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Thread: Fungi

  1. #1

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    Lightbulb

    Something has been bothering me about peoples reactions to Fungi on or nere their plants. It seems like everyone assumes that it is bad and want to kill it. VFT people are the worst, they have an obsession with fungiside. Now I'm no expert, but I am a bio-student.

    How many people here know about the symbiotic relationship between plants and fungi? I'm guessing very few. Nearly every plant studied in this field has been found to have some sort of fungi that it relies on. Trees have an average of 100 differn't symbiotic fungi's living with them, if it where not for these abondent fungi, the tree would die of dehydration befor it became anything more then a seedling.

    In plants that produce super tiney seeds, the seeds may not even be capible of germinateing without a fungle parner. Has anyone here EVER studied this relation ship in CPs? I don't even have to pull out a microscope and culture dish to tell you they are their. CPs have tiney seeds, it doesn't take a month for the seed to germinate, it takes a month for water to seep in and start it's growth. The humidy isn't for the seed, it's for the fungi that grows with it. Is this a theory? Yes, but seeding as so many plants relie on this system, it's probubly true.

    (this is also why sterile seeds don't sprout very well in many plants)

    Mainly what I'm getting at here is that Fungi abuse is a problem. When someone sprays a Fungiside on a plant, the good fungi dies, the plant weekens and then room for a harmfull fungi is made. I have to ask, why does everyone assume the light fuzz on their plant belongs to one of the very few (% wise) parasitical fungi?

    So I'd like to ask that people try giving the fungiside and ahhh it's mold talk a rest. Perhaps one of our botinest on this forum could do further reserch in this area.

    -Darcue [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    P.S. I've had my Flytrap for 3 years. It had Fungi with it when I got it and it's has fungi with it now. I've never had a problem, my plant is healthy and the only time my plant looked off was when the fungi levels droped down.
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
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    I don't think its that people detest fungi, but more that they love their plants more...
    Many of these plants definitely live through symbiotic relationships, Sarracenia purpurea with bacteria, for example (and probably many others since they help aid in breaking down the matter).
    At least with me, I'm growing the plants so my CP's can do well, and i dont want a fungus to spread rampantly through my collection for various reasons...but yeah
    Also, with mature plants a little fungus MaY not hurt much, but with seedlings and younger unestablished plants it is very risky...
    And with vft's, i think its mainly the 'dormancy' issue with fungicides, (depending on the procedure and how you put the traps through dormancy) because they are so vulnerable and prone to fungi...
    but yes Darcie's right there are some good fungi
    its just that many of the common ones can hurt your plant

  3. #3
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    In all the websites I've visited, there is no mention of a symbiotic fungus growing with VFTs. When fungus is mentioned at all it is with the recommendation that it be removed before it becomes unsightly or adversely affects the health of the plant. Most symbiotic fungus improves a plants ability to absorb water and nitrogen through the roots by growing fine mycorhizal roots that work to increase the plant root surface area. VFTs absorb nitrogen through the bugs they digest with acids and enzymes they produce in the traps. And since the VFT lives in very wet conditions, it doesn't need help getting moisture.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    (Cough, cough) Uh, as research goes on (so I've read) it is becoming more and more evident that perhaps nearly all life is inter-dependent. Well, duh.

    Inter-life dependencies, cooperations, symbioses, could perhaps be the norm, rather than the exception. To my understanding it is the balance that is important. Symbiosis and balance go together. If I run harder or work longer, I am going to need to drink a little more water to keep from dehydrating.

    If I increase any of the environmental variables I provide for my plants I know that I am going to need to balance the others. If, for instance I provide some fertilizer, artificial or natural, then I should include a balancing dose of the other factors, such as water, light, temperature, etc. The environment under the surface of the media can be just as important as what goes on above. For instance, if there is too much of certain mineral nutrients; too little oxygen, perhaps brought about by too high a saturation of water, then anaerobic organisms may grow, produce toxic waste products, injure roots and permit entry of advantageous (hungry) organisms. These organisms may like the insides more than the outside. Analogy: pizza vs crackers.

    Even male and female humans must "cooperate" or there will be no more of us to discuss these things.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

  5. #5
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    hmmm...

    Darcie... Have you ever lost plants you have been caring for for years because a fungus laid waist to it? (How about a 75 dollar nepenthes?) Many of us have... I have been fighting a particularly nasty fungus that forms a mat over my plants and drills through their leaves litterally destroying a plant in a very short time if not caught quickly, I nearly lost my first, and most favorite nepenthes.

    Now, as for small seed needing a symbiotic fungs to assist it... well, MAYBE... but, a common practice in our field of hobby when growing seedlings, is to nuke your peat moss in the microwave for a while to sterilize it (heck, almost ALL of our plants are Tissue Cultured in Sterile media) I just don't buy this... it may be true of some species, but not all...

    We are not dealing with plants in their natural environments here. We are dealing with artificially created worlds that can not, and will not be the ideal setting for a plant unless a tremendous amount of time and resources are expended... it just won't happen... by this very fact, we have put our plants in a situation where another oportunistic organism might take advantage of them.

