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

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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Exclamation Not Rot, Not Fungus, Not Insects, But What's Ailing My Plants? =[

    So after the past several posts, my garden is only taking a decline.
    It's not too much water, or too little. There's always about 1" of water in all of the trays.
    Contrary to the overcast day, they typically get lots and lots of bright and direct sun.
    I only use distilled water, or collected rain water.

    It can't be mites, because I've killed those off with regular use of Neem. Soil Toxification was suggested by someone.

    There's strange little black bugs in the soil which have been ruled harmless. I've recently discovered them crawling over the actual pitcher leaves though, in the dark hours. I trimmed off one dead pitcher and it was LOADED with those friggin bugs.

    There's an overwhelming amount of various spiders. Orb weavers, jumpers, and a large wolf or brown recluse.

    Pitchers are pruning and turning brown at the top, and these are relatively young pitchers that shouldn't be dying yet. There's the contortions of the Flava's newest pitchers. There's the wilted leaf, which scares me, as that's a sign of fungus, isn't it, for the whole leaf to collapse? There's also rotten, damaged spots in some pitchers.

    I've had many of these plants for 3-5 years, I have a decent clue as to what I'm doing, and I KNOW this isn't right.

    I'm sure everyone's tired of seeing me, but there's nothing in the Savage Garden that really explains what I'm going through, or on this forum. Everyone else is overwatering or has thrips. *puffs and wishes her plants had some obvious diagnosis* My Purpurea's newest pitchers are pale and frail.

    Pictures: http://tinypic.com/2mplurkx

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    If it should prove a pest issue and that seems likely (the twisted developing leaves is a benchmark of that and the "spot" browning can just be due to an over-accumulation of prey), I would move on to Ortho's® "nuke from orbit" products and leave the neem far behind. I find it to be overrated as a pesticide, though neem oil is somewhat more effective as a fungicide . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    What I would do would be to take all your plants out of their pots, clean off all the old soil, cut off all the pitchers and wash the roots with water mixed with root tone or some root stimulator, get all brand new pots and repot all the rhizomes using dried long fibered sphagnum moss wetted down in either distilled water or rainwater. I would also clean out all the trays your plants are in as well. The reason I say use dried long fibered sphagnum moss is that the moss is anti-bacterial and even though dried then wetted, the moss's properties will still come thru and you may cure the problem. I use nothing but long fibered sphagnum moss even for my small plants and in over 30 years of growing CP, I've never had a problem. Let me know how it works for you.

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    clippity-clip-clip Clue's Avatar
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    Pics could help us diagnose the problem...
    "I, for one, can't wait to grow Nepenthes extincta!"
    Plant List ; blog

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    Moderator Alexis's Avatar
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    Have the plants been ok for the previous 4 or 5 years? They look like new divisions and very pale considering they're in the Florida sun??

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    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    I find that susceptibility to pest infestations are often more of a symptom of a problem, rather than being the direct problem. For example, Sarracenia grown in a nearby botanical center, in tropical conditions year-round, had insane mealybug infestations after missing a couple years of full dormancy. The NECPS president took them home, simply stuck them outside in the sun and let them experience seasons changing. After a few weeks, there were no mealybugs, without a single treatment of pesticides.

    I agree that they look kind of etiolated for this time of year...we're closing in on the longest day of the year already! Do you grow them indoors or outdoors? How did you provide dormancy the past couple years? Have you repotted them since you've had them? Did they experience a sudden change in temperatures recently?
    -Emily

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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Clue, and everyone, there's a link to an album with pictures on TinyPic.

    There are a few new additions, but none of them are divisions, and they've been fine for as long as I've had them. The poorest looking ones are ironically my oldest.

    They grow outside, year round. They experienced dormancy by sitting outside, and this past winter was pretty chilly, but not frosty. Same as last year. They're repotted every winter. Fresh soil (50/50 peat/perlite, no fertilizers or additives of any kind), bigger pots if needed. This fall, presuming they live, everything's making the jump to 1 gallon pots.

    I wouldn't say the change is sudden, but it's been getting ridiculously hot this past month, and there've been high ranges in humidity, and sun amount, due to the sky clouding up but not raining.

    The plants don't get good coloration until later in the summer, but they're typically a richer green, and "thicker" in density overall. The Purpurea pitchers are pretty thin and frail, if that makes any sense. Like tissue paper, almost.

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    My suggestion, after looking at your photos, would be to repot your Sarrs in a mix with a much higher ratio of peat(2/3-3/4 peat). The media I saw in your pots looks much too airy or rocky and your plants look like they are suffering from nutrient deficiencies. CPs need peat/acidity to absorb nutrients & wate,r and the acidity of peat also acts as an anti-bacterial & anti-fungal for the roots and crown of the plants. And try a mild, dilute foliar fertilizer or a diluted liquid organic fertilizer and spray a little in the pitchers. good luck.

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