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Thread: Sundew Woes

  1. #9
    Tastes like chicken! Exo's Avatar
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    Yup...less water reduces the amount of humic acid the plants excrete.....noticed a difference myself.
    Some days it just isn't worth chewing thru the restraints.

    My growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...255#post961255

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  2. #10
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    With your humidity levels you don't need to mist the plants.

    As for the D. aliciae the black crust is related to the amount of the humic acid in the potting media. To clean it off use a stream of lukewarm water sprayed on the crown. I used a syringe, you can use an eyedropper. To get rid of it permanently flush your media out to remove the excess substances from the mix. Top water in the sink or in a separate tray and discard the runoff. Do this until the water runs relatively clear (none of the "tea" look) either all at once or daily.

    See this thread

    Specifically Joseph's posts
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...5&postcount=19
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...8&postcount=21

    I keep most of my South African Drosera constantly in water, the exceptions being D. regia and D. trinervia (when dormant). D. aliciae, D. trinervia and D. venusta I often keep the water level within one or two inches of the surface.

    As far as climate goes:
    Hermanus, RSA (D. aliciae)
    Tsitsikamma Coast, RSA (D. venusta)

    If you ask me I'd say too dry and too hot. From above: "The average midday temperatures for Hermanus range from 15.9C (60.6F) in July to 24.9C (76.8F) in February." Tsitskamma Coast: "Maximum temperatures in midwinter average 19 degrees C (66F) with a minimum of 6 degrees C (42F). Midsummer maximum temperatures average 28 degrees C (82F) with a minimum of 17 degrees C (62F)"

    Stellenbosch and Table Mountain (western range of D. aliciae) aren't much different:

    Stellenbosch
    Table Mountain

    As for D. spatulata they always crap out on me like that no matter what conditions I've tried especially after flowering.

    D. aliciae
    Dec. 06

    Oct. 08

    Oct. 09


    Note: If you want to get rid of U. bisquamata let D. aliciae overgrow it.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  3. #11
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    OK, thank you all for the answers!

    @amphirion - I follow Aaron's site religiously. Growsundews.com was the first place I read about how to get rid of humic acid buildup. My problem is that it keeps coming back. I would think that it would get better the more I top-water the plants (and therefore flush the media out), but no dice. Perhaps it's happening precisely because I'm top-watering them so much.

    @Soopaman - Nice dews! I believe mine will begin to color up nicely once the photoperiod gets up into the high teens (as I mentioned, I'm only at 11 hours right now... I wanted gemmae from my pygmies!). As I've read, more light allows plants to tolerate more water. Perhaps this is why these Drosera are so annoyed - I changed the light on them but didn't really change the amount of water they were getting. Hmm....

    @NaN - So everyone says it's too much water and here you come saying it's not enough water! Lol! Anyway, about the temps - yeah, they're pretty high. I'm working on getting them down. I'm leaving one 'flap' on the side of my grow rack open so my cooling fan can draw cooler air into the rack. This has kept temperatures a few degrees cooler. It sounds like you give your plants way more water than I do, and they look happy as clams. How many hours of light do they get daily, or do you grow them outside?

  4. #12
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Mine are on an east facing windowsill and get maybe 4 hours of direct sunlight in the summer. The rest of the day they get reflected sunlight off the white building next door.

    I don't know what else you are growing on your rack but I would just take the covering off completely the way Jimscott has his set up. Your conditions are just about right for tropical Drosera like the petiolaris complex but maybe not so great for the sub-tropical/temperates.

    How close are they to the lights?

    Here's my D. venusta "coccicaulis". They lose their golden/copper tone during the winter. The ones on my west facing windowsill get more light and keep more of their color.

    12/2006


    08/2007


    01/2011 on the right is the same colony as above, on the left is a new colony started from seed 2-3 years ago.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  5. #13
    eou812's Avatar
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    Those kind of carnivorous plants don't need high humdity at all and i mean they can survive with humidity as low as 20%. So i would'nt worry about humidity. It causes way more bad things than good.

  6. #14
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    @NaN - wow, nice dews. Seriously, nice job. All that success in relatively low-light conditions too (4 hours of direct sun?)--relatively low for Drosera that is. I might even get that in my Brooklyn apartment on my tree-lined block! Petiolaris dews, eh? I have always wanted a Drosera paradoxa but figured it was too advanced for me. Maybe it would thrive in my conditions! That totally made my day.

    To your question - my dews are around 6" away from my lights.

    @eou - yeah, I'm not worried about my humidity, although at its highest it may be too high given how much water my plants are getting.

  7. #15
    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    For the lighting, you should be able to increase the photoperiod to 15 or 16 hours all at once- I don't think there shouldn't really be any need to increase it gradually at this point (edit- forgot you're growing a sarra under the lights- not sure how that would affect it). Looking back on it, when I was using a 10 hour photoperiod, I would have probably placed my lights within 1 inch of my plants since basically the exact thing you're experiencing happened to me the first time that I used a 10 hour photoperiod to produce gemmae. My D. adelae were crapping out on me...my D. admirabilis and D. nitidula x pulchella was extremely sensitive to water...it was annoying. Then I increased the photoperiod and all my problems went away. That's the reason I never tried producing gemmae again!

