How often do you trim dead leafs and pitchers
Aesthetics aside, are there any consequences for untrimmed blackened and decayed leaf?
I have collections in a terrarium, on a windowsill, and outside.
Any thoughts and suggestions? thanks!
I usually trim mine when there's no traces of green left.
Last edited by tje25; 12-22-2014 at 04:39 PM.
I typically trim them when I can no longer stand looking at them, or when I repot. On occasion I see gross mold growing from dead black leaves but sometimes those have bits of food still stuck on them.
i actually love the dead leafs juxtapose against the live ones. That to me is more beautiful than just healthy and live plants alone. I've heard of mold problems caused by dead leaf so want to clarify on this issue
If you're set up doesn't have good circulation and has very high humidity almost all the time, a mold situation can be one of the cons of not trimming. In my experience, however, I have never noticed any sort of ill effects of leaving dead leaves on the plant. If anything I imagine that it likely helps the plant in its life-cycle, even if in some very minute way. My reason for imagining this is that in the wild there would be nobody or nothing that trims dead leaves and pitchers with any sort of reliability.
I trim mine on a very irregular basis, depending on "when I feel like it".
If it starts to look aesthetically unpleasing and I if can be bothered. This varies depending on the species though.
* VFTs: Usually can't be bothered due to the new leaves over them, but I usually do it in winter when it's easier.
* Sundews: See above. Especially since the leaves are sticky.
* Sarracenias: Given the size of the pitchers and how they tend to fall everywhere I trim these rather frequently. When I do, the partially dead ones also get trimmed down to where they're still green.
* Nepenthes: Pitchers go when they're all black but dead leaves are trimmed less frequently.
I will note that I have seen a bit of mold on some of the dead leaves on my outdoors plants, but it generally resolved itself within a couple of weeks so it's never really been a problem. However, I expect terraria/greenhouses with low circulation would be another situation altogether.
Whenever I have time and feel like it. Sometimes I like to take before and after pictures to see how different the plants look.
I do think dead and dying leaves have a certain beauty to them, and I really enjoy getting macro shots of all the folds and the textures. I even made a whole blog post with photos of dead and dormant plants!
I pull off Sarracenia pitchers at the end of the growing season, and don't trim anything besides that. If the leaves are still pretty green I will wait until they are almost all dead before doing it.
A few years ago, I worked for a plant/wildlife conservation group. Among other native plantings, we had a bog garden. It was lined with concrete, so I got to burn it with a flamethrower. Very cool and effective way to get rid of dead foliage.
But as far as routine maintenance of dead stuff, I trim as needed when I have time and it's not too hot/cold. Typically once a year, March, before I risk accidentally chopping flower buds.
I'll trim back dead VFT traps and capensis leaves to the green part. I tend to leave my Sarracenia pitchers as they are until dormancy and repotting. I'm also of the mindset that there is nothing trimming the old pitchers in nature, so I see it as superfluous. Sometimes I trim, sometimes I don't.
Last edited by BaseDrifter; 12-22-2014 at 07:26 PM.