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Thread: Not Rot, Not Fungus, Not Insects, But What's Ailing My Plants? =[

  1. #17
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    hmmm..the neem probably isnt *the* cause then..

    I've actually had better success with sundews and VFTs when putting them in mixes which had high amounts of perlite. I think my concern isn't so much plopping them in a new pot, but suddenly new conditions overall.
    yeah..that is a concern..but..
    you have to weigh the options..

    Will they get better if you do nothing?
    maybe..but unlikely IMO..
    because we still dont know for sure what the underlying cause is..
    so if you do nothing, the plants will probably continue to decline, and eventually die..

    I see two possible causes for the decline:

    1. "bad media" - something contanimating the media.
    2. the mystery black bugs..

    there really isnt a lot of evidence (none I can think of) of a specific type of bug that eats sarr roots or lives in the media and somehow causes sarrs to sicken..its just not known..so that seems unlikely.

    So we are really only left with "bad media"..(which, by itself, could also explain the bugs..you might have bugs *not* because of the plants..but because they like the media..)

    IMO there is only one clear solution..repot EVERYthing..
    yeah, its risky..but IMO *not* repotting is actually riskier..

    and if it is the media, the plants should quickly recover..
    if its not..well, you tried everything you could..

    IMO, all the clues point stright to bad media..
    you repotted a few months ago..and suddenly all this happened!
    before you repotted, this never happened..
    seems pretty clear..

    Do you have any CP's you didnt repot this spring?
    if so, how are they doing?

    Scot

  2. #18
    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Ummmm...I'm pretty sure everything got repotted.
    Everything that's doing good is in the fresher media, which is strange. Well, mostly everything. The Leucophylla "Tarnok" with the soggy, totally wilted leaves (vs. the pruny but upright ones on other plants) is in media from the fresh bag, but that's the only plant that's not doing well with the fresh peat.
    It may rain tonight, which will be perfect in terms of water to mix up enough peat/perlite for 26 Sarrs and 5 sundews @.@

    Thank you =]

  3. #19
    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    I think I'll agree with Scotty here, and say "bad media". I am also having some problems with withering, and I have no bugs, neem or other "additives". I have been suspecting bad soil for a while, and what SC just said cinched it for me. (thanks!)

    I now need to find a better source of baled peat (grrr!).
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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  4. #20
    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    And pretty much everyone agrees perlite isn't needed, or should be minimized? o.O

  5. #21
    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    I have seen no benefit with using perlite with Sarrs, dews and flytraps. It floats up to the top of the mix and looks ugly, and overflows all over the patio. I only use it because I have a 50 lb. bag to use up. I may re-think that.

    I'll keep it for the Mexi Pings, drosophyllum and cacti.
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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  6. #22
    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Meh, I'm in the same boat as you.
    Again, I don't care about cosmetics, and up until now, I've know perlite to be required.
    But I bought a ginormous bag. I'll probably use what I have but not buy more, if it's not needed.

    Or, wait. I should probably save it for the Neps and butterworts, I guess.

  7. #23
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    So how is it that fungus is ruled out? Some thing like fusarium which attacks the rhizomes basically from the inside out isn't likely to be affected by Neem oil.

    Again, the insects are probably a symptom and not the cause. They have tentatively been identified as rove beetles. Rove beetles come in basically two flavors - those that eat decaying matter and those that eat other insects. A massive population explosion suggests an abundant food supply. So if there isn't a source of insects for them then there must be decaying matter. Either your peat moss or the plants themselves are supplying decaying matter.

    Peat by definition is partly decayed vegetable matter. Peat moss or moss peat usually means it is composed of partially decayed Sphagnum moss but not necessarily so. And if you are using the smaller bags of peat moss the quality varies tremendously from bag to bag. The larger bales tend to be of better and more uniform quality. They are also available in different grades at larger nursery supplies.

    Also note that every brand of Neem oil that I've looked at the label warns not to use on damaged or distressed plants. Why? Neem oil has a growth inhibitor factor - it can actually retard the healing process.

    As pointed out by others since your plants continue to decline you have little to lose at this point in replacing your media. If you're concerned about further stressing out your plants then only replace the media for half of them. Then wait and see a month or so and see what happens. If the repotted ones improve then repot the rest. Worst case no matter what you do you lose all your plants. However if you repot half of them at least you increase the likely hood of saving half of your plants (given that the medium is the problem).

    The choice is yours. BTW Albert Einstein is credited for the following definition:

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  8. #24
    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    This will make me appear painfully naive, but because fungus was ruled out because the leaves are still getting water and there is no visible fungus. It hasn't been suggested in any of my previous posts.
    But if fusarium is it, then how would I treat it? How do I even know?

    I still find it coincidental that they show up and the plants start going downhill. But then again, if the peat moss has gone bad, what in its age or whatever, then that would certainly explain it.

    I never noticed that. I've heard different things about Neem. I know it worked well thus far, and if I was aware of any risk to my plants, I would've seeked a different alternative. But I have since stopped using it for a few weeks now.

    I'm open to replacing the media by now. My question is now with what, as I'm wary of solid peat. It just seems odd. All of the large nurseries incorporate perlite, and Peter D' Amato cited the recipe in his book, which was my bible as I got started. Then again, I'm a bit of a sheep and like following others and what I know. The other thing to consider is that repotting even half of the collection is going to take alot of water, and I'll probably need another bale. It's also going to take time I don't have during the week. It's something I want knocked out at once, as I'd like to atleast get rid of those damn unsightly beetles, atleast. Perhaps if they weren't crawling all over the place, I wouldn't have a gazillion spiders to fret about as well.
    Last edited by lizasaur; 06-15-2010 at 06:17 AM.

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