Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Nepenthes and the Air-pot

On 2-3rd July 2011 visitors to the European Carnivorous Plant Exhibition and Exchange (EEE 2011) will see a display of hydroponic techniques used for growing carnivorous plants (cps).  The display will show a variety of fun ways to grow cps, but with a serious edge. Tim Bailey, who will be providing the display, on behalf of the Carnivorous Plant Society, says: "I've been dabbling with hydroponics for several years and my personal collection is about 95% peat-free. The only difference from conventional hydroponics is that I grow my plants without a nutrient solution - the plants take care of that themselves! Although I have yet to achieve monsters, the results compared to conventionally grown plants are similar, with some showing enhanced growth. To me this is a great result considering they are grown without a crumb of peat, the staple ingredient for most cp mediums. There have been one or two disappointments along the way but I've yet to kill a plant in the last 4 years, but for a single Darlingtonia californica. I've also had to rethink how I grow Dionaea muscipula (VFT) as results have been mixed. For example, I've enhanced the growth of one VFT by up to 50% using a deep water bubble system, compared to its parent control, but growing VFTs in flood and drain systems has been disappointing."

A recent introduction to hydroponics has been the Air-pot, described as the most advanced pot system in the universe. Quite a claim, and one Tim is keen to put to the test. The secret to the Air-pot is a revolutionary 3-D cone shaped wall which prevents root-circling and stimulates roots by 'air-pruning,' and in doing so provides superior oxygenation and better soil conditions for growth.  The most obvious application, according to Tim, is Nepenthes: "The pots are quite tall in relation to width and very sturdy. This is very handy, as Nepenthes can become top heavy and the tall pots help suspend aerial pitchers that hang from the end of tendrils." Tim will also be testing Sarracenia species, which he hopes to display at EEE 2011.

  Nepenthes growing in Air-pots

Members of the Carnivorous Plant Society will be updated on Tim's hydroponic trials in the 2010 Autumn edition of the Society's Journal and Newsletter. If you are not a member and would like to join, then visit the Society's website http://www.thecps.org.uk/. And why not take a closer look on 2-3 July 2011 at the EEE! The Society look forward to seeing you.

Want to know more about Air-pots - visit www.fdpwholesale.co.uk

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Flesh Eating Plants Down at the Zoo

The UK Carnivorous Plant Society has been awarded the honour of hosting the prestigious European Carnivorous Plant Exhibition & Exchange - The EEE 2011.

The Society is indebted to the UKs number one Zoo - Chester Zoo - who have provided the venue for the event.

Carnivorous plant enthusiasts from across Europe, and beyond, will descend on the Zoo on 2-3 July 2011, swelled by the Zoo's own visitors,  to feast on one of the greatest collections of carnivorous plants ever displayed, including many rare plants. And if not 'consumed' by the vast array of flesh-eating plants on display, there's the little matter of the Zoo's 7000 animals and 400 different species to see - including some of the most endangered species on the planet! 

The Society's says: "This will be a unique experience of the like not seen before in the UK. We have lots of interesting plans to make it a day not to be missed. Visitors will be amazed at just how many carnivorous plant species there are in the world and just how beautiful and amazing these bug eaters are."

So, if you are planning to go to the Zoo on 2-3 July 2011 you'll be in for a big surprise!

The Carnivorous Plant Society is a registered Charity, founded in 1978 with the aim of bringing together all those interested in carnivorous plants, both beginners and experts. Membership is open to all individuals and institutions, both amateur and professional.