white pitcher plant. Widely regarded as the most showy of the pitchers and my personal favorite. These guys are found on the Gulf Coast and are often hybridized with other species for their beautiful colors. Oh.. Forgot to mention. All of the Sarracenia can hybridize with each other and produce fertile offspring. Plants are funny like that.



S. purpurea, the purple pitcher plant. This is the most wide spread of all the pitcher plants. They are found along the entire eastern seaboard of the US, the Great Lakes region, and in most of southern Canada. Because they are so widely distributed they are one of the only Sarracenia that aren't imperiled from habitat loss.

Now we get into the hybrids. Time to get funky...



S. x catesbaei. Sorry. This is also where we lose common names. This is actually a natural hybrid of purpurea and flava. It was thought to be a separate species for a while until someone got smart (I dunno who--wasn't me). They are found in the wild but can be rare.



S. 'Mardi gras' This is an ornamental hybrid. I don't remember the exact parentage and I doubt it's important to you guys. Interesting thing about hybrid Sarracenia is that they tend to be more rigorous than the species. Scientists and growers don't really know why that is.



S. 'doodle bug' This little cutie is another complex ornamental hybrid. It has a slightly different pitcher shape than the others because it is crossed with a Sarracenia that uses a different method to catch bugs.

I also have an S. 'frogman' but don't have pictures of the plant at the moment because it's in rough shape. It was shipped to me recently. Takes these things a bit to recover from shipping.

Now for the sundews. Of which I have two species and only pictures of one.





This is Drosera tokaiensis. Sorry. Common names ... well aren't.. with these guys. This sundew (not mine specifically but the species) has a funny history because there are two varieties. A fertile and a non-fertile hybrid. This plant is a natural hybrid that has become a species. You can cross the original two species and get a non-fertile offspring, tho. What I have is the fertile variety. These guys (I have two of them) have already flowered for me. Maybe I can get seeds!

They don't do too well with a lot of rain and clouds (which I've had a lot of this summer), so the smallest tokaienis is now inside with me. Hopefully this full spectrum bulb will help it rebound.



The other sundew I have is the cape sundew. It's extremely hardy and a great beginner plant, but it was beat up in shipping (it came in with the S. 'frogman'). Neither the cape sundew or D. tokaiensis are native to the US. I'm working on getting the species that are.



This is the other plant I have that isn't native to the US. This is a Nepenthes tobaica. These are the types of tropical pitcher plants that BWG wants to have in his setup. Normally these plants require higher humidity and better light, but this is a species that is hardy enough to survive on a windowsill.

My collection is in its infancy. I plan to get a LOT more sundews and flytrap cultivars as they are my favorites. More Sarracenia are certainly in my future, too. I also plan to get some butterworts. Come early spring (Feb/Mar) I will be building a small, potted bog for species native to Wilmington, NC. Stay tuned! I'm also happy to answer any questions you have about my plants or carnivorous plants in general!

PS. I also have some succulents and orchids now. Orchids aren't blooming so there is nothing interesting there right now. Might post up some pictures of the succulents when I get my new camera.
 

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Great pictures as always.

Going to have to follow along, get in on the groundfloor for the CP domination!

lol I even went and looked up all the parentages!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great pictures as always.

Going to have to follow along, get in on the groundfloor for the CP domination!

lol I even went and looked up all the parentages!
Hahahaha!! If anyone would be the one to look up the parentages it would be you.

You're not just getting in on the CP domination, you're one of the leaders! You and your neps. Er well future neps. Ampullaria will take over the hearts of millions!

yay!! they're so cute <3
I know! I just love those little 'dews! :3
 

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IZZZZY!!! You already know I love your collection, but , but I DOOOOOO!!! So happy that you decided to start a journal here to show those beauties off! They're amazing, looking forward to seeing this develop - all the way to their eventual home. . . so flippin' NEAT!

^.^

I love the pitchers, the texture and color of them seriously fascinate me - along with the other aspects of their care, and the WHY behind how they are. Even though I'm not science-brained enough to go looking up parentages (cuz' I'd just forget anyway) I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on care and keeping of these beauties . . .

Fly traps have always amazed me. I used to try so hard to keep them as a kid! Didn't understand why they always died until I was much older. Waddles' family has one ailing on their windowsill that I've been trying to kidnap for some time. haha! Fingers crossed (have a feeling this will be one 'pet' I won't be able to save, but if I do. . . you're not getting it ^.~) I'll be more than happy to try and pick your brain for everything I need to know if/when that time comes. *giggle*

And I dooooooooo swooooooon for Sundews! (sundew should end in an 'O' so I can type sundooooooooo. Boo.) 'specially the pygmy's. You NEED some pygmy's!!!

