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Thread: Preventative for sarr rhizome rot?

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    Mr. veitchii mikefallen13's Avatar
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    Preventative for sarr rhizome rot?

    Hello,
    The title say it's all, I'm seeking info about any preventative measures I can take to protect my remaining sarrs from rhizome rot. Recently I've had a pretty bad outbreak which has claimed my favorite purpurea among others and I really don't want to lose anything else. So can anybody help me with this?
    Good Growing!
    -Mike Fallen

    My Growlist/wishlist: http://highlandtropicals.blogspot.co...-growlist.html

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    Swagalotus's Avatar
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    Well live sphagnum has anti fungal properties so a top dressing of that might help. If it is possible I would also avoid sitting pots in water. Rot usually comes from too much wetness and a lack of airflow so upping airflow and decreasing water would probably help. Other than that there is the obvious option of using fungicide as a preventative measure.

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    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    Rhizome rot can be a result of improper growing conditions, soil kept too wet with not enough soil aeration and/or air flow around the plants, and the best prevention is providing proper growing conditions. For sarracenia grown outside a soil mix such as 50/50 peat/perlite or peat/sand mix will provide the right amount of soil aeration; set pots in a tray of distilled, rain, or RO water no more than half way up the pot (I keep mine between one quarter and half way up the pot); provide at least 6 hours of sunlight during the day. Also, peat breaks down over time and gets anaerobic so re-potting into fresh soil every few years is a good idea to prevent rot and die off due to bad soil.

    If you are growing your sarracenia in a greenhouse, you may need to amend your soil mix so it is more airy (more peat or sand in the mix) and less water in the tray due to the higher humidity and less airflow of greenhouse conditions.

    I would caution against not leaving your sarracenia pots sitting in water at all times as they need consistent wet conditions to stay healthy. Also, a top dressing of sphagnum moss could lead to crown rot if the moss stays constantly wet, especially in conditions with not enough airflow.

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    Swagalotus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ57 View Post
    Rhizome rot can be a result of improper growing conditions, soil kept too wet with not enough soil aeration and/or air flow around the plants, and the best prevention is providing proper growing conditions. For sarracenia grown outside a soil mix such as 50/50 peat/perlite or peat/sand mix will provide the right amount of soil aeration; set pots in a tray of distilled, rain, or RO water no more than half way up the pot (I keep mine between one quarter and half way up the pot); provide at least 6 hours of sunlight during the day. Also, peat breaks down over time and gets anaerobic so re-potting into fresh soil every few years is a good idea to prevent rot and die off due to bad soil.

    If you are growing your sarracenia in a greenhouse, you may need to amend your soil mix so it is more airy (more peat or sand in the mix) and less water in the tray due to the higher humidity and less airflow of greenhouse conditions.

    I would caution against not leaving your sarracenia pots sitting in water at all times as they need consistent wet conditions to stay healthy. Also, a top dressing of sphagnum moss could lead to crown rot if the moss stays constantly wet, especially in conditions with not enough airflow.
    When I use live sphagnum I simply replace what would be peat the live sphag. The peat is wet too so I don't think it would encourage rot. And regarding not sitting in water, I've been doing this method for years and my plants look great. Just don't let the media dry out!

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    Mr. veitchii mikefallen13's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies!

    Unfortunately my plants are currently in an in-ground bog so repotting will be a huge hassle. It's been 2.5 years since I set up the bog (though sarrs were only added last spring) so maybe the media has broken down and gone anaerobic. I did notice a 'funky' smell coming from the media but I didn't think anything of it.

    Honestly, I was going to move them into pots this fall anyways since I'm worried about the possibility of extended deep freeze killing them (gotta love that PA weather) but I was going to wait until late fall to do this. Maybe I'll begin moving them into pots sooner than I expected.

    Oh boy, just got done repotting the entire orchid collection and now it looks like I get to do even more repotting. Great...

    Edit: Also, so you think I should spray the plants with some sort of fungicide when I repot them? If so does anyone have a preferred brand?
    Last edited by mikefallen13; 06-20-2016 at 05:10 PM.
    Good Growing!
    -Mike Fallen

    My Growlist/wishlist: http://highlandtropicals.blogspot.co...-growlist.html

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    In-ground bogs don't generally have as much of a problem with media breakdown as potted plants do. I know someone who hasn't touched his bog soil in 15 years and has had no issues.

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    Steve Booth's Avatar
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    As DJ57 alluded to the biggest issue with in ground bogs and rot, i find, during the growing season is lack of oxygen at the roots for long periods. Can you control your water levels?
    Cheers
    Steve

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    Mr. veitchii mikefallen13's Avatar
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    Okay, so I started to do a little digging and the media is indeed very broken down and smells horrible! I'm going to begin the repotting process tomorrow, this time using perlite instead of sand because I think it will provide a more slightly more airy mix compared to the peat/sand mix I was using before. I was able to find some nice 7" semi-decorative pots for $1 a piece at a local store which should work great for the plants.

    I'm now pretty sure the main reason the media broke down and caused rot issues has to do with the depth of the bog. I honestly didn't even consider it at first but after doing more reading about bog gardens it seems it generally recommended the bog should be at least 2' deep with drainage a few inches below the surface to help keep the top layer of media most but not wet. My bog is 14" at its deepest due to a layer of rocks I encountered when digging with only a few drain holes at the front to prevent flooding, so it's been holding a ton of water through the whole media and the peat decomposed more quickly than it normally would. I guess I should have done more reading when I set up the thing in the first place! My bad.

    Honestly though, I will actually feel better when the plants are in pots that I can move inside if the weather gets bad this winter and it will make repotting/dividing much easier going forward. Thanks for the tips guys! Hopefully the plants will do better now.
    Good Growing!
    -Mike Fallen

    My Growlist/wishlist: http://highlandtropicals.blogspot.co...-growlist.html

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