About the Finn in the other end of the cable

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Week of awesomeness!

This week is pretty awesome. You want to know why? Of course you do.
It is not for the weather, this day has been so far very cloudy and rainy day indeed but at least I get some rainwater collected for my plants. Plants, they are the reason why this day is awesome.

Three days ago I got one of the plants that I've adored since I googled Nepenthes and saw picture of pig beautiful pitcher of Nepenthes veitchii. I had this plant for a while but during the long, dark Finnish winter the plant got mold and after a long fight with no fungicides (They don't sell them for normal consumers in Finland. I don't know why.) the plant was infected by powdery mildew so badly that I had to throw the plant outside to the snow, all this to protect the rest of my precious collection. Now I have fungicide and a new Nepenthes veitchii 'Golden Perisome' which is of course a lowland form. Some lowland forms of N. veitchii seem to have more elongated pitcher shape compared to highland forms. In google only picture of this plant's adult pitcher is at http://www.nepenthesaroundthehouse.com/nveitch.htm and it does not seem too elongated compared to for example picture of a plant at http://www.cpjungle.com/nucvei.htm.
   So first addition to my collection in this week was Nepenthes veitchii 'Golden Perisome.' Thanks for CPUK's pmatil for this amazing plant!

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N. veitchii 'Golden Perisome'
When potting N. veitchii I remembered that 2 of my Nepenthes pitcherplants have declined to grow for me for a while. These two Neps are N. albomarginata and N. ampullaria 'BR x H.' During thei repotting I noticed why they haven't grown well for a while. First reason for their reduced growth was of course peat based soil that has become like a brick. Second reason but this is mainly for Nepenthes ampullaria, it's roots have become massive. I swear in the pot there were many about 20cm(7.8") long roots, which had grown through the bottom gravel of the pot. Now the two plants have been repotted into fresh sphagnum and sealed in plastic bags for few days to improve their recovery by raising the humidity near to 100%.

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N. ampullaria 'Brunei Red' x 'Harlequin' recovering.
Second are the plants that I received two days ago, Utricularia livida and Utricularia sandersonii. I've had these both in my collections earlier but they both somehow died. U. sandersonii died in sunburn and U. livida was first overgrown by moss and after that happened something I'm uncertain of and the plant just threw in the towel. Thank you Matilda from Finnish carnivorous plants forum for these!

And the best for the last! Yesterday's packet, which included Darlingtonia californica, Drosera schizandra, Pinguicula crystalina, Pinguicula grandiflora and Sarracenia flava var rubricorpora, of which the first 2 are my most waited plants.

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My Darling in a pot with diameter of 18cm (7")

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Potting mix is pure sphagnum and the plant is potted in a big white plastic pot and placed im my greenhouse.

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Sarracenia flava. var. rubricorpora will hopefully show it's characteristic coloration later in this season.

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"What are you taking pictures of? Get off my yard"
For me it is now baking for my graduation party, yes I'm a high school graduate and I shall press the fancy white cap on my head in a week. Last in this post, here's a picture of a squirrel wishing all of you a happy summer and great weather for holidays. Cheers!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Focusing on: Utricularia 'Lavinia Whateley'


This is my first post in which I'm focusing only for one plant. The lucky plant to be chosen today was U. calycifida 'Lavinia Whateley.' I've owned this particular plant since 2011 and it is a very steady grower just like the typical U. calycifida. 

This particular cultivar differs from the rest of it's species by having white flowers and plain green  leaves instead of having any purple colored veins on top of their leaves. For fisrt year for me this plant did nothing but grow new leaves but afterwards started producing beautiful white flowers.

I'm not 100% sure about this but I think this plant likes the sandy top, which I use to prevent moss growing on my utrics. Soon after this plant received it's sand layer the plant started to grow another flowerstalk. Flooding this plant's tray seems to also make this plant happy and improve growth.


Flowers are about the same size as typical U. calycifida but without pinkish to violet coloration, which kinda makes the normal plant's flowers to seem more attractive. Flowers seem to be self fertile but I haven't got any seeds from this plant yet, so maybe helping the self pollination with a toothpick should do the trick. Just remember that if you self pollinate a cultivar and sell or swap the seeds you should not name them as their mother plant but motherplant x self.
Other registered cultivars of U. calycifida are for example U. 'Asenath Waite,' U. 'Cthulhu,' U. 'Yog-Sothoth' and U. 'Mrs. Marsh'

This kind of update today but  tomorrow I will write another one wtth stuff about my new plants.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pinguicula primuliflora

Hello. Now just a quickie update because my new plant!
Today my growlist gained one more plant Pinguicula primuliflora, but lost one, Utricularia livida, which died for yet unknown reason. U. livida just got weaker and weaker until the plant was half dead so just in case I removed it from my growing area.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Recognition -Tunnustus

So my blog got a recognition from Wune who keeps her blog Nepenthes blogi, a blog about growing carnivorous plants in Finland in Finnish and English. In this post 7 thing about my blog.

