So 2016 had been a pain. With my father ill for the first three months, then dying, Nisarga going through three surgeries and spending five months out of it in a cast in total, personal stress…. my carnivorous plants got neglected and died at some point. For that matter, my balcony too was mostly barren and …
Growing carnivorous plants in India
Carnivorous plants are difficult to grow in the heat of India’s plains. The challenges are different, the conditions are vastly different from most information available online. Growing carnivorous plants in India requires adapting a lot of information found online to Indian conditions. 24 degree celcius is not “hot” here. We call it cool weather. For most of Indian plains and particularly the southern half of India, “winter” reaching single digit temperatures is rare. How does one grow the plants one reads about? It has been an educational journey.
Adapting carnivorous plants to Indian conditions takes some strategizing. Some never really adapt well and I have spent tens of thousands of rupees on plants only to discover that they didn’t make it a week past receiving them. Others, like byblis, notorious for being tricky to germinate are weeds here. The only byblis seeds I intentionally germinated were the first batch of 10 seeds I purchased. They have been handling their propagation just fine ever since.
On the other hand, the amount of money I’ve spent trying to grow pinguiculas here is not funny.
But it is an endeavour worth taking on. The plants are a curiosity. They are a challenge. Many of them are dying in their habitats. Some of them, native to India need to be purchased from abroad, as their habitats die out and few in India bother to keep the species alive in private collections.
Over time, there have been several species that have thrived in the sweltering heat of Nalasopara, near Mumbai. Spares from species that thrive are available in my makeshift shop for sale. They are a good idea to buy, because they are adapted to our conditions and clearly thrive well enough for there to be spares to sell.
So here are my experiences growing these fascinating plants.
Adding to my carnivorous plants collection are the germinating drosera seeds. They are too tiny to see with the naked eye, but magnified, you can see the tiny green sprouts. I have these growing on wet dry sphagnum (as in dry sphagnum with water added :p) in small plastic cups, so the light gets reflected …