I hope your little beaten up babies come back well. . . and even if they don't count as hungry or boggy, I think you should show off those pet rocks of yours, too. Cuz' they're magically delicious. Just sayin'
 

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What sort of substrate are you using for each kind of CP?

Do the sundews come inside for the winter? Will you be feeding them during that time?

When did you first realize you were a plant head?

Any more Nepenthes planned?

When are you going to break down and do a terrarium? If I don't like the answer I'm pointing out the critter keeper and that it basically is one.

Is The Savage Garden worth buying?

OK, that's enough for right now.
 

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Awh! I never thought I would be cooing over plants but they're so PRETTY. And dangerous (well...to insects), which makes them like a billion times cooler. I'm so fascinated by the sundew, although it became a bit less cute when I googled just HOW it captures and 'eats' it's prey o.0

Such a pretty bog! Much better than the bog of eternal stench ;)

Can't wait to see updates on this, and maybe even videos of them being fed? That would be so. cool.
 

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Even more reason to meet up at the zoo one day. They had them there when I went yesterday. Don't know where the venus fly traps were but they are supposedly in there as well. Lovely carnivorous garden you have. I'll have to take pics when I visit my mom of her garden.
 

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AHHHH!!! This new camera is so great! Oh the macros! (Not to tease you guys or anything) but I'm out at Erik's right now. His internet is so bad we can't buffer a youtube video let alone upload pictures. I will just have to get more tomorrow and upload those, too!

...

Fly traps have always amazed me. I used to try so hard to keep them as a kid! Didn't understand why they always died until I was much older. Waddles' family has one ailing on their windowsill that I've been trying to kidnap for some time. haha! Fingers crossed (have a feeling this will be one 'pet' I won't be able to save, but if I do. . . you're not getting it ^.~) I'll be more than happy to try and pick your brain for everything I need to know if/when that time comes. *giggle*

And I dooooooooo swooooooon for Sundews! (sundew should end in an 'O' so I can type sundooooooooo. Boo.) 'specially the pygmy's. You NEED some pygmy's!!!

I hope your little beaten up babies come back well. . . and even if they don't count as hungry or boggy, I think you should show off those pet rocks of yours, too. Cuz' they're magically delicious. Just sayin'
Lol Keep the little flytrap if you can snatch it. Flytraps are awesome! All you need is a sunny spot on the porch and your collection will begin!

As for the pygmy sundews, I don't have the room. They aren't an outdoor 'dew, and my inside room is so severely limited right now. Those will be your territory :3

Lol I gotta get a sunny day to get some pictures of dry plants. I <3 lithops hehe.

1) What sort of substrate are you using for each kind of CP?

2) Do the sundews come inside for the winter? Will you be feeding them during that time?

3) When did you first realize you were a plant head?

4) Any more Nepenthes planned?

5) When are you going to break down and do a terrarium? If I don't like the answer I'm pointing out the critter keeper and that it basically is one.

6) Is The Savage Garden worth buying?

OK, that's enough for right now.
Lol! Number your questions!

1) This plants all come from similar environments, so I'm using the same soil for them. They are all true bog plants, so they are in an acidic, well-drained soil. I use a 50/50 mix of sphagnum peat and pool filter sand. I've also started topping the pots with pool filter sand because it helps discourage pests. The other reason is that when I saw these plants in the wild (oh. I should post those pictures, too) they were all growing directly IN sand. If you are interested in reading about Sarracenia, flytrap, and some sundew habitats in the coastal, check out pocosins.

Nepenthes are grown in a radically different soil because they are not bog plants. I have mine in a pure long-fiber sphagnum, but most people like to include drainage material like perlite or some type of bark in there. I omit that because I just don't have it on hand.

And the mexican butterworts I'll get later this summer will have even a different soil.

2) All of the sundews I have are subtropical and could overwinter outside where I am (in zone 7b), but I don't want to take the risk. They can form hibernaculum and come back from the roots, but I have a feeling this winter will be a rough one. I don't want to test my skills against cold just yet. So I'll be bringing them all in for the winter. Plus it means I can still see them :3

As for feeding them, they won't need it. We have more than enough little bugs flying around in my house to feed 3 little dews.

3) >:p When did you realize you were a plant head?

4) Neps planned? Not really. The one I got was really just a happy accident. If I see another giveaway come up like that I'll give it a shot, but Sarracenia are my favorite pitchers.

5) Haha! That critter keeper basically is a terrarium. I'll say I broke down when I saw a 'dew of mine on the edge. BTW. That dew is 'dew'ing better (lol) and my new camera can help me capture that!

6) I think it's worth it. The autographed version might be a bit much for the new planter, but it's a great read. Just make sure when you search it (or ask the employees at Barnes and Nobel about it) you make sure to put something about plants in there. There are... some ... different books with that same title.