Kiitä antajaa ja linkitä bloggaaja, joka sinulle tunnustuksen antoi. 

Valitse viisi ihanaa bloggaajaa, joilla on alle 200 lukijaa ja 

kerro se heille jättämällä kommentti heidän blogiinsa.

Näin autamme uusia bloggaajia eteenpäin ja 

ehkä juuri sinä löydät uuden upean blogituttavuuden

In English: Thank and link the blogger who gave you this recognition.
Choose five wonderful blogger with fewer than 200 followers and
tell it to them leaving a comment in their blogs.
This way we'll help new bloggers forward and
maybe you will find a new acquaintance.

The "challenge" came in Finnish but for my blog's main language is English I will make this challenge in both Finnish and English. First in English.

Here are the question with my answers and remember to answer the same question if you choose to accept the challenge. Then tag five blogs and see if they'll accept the challenge. 

1. When did you start your blog?
- 3rd of February in 2011. It was a cold winter day with too much snow.

2. Why did you start keeping a blog?
- Few other Finns started keeping their blogs about carnivorous plants so I thought it was worth trying.

3. Has your blog changed a lot since the beginning? How?
- Quite lot I think. I think at the moment I'm writing more stuff and maybe even in better English than before. Also I think I'm taking better pictures than I did before. Also the layout has changed a lot.

4. What does your blog mean to you?
- My blog is like a public diary about my hobby growing plants. If I sometimes wonder when was the last time this plant X grew this well and in what kind of conditions I can always check it from here. Also this blog is my own training project to write better English and to learn how to take better photos.

5. How have you ended up with your blog's current layout?
- Well the header photo in blog's early days looked a bit anemic so I started thinking of new picture to there. At that time I also received Cephalotus follicularis, which made such a beautiful looking pitcher, which was one of the most beautiful plants at the time. I took a photo and thought "Yeah! This looks good."
  The background photo was at the time I received my macro add-on lens converter for my DSLR and started taking pictures with it. Picture of D. venusta's leaf failed a bit because I moved the camera while taking a photo. The result looked a bit funky though, some details but mostly very soft looking, which made it good background picture for my blog.

6. Of which subjects do you write most?
Plants, plants plants, plants, plants, orchid, plants, cactus, plants. chilies etc.

7. What kind of blogs do you mostly read?
- Just about blogs that have same kind of subjects as mine has. Mainly carnivorous plant blogs, an orchid blog, bonsai blog and few general garden and/or plants blogs.

Ja sitten suomeksi. Vastatkaa näihin samoihin kysymyksiin. Sa vastata mutt' ei oo pakko hei!

1. Milloin perustit blogisi?
-  2011 helmikuun kolmas päivä. 

2. Miksi perustit sen?
- Muutama muukin suomalainen aloitti pitämään blogia lihansyöjäkasveista. Kokeilin ja huomasin eetä täähän on ihan kivaa. 

3. Onko blogisi muuttunut kovasti sen alkuajoista? Miten?
- Ulkoasu on muuttunut eniten. Luulen kirjoittavani nykyään enemmän ja parempaa englantia kuin alkuaikoina. Lisäksi kuvien laatu on tainnut parantua.

4. Mitä blogisi merkitsee sinulle?
- Tää on sellainen julkinen projekti, josta voin tarkistaa koska kasvi X on menestynyt hyvin ja missä olosuhteissa, sekä vertailla kasvukausia ja valaistuksien muutoksia paremmin. Lisäksi blogia pitäessäni kokoajan harjoittelen parempaa englannin kielen taitoa ja parempien valokuvien ottoa.

5. Miten olet päätynyt blogisi nykyiseen ulkoasuun?
- Yläkuvan otin samoihin aikoihin kun olin saanut Cephalotus follicularis-kasvin ja otin sen kauniista ansalehdestä kuvan ja ajattelin että "Jo-o. Tämä kelpaa."
   Taustakuvan ottaessani kokeilin järkkäriini juuri tullutta makrolisäkettä, jolla otin kuvia mm.. D. venustasta. Kuva epäonnistui hiukan koska liikautin kameraa kuvanottoaikana ja lopputulos oli pehmeä, jossa on kuitenkin sopivasti yksityiskohtia.

6. Mistä aihesta kirjoitat blogiisi miluten?
- Kasveista, kasveista, orkidoista, kasveista, kaktuksista, kasveista, chileistä ja niin edespäin.

