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Thread: D. spatulata gone white

  1. #1
    xantius's Avatar
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    D. spatulata gone white

    I received a D. spatulata plant back in December. It was growing under T12 lights for the original owner. I took it home and put it under my T8's and it seemed fine as shown below.



    Then I noticed over time that it has started to look less happy in it's new home, turning almost light green to white in color.



    Given the UV put out by the T8's and the extremely red color of the pings I grow, this seems to be a very abnormal behavior. Any thoughts as to why that might be?

    -xantius

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Possibly: media too dry, lack of nutrients, temps too high.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Something is certainly affecting them. The surface of the mix shows a lot of moss and algae and often when this is seen fungal infections are probable as well. Fungal blight kills the dew producing glands first. As salts accumulate, micronutrients support the growth of algae which may begin to fix additional nitrogen into the mix which is to be avoided. It's a downward spiral when a pot starts to go bad. Deeper in the pot anaerobic bacterial action can affect the growing roots. This whole cycle of nastiness requires leaching out the nutrients by rain action or top watering with pure water, or better still repotting into fresh clean mix. I am assuming your water is below the 150PPM limit? If you don't know this value, call your water board and ask what the PPM is. Purity of water and mix are major concerns in growing sundews. Although slightly impure water may not affect recently potted plants, the inevitable salt build up over time will do so.

    Another possibility infection by an insect pest. I note some white specks adhering to the scape one one of the plants, suggestive of mealybug.

    Could be any or all of the mentioned problems. Good luck with your plants!
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    xantius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Possibly: media too dry, lack of nutrients, temps too high.
    I wonder about the heat being a factor. It's reaching 80-90 degrees during the day with 50-75% relative humidity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamlin Dawnstar View Post
    The surface of the mix shows a lot of moss and algae and often when this is seen fungal infections are probable as well. Fungal blight kills the dew producing glands first. As salts accumulate, micronutrients support the growth of algae which may begin to fix additional nitrogen into the mix which is to be avoided. It's a downward spiral when a pot starts to go bad. Deeper in the pot anaerobic bacterial action can affect the growing roots. This whole cycle of nastiness requires leaching out the nutrients by rain action or top watering with pure water, or better still repotting into fresh clean mix.
    I have taken one of the plants and transplanted it in a fresh mix of 50/50 peat/sand. It wouldn't surprise me if something is bad with the soil. It seems very compact, and I've seen a lot of interesting creatures crawling on its surface as well as the surface of other plants from the same grower. We'll see how it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamlin Dawnstar View Post
    I am assuming your water is below the 150PPM limit? If you don't know this value, call your water board and ask what the PPM is. Purity of water and mix are major concerns in growing sundews. Although slightly impure water may not affect recently potted plants, the inevitable salt build up over time will do so.
    I'm using water with 6PPM disolved solids. It's worked great for my plants the last few months, so it's probably not that. However, I'm not top watering any of my plants currently. I'm so confused about which ones it would be good for and which not!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamlin Dawnstar View Post
    Another possibility infection by an insect pest. I note some white specks adhering to the scape one one of the plants, suggestive of mealybug.
    There is indeed some kind of infestation. I'm not sure how to get rid of it or what it is exactly but yes, there are white carcasses of some kind of creature on the plant. On the one I transplanted, I used compressed air to blow away anything that was on the plant.

    I'll keep this thread posted on what happens when I change the media. Thanks for all the input!

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    billylh's Avatar
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    i use a pump spray bottle with ro water to wash off the pests but be sure to do it in the sink or somewhere away from the other plants. ive tried pesticides with only to have dead leaves/plants so this is quite safe for the plants and its just part of the watering process. ive even used this same method for completely ridding my plant collection of spider mites, no bs.

    ~billy

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    cp-connection's Avatar
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    It looks like the flower stalk might have aphids on it. Or the white exoskeletons of molted aphids.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I don't think the temp is too high, though.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    I agree they look like aphid exoskeletons. They are probably living down in the rosettes also. You can see the exoskeletons within the leaves. In the top photo you can also see a green aphid.. bottom right rosette, leaf at 2 oclock there is a green critter down near the crown on the leaf petiole.

    Aside from the aphids sucking the life out of the plants. I regularly feed my sundews with dried bloodworms. CP's are good at living in poor nutrient environments but they still need some to thrive. In a closed environment with pure water and lack of insects to capture, a little hand feeding will go a long way.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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