Become a Pro in Gardening with this Detailed Carnivorous Cobra Lily Plant Care

Become a Pro in Gardening with this Detailed Carnivorous Cobra Lily Plant Care


The Cobra lily is also sometimes referred to as the California Pitcher plant or just Pitcher plant. Native to Oregon and Northern California, the Pitcher plant is the only surviving member of the genus Darlingtonia in the Sarraceniaceae plant family.


The plant is often referred to as a Cobra lily as the leaves of the plant are tubular in structure, resembling a cobra. Moreover, this tubular leaf structure is made complete by another forked leaf that looks much like the tongue of a serpent.


Cobra Lily Eating Insects



The Cobra lily looks like a serpent


The Cobra lily or the Darlingtonia plant is one of the many carnivorous plants on earth. That means the plant does not survive off just nutrition like the other general plants. Instead, it preys on tiny insects and even small vertebrates to ace the game of survival.


The hooded cobra-like leaves of the Cobra lilies secrete an aromatically pleasant smell that attracts the insects to come into proximity to the plant. This secretion also boosts the production of fuel in the plant that is used for trapping and digesting the prey.


Once the prey is trapped inside, the plant cleverly hides the exit from the view of the prey and opens up other false exits. As the preys unsuccessfully try to escape through the false exits and ultimately get tired, the Cobra lily plant releases certain enzymes that help to break down and ultimately digest the animal matter.


Darlingtonia Californica Flower



Cobra lily flowers are very rare


The Darlingtonia Californica plant or the California pitcher plant rarely produces flowers. The rare blooming of the Cobra lily flowers does not bother the plant much as it reproduces asexually through the stolons and runners.


The plant is also known as the Pitcher plant as the flowers look like tiny pitchers. These Cobra lily flowers are of a purplish yellow colour and are of a similar size as the stalks that they grow in. These flowers are accompanied by five sepals that extend a little longer than the petals of the flower.


Darlingtonia Germination from Cobra Lily Seeds



Seedlings are a little difficult to maintain


The Cobra lily seeds can be effectively used to propagate or grow this lovely carnivorous plant. However, it is a very lengthy process as germination from Cobra lily seeds can take up a long time. Even after they germinate, these seedlings stay seedling for around 2 years or so and can be difficult to maintain.


However, here is how you can grow a Darlingtonia Californica plant from Cobra lily seeds.


⦁ Take a small plastic bag and insert some sphagnum moss in it, followed by some Cobra lily seeds.
⦁ Place this plastic bag in the refrigerator and let it sit there for around 4 weeks or so.
⦁ Take a planter and fill it up with some well-draining soil, rich in organic matter.
⦁ As you place the Cobra lily seeds inside the soil, make sure that the seeds are at least 2 inches apart from each other.


Cobra Lily Range



Grows in hardiness zones 6 to 10


The Cobra lilies require just the right conditions to grow. Due to this reason, this plant can seldom grow without proper care and thus, does not grow in most parts around the globe.


The Cobra lily plant mostly tends to grow around the United States. It grows in areas that maintain hardiness zones from around 7 and throughout 10. It mostly grows in boggy areas, with its roots being in a relatively cooler environment than the rest of the plant.


A balance of sunlight is also necessary as too little or too much sunlight can end up harming the plant. The plant also prefers rainwater when it comes to fulfilling its watering requirements. Thus, with the right environment, the plant can do relatively well outdoors


Cobra Lily Adaptations/ Darlingtonia Cobra Care



Maintain the right conditions


The Cobra lilies adapt well to certain conditions of growth. Here is a detailed description of the Cobra lily or Darlingtonia Cobra care.


Light Needs: The Cobra lily plant can adapt well to both partial sunlight and the full sun. However, the one important thing to ensure here is that the roots of the plant enjoy a relatively lesser exposure to the sun than the rest of the plant.
Balanced Sunlight: Sometimes, more exposure to the full sun can lead to the reddening of the leaves. Thus, it is important to ensure that the plant receives a balanced deal of sunlight required to promote healthy growth.
Watering Needs: One must use rainwater on the plant as it is what the plant loves the most. Refrain from using tap water on the plant as the chemicals and minerals might hurdle its growth. Instead, use distilled or purified water on the plant.
Icing the plant: The pitcher plant is known to prefer cold water when it comes to watering. Thus, many people also place ice cubes on the soil to favour the plant. This practice is particularly more helpful during the soaring hot summer days.
Temperature and Humidity: The Cobra plant requires quite cool temperatures, around the 50s and 60s, to grow. Humidity levels do not have much of an impact on the plant, but it is advisable to maintain humidity levels of around 50%.
Fertilizing Needs: The Pitcher plant does not require any extra fertilizer as all of its fertilizing needs are maintained through the consumption of the insects and other prey.
Winter Care: The Cobra lily insectivorous plants enter a state of dormancy during the winter seasons, owing to extremely low temperatures. When this happens, let the plant rest undisturbed

The Ideal Cobra Lily Soil


To house a California Pitcher plant, it is important to achieve the perfect soil consistency and texture, similar to the natural habitat of the plant. The perfect soil mix for growing a Cobra plant consists of perlite, peat and pumice, or lava rocks. This is a soil mix that allows the roots of the plant to remain cool, a very important requirement of the Darlingtonia Californica plant.


