Carnivorous plants by Paul Temple

By Paul Temple

This revised "Wisley instruction manual" covers carnivorous - or insect-eating - vegetation

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Most p r o p r i e t a r y p e s t i c i d e s i n t e n d e d for scale insects are very strong, b e c a u s e of t h e i r r e s i s t a n c e to m a n y chemicals. It is therefore r e c o m m e n d e d that the pests are r e m o v e d w i t h t w e e z e r s - a t i m e - c o n s u m i n g job unless d o n e at the first sign of infestation. Alternatively, they c a n be p u s h e d off with d a m p e n e d cotton wool, on t h e e n d of an o r a n g e stick. Sarracenia a n d Nepenthes s h o u l d be able to w i t h s t a n d t r e a t m e n t with 58 PESTS AND DISEASES malathion, but c a r e should be t a k e n to avoid large a m o u n t s of chemical e n t e r i n g the t r a p s .

Even if it already c o n t a i n s a meal, the t r a p can work again as soon as the internal p r e s s u r e is r e d u c e d by p u m p i n g water out. 52 POPULAR CARNIVOROUS PLANTS T h e tiny flowers of L/tricuJaria are often described as orchid-like The plant usually consists of m i n u t e leaves attached to a creeping stem or stolon, although in a few species, notably the South A m e r i c a n tree-dwelling ones, the leaves are up to 6 in. (15 cm) long. T h e small flowers, often p r o d u c e d unpredictably, are delightful a n d fascinating.

Stand the pots in w a t e r or w a t e r from above w h e n the plants are growing a n d stop giving w a t e r as they die d o w n . Several species, particularly D. whittakeri a n d D. peltata, c a n be kept wet all year a n d will survive frost-free t e m p e r a t u r e s . However, if e x p e r i m e n t i n g with g r o w i n g these in lower temperatures, it is advisable to have the soil d a m p rather t h a n wet. T h e majority of tuberous s u n d e w s require strong light, but D. stoloni/era should not receive direct sunlight t h r o u g h glass.

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