Cobra Lily Growing Box
Growing Box for Darlingtonia californica, Cobra Lily
Cobra Lillies can be quite challenging to grow. I have tried a variety of methods over the years including using ice cubes for watering, growing in shade and adding a bit of lime to the soil mix. All of these have had limited success, and the plants have typically dwindled over time. Once I began to understand their native conditions more clearly, and duplicate this a closely as I can, my success has increased dramatically. See Cobra Lily growing tips for more detail. Using argonite in the loose and porous soil mix was easy enough, but my greatest challenge was keeping the roots cool. I inevitably broke the routine of daily icing, and found indoor growing unsuccessful in the long run.
Now though, I have found something that works quite well. You can see from the accompanying photos, that I have constructed a water box built from 4x4s, lined with pool liner, and watered twice daily from a pump in my underground cistern. The box bottom is a 4x8 sheet of cement board. The sides are treated 4x4x8 treated lumber. The liner is heavy-duty 1/8" rubber pool liner held in place with untreated 2x4s along the top. The plumbing brings water from an underground cistern with a submerged water pump set on a timer for 10 minutes, twice a day from early Spring through late Fall. The box has an overflow pipe that maintains the water level at about 1/2", which drains water through a filter, back into the cistern. The whole assembly is placed under the partial shade of the greenhouse and a neighboring tree that provides dappled light. Give it a try. It works great.