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Thread: Share your worst plant disaster

  1. #9

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    I like the way pyro list his darkhest hours, so I'll do it the same way, short and effective:

    -The famous story of my roomate's cat which killed 25 of my D. dilato-petiolaris;
    -Fungus gnats larvae rampage my pymies last winder; lost almost all my species (15)
    -My cat chew up my N.alata cutting (my first nep) and my only 2 VFT when I started growing cp (It always the cat, so if you never had any problem with it yet, keep an eye on it, it is propably complotting against you!), and the numerous time it threw down the windowsill my pots (until he got fat and lazy);
    -I put outside my Sarracenia during summer; all my seedlings were in pure sphagnum... When i got back home, half of my plants were bare root on the patio, knowcked by the sun; the birds came to take the mosses for their nest (you learn by your mistake... I've learned a lot these past years!) (They probably plotted this along with the cat )
    -I always lost/erase/broke my labels... It is the worst to my eyes! Sarracenia seedlings are a pain to distinguish like this!
    -the last one and the most recent: I traded a lot of CP during the last Rendez-Vous Horticole, at the Montreal Botanical garden, where I got some species I wanted for a while (you see it coming, huh?). 1 week later I was away for 3 months in New-Brunswick for my internship and a friend of mine took care of the cp. A huge aphids attack rampage the collection, and the only losses (fortunatly, they weren't numerous) were most of the plants I got (Brocchinia reducta, Genlisea, Pinguicula primuliflora, Heliamphora nutans), plus 3/4 of my Nepenthes (maxima, rafflesiana, pilosa x veitchii, stenophylla, reinwardtiana). That's all, I think, and I hope! (knock on wood too!)

  2. #10

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    Well, this is a timely thread to post the photos i took 10 minutes ago.

    But first, a photo from a couple months ago:



    Those are (were?) my utrics after leaving them on my windowsill with the window open. There is a fire escape outside my window, and i leave some sarrs there, but the squirrel climbed up the siding to my (third storey) window and dug up all the peaty pots of utrics [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img].

    I knew it was the squirrel, because a few mornings i awoke, startled, by motion at my windowsill as the squirrel peeped inside. He would sit in the tree in the yard and beep mockingly at me, too.

    He made a return visit a week later and finished the job (not that there was much more that he could do on the same pots). I was, of course, furious , and frustrated that my supposed utopia of a new apartment with a sunny fire escape for plants was infested with CP-eating squirrels!

    I hadn't any more encounters with the squirrel for a month, and assumed he had given up. Then, the other day, a few of my sarr pots were knocked over. That seemed odd for something the size of a squirrel, but not out of the question.

    Then, i was repotting some plants in my room this evening, and thought i saw movement outside the window (it was dark). "It's just the wind," i told myself.

    Then i was sure i heard something. I rushed to the window and opened it, and there, on the fire escape (on the third floor), was a raccoon, trompling and mucking about in my sarrs!

    He immediately slunk off when i opened the window...
    [img]http://home.**********.com/d_muscipula/images/20031110-da%23%%20raccoon-slinking%20off.jpg[/img]

    ... and sat there hanging on the fire escape as i tried to cut him off at the next floor down....
    [img]http://home.**********.com/d_muscipula/images/20031110-da%23%%20raccoon-glowering.jpg[/img]

    [img]http://home.**********.com/d_muscipula/images/20031110-da%23%%20raccoon-skulking.jpg[/img]

    And when i didn't have the heart to carry out raccoonicide, i went back upstairs to check on the damages and he got away...
    [img]http://home.**********.com/d_muscipula/images/20031110-da%23%%20raccoon-got%20away.jpg[/img]

    I wish i'd gotten a pic of him climbing down the ladders.

    Three storeys of ladders, with a 2' drop off on each, in the middle of Boston/Cambridge. It's almost like nature has some personal grudge against my plants [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img]

    My S. purpurea ssp venosa was one of the victims:
    [img]http://home.**********.com/d_muscipula/images/20031110-CP-S.purpurea%20ssp%20venosa-raccoon%20damage.jpg[/img]

    My only other thing to list is that my big VFT (one of the first CPs i got when i started collecting 2-1/2 years ago) spontaneously self-destructed a few months ago, going from a beautiful plant to an empty pot in a couple months.
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

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  3. #11

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    this occured through sheer stupidity lol.
    It was a nice day out, and it seemed perfect to give my cp's along with the bearded dragon a good sun bath. I took care to provide half the tank of the dragon with shade, but i neglected to do the same with the plants that were in terria's. BIG mistake. When I came back home, the dragon was fine, but all my terrarium plants were goners. I lost 80% of my neps, and a total of about 50% of my collection. Many plants came back from roots, but some rarer ones, like my south african drosera, were gone for ever. I rebuilt my collection, working with the lost drosera the most. Oddly enough, the bulk of the drosera lost were petiolaris dews, i thought they loved the heat lol. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif[/img]
    Taproot, Anti-Flag, The Casualties, Alkaline Trio, Eleventeen, Deadsy, AFI...what's not to love?

  4. #12

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    WOW! And I thought that I had it bad...The worst that happened is that my rabbit eat alot of my vft leaves and traps...I was mad, but know consider myself lucky after reading these![img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    I thought you people where \"Plant Geeks\", Look at me Now...

