Darlingtoniais a carnivorous plant that is a perennial. Under natural conditions, it can be found in Southern Oregon and Northern California in the United States. It prefers to grow in mountainous areas in flooded meadows, on the banks of cold mountain rivers, and in forest shade. In order for the plant to do well, it needs running cold water nearby.
Darlingtonia has been recognized by scientists as the most unique plant of its kind.
In the family Sarracenia, there is only one representative of the genus Darlingtonia, called Darlingtonia californica. 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 bloated hood. The small greenish-red or yellow leaf appendages resemble a forked tongue of a snake.
Tubular leaflets can be up to 1 meter high. At the top, they are swollen and jug-shaped.
Inside its walls are very slippery, and there is a small hole at the bottom. This jug is a kind of maze-trap for its victims, who are various insects. On the surface of the entire leaflet there are special spots, which are transparent windows. They contribute to the fact that the insect, once inside, can not find a real exit. Flowering occurs in the springtime.
At this time, spectacular brownish-purple to yellow flowers appear on the darlingtonia. They are arranged on single stems. An interesting fact is that not even scientists guess which insects pollinate the flowers of this carnivorous plant.
Home care of darlingtonia
It is thought that growing this plant in apartment conditions is quite a challenge. However, that is not entirely true.
The main thing to remember is that it is very important for Darlingtonia to have its roots always in a cool and humid substratum.
Selection of location, light
You can grow it both indoors and in the garden (it is recommended to place it near a body of water). It will do well in a bright but diffused light but also in semi-shade. Three different forms of this plant have been bred, which differ in color, namely red, green and green-red. However, the beautiful red shade of the leaves only gets in intense sunlight.
It is recommended for the flower to choose a place in the penumbra if the air in the room is too dry. When it is very warm and the air is very humid, Darlingtonia can also be planted in a sunny spot.
In the daytime, the plant should be kept warm, and at night it is better to move it to a place where it is relatively cool. In summer it grows and develops very well at a temperature of 18 to 20 degrees, but in winter it goes into a dormant period and needs to be moved to a quite cool place (10 to 18 degrees). So, you need a pretty wide flower pot.
At its bottom should lay a layer consisting of expanded clay or perlite, its thickness should be equal to 3 to 5 centimeters. Then you need to put moss sphagnum (thickness 1 cm). After that, in the pot should be poured earth mixture consisting of sand (pure without limestone), peat and perlite, taken in equal proportions. You can also mix 1 part white sand and 1 part peat. The uppermost layer should consist of moss.
This will keep the plant cool and moist.
Darlingtonia californica is a carnivorous predator plant
How to water
In summer time, water abundantly. To do this, be sure to use water that is cold and soft. It is also recommended that the carnivorous flower be sprayed as often as possible. If the room is too hot, experienced flower growers advise putting a couple of pieces of ice directly on the surface of the substrate, which will help to cool the soil.
In winter, watering should be moderate, spraying during this period the plant can not.
This plant, as well as other carnivores, in the cold season must necessarily provide rest. Its growth stops and it stays in this state for about 3-5 months. For this period, it is advisable to put it in a cool place with a minimum of light. Before spring arrives, the adult Darlingtonia blooms and, after a few weeks, it will have large, young jar leaves.
It does not need to be fed or cut.
It is quite easy to grow from seed. But this process is quite time-consuming and the young plants will need intensive light and high humidity. More often the vegetative method of propagation is used. If you plant a flower in a fairly wide pot, it will give numerous underground shoots.
These will need to be carefully separated and planted in a separate container, but only after they have their own roots.
Growing Darlingtonia californica from seed