    And Finally, we are growing plants here, not fungus, I do not appreciate a fungul mat making it's way across my terrarium for any reason other than it tells me my conditions are currently not optimum. It is not attractice, and my tank is supposed to look nice. Oh... and I would seriously NOT advise putting your plants in dormancy in a refrigerator without a nice bath of cleary's 3666, cause you probably won't pull it out in the spring. It's all a matter of making choices on what is best for your plants, yes, there may be some symbiotic fungus that helps these plants, but is it worth the risk in letting those few species of fungus that are unfortunately very abundant for many of us destroy our plants? The answer is no... and the evidence of years and years of people using fungicde and growing healthy plants supports the popular view.
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  6. #6
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    Why is it when you are sick, you take medication?

    And why is some medication just as harmful as the disease?

    Most meds will kill your 'good germs' as well as the 'bad germs'

    Same thing for Venus Flytraps.

    What you are relying on is that everyone lives in North and South Carolina where there may only a 'good' mold...

    But many people are caring for these plants all over the world!!

    That means different strains of mold, fungus and other goodies that could potentially be harmful for the plant.

    No one is saying that the mold is the problem.

    Since we are not in the 'true environment' in which these plants grow, precautions are taken to ensure the stability and well being of these plants.

    Why would you want to risk something? Even more so when very little is known about this.

    The advice that is offered about fungicides and pesticides are just that...advice

    No one really pushes the use of these things on anyone.

    I think that most people's assessment of their "light fuzz on their plant" is not that, it is green slime, or a grayish color mold.


    You also have to understand that for many people, VFT's are the first plant to own...the one that starts it all. And quite frankly, they are a little harder than some other CP's.

    Kudos to you for having kept your plants alive without the use of any chemicals.

    But what about the others that have problems? Are you suggesting that they just 'ride it out'?

    That absolutely makes no sense.

    If you knew that you could do something that has a greater risk of keeping it alive than killing it, what would you do?

    And how are you so sure that this 'fungi' you refer to isn't something harmful? Maybe not what is growing in your pot, but someone else may not have the same setup, same growing conditions and same soil.

    As I always appreciate an open discussion about things, I wish and hope that they would be about something beneficial and not something that is pure speculation and one sided. The one sided part stems from the fact that you have no problems with your plants.

    Unless you are in the room with someone else, or they take a picture of what 'mold' is growing, you have no idea if it is helpful or harmful.

  7. #7

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    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say not to treat your plants, I ment not to OVERTREAT them. If you have an ovious problem, then you have to deal with it. The part that I feel may be counterproductive is treating a plant that is eather perfictly healthy and in dormancey, or treating a healthyplant that has a dead leaf with light mold (the dust type not the matt type) because someone thinks it's the end of the world. All this does is A) breed resistent strains, and B) opens the area for a harmfull spiecies. Perhaps I should add something else, keeping an eye on a healthy dorment plant is the best thing anyone can do because if a problem does arise, it can be solved befor it spreds (the cold temp drasticly lowers fungle growth). As for sorces, I have attually read on the VFT molds (remember that fungi are extreamly good at spreding world wide and most are generalist helpers and will help any plant they fined) at several webpages about 3 years ago.

    I'm sorry if not everyone agreas, and yes, I have seen bad mold kill plants, but treating a known problem and treating nothing just in case are differnt. I happen to loath pestiside use (mostly because I know to much about the reality of it and I'm not going to go into it because it's to scientific and off base) and I feel Antibiotics are heavly overused as well so the examples used againced my argument are just other examples of human kinds short sitedness.

    I never ment to upset anyone, and I've noticed a huge backlash at me in the other forums for sagesting a closer look at how our plants work with their surroundings. I do realise these are house plants, but I'm sure if you talk to Orchid growers you'll here of the great revelations studying these relationships gave their practice and you'll find they praise the day it was discoverd. No, I don't own Orchids and yes they are differnt plants, but my point is, isn't it worth looking into this with our plants? If you think lack of information means it's bad news, think again. We are just begining to study plant-fungi relationships and thats why we know so little.

    -Darcie

    P.S. Don't fear the unknown [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] explore into it and learn
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
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    Darcie,

    Your right that it is definately a field of study worth looking into. And I think most of us would agree with you that over reacting and treating in cases where it isn't waranted is probably not a good thing, except in dormancy, when a plant gets put in a fridge, sometimes it's hard to keep an eye on it and remember and what not, and if you leave it in the soil, well, you can't see what's going on period... and cold damp, stagnant soil toughing a root is just asking for an opportunist. So, On that portion, dormancy, I will respectully disagree with you.

    As for the backlash, I think perhaps myself, and others interpreted your post as a little disrespectful in it's tone and statement, in that you are bucking what we all know to be primarily beneficial to our plants, you stated that our practices had 'been bothering you' (and as one of the people who has recently posted on fungi, I took this perhaps, a little to close to the heart.)

    So please accept my apologies, and let me know if anyone is being outright rude to you and I'll slapem upside the head right after I tell my wife to do the same to me.
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

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