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Thread: half the plant it used to be

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    Ok heres the problem::

    I have this little D. lanata, and for a while it did great and doubled in size to around 3 inches. But since then, it has shrunk back to half that size, and it has very little "dew" on the leaves. I'm wondering what brought this change? It has always been kept in the same conditions (which were pretty ghetto actually, it's in a 2 inch pot in a small plastic container with a ziplock on it and a superpower flourescent bulb above it.

    Perhaps my lightbulb needs to be changed? Does it have too much water? (its sitting in water).

    There's a paradoxa next to it doing ok.

    I havent changed the bulbs for a year, and supposedly they must be changed periodically. is this "fact" true?

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    The fact is true. Light output from fluorescents drops over time. I replaced my lights at least yearly, better every 8 months. The petiolaris group are particularly light hungry and need a lot of it to stay typical.

    There is a possibility that your plant may be going dormant if the rosette is decreasing in size or it might be that it requires a deeper pot, these plants have very long fiberous roots. If something bad happens to the roots, the plant will be sick looking. I would plop it out of the pot and examine the roots to see if there are any problems there.

    It's hard for me to say since I grew all my petiolaris plants outdoors in covered terraria, looking to keep the humidity and heat high (they smile at 100F) and to provide as much direct sun as possible. The mix should be light and airy and not kept overly wet unless the plant is really cranking out new leaves since these are not bog plants and accustomed to drier conditions in habitat.

    They also seem to resent to great a differential between day and night, and are true tropical species. The closer you can get to the above conditions the better your chance of success with this species will be.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Ron Lane made a very similar post about one of his Petiolaris complex plants and as Tamlin suggested, it could have been a dormancy period.

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (jimscott @ June 10 2006,7:15)]Ron Lane made a very similar post about one of his Petiolaris complex plants and as Tamlin suggested, it could have been a dormancy period.
    Don't really know which one you're thinking of Jim... hmmm

    Yup - that's one of the fun things w/ this group - no good instruction book ... (fun on some days...)

    Sometimes when you think they're going dormant, they're actually screaming for help and croaking ....
    Tamlin wrote:
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I would plop it out of the pot and examine the roots to see if there are any problems there.
    Sounds like good advice. You might want to go ahead and just repot in some new media while you're at it. I've seen this work both with plants not doing well because the media had gone nasty (technical term) or they were heading into dormancy. OTOH - sometimes they keep going into dormancy anyway...
    All the best,
    Ron
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    This is what I was referring to:

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Growing these guys can have it's challenging moments but the sometimes predictable and sometimes not predictable, sometimes slowly evolving and sometimes sudden onset of dormancy seems to be a big learning curve with these guys that mystifies almost everyone. I've got a D. broomensis that is shrinking the length of it's new arms daily next to D. ordensis expanding each day (& a D. broomensis expanding too). Some of the plants just shrink the length of the arms and others let the traps dry up and imitate a dying plant (check out 2nd plant in this post) . I knew this plant was dead and then one day it started to grow again..... go figure! A few months ago, I had my largest D. ordensis dry up it's traps and shrink down and it was dead and rotting in a week...

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    I don't really think its dormant, I mean its still growing new leaves and stuff. But nevertheless, I bought some new lightbulbs today. Perhaps things will change. IF that doesn't work I'll use the idea on the roots, as the pot is quite small.

    edit: If it IS going into the dormancy stage, will putting it in full-summer conditions bring it out? And like I said, it definetly is not dormant now, but you guys suggested it could have started to.

    Changes:: I changed the year-old bulb to a new one (same kind), and I moved it closer to the plant. Heat, light quality, and light power all went up. Thanks for your help

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]And like I said, it definetly is not dormant now, but you guys suggested it could have started to.
    The plants don't normally just stop growing when they head toward dormancy - they just keep growing smaller arms. OTOH - my D. 'ladle' entered dormancy with successive smaller arms that each dried up and died... Pics ... Nasty & scary....
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]If it IS going into the dormancy stage, will putting it in full-summer conditions bring it out?
    Although it might, it never has for me. If a plant is determined to enter dormancy - not lighting, nor humidity, nor fertilization has made any difference (yet) for me. Repotting has - several times.

    My D. lanata's, so far, have been kind and only shrunk down and slowed growth for a few months and then came roaring back w/ really nice growth. Sometimes, they just need a break for a little while before they start growing again....
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Changes:: I changed the year-old bulb to a new one (same kind), and I moved it closer to the plant. Heat, light quality, and light power all went up.
    Hey - better conditions can't hurt (watch the heat though - I'd be leery of heat over 115-120*F...)
    All the best,
    Ron
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    I think it stays around 100 constantly. btw that picture was cool. even when the leaves were dying it looked awesome.

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