7. Millaisia blogeja itse luet mieluiten?
- Sellaisia jotka käsittelevät suurinpiirtein samoja aiheita kuin omani. Lihansyöjäkasveista, bonsaista, orkideoista ja ihan yleisesti kasveista kertovia blogeja.

Then I shall give my recognitions for following five blogs:

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Not dead yet! + New plants

Hello everybody!

First of all apologies for being not so active writing here but I have my reasons. I had the worst flu I've ever had with some fever(not Bieber fever, Justin Bieber visited Finland recently though and a friend of mine went to his concert and liked it) so I really had no energy to update this blog. I've also traveled a bit and working on some other important projects.

Summer is luckily just around the corner here in eastern Finland. Weather forecast shows that during next 10 days temperatures will range between +8 °C(46.4°F)  and +15°C(59°F) during days and during nights between -1(30.2°F) and +5°C(41 °F ). In May I will move the main part of my collection to the greenhouse again and also receive some of the plants that I have already booked.

Now for the main course. I have a new terraria. This old aquarium is about 74 cm (29.1") long, 33 cm (12.9") wide and 36 cm (14.2") high so it can hold in about 85 liters of water, which is roughly 22.5 US gallons. Total price for this used aluminium framed aquarium with fluorescent light with a plant tube and a 80 cm(31.5") high table was just 35 euros which equals 46 USD.

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How the terraria looked soon after buying it.

The only things I really needed to add for this to work better with my plants were three walls and bottom of the terraria, which got aluminium foil cover to reflect light back to plants and make the terraria more eco friendly. Only things I need to make it work even better are the glass cover which I'm going to purchase when I have time during the next week, a PC fan from my old terrarium, a hygrometer and a thermometer. Without the glass cover humidity seems to stay between 50 and 60%, and I think my lowland nepenthes will appreciate higher humidity levels.

For now I've moved my Nepenthes pitcher plants into this new terraria. In their older growth space my Nepenthes didn't receive enough light nor humidity and that's why they look really sick now. The older terraria for Nepenthes was planned to be only temporary terrarium for them but my plans changed just a bit.

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Nepenthes 'Rebecca Soper' looking a bit anemic. It will start pitcher production soon I hope.

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N. albomarginata, rafflesiana, x 'Ventrata' and Utricularia longifolia settling to their new growth space.

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Trying something artistic with N. ampullaria 'Brunei Red x Harlequin'

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D. omissa x pulchella flowered again. Seriously, this is the easiest pygmy sundew I know. Maybe someday I could get few more easy to grow pygmy sundews. Any recommendations about which plants would fit in my criteria?

Now after lot of reading let me introduce you to my new plants.

Brocchinia reducta

D. filiformis
D. intermedia
D. intermedia x filiformis
D. rotundifolia
D. x 'obovata'

G. aurea
G. filiformis
G. hispidula
G. flexuosa 'Furnas, Minas Gerais'
G. roraimensis 'Cerro Huachamacari'

U. biloba
U. dichotoma
U. flaccida
U. minutissima 'Gunung Jerai'
U. minutissima 'Gunung Tahan'
U. monanthos
U. prehensilis
U. tricolor
U. spec. Hermanus

Thank you Krzysztof Ciesielski!

After a while my all new terraria looked like this:
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I think I already need to get second and even third old aquarium to transform into a terraria. Two other terraria I have are two plastic storage boxes covered with aluminium foil, lit by megaman plant ESL with so far good results.

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Couple of D. paradoxa are at last warming up to each other and are flowering at the same time. Hope to have seeds if I succeed in cross pollinating them.

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Brocchinia reducta will be in terraria for a while until I will move it on my windowsill and greenhouse.

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The 5 Genlisea cousins, from top left corner clockwise G. hispidula, G. filiformis, G. roraimensis 'Cerro Huachamari', G. flexuosa 'Furnas, Minas Gerais, Brazil' and G. aurea. lower corner of this pic there are also 2 blurry soon to bloom D. tomentosas.

As we Finns say in form of an old folk poem which was kind of a rule of when there's summer in Finland:

Kuu kiurusta kesään
puoli kuuta peipposesta
västäräkistä vähäsen
pääskysestä ei päivääkään.

or in English:

Moon to summer from skylark
half moon less from finch
from wagtail not too long
from swallow not a day.

The swallows have returned to Finland, so in other words summer is also here here. In summer I will again take most of my collection outdoors or to greenhouse. I have made blueprints for my bog garden and will soon turn it into reality. 

We get more light and plants start to grow better after a long winter so there will me more updates and it will surely not take me another 2 months or how long was it again, to make a new blog post.

Happy growing. Give lots of sunlight to your plants and also to yourself!