After moving around and having to figure out a new home for the disa collection, they're finally settling in...for now until we have to move again! These are tricky plants, but in my experience, they're easier to grow than Darlingtonia, Cephalotus, and Heliamphora, so if you have had good luck with those aforementioned plants, Disas should be a walk in the park for you.
What's the secret to growing these? Aside from cool nights and morning sun/afternoon shade, they really have to be transplanted into new, fresh sphagnum every fall/winter or early spring. If a plant is in decline, it's probably because the sphagnum is too decomposed.
Here's some new photos, taken 6/24/15.
Disa Glasgow Orchid conference:
Disa Casper 'Axel', this involves D. cardinalis, which is backbone for many of the dark red disas in cultivation:
Looking back at the disa pictures above, it's crazy how moving twice and having a kid can affect your collection (yes, that's my excuse!) I lost so many plants in the move, and to top things off, some workers literally dumped topsoil on my entire collection. It took several days to wash out the soil and the declining collection declined even harder after that event. It's crazy how you can go from having hundreds of plants and then 2 years later there's a few dozen left.
Now that things have settled and I'm getting better at producing my own sphagnum (one of my excuses to not repot a few years back...big mistake!), the Disas are looking happier than ever! When you see such big plants this time of year, you know they are going to produce some massive flower spikes! As long as I can keep them from frost damage, next summer is going to have a nice show, so stay tuned!
When I had these growing in an unheated, uncompleted greenhouse missing a few walls in Sacramento, CA, they would continue to grow throughout the winter, which would lead to massive plants and massive blooms! That was actually my first time ever growing disas. Anyways, Without a coolhouse, they pretty much stop growing leaves in the dead of winter, which limits their flower count but also gives them time to build up good sized tubers for next year.
In the past, I used to just let them tough it outside during the freezes, and while many survived, a lot died so now I stepped up my game and cover them with greenhouse plastic during cold nights. You have to be careful because with the cover comes stagnant air, which is really a no-no for disas. They're also covered during heavy rain because the leaves can get damaged which can cause crazy rot issues.
Speaking of rot, that's the #1 killer of disas. You'll see small black black spots at first, and they get bigger and bigger until you either chop off the leaf or the weather changes. I've found if you keep water off of the plants during the rain plus treat the spots with dusting sulfur, you can keep rot in check without resorting to crazy chemicals that will shink your you know what....
Photos taken 12/26/16, this is all I got left. In the past, I remember even when you take good care of your disas, you could go from having 100's of plants to literally only dozens after they bloom:
Lots of big, FAT healthy plants! Even without flowers, I still stare at these plants:
Last Edit: Dec 26, 2016 16:13:21 GMT -5 by meizzwang
quick update: plants have grown very strong this year mainly because they were protected when we had a few days of frost, but also because they were recently transplanted last fall. Transplanting is key: if you do it every year, they'll reward you dearly. If you don't, they'll slowly decline and then you're doing whatever you can to save them.
What causes Disas to flower? The fact that I have one D. glasgow 'Orchid Conference' about to open in a few days makes me scratch my head. It would be nice to get these to bloom in early spring as opposed to early to mid summer as they always do.
Anyways, here's some photos updates, pics taken 3/7/17. One clone (in the background) actually got sunburned with only morning sun, but it's recovering nicely now that it's in more shade:
Ah, they're soooo damn happy! What's crazy is this can all change very quickly:within days, they can all look like crap if it gets too sunny or hot all of the sudden:
You can see that flower bud just about to pop:
Closer pic, I love how short the spike is on this one, no need for staking. That's not always the case for this clone, although I think light intensity, temperature, and environment have an effect on stem length:
Something to admire soon while the sarracenias are debating waking up:
Last Edit: Mar 7, 2017 19:33:55 GMT -5 by meizzwang
I think if you live in Tennessee or anywhere that has warm nights (warmer than 65F), then yes, you'll need a chilled water table. Here it gets up into the 100's during the peak of the summer/fall, but our nights always dip down to about 65 or lower. Sometimes, it only goes down to the low 70's, but that will last only a week or two at the most. Our average summer night temps are around 55F. In Sacramento, CA it reached a high of 116F for 2 weeks straight, and my disas survived that weather because it always cooled down to 65F at night. Cool nights are the key. I had them shaded by growing them outdoors behind a fiberglass greenhouse (the walls were fiberglass too) so they got indirect light all day, they loved it!
Last Edit: Mar 8, 2017 18:55:04 GMT -5 by meizzwang
Hmmm, if light intensity had something to do with it, why is one pot blooming and the rest, which are in identical lighting, not blooming? There are other pots of the same exact clone growing side by side with this flowering plant that are on schedule to bloom at the normal time.
I think it has more to do with when new growth started. In some cases, during the fall, a tuber will produce a very strong plantlet, but during the spring the plant produces its last leaf and is triggered to die back for some reason. A new growth will emerge from that same tuber but it'll have a head start from a stolon produced at the same time of the year. This is probably because the tuber is focusing all of its energy on that new plantlet. the new growth continues to produce leaves at full force even through the summer "dormancy" period and is pretty darn mature by the end of fall. Come early spring, it'll flower. Whatever caused that one growth point to produce its last leaf and then senesce is what will be investigated.
Normally, new growth starts end of July and on for us, so I think if you can get blooming sized tubers to begin new growth in the spring, you can time them to flower late winter/early next spring. There's probably other pathways to force disas to bloom when you want them to.
Anyhow, here's D. glasgow Orchid Conference with a very light chocolate-like fragrance, it's smells soooo damn good! It just opened up, so isn't yet at its fullest color potential, photos taken 3/14/17:
Last Edit: Mar 14, 2017 17:07:22 GMT -5 by meizzwang
sanguinearocks101: What are good plants to make hybrids with S. luecophylla with? Im looking for dark colors.
Sept 10, 2020 18:46:52 GMT -5
adaetz100: Sarracenia purpurea tends to add a lot of red/purple to its offspring, but there are some lovely dark red flava x leucophylla crosses too. Look up 'Royal Ruby' if you're not familiar with it already--it's a natural flava x leuco hybrid
Sept 22, 2020 20:15:04 GMT -5
sarrseens: How about $50
Oct 3, 2020 10:35:54 GMT -5