CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS Planting Media
Sphagnum peat moss, sphagnum moss (living or dead), 1 part sphagnum peat moss to 1 part perlite or sand (coarse), or 1 part sphagnum peat moss to 2 parts perlite or sand (coarse). The latter mixture is the preferred medium. B. liniflora will grow as a perennial if the planting medium is maintained in a moist condition but not when wet or waterlogged.
Fig. 4-11 Byblis Uni flora flower.
B. liniflora: 65-90°F (18-32°C). B. gigantea: 40-80°F (4-27°C). Grows best at a temperature of at least 70°F (21 °C), but less than 80°F (27°C).
Under cultivation it will not go dormant if kept moist, but the rate of new growth decreases during the winter. We maintain B. gigantea at 40°F (4°C) during the winter. With the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures, the rate of new growth increases, accompanied by profuse flowering until late fall or early winter when growth slows or ceases. The plants remain evergreen during the winter. The second, and subsequent springs, the plants will do one of two things. On the one hand, the new growth starts at the base at which time the top of the plant dies back to the base. Alternatively, the plant puts forth new growth from the top of last year's stem. When top growth occurs the plant must be physically supported for the season with a stake.
Water & Humidity
High humidity and moist soils are needed for B. liniflora at all times and for B. gigantea during the growing season. Keep the planting medium much drier during the dormant season.
Although B. liniflora grows near the equator, it is shaded by other plants. Indirect or shaded sunlight is suitable and if using artificial lighting, start with 1200 foot candles for a 14 hour photoperiod for B. liniflora.
Some direct sunlight is good for B. gigantea during the season of active growth. If using artificial light, start with 1200 foot candles for a photoperiod of 14-16 hours during the active growing season and 800 foot candles with a photoperiod of about 9 hours during the resting period.
Aphids and fungus. See Chapter 8 for control. Feeding
As B. gigantea plants grow older they tend to become straggly and rather unsightly. To remedy, cut off the top of the stem leaving 1-2 in. (2.5-5 cm) above the base, just before the season of active growth begins. Use the top for a cutting as outlined in the section on asexual propagation. You will not only gain another plant, but the new growth that develops from the stump left in the pot will produce a compact plant.
B. liniflora usually is not able to support itself vertically, after reaching a height of about 5 in. (13 cm). When a plant attains this height it usually falls to the soil or on other plants. When this happens cut off the upper part of plant and root as a cutting. The original plant will then produce side shoots.
To insure fertilization of the flowers in both Byblis species the stamen, which is yellow, must be vibrated gently to induce it to give up its pollen. A toothpick or similar object is a useful device to assist in releasing the pollen. Follow this procedure every afternoon for a few days. The flower will close as darkness falls and reopen the next day. The yellow pollen is easily seen on the surface of the stigma and petals when it is released.
As the seeds develop, the ovary of the flower will swell. In 4-6 weeks the seed pod of B. liniflora will become translucent and dehisce (split) to release the seed. B. gigantea seed pods do not dehisce upon maturity, but rather dry up retaining their seed.
After treating B. gigantea seed, follow the same procedure given for germinating B. liniflora seed. The seedlings of both species are very subject to damping off (fungus disease). To control the fungus, dust the seed with a fungicide. Keep humidity high, light bright and temperatures 70-90°F (21-32°C). Germination usually takes place within 2 months.
Byblis plants do not as a rule transplant easily, so if they must be transplanted do so while the plants are young seedlings. When transplanting, remove a ball of soil with the roots.
When rooted, the plant will start growing again. This procedure provides both a new plant and a bushier mother plant due to increased side branching.
2. Leaf cuttings: Leaves removed from B. liniflora plants are placed on damp planting medium. Under conditions of high humidity and bright light they will produce plantlets.
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