When to Buy andor Trade and Care of Plants Upon Arrival

The best time to obtain plants is when they are in a dormant stage just before their growing season starts. For plants that have a winter dormancy, early spring is the ideal time to purchase and for those with a summer dormancy, fall is the best time. Seeds of the carnivores can be shipped through the mail at any time except for tropical species which can be killed by freezing temperatures.

Plants are usually shipped bare root with the more delicate species wrapped in spahgnum moss. Upon arrival, remove the contents of the parcel and do not discard any of the packing materials until a thorough accounting has been made of all the plants you were supposed to receive. Some of the plants ordered during the dormant season will arrive as winter buds which tend to be small and some shade of green to grey and, as such, they can be easily overlooked if they are packed in material such as nonliving sphagnum moss. Some people will unpack the parcel, plant the items received and days or weeks later check their records and discover that something is missing. It could be a mistake made by the shipper or it could be that the item(s) was inadvertently discarded with the packing material. If there is a shortage after checking the packing material thoroughly, a note should be sent to the shipper immediately. Credibility may be questioned if a few months elapse before you notify the shipper.

When plants are shipped by mail or United Parcel Service (UPS), they sometimes look weathered due to packing and transit. Drosera and Pinguicula that have been wrapped in sphagnum moss may be soiled or dirty-looking because of the moss fragments, particularly on leaves with tentacles. Do not be alarmed as they will recover given time and proper care.

Plants should be unpacked in a humid, shaded area protected from the wind. After plants have been removed from the plastic bags and packing material, if any, they should be cleaned and the damaged leaves should be cut off with a sharp tool such as a razor blade to prevent decay. Cut surfaces should be sprayed or wet with a fungicide diluted to about xk the recommended label strength. The damaged leaves removed from plants such as Drosera, Pinguicula, and Cephalotus can be used as leaf cuttings by following the procedure given for leaf cuttings to propagate more plants.

Plants should be separated and planted individually except for Utricularia, Polypompholyx and Genlisea which are kept as a clump. Often, if you order a Drosera plant, there may be some smaller ones attached to the main plant. Casually looking at such a plant it may seem to be only one, but upon careful examination you can determine if it is one plant or a group of plants. If it is a group, they should be separated gently.

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