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Thread: Drosophyllum and peat pots

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    Drosophyllum and peat pots

    A few weeks ago, my Drosophyllum died when its pot was tipped over by a vandal. In the course of trying to repot it, I saw that the peat pot that it came in had not broken down even thought the plant had already been in a larger pot for six months, and that the soil inside the peat pot was very damp. Before the Drosophyllum died, its leaves had gotten noticeably shorter and the leaves were wilting at the tips. I can't help but wonder whether this was due to the peat pot retaining excessive water. The mix that I had it in was silica sand, perlite, peat, and a small amount of vermiculite.

    If I grow this plant again, should I try to remove the plant from the peat pot since they don't seem to break down? Or did the plant wilt for another reason? I believe that the smaller leaves were due to a lack of insects.

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    jlechtm's Avatar
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    Tanukimo,

    First, I'm sorry about your Drosophyllum!

    When you examined the roots, did you find that they had grown through/out of the peat pot? Or were they pot-bound?

    I germinated my Drosophyllum in peat pots and then potted them up -- peat pot and all -- in large unglazed clay pots.

    I've noticed, too, that the soil within the peat ring seems damper on average than outside, and I haven't rooted around (no pun intended) to see whether roots are expanding outside of the peat.

    Jay
    Growing CP since 1975. Succeeding (more or less) since 1990.

    Sarracenia & Heliamphora Growlist

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Peat Moss takes a few years to breakdown as such. The action that "breaksdown" peat pots is the expanding root ball of the plant. I suspect Drosophyllum grows long roots downwards without much of a "ball". The substrate around the peat pot should absorb some of the moisture from the peat pot through capillary action.

    In the future I would avoid watering the peat pot substrate and only water along the edges of the main pot. You might also consider carefully breaking apart the peat pot once it is potted up in the substrate in the larger pot with a bamboo skewer, screwdriver or the like.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 07-03-2014 at 01:23 PM.
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    theplantman's Avatar
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    Have a feeling your plant developed a root problem. Usually if you see wilting and the soil is moist, there's a root issue. Additionally, because at this point the plant is no longer "working right," it stops growing. It may have caused your short leaves. Being underfed is certainly also a possibility if the shortening happened while the plant wasn't wilty.

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    There were some roots coming out of the peat pot, but the majority of the roots were still in there. I'm not sure what went wrong because it did well for a long time before declining. It is difficult deciding whether the plant wilts from overwatering or underwatering, but I was watering it every other day. Next time I will try to break apart the peat pot and water from around the plant. I still have a two-foot terracotta pot full of growing medium so I will try to give the plant another try in the future.

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