    Misting is not a good idea- as was mentioned, since it can cause fungus issues and it seems to decrease the life of the leaf considerably. The older leaves, especially, to become sickly or brown up- kind of like the older leaves on your D. venusta. One grower was having a ton of problems, and when he found out that he shouldn't mist them, the plants were thriving again within 2 weeks.

    D. venusta definitely seems to prefer cooler over warmer temperatures. My neglected plants (unfed for 2 years) only keep around 2-3 dewy leaves in the summer 85-90F temps in my room, but then maintain about 5-7 dewy leaves at a time during the cooler months (around 65-70 F day). But it appears that something else is wrong...perhaps the longer photoperiod will make it snap out of it. In my case, it was a combo of longer photoperiod and more light intensity (I also lowered the lights) that did the trick in the shortest amount of time.

    My D. aliciae all developed humic acids when I had to fill their tray up so the water level was about halfway+ up their 5" pot for 2 weeks (while I went back home in the summer). Then once I got back, I wiped off the humic acids with a cue tip, kept them on the drier side for a while, and top-watering only when the soil dried out again. Then the problem went away. I then moved them to a greenhouse with air constantly circulating, and it seems they can handle much more water without humic acids building up. I need to specify that in the paragraph I made for the topic on my page, but I made sure to link to that article since Joseph's advice was spot-on with reducing humidity, increasing air circulation, or top-watering/not bottom-watering. I've also had great success when I used a 10-inch pot. They grew extremely large, and only 1 plant out of 20 ever experienced blackening of the crown.


    I am always amazed by your results from windowsill growing, NaN. I can't believe you've had problems with D. spatulata considering how well your D. venusta do!!! My windows (even south-facing) produce pretty poor results in the winter... It's funny how simple location changes can throw a loop in results from one grower to another.

    I've also had the opposite experience with D. spatulata from NaN. Next to D. natalensis, it's been the most adaptable to heat and water levels of the soil, in my conditions. While I'd normally blame all the problems on light, I think it would be insufficient light coupled with the shorter photoperiod---Provided with a big 10-inch pot, my D. spatulata (Fraser Island) even did quite well (got huge) in a partly sunny window (green growth only) during the summer, but they were growing in that pot from spring until the end of summer, when I traded them- so I didn't get a chance to see how they'd do with lower light and a winter photoperiod.

    I always wait to feed my D. spatulata (under my T-8 lights) until they turn bright red. They always seem to be happiest/dewist when they have full coloration like that. So I don't think you should be worried about lowering the lights, if that was a concern.

    I think the water content in your pots could depend on the sand you're using and how packed-down you made your soil mixture. So I'm not sure exactly what the properties are of the desert sand you're using, but it does seem to look a bit more moist at the surface than NaN's and mine... to avoid problems with D. admirabilis during that time, I actually had to stop watering it for a week at a time, until the soil really dried out. Then I'd barely add more water and wait a long time again...

    I was wondering how droseraguy, for example (who has great success with the shorter photoperiod and keeping the lights further away than me), was able to have such good success with his pygmies and other dews. After checking out his place, it seemed that his low temperatures helped the most... I still have yet to experiment with that though... Seemed that there are a few things working together with water, light, and temperature that work together to make plants happy at certain times of the year. You sort of have to experiment to see what works.

    Sorry for running on and onandonandonandon
    Last edited by CPlantaholic; 01-19-2011 at 09:44 PM.
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  8. #16
    does this rag smell like chloroform to you? boxofrain's Avatar
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    have you tried leaving the top flap open and placing the fan at the bottom blowing upward? This can reduce the temp in a small space significantly.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheFury View Post
    OK, thank you all for the answers!

    @amphirion - I follow Aaron's site religiously. Growsundews.com was the first place I read about how to get rid of humic acid buildup. My problem is that it keeps coming back. I would think that it would get better the more I top-water the plants (and therefore flush the media out), but no dice. Perhaps it's happening precisely because I'm top-watering them so much.

    @Soopaman - Nice dews! I believe mine will begin to color up nicely once the photoperiod gets up into the high teens (as I mentioned, I'm only at 11 hours right now... I wanted gemmae from my pygmies!). As I've read, more light allows plants to tolerate more water. Perhaps this is why these Drosera are so annoyed - I changed the light on them but didn't really change the amount of water they were getting. Hmm....

    @NaN - So everyone says it's too much water and here you come saying it's not enough water! Lol! Anyway, about the temps - yeah, they're pretty high. I'm working on getting them down. I'm leaving one 'flap' on the side of my grow rack open so my cooling fan can draw cooler air into the rack. This has kept temperatures a few degrees cooler. It sounds like you give your plants way more water than I do, and they look happy as clams. How many hours of light do they get daily, or do you grow them outside?
    "the memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of a man in his prime"

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