I'm Emre from Turkey. I've been interested in carnivorous plants for a while and I have recently purchased a shipment for my paludarium, which is still incomplete. I was thinking that I'd done my research and made all the necessary preparations. The plants were well and alive when I received them, but my cat rolled on the sealed bags while I was busy elsewhere, so the plants suffered some physical trauma before I potted them.
The plants I've ordered were several Drosera capensis, Drosera prolifera, a very small Dionea muscipula, Heliamphora minor, Nepenthes bicalcatrata, and several strains of Nepenthes ampullaria i.e. Harlequins and Cantley's Red. I also have a Sarracenia purpurea which I've bought earlier, a temporary addition to my tank. For Nepenthes I used a custom mixture, long-fibre sphagnum: perlite: peat: sand in a ratio of 2:2:1:1 with a sprinkling of live sphagnum moss. For the other plants I've used an equal mixture of sand and peat. I boiled both the sand and the peat in pure water before potting my plants. The sand is large-grained quartz, and doesn't react with acid as I've tested some in vinegar. (My only concern is that the grains are maybe too large.) The sphagnum peat was sold as specially made for carnivorous plants, so I'm assuming the problem is not in the soil. I water and spray my plants with pure water from a laboratory. They are standing in a large tray with some water at the bottom. I have a 400 W sodium discharge lamp placed at a distance of 30 cm from the plants' soil level, and a small fan to provide air circulation and prevent overheating. They spent no more than a day and a half under this high-intensity light. The submersible heater in the water below is set to 28°C. To provide maximum moisture I close the lid of the tank when the lamp is off.
So, I was assuming I did my research, but did something go wrong? Why are my plants so unhappy? Are they going to adapt to their environment? I was afraid that maybe the proximity of the sodium lamp was burning the leaves, so currently I'm providing the light through the front glass, which hopefully blocks the heat and the infrared rays. But I know that carnivorous plants require a lot of light (living under full sun) and can tolerate high temperatures as well. I measured the air temperature around the highest leaves, with a sensitive thermometer, and got a result of 28 C degrees. Are they unhappy because of the physical trauma? They were quite an investment I already love my plants, so I'll be very upset if all my plants die!
Pictures of my paludarium and the plants here (they look happy in the first album, but they seem to have deteriorated in two days!)
Moisture/mist in the tank:
Unhappy plants (please zoom to inspect individual plants)
The unhappiest plants are N. bilcatratas (the ones that look like plain green herbs without pitchers) and while most Droseras look fine, one of them is brown all over. Also, the larger N. ampullarias (with red pitchers) have their uppermost leaves turning brownish. Others are relatively better. Should I prune the dying leaves? Should I change the lamp? Should I switch off the light for a few days? What should I do?