Siam Exotica Plants




 |     Attracting and capturing prey

|   Cultivation




 The plants need plenty of sun. The water temperature should be 20-300 ( 86°F) dur­ing the growth period, as higher temperatures will impede growth. During the dormancy period, the water temperature may be allowed to drop to just above freezing, but the turions must not be allowed to freeze. When growing Aldravanda, it is essential to suppress algal growth. The water should therefore be low in nutrients and have a slightly acidic pH of about 6. This can be achieved with the aid of peat, Sphagnum, or other acidic plant material at the base of the container. Live reeds and rushes in the growing container are also beneficial. If major algal growth develops, the water should be exchanged immediately. Fertilizers should not be added, because these will promote algal growth. The occasional addition of water fleas as feed animals is sufficient to keep the plants adequately supplied with nutrients.




          Aldrovanda is a very difficult plant to grow and therefore be recommended only to experienecd carnivore gardeners. Depending on the origin of the material, the plant may be grown er in outdoor ponds or in an aquarium.  While plants grown outdoors undergo a dorcy period, those grown in aquariums will grow year-round.

















Most important is the next layer, an inch or so  (a few centimeters) of dead leaf litter. This layer releases tannins apparently crucial to the Aldrovanda growth,  and also discourages algal growth. Soak the leaf litter  in warm water for two to three days to wash out excess tannins before using it. Sedges (Carex rostrata or C. gracilis) provide the best leaf litter. Cattail (Typha spp.) is very effective, and this is probably the most easily obtainable plant for most people.

Add water to make a pond 8-xml:namespace prefix = st1 />12 inches (20-30 centimeters) deep. Once you have finished, the water should have the pale brown appearance of weak tea, and have a pH of 5.0-7.8, and ideally 6.0-7.2.


Creating a water tank


           An Aldrovanda environment should be set up several days before you introduce Aldrovanda pla nts so it will have time to age and equilibrate. The water tank should  be as large as possible so the water temperature stays stable. Large plastic tubs with a capacity of about  xml:namespace prefix = st1 />xml:namespace prefix = st1 />xml:namespace prefix = st1 />53 gallons (200 liters) are ideal. The tray should receive full sun for as much of the day as possible. Sink the tub partway into the ground to keep the tank from heating too much in the sunlight.


      Line the tub bottom with 0.4 inch (1 centimeter)  of peat, then 2-3 inches (5-8 centimeters) of washed sand. Anchor companion plants in these layers. Sedges (Carex spp.), common reed (Phragmites australis), waterlilies (Nymphaea spp.), and dwarf cattail (Typha minima) are excellent. Utricularia inftato is an excellent companion plant to grow with Aldrovanda. If the nutrient levels start to rise, Utricularia consumes these nutrients. Remove and discard half of the Utricularia periodically so the excess nutrients are removed from the Aldrovanda system.

         creasing CO2 levels  - carbon-dioxide generator is useful to enhance the level  of CO2 dissolved in your Aldrovondo environment. Use  a glass or plastic jug, drill a hole through the lid, and thread a rubber or plastic hose into the hole. Use a sealant to make this connection airtight. Fill the jug  with a mix of sugar water (seven parts water to one part sugar) and add 1;' teaspoon (1.2 milliliters) yeast for each 2 quarts (2 liters) of sugar water. Submerge the loose  end of the hose into your Aldrovondo tank. Within a day, CO2 will start flowing out of the hose. Attach an aquarium "air stone" to the end of the hose so CO2 emerges from the hose as micro-bubbles; these can dissolve more readily into the water. Make certain that the gas can easily escape from the CO2 generator into the Aldrovondo tray-a sealed generator can explode! After several weeks, bubbles will stop emerging from the CO2 generator hose. Empty the contents of the jug down the drain (do not drink it, no matter how tempting), clean it out, and start again. Do not let the hose inside the jug extend down into the sugar-water solution; if you did,  the sugar water will be pumped into your Aldrovondo  tray with disastrous consequences!

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           Seasonal adjustments  ater temperatures in the summer should be 77 -88 degrees F (25- 31 degrees C), with highs of 91 degrees F (33 degrees C). Temperatures should be near the top of this range if you want the plants to flower. The water temperature should drop 11-18 degrees F (6-10 degrees C) at night. If the water temperature gets too high during the day, provide shading of 30-60 percent. Your tank will naturally develop a variety of tiny aquatic organisms, so you  will not have to feed Aldrovanda.

The plants transform into turions in the autumn when temperatures drop. These turions can be hard to find,  so keep an eye out for them. Learn about the geographic source of your plants, and try to mimic the winter lighting and temperatures your strain of plant would expect.

Winter is an excellent time to rejuvenate the growing area. Collect the turions and a few liters of water from the tub. Turions are best over-wintered in your refrigerator at 37-41 degrees F (3-5 degrees C). Empty, clean, and repot the entire tub as you did originally. Pour in the water you set aside to help re-establish the myriad species of zooplankton for your plants.

Algae and pests


         Do not under any circumstances give your plants fertilizers because it would encourage algae. Other than algal growth, few pests bother Aldrovando. Aquatic snails might eat Aldrovonda, and keeping them out may be difficult, especially if you introduce plants from an aquatic plant nursery!


        Do not let your tank become a breeding ground for mosquito larvae. Although the larvae do not eat Aldrovanda, the adults can vector animal (including human) diseases. Bt-toxin can control mosquito larvae, and in my experience has been harmless  to Aldrovando.



 |     Attracting and capturing prey

|   Cultivation



Aldrovanda    |  Brocchinia   |      Byblis    |       Catopsis   |       Cephalotus   |   Darlingtonia  |    Dionaea  |   Drosera  |    Drosophyllum  |   Genlisea  |   Heliamphora  | Ibicella  |  Nepenthes  Paepalanthus  | Pinguicula  |  Proboscidea  Roridula  | Sarracenia  Triphyophyllum  | Utricularia 

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