Byblis Introduction:

Often called the Rainbow plant, because of the multi colored appearance when seen in the early morning, the Byblis is often confused with Sundews because of the plant structure.  There are only a handful of Byblis most concentrated in Australia.  Scientific study of these plants has revealed their closest relatives to be the Butterworts.  

Currently there are limited few forms of Byblis in cultivation and commercially available to hobbyists ( mainly Byblis gigantea, and Byblis liniflora ). With time, more species will enter the mainstream.

Watering:

With all types of Carnivorous Plants, it is best to water with Distilled, Reverse Osmosis or Rain water.  Other types of water ( Tap, drinking, purified, mineral, bottled ) contain salts ( not mentioned on all labels ), chemicals and other minerals that over time will be harmful for the plant.

The tray method for watering Byblis is recommended.  Allow for the soil to dry slightly before filling back up with water.  ½ to 1 inch of water should be fine for the plant.

B. gigantean : During the summer months in the dessert, the plant will go through a drought period.  This will induce a dormancy period ( more below ).  So water is less or none.  You may ‘skip’ the dormant period by watering the plant.  If you wish for the plant to go dormant, reduce the amount of water to very little if any at all.  Resume watering in the fall.

B. liniflora:  For this plant the rainy season is in the summer with drier conditions in the winter.  The atmosphere for this plant is Tropical.  So year round conditions are wet ( with the exception of winters )

Humidity requirements for Byblis:

These plants will enjoy a humidity level greater than 50% during their respective rainy seasons.  This will help the plat keep its ‘dew’ and retain the moisture level in the plant so it does not dry out.

Light recommendations for Byblis:

Both plants need conditions that are sunny to partly sunny.  Too much sun hasn’t been an issue for these plants.  If in doubt, you can always use a North or South window and work from there.  

Temperatures:

These plants are perennial, so they take moderate temps in the growing seasons, while in the summers the temperatures can become very hot.  Cold temperatures are not recommended for these plants.  Average temps can range from 70’s to 90’s and should pose no problem for the plants.

What Byblis Eat:

Byblis plants will catch an abundance of gnats and small flies. 

They also appear to have a symbiotic relationship with the assassin bug – whereas the plant absorbs nutrients from the insects secretions (poop) – and the bug is resistant to the dew on the plant

Fertilizer:

It is okay for these plants to take a small dose of Miracid ® ( orchid fertilizer ), or an Epiphytic Fertilizer.  Spray on leaves.  Monthly is all that is really needed.  The plants will thank you for it!

Soil Requirements:

Something that is sandy and loose is great for Byblis.  With that in mind, it is recommended –

1 part peat moss

1 part sand

It is fine to be a little heavier on the sand than peat moss.  These plants, to some extent grow near desert environments with sandy riverbanks, that will explain the makeup of sand in the mix.  Silica sand and not beach sand is recommended.  Silica sand is free of some of the harmful salts.  Beach sand is another no-no.

Notes:

  1. These will make great bog plants ( just keep in mind some of the requirements and your location ).
  2. Transplanting is not something that you want to do with these.  The shock from transplanting is so tremendous, that it is very possible to kill the plant!
  3. For that reason, you will not find many plants for sale, but rather seed.
  4. In order for the plants to grow, there needs to be heat placed on the seeds.  In the wild, wild fires sweep across the land that shortly thereafter the seeds will sprout.
  5. Out of the two species currently out there, B. gigantean is harder to start for that reason.

Some additional resources for information are:

ICPS – Guide to Byblis

Carnivorous Plant Resource – Byblis

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