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Thread: Bog Sarr Die Off

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    Come To The Light. . . JB in Utah's Avatar
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    Bog Sarr Die Off

    So lately I've noticed something disturbing in my bog. After a strong start to the growing season, many of my plants seem to be suffering from untimely demises.

    This is my second year with the bod garden so I'm not sure what's wrong as the situation hasn't changed since last year with the exception that my plants have better access to the soil. (Last year they were in pots that I placed in the bog soil until the pants could be properly transplanted, which I did on early spring this year.)

    I have mostly Sarrs in the bog with a few other plants. Three of the Sarrs in one half of the bog were doing well, they put up flower stalks and began putting out pitchers. Without warning, all of the flower stalks collapsed and the plants began to shrivel up. My VFTs also seem to be struggling, but the other part of the bog is unaffected.

    I checked for signs of insects and fungus but didn't see anything on the surface. I suspect that it may be a fungal infection that is attacking the rhizomes, but I don't know for certain.

    I'm hoping it's not Sarracenia Rhizome Rot, because that would likely doom the rest of the Sarrs in the bog as well, unless I replace the soil and quarantine them (something that I can't do in my current situation.)

    Is there a way to better diagnose what is killing my plants? Maybe there's something I'm missing?

    I would appreciate any advice on how to better understand and identify the problem so I can treat it. Thanks.
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    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    It would help to see a picture of the bog. I wonder if part of the bog might be getting contaminated by outside soil or chemical runoff.
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    Come To The Light. . . JB in Utah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoSarah View Post
    It would help to see a picture of the bog. I wonder if part of the bog might be getting contaminated by outside soil or chemical runoff.
    I'll try to get some pics soon. I just spent a few hours checking the rhizomes and they all seem fine (I cut into a few of them to check the interiors.)

    However, I discovered that the bog itself slopes into the back corner where the dying Sarrs are located. This slope pulls water away from the drainage holes on the front and pools it in the low areas where the affected plants are. A chemical problem would affect in a place where water flows, but does not drain. Without proper drainage, chemicals could be allowed to build until they affected the plants. That said, I'm fairly certain it's a chemical problem (something that didn't occur to me until you mentioned it), it just took a while to manifest itself after the winter.

    The culprit for the contamination is probably salt. The bog is about a foot and a half away from the sidewalk near my townhome and it's entirely possible that the neighbors got overzealous when they cleaned the snow off the sidewalks. This spring has not been very wet (compared with last year) in our area and the bog didn't get enough rain to wash the problem away. I only watered the bog when it needed water, which was also not enough to wash impurities away.

    I've put some new drainage holes in the back corner to account for the slope of the bog. In the case that chemical contamination is playing a role, then most of the top runoff should drain through those holes as I flood the bog several times in the coming weeks to leach out excess chemicals. I'll try to keep this thread updated with my progress.

    As far as soil contamination by outside soil, that is physically impossible. The bog is isolated in a way to prevent soil contamination, all drainage from the bog itself goes into a void area with no backwash.
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