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Are my pygmies dead or dormant?


Hey, I bought 6 D. Dichrosepalas back in July, (I got 7 delivered to me, but now I have 4 after my cat pulled 3 out of their pot and swallowed them) but anyway ever since I opened their box and replanted them they've had no fresh leaves and they've been covered in white "hair". The ones I still have, have not changed in all this time. What I would like to know is, should I give up on them and throw them out and use their pot for another pygmy? or should I just be more patient and wait longer for the plants to come back to life? Thanx so much for the info, LA Traphole
Are they still green or just a tuft of stipules?
No they're not green at all. I'm not sure what stipules are but the plants do look very tuffty.
Stipules would be those hairs. Well, unless Tamlin comes and smacks me for being wrong on this, they're gone sadly. I had a similar experience when I forgot about some outside one day and went back to find nothing but a few brown lines and a ton of little hairy circles. Almost looks like they spontaneously combusted right?

With my pot, basically if I touched any of the hairs, they moved away, almost looking like a type of seed I see so often floating through the sky. Usually they use those hairs to protect them against the sun and heat, reflecting some of it back, maybe it's a last ditch effort on their part?

You don't necessarily have to give up, especially since this is only my opinion from a similar observance. Heck, my pot is still sitting there like that for three months now waiting.
<<<<smack>>>> Hee hee ;-) Sorry to have been once again missing in action. This time it was the death of the hard drive (fortunately mirrored, when will I ever learn?) So, to the point! Most likely the plants have expired if there is no green visable, BUT I have had pots that I thought surely dead produce new plantletts, although not this species. I guess it all depends on how much free space you have as to whether you'll keep the pot and hope. I would wait. I am concerned that you mentioned transplanting them, this usually kills about 90% in the attempt They are best planted where they are going to remain.
Thanks for the help, I guess I'll keep the plants until it starts raining here, if they don't start sending out leaves by then I'll throw them out.
Hi all:

Dichrosepala AND scorpioides are a real pain to maintain them alive. In most cases, they produce gemmae and then die!!. So i am not surprised that yours is giving you headaches Losangelestraphole.

While we are on the subject, I am wondering if my 3 sundews have kicked the bucket as well.  They are:
nitidula x pulchella
occidentalis ssp. occidentalis
palacea ssp. roseana

They are grown in individual pots and have been dormant since early July.  I have kept them in the kitchen windowsill all summer and watered them maybe 1X or 2X per week.  They baked in the afternoon sun.  Anyway, the humidity hovered around 40-60% on average.  They look the same as LA Traphole describes his plants.

10 days ago, I placed them in one of my terrariums with a photoperiod of 12 hrs / day.  Temps are 75 F day and high 60's at night.  No sign of growth... now I begin to wonder... was I too hard on them during their dormancy and killed them?  Also,  How long does it take normally for these plants to 'come around' and start growing once conditions are suitable again??


Here in Upstate NY my plants usually start growing again around the second week in October. They like the colder conditions then I think. Until then, the dormant ones look pretty bad. I am always amazed when they decide to live again!

I have found with these plants, a deep pot is really the way to go. Next season I am going to be using the narrow water bottles I have seen water marketed in, much taller than traditional pots, but still space efficient.

In most cases, if dormancy can be prevented, all the better.
I keep mine in tray water until I detect any dormancy, then I let the plants drain for a day or 2, aiming for a semi dry surface but with moisture deeper down. I put them back in the tray for a few mins every 3 days or so, but I dont know if this is beneficial or detrimental yet. It's sort of hard to tell once the plants go "ratty".
I had less plants go dormant this summer than last, so maybe the deeper pots have an effect on the process??....I dont know for sure. I do know that once they decide on dormancy, nothing will stop the process, and adding additional water to encourage growth will rot the roots. Shallow pots just dont have the right balance of dryness at the surface and moisture deep down, and the roots suffer for it.

CPK2 mentiones his success with the use of a high proportion of pearlite in his mix for some of species known to frequently go dormant, and has managed to keep species in active summer growth that have always gone dormant under my care. I look forward to trying this mix next season.

Vic Brown has noted removal of the flowers may also forestall dormancy, and says he gets a higher survival rate if they do go dormant.
  • #10
Thanks Tamlin,

As a side note, one of my pygmies seems to halfway open some of its flowers from the previous spring...  interesting.  Is this a good sign, or a last ditch effort by the plant to cling to life?

I recently got another pygmy species (bareroot in spagnum), so I planted it in a rather deep pot  
  I wasn't fortunate to recieve the 3 previous species in deep pots, and heard that they don't like to be transplanted, so I left them in their 2" pots to brave the dormancy  

  • #11

If the plants are weak and still trying to flower, I would probably remove the scape, based on Vic's observations. You are correct, transplant should be avoided after the plants flower: it rarely is successful, at lest for me.
  • #12
An update on my plants..... Well all of my pygmies are goners. Yesterday some unknown entity
uprooted my plants and apparently swallowed them cause I could not find them anywhere. This time I know for sure it was not my cat. I guess I have to get more or pray that when someone here gives away gammae I manage to snag some.
  • #13
Plant update. My pygmies are showing signs of life now! Tiny leaves are sprouting from the stiples. Soon I should have gammea, I hope... if anyone out there cares.

  • #14
Hi Tamlin,

The pycnoblastas growing in the airy mix composed mostly of perlite have yet to show any signs of dormancy. They are probably the best looking pygmies I have at the moment.
The weather has cooled down a little in my area, but the temperatures are still hitting the 80'sF during the afternoon.

The perlite mix looks very promising(and cheap)! I will have to try more summer dormant pygmies on this mix when my plants produce gemmae.
  • #15
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Soon I should have gammea, I hope... if anyone out there cares.
[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

I care! I care! I hope you get good results!