Sunday, 9 September 2007

Grooming the carnivors

A significant sign of Spring for me is the bursting forth of new blooms in my carnivorous plant collection. However, in order to see the shooting flower buds and new pitchers, I first have the somewhat tedious task of trimming off all the dead pitchers and flower heads of last season. In the more vigorous plants, this can take around half an hour, and when you have 10 pots . . . well, it's a time consuming process.

Every second year or so, I have the even more tedious task of repotting. There are two reasons for this: one, the spaghnum/peat mix goes stale after about that long; two, the rhizomes of the pitcher plants spread and outgrow the container. Logic dictates that I need to either get bigger pots, or break up the plants into more pots. I generally choose the latter, but whichever way you look at it, I end up with bits of plants, rhizomes and discarded moss all over the place. It's a messy job.

The task for this weekend has been repotting, and unfortunately I didn't quite get it all done, despite tackling it on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons (too many social engagements!). It always takes longer than I expect -- teasing the roots out when I unpack the pots, deciding which bits of plant go back in, and then packing the new mix around the selected rhizomes, while being desperately careful not to break any of the new shoots.

It is rewarding, though, when I reach the end and see all my pots, ready and waiting to burst with life. They don't look like much now, but in a few months' time, they'll be truly spectacular!

1 comment:

  1. Are your carnivorous plants actually successful at being carnivorous? I mean, at the farm, we could really do with a good fly-catcher. I have just weeded a small garden bed and the idea came to me that I could make it into a carnivorous plant garden bed - do you think it would work?