Carnivorous Plants/Drosophyllum Flowering - Question
QUESTION: Hi Jeff!
I know we have had the light topic of my Drosophyllum last month, indoor, even on south side it does not do so well, therefore branching is not so abundant, the plant looks quite naked.
However it started to send out flower buds. I can count 10. One having spread out itīs petals, however I did not see it open yet.
Yesterday I watered the plant, as I usually do... This morning, the flower, not yet open, looks a bit "weird", see the photo attached.
I have been looking in various forum and I am wondering about some things I read, if they are true at all...
1.) Might it be possible that the plant is flowering as a "last issue" to propagate itself before it dies since held in not optimum conditions?
2.) Is it true that Drosophyllum usually dies after flowering?
3.) Is it true that the plant may die since flowering is energy-intensive? I thought it is only the case for flytraps...
4.) According to my picture, what could have gone wrong? Too much water? As you said, soil is not wet, not damp, but neither bone dry. I can feel by the touch that is is "humid"/watered.
Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate it!
ANSWER: Hi JP,
1, 2. This can happen. Adrian Slack in his book "Carnivorous Plants" back in the 80's mentioned that he thought Drosophyllum might be a biennial since it seemed to die after flowering. He realized it was because of taking plants to the Chelsea Flower show each year. The disturbance they got caused them to bloom, then die. It was probably from too much shaking and bumps during transport breaking tiny roots. Our plants usually bloom two or three times before dying, and death is usually from being too pot bound. Drosophyllum seems to need a deep root run, and unless you have them in a very large pot, it starts to cause them problems after a few years.
3. This is actually not the case for Flytraps. We have Venus flytraps in the nursery well over 15 years old that bloom every year. We only cut flowers off of small plants and those that have very recently been transplanted. Healthy established plants have no problems with blooming. They do slow down some, but pick right back up after their done. This myth comes from so many people buying plants in the grocery store "Death Cubes" that do try and bloom when the plant is very unhealthy. Death often follows from exhaustion, which could happen with nearly any plant if treated the same way.
4. Never got a photo. Try to re-submit it.
5. Thanks for the chocolate! It's fantastic!
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QUESTION: Hi Jeff, thanks for your answer. I attached the pitcher of the plant, the second flower is going to open soon. A last question regarding the seeds... As far as I understood the flower will polinated themselves, right? Can I sow the seeds after collection, or is it true that older seeds germinate better? Thanks and have a great weekend. Glad you like the chocolate, my pleasure!
They do self-pollinate, but it really helps to get better seed-set if you tickle the flowers with a paint brush to transfer more pollen from anthers to stigmas.
Older seeds do germinate better. Drosophyllum seed seems to have a very long shelf life too. I've gotten germination from seeds around 8 years old. I would wait until Autumn to sow your seeds. That will give them time to harden off.