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    http://www.**********.com/cgi-bin....t=17062

  5. #13

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    Better sit down, this is going to take awhile. Back in 2001 I was acting on behalf of the Senior Seed analyst of the Idaho State Herbarium, assisting him in obtaining Drosera seed for a microdigital seed testa project from various quarters of the world. This was part of a much larger work in constructing a "virtual herbarium". In my search for rare seed I made the aquaintence of a grower in Australia willing to provide me with seed from known geographic localities in Australia: priceless! It was a long hard search to find him, many letters were sent before I located him. He sent me a wonderful assortment of seeds. I might have been fined thousands of dollars if I had been caught without the proper papers, but back then I didn't know. It was my intention to confirm their identity by growing them to sufficient size to make the determination. For this purpose I bought the 1000 watt metal halide/high pressure sodium unit. Upon learning of the necessity of using Giberellic Acid to enhance germination, I set out to purchase it. The cost was then beyond my means, so I contacted my old botany professor from college who still taught at the local University here. He put out a plea for me on the academic listserve which was answered by a pharmaceutical worker in Belgium (!) who said he could make the GA3 I needed. A month later it arrived in the mail. I got a pharmacist to cut it to the proper dilution (I was clueless). Due to the number of species, I asked to use the University lab to have access to the test tubes and racks I needed. Seed was stratified in numbered test tubes, recorded, and then individually sown into pots placed in the cellar to meet the requirements of cold for good germination. I was delighted that the effort of so many people all over the world would lead to some fine digital scans of Drosera seed testa to produce a worthy reference. Some 2 weeks later I heard a crash in the cellar. "No!" I thought, "it can't be that, it just can't!" But friends, it was. I turned on the light to see the guilty face of China Cat Sunflower: my cat, whom I *thought* was my friend. "errr, sorry!", he said trying to dodge by me. Why? Why would the cat climb on top of the old file cabinate to get at the tray the pots sat on? There was no food, nothing to interest a cat, and not even easy to get up onto! He had to have WORKED at it! I concluded he was jealous of the whole deal and acted thusly to communicate this to me. I chased him down and scruffed him, all the while singing a rather unpleasant song in his ear composed of small words rapidly strung together with deep feeling. That night, he learned how to fly: out the back door in a remarkably FINE arc into a deep fluffy snow bank. After this debacle, not ONE seed germinated (it wouldn't have mattered since I would have no assurance of what was what, so the project was worthless!) The cat and I did not speak to each other for weeks. Now anytime he watches me potting up things, I mutter "dont even think about it" through clenched teeth, and he immediately slinks off. We are friends again though, but only my deepest affection for him kept him from lining my mittens that day.

    Oh yes, I love cats! Last winter when I was sick in bed for days with the flu the door to the growroom blew open after the cat was let in through that door. (Valerie still feels bad, but it wasn't her fault!) Everything froze solid! Then this summer, when things were starting to recover, the heat spell we had here polished off many weakened species. The remainder were on shelves, which collapsed in early fall in a mess of shattered light tubes, plaster and peat muck....

    If it wasn't for Plant-a-Kiss, and Pyro, Andrew, Joseph, and Ozzy and all my other CP friends worldwide (and I have many), I believe I'd have chucked everything onto the compost heap. I was right *there*! They picked me up and dusted me off, and told me I couldn't quit and not to give up, that the lost plants would return again by some manner (and they were right!)

    Then there all the individual acts of idiocy where I went to reach for something in the terrarium and broke once in a lifetime flower scapes I had been waiting years to see, uprooted nearly priceless plants by accident, found them bone dry and dead because I forgot I moved the pot, dug up by squirrels, pecked by birds, even crapped on by some animal......it's a wonder I have any plants at all!

    Just remember, plants come and go, and they can always come again. We've all been there. Friends support friends and always seem to make it better with a little package in the mail and a shoulder to cry on. It's all part of being a good CP'er: and the very best are right here on this Forum.

    It's also proof positive that the best way to keep your plants is to give them away: that way they can come back again if you lose them.


    What's that sound! I gotta go........!





    "Grow More, Share More"

  6. #14

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    Dormancy is my worst killer. The first year I got into CPs I bought a VFT, Darlingtonia, and a beutiful Sarracenia Purpurea 'Red Ruffles'. This was, for me, pre-Savage Garden and I was ignorant of the idea of a COLD dormancy. I knew of dormancy, and fearing that my plants would freeze I kept my plants in my Mom's nice and warm classroom. Not only did I have to answer a lot of questions by sixth graders I lost all of the plants. I really miss my Sarracenia Purpurea 'Red Ruffles', and I have yet to find another one. So there goes my first round. I found the Savage Garden and bought some more plants. The next dormancy went great all plants came back. Then this past year I put my plants in the same set up as I did the year before, but unlike the previous year it was a really cold winter for our area. So this year I lost all of them agian. They included my vft, S. leucophylla, and other Sarracenias. Lucky I was able to replace all this summer. So I yet agian face dormacy, but this year I think I'll place them in a set up in the well house or maybe perhapes a cold frame.

    Also my cats have twice tiped plants of the table, but no loses due to that. Yet

  7. #15

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    Methinks that CP growers should not have cats. It makes me mad just reading about the havoc they wreak on other's collections! While i'm an acknowledged cat-hater, this thread is doing nothing to convince me that my deep-seated belief that cats are demons incarnate is rubbish. C'mon people, where are your priorities?

    Tamlin, that's terrible!
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

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  8. #16
    Moderator Colieo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]dug up by squirrels, pecked by birds, even crapped on by some animal......it's a wonder I have any plants at all!
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] (sorry for laughing William) My cat has actually not caused my plants any trouble, but I have been their greatest enemy. My worst thing is forgeting to water them, I have lost 3 pots of sarracenia seedlings because of my stupidity.

    Cole



    Duele no tenerte cerca, duele no escuchar tu voz. Duele respirar tu ausencia, pero, duele más decirte adiós.

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