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Thread: Drosera Capensis suffering... Heat or light stress possibly?

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    europa_13's Avatar
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    Drosera Capensis suffering... Heat or light stress possibly?

    This poor plant seems to be declining in my care. I need your help determining what's stressing it. I think I may have had it too close to my grow light. It has red splotches on the lower stems that aren't on my other plant that sits about 5" lower (and so farther from the light source). The very tip of the flower stalk is browned. The flower stalk was 5 inches from my light. Please save me from my newbie mistakes! Thank you.

    Temp 60-70F
    Humidity 50-60%
    Light T8 tubes (about a year old)
    Purchased about 9/30/15 (from a trusted grower, in great shape at the time!)

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    Flower stalk looks fine to me. Does it sit in a tray of water? Also, I'm pretty sure that they're supposed to turn red under bright lights. This plant might well be healthy, but I haven't grown an adult of these in years and the one that just came up is very small, so I might be wrong.

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    SerMuncherIV's Avatar
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    I can't tell for sure from the angle of the shot, but it looks like the tip of that inflorescence was slightly burned from being too close to the bulbs. Otherwise, your plant looks perfectly healthy - you should see the coloration that "typical" capensis can develop when grown outside in full sun.

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    It could use more phosphorus; purplish lower leaves are the classic symptom of P deficiency. Spray-feed with a high-P fertilizer. Your plant is perfectly healthy. The fact that it's hungry is a sign of how good your lighting and growing conditions already are. When a plant is growing well, they need a higher level of supplementation. Flowering and root growth are also impeded if a plant doesn't get enough P, which is why you're also seeing symptoms on the inflorescence. There are no reasons to panic about these issues; just a simple amendment of diet is all that's needed.

    If the redness were from the lights, it would be evident on the growth nearest to the lighting/heat. Not to mention, too much light normally gives you chlorosis or bleaching (not redness). And likewise, too much heat will just simply burn the plant and cause desiccation/necrosis.
    Last edited by theplantman; 10-20-2015 at 05:11 PM.

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    SerMuncherIV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theplantman View Post
    It could use more phosphorus; purplish lower leaves are the classic symptom of P deficiency. Spray-feed with a high-P fertilizer. Your plant is perfectly healthy. The fact that it's hungry is a sign of how good your lighting and growing conditions already are. When a plant is growing well, they need a higher level of supplementation. Flowering and root growth are also impeded if a plant doesn't get enough P, which is why you're also seeing symptoms on the inflorescence. There are no reasons to panic about these issues; just a simple amendment of diet is all that's needed.

    If the redness were from the lights, it would be evident on the growth nearest to the lighting/heat. Not to mention, too much light normally gives you chlorosis or bleaching (not redness). And likewise, too much heat will just simply burn the plant and cause desiccation/necrosis.
    Great information, thanks for sharing! Guess I never noticed since the capensis I grow outside tend to turn fully red, but lose their coloration once they go inside for the winter...

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    The flower stalk looks fine, just a little bent/burnt from the light. The red spots are natural on older leaves.

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    europa_13's Avatar
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    Drosera Capensis suffering... Heat or light stress possibly?

    First, thanks for all the help and new-to-me info. I feel pretty relieved now that I've read what you all have to say. I'll be taking your advice gladly and hopefully!

    Cruzzfish- The tray of water it sits in usually gets filled to about 1.5" and then refilled to the 1.5" when its low. With distilled water. I consider low to be anything less than a cm. I'm totally open to watering advice, please share what works for you! it's good to know that the older leaves turn red, I tried to search the forum and Google but I could be better at both. Thanks!

    SeeMuncherIV- I agree that I burnt the tender tip of the inflorescence. The flower stalks were on them when I got them from Karen at Oudean's Willow Creek Nursery and I had a hard time finding the "sweet spot" of just the right amount of light. This one unfurled a bit and moved closer to the light than I'd anticipated. And good to know that they'll do this outside next summer, thanks!

    theplantman- What you said about it needing more P makes so much sense! I've recently gotten more of a handle on the huge fungus gnat issue- they really lessened about 2 weeks ago and since then there hasn't been as much prey for them to catch. And this coloring showed up about 4 days ago. And I totally forgot (in my alarm) that I have seen pics of burned drosera capensis before on this forum and they do look either black or sort of gray/brownish. Thanks for all the great info!

    HeliamWalnut- you're right about the inflorescence being bent, I've turned it quite a few times by picking it up to look at it, and then remembering that I left the dogs outside and the door's open so I set it down real quick and there you go, winky wonky look achieved! Lol. And thanks especially about telling me the splotchy older leaf look that happens. so thankful for forums!

    Edit: the fungus gnats issue was mostly in my tomato plants, which is the pot with dry looking soil that you can see in the picture. But they got everywhere! And the tomatoes suffered after months with fungus gnats breeding in their soil so I took action with neem.
    Last edited by europa_13; 10-21-2015 at 02:25 PM.

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