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I recently acquired an HPS light fixture and moved my dewy pine (drosophyllum lusitanicum) under it.  The HPS was recommended to me so that the dewy pine might flower.  Previously, the plant was under a T5HO fixture, and before I that, it was under a pair of CFLs.  Despite being generally healthy, it has never flowered.

My impression is that the plant seems OK—it is putting out new leaves, and the leaves have a lot of dew.  However, I notice that the size of the newer leaves appears to be reduced compared with the earlier growth.  Does this indicate some problem?  Are the leaves getting smaller because the plant is not getting enough light? or could it be that they are getting smaller because the plant is getting more than enough light and can decrease its leaf capture area?

I read online somewhere a recommendation to combine HPS with some other light source such as HID in order to get a balanced spectrum. Might it be a good idea to add a CFL (or two) for this purpose?

At this time of year, the plant doesn’t catch any bugs, but that has always been the case and I never noticed any reduction in leaf size during the winter.  I could foliar fertilize if that would help (I do so for some of my other plants).

Thanks in advance for your help.

Answer
Hi Robert,

Thank-you for sending the photos.  That really helps.

I would say your plant is doing great.  What you are probably seeing is the response from going from your T5's to the HPS.  Sodium lights are very intense, so it's common for leaves to shorten and become more compact.  Since it has lots of dew, that is the biggest indicator that it is happy.  If you had your plant under Metal Halide, you would probably see even more of the short, dense leaves with darker red glands.

I noticed this plant is near a window.  If it gets some ambient natural light, supplementing with CFL's probably isn't needed.

You had mentioned trying to get the plant to bloom.  Changing the photoperiod will do that.  If you give them a short day in winter, and then begin increasing the day length in the spring, it should push it into blooming. Ours usually bloom in February in our greenhouse, and they are under a 1,000 watt MH in the winter.

Since it's winter, and your plant is not catching much, I would either feed it, or foliar fertilize it.  Because Drosophyllum grows fairly quick compared to most cp, it has higher food demands.  A good quality orchid fertilizer mixed to 1/4 strength, or hydrated blood worms will work fine.  If using the fertilizer, mist the leaves once a week in the morning.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com

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