Awh! I never thought I would be cooing over plants but they're so PRETTY. And dangerous (well...to insects), which makes them like a billion times cooler. I'm so fascinated by the sundew, although it became a bit less cute when I googled just HOW it captures and 'eats' it's prey o.0

Such a pretty bog! Much better than the bog of eternal stench ;)

Can't wait to see updates on this, and maybe even videos of them being fed? That would be so. cool.
These are some pretty plants! I didn't think I would be cooing over them, but I do! I would love to give you guys a video of my plants eating, but I still haven't seen it yet! I see closed traps and curled leaves, but I've never seen it happen yet! But I can show you guys pictures of the pitchers filled with bugs! >:3

Even more reason to meet up at the zoo one day. They had them there when I went yesterday. Don't know where the venus fly traps were but they are supposedly in there as well. Lovely carnivorous garden you have. I'll have to take pics when I visit my mom of her garden.
Oh! Asheville might also have some of the rare Sarracenia that are native to the mountains of NC. I'd love to see what your mother and her boyfriend have!
 

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Just got my copy of Savage Garden. You know the section I'm going to be checking out first.

Actually legit questions now. I promise. Now with numbers!

1. Where did you find the long fiber sphagnum? I didn't see any at nurseries or the big box hardware stores I went to. Maybe I missed it.

2. Any real difference between New Zealand and Chile sphagnum moss, besides the obvious?

I'd annoy you with other random question to answer for everyone to learn from, but I have a book to read.
 

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Hehe, Bek. . . you didn't realize? The secret to Izzy's success is that she serenades her babies every night, a trick she picked up from the book, of course...
thekoimaiden said:
"I want to stand with you on a mountain! "I want to bathe with you by the sea!. . . I'll love you more with every breath Truly, madly, deeply doooOOOOOO!"
^.^
...she's got the voice of an angel.

Izzy, stop teasing about your shiny new camera already and post some pictures! *ish impatient* I can't wait to see! What did you end up getting? Obviously you love it ::jealous:: I need a new camera so badly! *demands macros*

I don't think they're gonna let me save the poor little flytrap, but I will keep trying. And probably beg to send it to you if I managed to snag it, anyway! I have no CP territory! Stop trying to give me territory! I know that real-estate indoors is precious, but really? They're dime-sized! Not buying the excuse! :roll: Glad your little terrarium 'Dew is perking up with a little bit of TLC!

Can't wait for the round of new photos - and the older ones from when you saw them in the wild!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So. Pictures are here. I finally got a sunny day and time at home. Pictures will be in the next post.

Just got my copy of Savage Garden. You know the section I'm going to be checking out first.

Actually legit questions now. I promise. Now with numbers!

1. Where did you find the long fiber sphagnum? I didn't see any at nurseries or the big box hardware stores I went to. Maybe I missed it.

2. Any real difference between New Zealand and Chile sphagnum moss, besides the obvious?

I'd annoy you with other random question to answer for everyone to learn from, but I have a book to read.
I know the section that will become stained brown with soft drinks!

1. I actually found my sphagnum in the orchid section of Home Depot. I did have to look for it pretty hard. It doesn't come in large bales.

2. I don't think there is much difference between the species of sphagnum grown in different areas. Biggest one is probably the manner in which it's harvested.

Lol. Jes! I'm kinda overflowing with flytraps right now. If you can snag it, you should just keep it outside on the porch. Or send it to Cory. ;) All of my flytraps decided to divide this summer, so I've literally doubled the number I have. Some of you might be getting flytraps, too, if you aren't careful! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
PICTURES! I'm still working on learning the odds and ends of this camera (fujifilm finepix for anyone who is interested), but this is what I have so far.





The current setup. The containers are filled with water because we've had roughly 2 inches of rain this weekend. That's also the reason my sundews don't look too hot. A lotta rain puts a damper on their dew.



My S. leucophylla up close with Molly in the background. She is perpetually outside with me.



My S. flava. I should have taken some shots of just how many bugs these guys have caught this summer.



This is my favorite of my new pictures. This is one leaf of my new sundew, the cape sundew. MACROS! AHHH!!



A better pictures of my gardener dog.

Now we move inside.



This is my Nep. It's growing a lot faster than I thought it would. That new pitcher is getting huge!



This is my little dew that I'm nursing back. It's coming around! I put an arrow because it's hard to see. There is dew on those little leaves! The stem that is laying on the substrate has seeds in it. I'm hoping those will germinate, too!



And last but not least, my argyroderma that tried to flower but cloudy days killed it. This plant took a helluva beating at the big box store, but I think it's coming around now. I'm trying to neglect it back to health. Don't laugh. That's what you do with succulents.

