Carnivorous Plants South Africa

South African Carnivorous plant grower help.

Introduction

I have found that there is a lot of web pages out there explaining how to grow these plants... But none of them tells us how to grow these plants in South Africa. Or tell us about our growing conditions or any thing for that matter.
I also found that to ask the local sellers information about plant care... well you know how its goes ''ich i don't know'' sorry...
Well i hope to change that. And to call the supplies for information how to grow the plants, well ... i have found they normally give you as little info they can give and if you ask about seeds they go into a frenzy how they got growing and selling rights ..."Bla-bla What ever''

General Care for Carnivorous Plats

No1
When going out to buy a plant look at where it was standing at the seller. Was it standing indoors or out in the direct sun? If the plant was standing indoors (normally on a Stand) you must not go and place your plant in direct sun after purchase.
When at home look for similar conditions and over a period of 10 days expose your plant to more and more direct sun.

No 2
NEVER give your plants tap water!! It will kill your Plant!
Use distilled or rain water if you can... i use ground water that i keep for at least one week before using it. But! you must make sure your water quality is ok to use. Best way to find out is going to your local swimming pool shop. They will know if there is a lot of metal of mineral deposits in the water. If you can drink it....you plants can to. I also have a pond at my place and i have been using that water for over a year now and i have had no problems. And No !! Spring water you buy at the shops are no good ( they add minerals to the water...and that will kill your plant.
When to water is always a good question:
i have planted all my plants is a large square pots( 15cm by 45 cm and 15cm deep). I used them because some of the plants have longer root systems and need depth for growth.
The advantage of a deeper pot is also that if you forget to water them they will be ok.
I tend not to let my pots stand in a lot of water. A lot of web pages say you need to do so but i have found that our humidity is not efficient. I water only my plants when the soil pulls away from the sides of the pot. A good test to see if you have to much water... take a bit of soil in your finger tips if you press it softly and water comes out... you are drowning your plants use less water!

No 2
Never feed your plates beef!! or any meat you buy...eat it yourself or give it to your dog...your dog will love you for the tasty morsel and your plant will die on you!
Feed them bugs like fly's, small spiders, or ants... Never give then termites, they have a lot of fat in them...and it will kill the leaves. At the moment it is winter time and yes there is not a lot of bugs around. Your plant will be ok...it is in dormancy and don't need a food now. If you can get some bugs well it wont do harm.

No 3
Never give your plant any chemical or natural plant foods!!! ( liquid or grain)!!! it kills the plants!!
I am experimenting with a liquid fertilizer But don't try it yourself !!! i know what i am doing....an well if i am wrong i will have a few dead plants!!... i will let you know if it works and how to use it. So far so good...

No 4
Do not use any potting soil !!! they contain a lot of minerals that will kill your plants ! Use peat moss and perlite 1/1.
If you planted you plants in pure peat moss it is ok!! but you will be using a lot less water than normal.

No 5
Don't play with your plants... if you want to poke something, poke your eyes, you wont like it and your plants feel the same.

No 6


Sundews

At the moment I am spending a lot of my time with Cape sundews. I have found that they are hardy plants and don't need to much attention. They grow very easily and would be a very good plant to start off with.

Growing Conditions:

Sundews loves a lot of water, but always remember not to let your plant stand in to mush water. If the roots are submerged under water the plant will die. The roots needs to breath.

Sundews also need a lot of sun, i have found that if the plant does not get enough sun the leafs tend to over grow in length. You will also find that you will get only green leafs, The plant needs sun to produce there colors and helps with the overall health of the plant. A sunny windowsill is a good pace and even out on a sunny deck. Remember not to place your plant in direct sun if it is not used to it! The sun will burn the leafs.
If you are going to put your Sundews outside, make sure they have ample water. Because if they run dry you will lose your plant. They are not as strong as other plants like pitcher's.

Flowering: Spring is on the way, and if you have a mature plant you might get some flowers this year. Most of the Sundews don't need bugs to pollinate them. They do self pollinate! You can help them on by using a small brush, taking some pollen form one flower to the next. Most of the Sundews open only one flower at a time. The plant produce a thin flower stalk with lots of small flower buds all lined up to open.
How do you know when to harvest the seeds?
After a while the flower buds will turn back in color, and dry out. I tend to gut off the small buds as they dry out. If you look very closely, you will see the ripe flower buds splitting open. Place your palm under the drying flower buds, then by tapping them softly you will see very small black seeds on your palm. Yes they are very small! So do take care when clipping off the ripe flower buds. Place them in a small glass or plastic container( Like a old pill container)... Do not seal them off! There is still some moister in the small buds and if you seal them airtight you will get mold on them.

Now the Question: How do I plant these small seeds?
Well prepare a container where you want to grow them in. Make a mixture of peat moss and Silica sand (mixed 1/1). Use a large pot if you have a lot of seeds. Remember you are not going to re-pot your small plants soon, so they will need space to grow strongly before re-potting. Now water the pot as if there is plants growing in them. Let the pot stand in shallow container...you will be topping up the water as needed form there. Now take your seeds and place the in a Small salt pot, Sprinkle the seeds evenly on the soil, do this indoors because the smallest gust of wind will blow your seeds away. After doing so i use a mister with water, making sure the seeds are well moist and stick to the soil. Keep them in a sunny or will light windowsill. After 2 weeks or so you will see tiny green dots, they are your new plants. At first they will grow slowly, but as the seedlings grow stronger they will start growing larger liefs. Only re-pant them when they are about 2cm tall! Taking care not to damage the roots. The best way to replant them is new soil is to poke some holes with a old pen, once the roots are in place apply some pressure around the pant and the lose soil will fill up the space.

Feeding:

In general you will have no need to feed your Sundew's. They are very affective in catching there own food. As i said before...never give your plants ant chemical or natural plant foods you buy in the stores...they kill them.
If you are wondering what else to give your plants...bugs and more bugs....thats it!!! nothing else....!!!
Ok one thing i do give them that you won't read any were else is Blood worms !!!!! yes they love Blood-Worms!!! You know the ones they sell frozen at pet shops...for fish....mmmmmm
What you do is (they come is small blocks ) Defrost one by placing it in a ''tot'' glass... Do not add any water to the blood-worms. Place the ''tot'' glass in a basin with hot water and wait, once ready use a tweezer to give bits of the blood-worm to the plants. Keep in mind not to over feed...