Carnivorous Plants/Considering Cephalotus or Darlingtonia
QUESTION: Hi, I live in zone 9b and I'm interested in the possibility of growing either a Cephalotus or a Darlingtonia outside, year-round, in a plastic self-watering pot. I have two Sarracenias and a VFT that are growing like weeds, probably because the pots keep the media perfectly damp, even on days when the temperature spikes to 110f. The pots I use are 10" Lechuza Nido Cottage http://amzn.com/B007K42CUK
I'm wondering if a Cephalotus or a Cobra plant could adapt and survive as the other have, despite Darlingtonia needing temp-controlled water. From what I understand, the VFT and Sarracenia are the easiest to grow, so I don't want to waste money on something equally opposite in hardiness.
ANSWER: Hi Braden,
Sarracenia and Venus flytraps like warm conditions during the growing season. If you're getting temperatures in the 100's during the summer regularly, you will struggle with Cephalotus and Darlingtonia. Neither of those plants like hot conditions and you would need to set up ways to keep their roots cool during the summer. Cephalotus will do better indoors where you can control temperatures better. Darlingtonia would need a set-up with circulating water.
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QUESTION: Do you have any recommendations for something else that might adapt to the heat?
There are lots of cp that like heat. It will just depend on what you what to do come winter.
Here's stuff that should be outside all year that are fine with summer heat:
-All Sarracenia. Species and hybrids from the Gulf Coast states such as S. alata, S. leucophylla, S. rosea, S. minor, S. rubra gulfensis, S. rubra alabamensis and S. psittacina and their hybrids love it hot in the summer just like their home states. Others do fine too, their seasons may just be shorter such as S. oreophila.
North American sundews such as D. trayci, D. filiformis filiformis D. filiformis "Florida Giant" D. filiformis "All Red" D. intermedia, D. capillaris will all do great.
Butterworts from the Southeast such as P. primuliflora, P. caerulea, and P. planifolia like it warm in the summer too.
If you're willing to bring some stuff in during the winter here's some options:
-Pygmy Sundews. They love it hot.
-Wooly Sundews. Same, and they don't like it cool at all. You need to keep them above 65 in the winter.
-Dewy Pines (Drosophyllum lusitanicum) Great with heat, can tolerate to just above freezing in winter. Some growers report tolerance of brief frost, but won't take sustained freezing or cold rainy weather.
-Drosera indica forms. These are annuals dying off after setting seed, but just collect seed and start over the next season. Same goes for D. burmanii.
Hope this helps.