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Thread: Withering on the Rhizome

  1. #1
    Frakkin Toaster Cynic81's Avatar
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    I think I've lost at least 3-4 plants and I don't know what's going on >_<.

    I've got my plants on the tray system outside. I took them out of their 3rd fridge dormancy in mid-april (I know it was late but weather in VA is insane). Since this time several of my sarras, including a flava, a judith hindle, and two leucos, seem to have shrivelled up and died for no apparant reason after putting up a bit of new growth. I had them growing in two locations between repotting and this post: My own backyard in richmond, which is covered in shade by a large tree for atl east part of the afternoon, and my parent's back deck in Roanoke, which recieves full sun until around 4-5pm. I would think I fried them, but other sarras, including a rubra, a minor, and a Dixie lace, are doing fine after being exposed to the same conditions. The only difference I can tell is the presence of what looks like some kind of algae on the surface peat of some of the pots that I've never seen before. All plants are grown in 100% shredded sphag moss and watered with distilled. Can someone tell me what the heck is going on?
    The Best Part About Being a Sociopath is Never Having to Say You&#39;re Sorry.

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    Sure can. Its called rot. Happens a lot to plants grown in pots, sitting in trays of water. Water dripping through the pot, and recirculated would stop rot cold, and give the rhizome the oxygen it craves, producing a much happier and healthier plant. Also prevents rot, BIGTIME, so try it if you can. Either that, or grow in undrained Rubbermaid dishpans. Sure can put a lot of plants in them!!!
    45 yrs. growin\'
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    Frakkin Toaster Cynic81's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how recirculation works exactly. For now I've removed the affected pots from their trays so they can dry out a bit. The Judith Hindle rhizome is a bit squishy and is thus probbaly a goner, but hopefully the leucos will recover.
    The Best Part About Being a Sociopath is Never Having to Say You&#39;re Sorry.

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    The unfortunate part of this C81 is, you have to remove them completely from their media, look over the WASHED rhizome, and remove any and ALL of the rotted affected parts. This will throw their growing cycle into a tizzy, but it needs to be done. Order BAN ROT from **********, and treat your new soil, and your rhizomes. YOU MUST remove ALL affected parts. I just did an s. r. ssp. alabamensis AL003. Barry gave me this, and it showed the first signs of this condition this morning. I tore it out, cut off all the rot, and replanted in fresh media. Now for the recovery! I will never grow in pots again.
    45 yrs. growin\'
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    SpyCspider's Avatar
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    Hey Bugweed,

    I would expect pots in a water tray to give more circulation than undrained rubbermaid tubs. Why is this not the case? Nonetheless, I agree with the rubbermaid tubs--I've grown my Sars in them as well but this year I'm using the tray method with pots. Haven't noticed much of a difference yet, except for the fact that the sphagnum doesn't seem to grow well in the pots.

    Also, how can you tell if a rhizome is a goner for sure? I have a leuco 'Tarnok' that is completely brown and hollow, but the roots seem to still be intact. Any hope for it?

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    Brown AND hollow???? Dead for sure. Roots should be white if they are healthy and young. Pots SIT in a tray of water. You would think it would be the same, but the difference is, a tray does not allow water to cover the rhizome. Since the water completely bathes the plants rhizome (dishpan), as the water level drops from evaporation, oxygen is pulled into the soil as it drops. The O2 is around the rhizome, not under it as in a tray. Water under the plant is usually how the majority of people grow their babies, I do not fault them as this is accepted. However, as I pointed out to Trent and Michelle Meeks of Sunbelle Exotics, the water level is not high enough and the pots will get really hot. As you add water to a tray, the level in the bottom of the pot rises. This also adds some O2 but not the same as a plant whose rhizome is totally immersed. The pots in some places can get really hot. Through induction into the plastic of the pot, and into the soil. The soil in the pot is limited and much less than a rubbermaid dishpan. Lots of soil in a dishpan, and hardly any in a pot.
    The water level rises as you add to the tray. or water from above. In the tray, the rising H2O can sometimes make bubbles in the soil. When this gets hot, bacteria in the bubbles become active. Sometimes/most of the time this doesn't do much, but, when conditions are right, and the bacteris are heated, they have a tendency to attack whatever is near for food. In this case, a sarr rhizome. The bubble may deflate from this heat, and the bacteria are now in contact with your rhizome. Sometimes it still does nothing, on other occasions, say bye-bye to your plant. Watering from above is a little better (Trents way, with a tray I think) but bubbles may still form in this way, and sooner or later may raise hell(o) with your plant. Rot is not pretty, and everyone who has lost a plant knows that it can happen in a day. My circulating water bog, which works just like a real bog, has NEVER experienced rot. Water never stops moving through the media, and fresh O2 is always moving through the soil making for heavy sphagnum growth, and healthy as can be sarracenia! Constantly moving, the O2 is always replenished. My Mini working bog has thrived without rot incident for 17 or 18 years now, NEVER had a media change, and show no sign of slowing down its growth or its health. I do think rethinking the plants growing preferences would cause rot to almost disappear altogether. Moving, circulating water, or a water table that covers the rhizome completely, has made rot extremely rare around here. Think about it, and try your own circulating method. Lots of little fountains available out there at Lowe's or Home Depot with little pumps that pump constantly, and move water well. Recirculating it (water) is what you have to figure out, but I guarantee you, your plant will respond to it with a BANG!!!!!! So dishpan always kept full of water (dry down and fill again method) or recirculating the water through your pots would work the best. Not many do this though, but those who do (Joe Mazrimas, Larry Logeteta, Mike Ross of the BACPS) also follow the drip/circulating water method with incredible results as well.
    And without rot problems.



    45 yrs. growin\'
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    SpyCspider's Avatar
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    ^awesome, thanks so much.

    Actually, I just put in a pump a few days ago into the tray. It's just a small Fluval filter that I used in my aquarium and now it's placed in the tray so water will shoot out and then drop back in. Therefore, the water is always circulating. I really hope this will make a difference to how my plants respond since some of them don't look too happy just yet. And the live sphagnum is a pile of black mush--a bad indicator of conditions in my opinion. Also, do you recommend submerging the pots in higher water levels or just about 1/3 depth of the pot? Thanks again.

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    I recommend this. Set up your pump to be a drip or always running stream through the plants media. Keep the water level up as high as you can, and keep the water going, running through the pot. This will feed oxygen down to that rhizome, and cause sphagnum to grow with incredible spped. It will be lush and green before you know it. And your pitcher plants will respond and may really surprise you with fantastic results. Remember, in a bog, there is water ALWAYS moving through the soil making the soil nutrient free, but VERY healthy. Watch how your plants respond, and you will know you did it right.
    Your sphagnum is now dead. Get it out of there before it invites fungus in for breakfast. And ! On todays menu, Rhizome of Sarracenia! A delectable threat!!!! I think you could live without that!

    BTW! A better description of the "bubble" would be an airpocket. Traps all kinds of things in it, causing problems. Trays and watering the tray helps create these airpockets.



    45 yrs. growin\'
    Founder NASC

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