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Thread: Algae in pygmy pots

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    Algae in pygmy pots

    I got some pygmy gemmae about 3-4 weeks ago. Many of them are starting to develop into little plantlets but I'm noticing a lot of algae growth, possibly cyano, on the surface of some of the pots.

    Is there any way to combat this, I'm concerned it may compete with the gemmae, and it also don't find it so attractive. I'm hesitant to do much since the gemmae are so tiny I can still barely see them or any forming plants in some of the pots.

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    NECPS Editor Radagast's Avatar
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    Hmm that definitely would be tricky. I had an algae problem in a small pot with a teeny seedling capensis. What I did worked wonderfully for me but might not work as well for your small gemmae. I used tweezers and any other small tools I could find (toothpics, etc) to remove as much of the algae as possible. Then I used a little water dropper that I had in my kitchen junk drawer to slowly drip pure distilled water onto the affected soil area. My theory was to help rinse the top layer of excess nutrients. When the capensis got big enough I just put more fresh soil down.

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    I would remove the gemmae, scrape the algae off, then gently replant. Most gemmae won't skip a beat with that method. Like Radagast said, you can remove it while the gemmae are there but it's painstakingly slow. His recommendation is also spot-on about topping up with fresh soil to smother the algae from receiving light. However, pygmies are sadly too small for this to work well.

    My trouble with pygmies is moss. I have not been able to deal with that hurdle effectively. I typically resow gemmae each year onto new soil and abandon the older plants.
    Last edited by theplantman; 12-13-2014 at 08:50 AM.

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    NECPS Editor Radagast's Avatar
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    My problem is getting gemmae AT ALL haha. The conditions I keep my plants in are always constant, never fluctuating in temperature so they don't get those environmental cues. All my other drosera flower profusely.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    Temps don't cause gemmae production. They need a drop in light levels to produce.
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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    I don't know if it would harm the gemmae or not, but misting the surface of the moss with household strength hydrogen peroxide will definitely have a negative effect on algae.
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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcarlton View Post
    Temps don't cause gemmae production. They need a drop in light levels to produce.
    It's likely a combination of both or else they would produce gemmae at about the same date every year. Production varies as much as 6-8 weeks in either direction year to year for my outdoor plants.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubRosa View Post
    I don't know if it would harm the gemmae or not, but misting the surface of the moss with household strength hydrogen peroxide will definitely have a negative effect on algae.
    I don't know if I would use full strength, maybe 2 or 3 to 1 dilution, but you just have to experiment.

    Algae usually doesn't bother seedlings unless it completely covers the seedlings. Many cyanobacteria are nitrogen fixers so the added nutrition may actually be a boost for the plantlets.
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    theplantman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubRosa View Post
    I don't know if it would harm the gemmae or not, but misting the surface of the moss with household strength hydrogen peroxide will definitely have a negative effect on algae.
    I may start playing with this and get back to you. I have a lot of spare, mature plants that I can try it on, too. Good tip!

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