My winter garden (well, balcony) isn’t very exciting to look at right now. Most of my cacti are dormant, my Robinia tree and Amorphophallus are completely naked and the place is generally a bit of a mess. Then this guy decided to bloom in the middle of winter. The cute purple flowers add a bit of color to my otherwise grey balcony!
The cuttings I took from my Nepenthes ventrata two months ago are doing okay! I lost one of the three cuttings, but the rest are alive and rooting. So far none of them have shown any new leaf growth, but the stalk I took the cuttings from is now growing fresh, green side shoots and basal shoots. I’m glad the experiment hasn’t failed completely!
I took the cuttings out of the plastic bag they were in after only a couple of weeks because I saw what looked like sooty mold on some of the leaves. One of the cuttings had already shown signs of root growth, so I just stuck them back in their old pot with wet sphagnum moss.
I kept putting off propagating this beast, but I think now is the time to do so. The 50 cm long vine was pulling the pot out of my hanging planter and got stuck to everything. And the pitchers weren’t all that magnificent this year anyway.
So I cut the vine into 3 pieces, each with 4-6 nodes, and wrapped some paper around the base of the cuttings as a sort of reverse diaper to keep them moist. The water I use is reverse osmosis water with 0 ppm dissolved salts. This is what I usually use to water my carnivorous plants. Nepenthes take a long time to grow roots and I don’t expect them to do anything for the next month or so.
This is the biggest pitcher I’ve had on my Nepenthes x Hookeriana so far. I’ve had this plant for a couple of years now and it loves staying in this same spot in my hobby room, out of direct sunlight. The room is constantly warm and slightly humid because I mist the plants in this room every day. The perfect environment for carnivorous plants!
The plant itself is the slowest growing carnivorous plant I’ve had. It grows very large leaves unlike my Nepenthes Ventrata, but it only puts out one leaf every month or so. And the pitchers form even more slowly. This pitcher should grow slightly larger over the coming weeks. The “lid” only just popped open yesterday. Now it’s ready to feast on some flies!
Last night my Pinguicula laueana caught itself some type of moth for dinner. I’m pretty impressed because until today it has only caught gnats and fruit flies. I genuinely didn’t think they were sticky enough to catch anything bigger than that.
Both of my Pinguicula love the humid Danish summer and grow at the speed of light right now. If distilled water wasn’t so expensive and hard to find, I would have a mountain of Pinguicula to protect me from all of the little annoying critters out there.
I left my two Pinguicula in the sun while I was on holiday and they had a tiny feast. These carnivorous plants are great gnat and fruit fly hunters. If placed in the sun or in a window, the sticky leaves will attract and trap small flies, which will then be digested over several days.
People like to ask me what I do in my spare time because I don’t watch TV. This is just one of many satisfying spare time activities I can come up with. Removing dead winter leaves from my Pinguicula laueana and Pinguicula “Tina”. The dead leaves just pop off, all in one go, when you pull them and you’re left with a happy, clean bowl of gnat-munchers.
The leaves on both of my plants have just turned sticky and carnivorous after a winter with dry, succulent leaves. Now I’m just waiting for the next gnat infestation, so my plants have something to eat.
I completely forgot to use the macro lens I bought for my old iPhone. Most of my baby plants have gotten too big to fit in a macro shot, so I used the lens on my Cephalotus instead.
I have no idea how I kept this one alive for so long – around 1,5 years. I have never fed this carnivorous plant even once since I got it. I guess it has access to the little gnats that fly around my cactus collection once in a while.
So far it’s happy to stay outside, even in winter. And it loves direct sunlight. The Danish weather must be just right for this otherwise extremely sensitive plant.
Cephalotus follicularis are hardier than I thought. They have now survived a year in my care and even seem happier outside on the balcony. I thought they needed constant care and temperature/humidity/watering control. I guess they have proven to be less fussy than I imagined.
My Nepenthes trio is doing well this winter. The N. Ventrata (front) started yellowing just before I brought it inside and now it has lots of green leaves again. Every day I mist them with distilled water to help them get trough the time they need to spend indoors in low humidity. They all pretty much stopped pitchering, but they’re growing more leaves, so that’s fine.
In this picture: Nepenthes “Lady Luck” (hanging planter), Nepenthes x Hookeriana and Nepenthes x Ventrata (left to right on the window sill).