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Epiphytic?  utrics?  reeeeeaaaaallly?


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</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"> Utrics are very diverse having evolved to be aquatic, terrestrial and epiphytic.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>  

I was not aware that Utrics could be epiphytic...Are these easy to cultivate?  I am really intrigued...Can they be grown off a nep (or any other cp for that matter), or do they have to be submerged?
Think crotch of a tree, with leaf litter collected in it...

I believe, but probably am wrong (so take it however you like), that they are difficult for the most part...
There's a little basic info on the epiphytic species in the Savage Garden. As Parasuco said, some of them can be difficult, or at least require certain conditions (highland), and some are very slow growers as well. They tend to have larger flowers, and be somewhat less common than most utrics. think one species often grows in bromeliads in the wild. Overall, I think they're some of the more interesting utrics. A few people posting here grow some, and I think longifolia is the most common species in cultivation (and it doesn't seem like a hard plant to grow so much as a frustratingly slow plant - I can't even imagine how frustrating the slower growing species must be).
The epiphitic Utricularia are beautiful in flower! They are also very rare for good reason: they are difficult species to cultivate, requiring a cyclic growing regimen with close attention to a dry dormancy. I have had success with U. alpina and humboldtii, the only epiphites I have had the pleasure to acquire. Utricularia longifolia is not epiphitic, and is an easy grower compared to the other members of the section. These plants are best left to experienced growers, the plants are usually expensive when they are comercially offered. A good starting subject would be U. alpina which is a little more forgiving than most.
U. humboldtii also grows in the boggy parts of its habitat too, so it grows as an epiphite, or as a terrestrial utric.

U. humboldtii usually grows as a terrestrial (or so I've heard), but sometimes as an "epiphytic aquatic" in the pools in the axils of bromeliads. Apparently U. nelumbifolia grows more commonly in bromeliads.
The epiphytic Utrics are:

U. alpina
U. asplundii
U. unifolia
U. quelchii
U. endresii
U. jamesoniana
U. praetermissa
U. buntingiana
U. campbelliana

And often people clump in the Iperua section with them though technically these are not epiphytic

U. reniformis
U. humboldtii
U. nephrophylla
U. nelumbifolia
U. geminiloba

Many/most of the true epiphytes grow in moss on trees or cliffs in places like Parasuco described. Some also grow as terrestrials but not too often. As Tamlin noted, these plants have very specific requirements for their cultivation in reguards to dormancy, but each species seems to have different requirements. U. endresii must be kept fully dry when dormant while U alpina can be kept some what damp. Few of these have been in cultivation long enough for growers to get a good idea of each species requirement. The majority of these plants fall into the highland catagory so they require a drop in temperature at night that is also difficult for many growers to provide.

As Tamlin said, these plants are not for the beginner. I would agree that U. alpina is probably the best starter plant for this group and if you can grow it well I would then suggest asplundii.
There seems to be a phenomenon where plants get a reputation for being difficult when first introduced that tends to stick around. Look at Slack's comments about genlisea and heliamphora in "Insect-eating plants".

The South American mega-utrics are all slow growing, and you need to be confident that your conditions are right for them, since they are slow to respond to experiementation. The problem for a lot of people, in my opinion, is that most people are forced to start with very small portions, in proportion to the fully grown plant. Imagine if you had to start a colony of U. sandersonii from a couple short lengths of stolon with just a few leaves on it.

I have had pretty good luck with this group (knock on wood). Even odd ones like U. quelchii grow slowly but surely. My philosphy so far is to keep them wet enough that they never dry out, but not so wet that they would rot if they went dormant. Kind of like a houseplant - I water them when they moss starts to dry out a bit on top.

What I really need is a greenhouse.
Dodecs point is very valid although I do contend that at least some are temperature sensative. I know my aslpundii refused to grow until the temps dropped below 70.

I use the term 'difficult' in the same manner I might for a highland Nep. If you can provide the right conditions then you are fine but if you can't then these guys really will be 'difficult' Under these same terms any plant has the potential to be difficult, I know people like Fatboy say Sarrs are difficult because they just can not be grown in Sri Lanka.

I feel your need for a greenhouse Dodec
  • #10
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I think I will hold off before I try any of these out. If (well hopefully WHEN) I get a house, and subsequently a greenhouse, I will try them out.
  • #11
I say start now with something similar. See if you can get your hands on a U. longifolia, these guys are similar but a lot more tolerant. If you can grow it then try for the alpina
  • #12
I only grow one of the above, u.humboldtii, and it is very easy with no real special treatment. I cant compare though... my only other utric is u.gibba
& I think they are probably one of the most interesting CPs.

  • #13
U.nelumbifolia is easy, and very fast growing.
  • #14
I recently acquired humboltii- Savage Garden says to keep them waterlogged... does anyone having experience with this plant have any suggestions for watering?
  • #15
I have mine in sphagnum in a 4 inch pot. Water level varies between right up to the soil surface and halfway up the side of the pot. It doesn't seem to be too picky. I have only had mine for about 6 months or so though. I grow U. nelumbifolia with similar conditions.
  • #17
Mine is in a mesh basket type pot, in live moss, sitting in an inch of water, 100% humidity. Day temps are high 70F, nights middle 50'sF. I have a lot of light hitting it. It is growing very well, and is putting out leaf stolons through the mesh as well as on the surface. There are 3 distinct leaf forms on mine.
  • #18
Hi, leaf shape of Ut. humboldtii may vary greatly even on the same plant. My clone does produce so different leaf shapes I wouldn't even guess they are the same species. Humidity does not seem to be a need for them at all. I do grow mine on a windowsill above the heater. Stolens do develop best in the water tray which seems to resemble its natural habit in B. reducta quite well. Oh and inside the B. reducta my clone also seems to grow well.

  • #19
Mine also has several leaf forms. It seems to be very variable. What do yours look like Tamlin, Joachim? Mine have tall spoon-like leafs, short squat leafs, and very tall bladed leafs. I will try growing it in a mesh pot later to see how that does. It is growing an enourmous amount of leafs. I cant wait to see if it will flower for me.:)

  • #20
my plant is still very strange looking... I buried the white, root-like parts, and left the greener parts above the soil line, but it's just a mass of stem, leaves, and roots. It has a few paddle-like leaves, but otherwise, too difficult to differentiate. I've had it almost a week, and it hasn't changed much. I did notice what could be a new leaf - a thin green stem pointing upwards and curled at the end like a fern frond - is this what a new leaf looks like? There are so few pics on the internet, I have no idea.