I still have a long way to go with this camera. There is a small novel that comes with it, but overall I'm really pleased with my new baby! It's also not helping that I haven't seen a full sun day in almost a week now. My plants really do take a beating when that happens. The poor dews get the worst of it.
 

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You have lots of space in those containers for more plants! No need to try to pawn off your flytraps to innocent people! I'm innocent, not sure sure about the rest of this forum. I'm thinking not.

Showoff, err I mean great pictures! Nice collection too. Which one is the S. 'frogman' or is that still be nursed back to health?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Cory, I don't have a picture of 'frogman.' It's in really rough condition. If you'd like to see what it should look like, the International Carnivorous Plant Society has a series of photos here. I'm hoping it will produce nice pitchers next year as it's a hybrid of a favorite of mine, S. minor.

So. While I'm learning to work the new camera (plants are also getting moved around, too), I thought I would post up pictures of my great in situ adventure! It wasn't that great. It was horribly rainy and we got lost twice trying to get there. BUT! I did meet the guys of the Carolina Carnivorous Plant Society (of which I am now a member). I only took a handful of photos and almost all were blurry, but here are the best ones.





This is the Stanely Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden. It's a natural pocosin, a specialized wetland. The name comes from the Algonquian term meaning "swamp on a hill" because defying all logic, these wetlands are actually on the tops of hills. They form when higher ground becomes poorly drained usually due to a seep underlying the land. These wetlands are actually dependent on fires to keep them clear. A lot of land that is managed for CP's has yearly burnings scheduled. These fires clear the brush and new tree growth that would shade out the pitcher plants and flytraps. Natural wildfire suppression is actually a big problem in the eastern US, but I won't go into that.

I really wish I'd taken more photos of the landscape around the garden. It's a really neat place. I also wish it hadn't been raining so much so I could have gotten pictures of the individual plants. This garden had a massive theft of a couple thousand flytraps this spring, so they were hard to find on the ground, but pitcher plants were everywhere. In those pictures you can see a lot of S. flava and some S. minor. One thing I didn't see were the little sundews. There are a handful of species native to the carolinas that I would expect to find there. So here is a picture of my D. tokaiensis.



I do love my 'dews!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I know I have teased you with promises of other plants. Now it's time for me to deliver. Presenting my lithops! There are 8 of them potted in one pot. I just love these little guys! I don't think I've watered them since I put them in the pot. They are the exact opposite of my bog plants.





This is my smallest one. That is aquarium gravel to give you some scale.
 

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New plants!!!

I can't help myself and after this first one I don't think I'll be able to stop myself. I got a mexican butterwort (Pinguicula). I knew it would be small, but I had no clue. It is literally the cutest plant I have ever seen. Like I couldn't stop squee-ing as I was planting it. My dog came over because she thought something was wrong with me (lol DON'T answer that ANYONE). I give you. The ping.

These are 2.25" pots btw..





Also this is the first photoshoot that showcases my new flash. LOVE IT! It's not awkward like my last one.

Now for some science. Mexican butterworts are very different plants from the hungry bog. They are almost like carnivorous cactus in that they grow where there is very little rain. They get most of their water from surrounding humidity, but they have been amendable to getting it from their measly roots in captivity. Unlike my bog plants, these little cuties prefer substrate that is mostly inorganic. Some people even grow them literally attached to rocks. I can link you images if you want (on another forum so can't post here). However, there are some Pings that grow in more boggy conditions. A handful are native to the VA/NC/SC area and I also plan to get those. They are harder to find because they require a dormancy like all temperate CPs. Oh ya. Dormancy. These guys don't really go dormant per say; they grow succulent leaves and stop feasting on everything for a bit during the winter. It's debatable whether or not the succulent phase is true dormancy. Personally I just think they get cuter when they do this because they get smaller. Pings also have the best flowers of the CP world. This little guy is flowering size so maybe I'll get some this year before dormancy :3

Also more are coming later this week.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
NEW PLANTS!!! YAY! So I had lunch with a friend I met through my CP forum. She and I had a blast talking about plants and everything under the sun. She is overrun with Drosera filiformis, a NA native dew. She offered me some plants, and I gladly accepted. Love those 'dews! Unlike my cute little ping, these cute little dews stay outside year-round. Introducing, the babies! (These are 'dews she grew from seed herself).





She gave me the tiny seed pots as well as another MASSIVE pot of them.





You can see that large pot in the background.



And finally this is the new home of my CP's. I think I'm actually going to put my entire collection in a wagon so I can put it in the sunniest spot at different times of the day (Heather gave me this idea). They need at least 6 hours to look good, but to get some nice red colors they need as much as 10 hours a day. I promise I will post a picture of them in the wagon and maybe even me pulling the little red wagon when I can dig it out of the garage.
 
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