Darlingtonia Is a carnivorous plant that is a perennial. Under natural conditions, it can be found in Southern Oregon and Northern California, USA. It prefers to grow in mountainous areas in dammed meadows, on the banks of cold mountain rivers, as well as in the shade of the forest. In order for the plant to feel great, it needs running cold water nearby.
Darlingtonia has been recognized by scientists as the most unique plant of its kind. In the Sarracene family, in the genus Darlingtonia, there is only one representative, which is called the Californian Darlingtonia. It is also often called "cobra", and all because the tubular leaves of the plant are very similar in shape to a cobra with a swollen hood. Small greenish-red or yellow leafy appendages are similar to the forked tongue of a snake.
Tubular leaves can be up to 1 meter in height. At the top, they are inflated and shaped like a jug. The inside of its walls are very slippery, and there is a small hole in the lower part. This jug is a kind of maze-trap for its victims, which are various insects. On the surface of the entire leaflet, there are special spots, which are transparent windows. They contribute to the fact that an insect that has got inside cannot find a real way out. Flowering occurs in springtime. At this time, spectacular flowers from brownish-purple to yellow color appear on the Darlingtonia. They are located on single stems. An interesting fact is that even scientists do not know which of the insects pollinates the flowers of this carnivorous plant.
It is believed that growing this plant in an apartment is quite difficult. However, this is not quite true. The main thing is to remember that for Darlingtonia it is very important that its roots are always in a cold and moist substrate.
It can be grown both indoors and in the garden (it is recommended to place it near a reservoir). Feels fine in bright, but diffused light, as well as in partial shade. Three different forms of this plant have been bred, which differ in color, namely: red, green and green-red. However, the leaves acquire a beautiful red tint only under intense sunlight. For a flower, it is recommended to choose a place in partial shade if the air in the room is too dry. When the room is very warm and high humidity, darlingtonia can be placed in a sunny place.
In the daytime, the plant needs to be provided with warmth, and at night it is better to rearrange it where it is relatively cool. In the summer, the plant grows well and develops at a temperature of 18–20 degrees, and with the onset of winter, it begins a dormant period and then it must be rearranged to a rather cool place (from 10 to 18 degrees).
For Darlingtonia to feel its best, you need to provide natural growth conditions for it. So, you will need a fairly wide flower pot. A layer consisting of expanded clay or perlite should be laid on its bottom, its thickness should be equal to 3 to 5 centimeters. Then you need to put sphagnum moss (1 centimeter thick). After that, it is necessary to pour an earth mixture into the pot, consisting of sand (clean without limestone), peat and perlite, taken in equal proportions. You can also mix 1 part white sand and 1 part peat. The topmost layer should be moss. Thus, the plant will be provided with coolness and moisture.
In the summer, watering should be abundant. To do this, you must use necessarily settled, cold and soft water. It is also recommended to spray the carnivorous flower as often as possible. If the room is too hot, then experienced flower growers advise putting a couple of ice cubes directly on the surface of the substrate, which will help cool the soil. In winter, watering should be moderate, the plant cannot be sprayed during this period.
This plant, like other carnivores, must be sure to rest during the cold season. Its growth stops and it stays in this state for about 3-5 months. For this period, it is recommended to rearrange it in a cool place with a minimum amount of light. Before the onset of spring, the adult Darlingtonia blooms, and after a few weeks, large young jug leaves grow in it.
It does not need to be fed or cut off.
Can be grown quite easily from seed. But this process is quite lengthy and young plants will need to be provided with intense lighting and high humidity. Vegetative reproduction is more often used. If you plant a flower in a fairly wide pot, then it will give numerous underground shoots. Then they will need to be carefully separated and planted in a separate container, but only after they have their own roots.
Darlingtonia california - carnivorous plant predator
It is possible to grow a young plant with equal success, both from seeds and from a cuttings taken from an adult plant. It is believed that a home-grown plant is stronger, healthier, and better adapted.
It makes no sense to dwell on this method of reproduction. Its technology is exactly the same as for breeding lemon. You can read in detail about the propagation of lemon by cuttings - here. The only thing is that if the lemon can be propagated at any time of the year, then for the murraya it is better to do it in the spring. Otherwise, everything is identical.
This method is not particularly original either. It also multiplies, for example, clivia or persimmon, even easier.
The advantage of murraya seeds is that they do not lose their germination for a long time. Therefore, there is no particular need to rush to sow them and wait for suitable conditions. And the main condition for their successful germination is maintaining a relatively high ground temperature. It should be within + 25-30 degrees. Not every grower can provide bottom heating - an amateur can do it, so you have to wait for this heating to occur naturally.
Otherwise, everything is very simple, no more difficult than growing seedlings. Murray seeds are pre-soaked for 2-3 hours in plain water. They are sown in a light mixture of peat and perlite (coarse sand is possible) or in pure peat. They should not be buried deep in the ground. It is enough to evenly distribute the seeds over the soil surface and sprinkle with a centimeter (maximum) layer of the same soil. Moisturize. All that remains is to cover the container with a PE film cap or a piece of glass and put it in a warm, well-lit place. During the entire germination period, monitor the soil moisture, do not let it dry out, ventilate. Murray seeds will germinate for a long time - a month, or even longer. If you have them in a common container, then with the appearance of at least two true leaves, young plants can be planted in separate pots.
Murraya bloom can begin as early as the next year after breeding. But given the infancy of the plant, there will be little sense from this flowering. Therefore, so that it does not take away the forces necessary for the plant to develop the root system, it is better to remove the flowers.
If the plant is kept in good conditions, and it is properly cared for, then there will be no difficulties. In the same way, pests will not annoy him, although a "visit" of a spider mite and scale insects is likely.