Chinese Cobra Lily



Requires humus-rich soil


The Chinese Cobra lily is also known as the Arisaema candidissimum or the Pink Cobra lily. The plant bears beautiful flowers that bloom during the late spring or the early summer season. These flowers look beautiful with a mixture of pink, white and green running through them.


The Chinese Cobra lily plant also produces beautiful foliage that follows up the blooms. These are rather beautiful leaves that last a great deal of time, sometimes even after the flower dies out. The plant also produces a sweet and pleasant smell that lasts until the unfolding of the spathe.


With its beautiful blooms and foliage, the Chinese Cobra lily can easily grow around 16 inches tall and around 9 inches wide. The plant prefers to grow in bright sunlight and does well when grown in some well-draining soil that is rich in humus. Also, the Chinese Cobra lily seldom falls prey to pests and other plant-related diseases.


Himalayan Cobra Lily



Grows in partial shade


The Himalayan Cobra lily is scientifically referred to as the Arisaema consanguineum. It is a rather aesthetic and exotic-looking plant, known mostly for its umbrella-shaped leaves. These umbrella-like leaves further consist of around 11 to 20 narrow leaflets growing on the long stems of the plant.


The green foliage of the plant looks quite similar to that of the palm trees. The Himalayan Cobra lily flowers are unique, consisting of a dark purplish-brown tubular flower with white and green stripes running through. These blooms generally appear during the late spring or the entirety of the summer season and are usually around 6 to 8 inches long.


The Himalayan Cobra lily generally grows around 3 meters tall and 12 to 8 inches wide. The plant does best when planted in some moist and well-draining soil, rich in humus. It prefers to grow in partial shade and should be kept safe from frosts.


Whipcord Cobra Lily



Looks like a whip


The Whipcord Cobra lily is known by the botanical name of Arisaema tortuosum. The plant bears a green spadix that looks much like a whip. The blooms of the plant face upwards and are of a considerable length of around 30 centimetres. The flowers of the plant go on to develop into bright red fruits.


The Whipcord Cobra lily is a perennial deciduous that can live a healthy life of around two decades. Just ensure that you take the right care of the plant. This involves growing the plant in soil that remains consistently moist and ensuring bright sunlight for the plant. Also, it is important to ensure that the roots of the plant remain in a cooler and shaded region, without exposure to harsh temperatures.


The plant, in general, grows around 2 meters in height but sometimes it can even surpass a height of 6 feet. It can survive well in hardiness zones 6, 7, 8 and 9. One must however be cautious while handling the plant as the sap, if contacted, can irritate the eyes and skin.


Cobra Lily Arisaema


The Arisaema plant is often called the Cobra lily or vice-versa. But this is an utter misconception as the Arisaema plant bears no close resemblance to the Cobra plant, other than in looks.


FAQS


Here we have answered some FAQS on the Cobra lily plant.


What do cobra lilies eat?


The Cobra lilies survive on insects and small vertebrates. They devour these insects and vertebrates by trapping them inside the plant.


How do cobra lilies catch bugs?


The hooded cobra-like leaves of the Cobra lilies secrete an aromatically pleasant smell that attracts the insects to come into proximity to the plant. As the preys unsuccessfully try to escape through the false exits and ultimately get tired, the Cobra lily plant releases certain enzymes that help to break down and ultimately digest the animal matter.


What does Cobra Lily care involve?


To take care of a Cobra lily plant, make sure that the roots of the plant are in a relatively cooler environment than the rest of the plant. A balance of sunlight is also necessary as too little or too much sunlight can end up harming the plant. The plant also prefers rainwater when it comes to fulfilling its watering requirements.


Where do cobra lilies grow?


The Cobra lily plant mostly tends to grow around the United States. It grows in areas that maintain hardiness zones from around 7 and throughout 10. It mostly grows in boggy areas and requires just the right conditions.


Are cobra lilies easy to grow?


The Cobra lilies require just the right conditions to grow. Due to this reason, this plant can seldom grow without proper care and thus, does not grow in most parts around the globe.

How does the cobra plant traps insects?


The Cobra lilies secrete an aromatically pleasant smell that attracts the insects and also boosts the production of fuel in the plant that is used for trapping and digesting the prey. Once the prey is trapped inside, the plant cleverly hides the exit from the view of the prey and opens up other false exits to tire the prey.


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