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Thread: how do you kill fungal tartar-like residue on peat?

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    how do you kill fungal tartar-like residue on peat?

    how do i kill fungus that grows on peat? i bought a bale of peat moss at my local hardware store. I noticed that whenever the peat is moist everything is fine but as soon as the peat dries a yellow tartar-like residue grows on the surface, specifically it likes to grow on the rim of the pot. This only happens when the peat goes dry. If it maintain it wet it stops growing. Does anyone know how to kill it? is it even possible?

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you are describing mineral salts buildup that is most conspicuous when the media surface dries. This is why it's worthwhile washing your peat before use, and be sure to use a clean water source. Of course, without a photo, only speculating.

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    There are also yellowish-colored algae, but from the description it's impossible to get anywhere close to an ID. I also would like a photo.

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    here' s a pic

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    Looks like Whimgrinder is right--that appears to be mineral buildup... little salt crystals left when the water evaporates. How long is it taking for that to occur? You should check that your water is clean, make sure whatever media you bought has no added fertilizer, possibly even give it a good rinse as was suggested. If you can determine water and soil are both clean, then do a repot if it's a CP. Ordinary plants can handle a bit of that buildup but not CPs. I would have to fertilize really high to get that kind of salt accumulation.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Those are mineral salts building up a crust on the soil and it will become toxic to your CPs. Either the soil itself is the source (should have been washed before use) or your water source has too much mineral content. If your container is NOT equipped with a drain hole (I suspect it isn't) then you may need to unpot the whole thing and redo it with properly washed soil ingredients and find yourself a clean source of water. (Its possible that your peat was OK, and that the salts have been introduced via tap water; KNOW your tap water quality before using it! IE: test it.)

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    I have a problem with this as well. I purchased a potted Drosera regia, and the salts started to appear after I used Osmocote pellets and top-watered the plant. I'm pretty sure my water doesn't have problems because I have watered Sarracenia, Drosera, and Utricularia for months without any problems.

    I know the best thing to do in this case is to probably repot, but I'm worried about disturbing the roots of Drosera regia since I've heard that it doesn't take kindly to it, like Drosophyllum.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Osmocote is not appropriate for use on Drosera anyway; discontinue and leach the minerals out of the soil ASAP.

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