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Dionaea muscipula

Dionaea muscipula

These are just cool looking plants, I've never really tried keeping one alive for long but they are pretty high maintenance.

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i've only ever heard of them as "windowsill novelty plants" in the UK; I'd suppose your weather is a lot better for them than ours! wouldn't they be "self-feeding"?

10 Oct, 2013


They are pretty much the same way here but they are a little more tolerant than given credit for. They are native to bogs of South Carolina so they get a lot of heat and humidity in the summer but down below freezing in winter. I'm not sure if they are self seeding but when they turn brown and die back, you can keep them cool and not let them dry out entirely through winter and they can come back in the Spring. There is no guarantee they will but I'm going to give it a shot.

12 Oct, 2013


Good for you! Can you somehow insulte htem in colder weather? Don't know if a cloche-type cover would be any use, if they need insects to feed on, they'll need to get in. some sort of protective mulch?

12 Oct, 2013


Nope, I am just going to let them go to sleep so they won't need any bugs. It will just look like a few black stems. I'll keep them in a room that doesn't drop below 45F and in Spring they will wake up on their own. What's nice is that on my sun porch flies can get in and they catch their own (sometimes I help because it is fun to see them eat flies lol). The big thing they need is rain water, the chemicals in tap water will eventually kill them.

12 Oct, 2013


oh! I thoguht they were in the ground - durr!

tap water isn't much fun for people, let alone plants! but when it's all that's on hand ... i did use to use bottled spring water when i only had a few houseplants, but think it'd be a bit expensive with about fifty pots, planters and tubs! I'll have to dowse for my own spring ...

12 Oct, 2013


I collect in the summer and store about 30 gallons in water jugs for winter. Last year I used 60 gallons but I had a lot of large house plants, I am hoping to cut it to 40 this year. I did a test on my water and was concerned about the calcium, it was way too high for a lot of plants. I've also used snow packed tightly in 5 gallon buckets. If you pack it tight enough you can get just over 2 gallons of water but it takes about 2 days to melt and you need to live somewhere that gets a lot of snow for it to work well! If you have a de-humidifier it is easier than melting snow but is a pain in the ass to bottle up.

14 Oct, 2013


I found an eBay seller who recycles plastic drums used to import olives - used once then dumped; he srubs them out and turns them into water butts, a lot cheaper than "proper" ones. I intend to get at least two, for the downpipes at the front and back of the bungalow; when I get my sheds lined up and covered, there'll be a gutter and a third butt there.

I've never had butts before (did intend to get some for this place, but was very surprised to find that there were no downpipes, so no idea where the rain goes once it's hit the roof!) so it'll be very much trial and error.

I used to save plastic milk bottles - I'd read that filling them wiht water and using that to water plants adds something from the residue of milk left in the bottle - at one time I had a couple of dozen lined up on the back of the worktop. But they don't go very far between 30+ pots, so I saved them mostly for the indoor plants - not killed any yet.

I have some gallon water bottles that had spring water - I'd fill them from the tap and leave them outside, so they'd warm up before I used them on the outdoor plants.

I was amazaed to discover that collecting rainwater is actually illegal in some US states - apparently rain that falls from the sky on to your house already belongs to the water companies. I teke it that you don't live in one of those areas!

14 Oct, 2013


I had no idea that it was illegal in some states to collect rain water! It sounds insane but at the same time is not all that surprising, there are crazy laws in some states! It is legal here, you can actually go to any home improvement store and buy a rain barrel in just about any size. For what I use rain water for, all I need is a 30 gallon plastic garbage can. I just have to make sure there is no water inside during the winter or the constant freezing and thawing will cause the plastic to crack. The rain water works great for mountain laurels and rhododendrons especially because it is slightly acidic. The only problem is when old leaves and bugs get into the water during hot weather, it makes the water smell terrible and turns it green.

15 Oct, 2013


I hadn't thought of the water in the butts freezing and damaging the plastic; will have to think about it when I get mine - perhaps they can be inulstated or lagged or something? hmm, seems like a good question to post on GoY!

I think the water comapnies' argument is, rain falls, eventually runs into reservoirs, which they then sell, and intercepting water before it gets there is "stealing" from them. Doesn't take into account that rainwater put on the garden will soak in and eventually find its way to a reservoir, or be evaporated to fall again as more rain. I Googled "rain collecting illegal" or similra, got lots of hits.

15 Oct, 2013

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