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Thread: N. Mikei blackening leaves - is this a problem ??

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    N. Mikei blackening leaves - is this a problem ??

    Hey guys,
    I received an N. Mikei a few weeks ago, potted it in an equal part sphagnum moss/peat/perlite/coconut chips mix, bagged it up and placed in a terrarium under lights next to the rest of the neps. A few days ago, I noticed that the leaves have started blackening near the growing point; however, the growing tip appears to be (so far) unaffected. Does this seem like a problem? Anything I should do?


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    Edward Rokosauros's Avatar
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    Dear shimi, that is the signs of root rot. Not to frighten you, but it looks pretty bad. Just stop watering it at all now and let the media dry up till it's just moist. Keep it bagged but leave some holes for some air. That's all i can say for now. Good luck.
    Edward

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    oen13's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your new nepenthes. Since it only has one stem and no sideshoots..., when root rot happens and the browning reaches the top growth point, it's off to cp heaven.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    bad bag!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shimi View Post
    Hey guys,
    I received an N. Mikei a few weeks ago, potted it in an equal part sphagnum moss/peat/perlite/coconut chips mix, bagged it up and placed in a terrarium under lights next to the rest of the neps. A few days ago, I noticed that the leaves have started blackening near the growing point; however, the growing tip appears to be (so far) unaffected. Does this seem like a problem? Anything I should do?
    Yes, buy a replacement; that is an ex-Nepenthes.

    If you placed the plant in a terrarium, its not hard to imagine that humidity is already quite high in that environment, correct? Placing the plant in a sealed bag is going to create a stagnant environment and honestly, I'd have been surprised if it didn't rot. I have bought bare root Nepenthes seedlings and placed them in either my lighted terrarium or directly out in the greenhouse. In both cases, the environment is carefully engineered for high (but not excessive) humidity, air movement (important!) and ideal intermediate/highland temps. I never bagged any of these seedlings, even the smallest, most fragile looking ones, and every one of them has thrived and resumed growth soon after they arrived. Many of them resumed pitchering within four weeks of their arrival.

    I think the popular mythology about bagging new arrivals like this is doing most growers a disservice and is more likely to result in plant death than simply potting them up and putting them into your grow space with the rest. (This presumes your grow space is engineered to provide optimal humidity, air and light, of course) If, however, you are growing your Nepenthes on a windowsill in the home, where humidity is likely to be below 50% much of the time, then the bag method might be helpful, at least while the plant settles in. Otherwise, I'd suggest avoiding the bag approach.

    Good luck with the next one.

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    I appreciate the replies. I'm still keeping my hopes high, since the growing tip is not blackened, and I'll keep an eye on it.

    Whimgrinder - bagging up plants and placing in the terrarium is something which I've done to all my plants, and so far - successfully (obviously, this doesn't mean this is the only or best technique). The main reason is acclimating the plants, slowly reducing the humidity from around 100% to the terrarium's ~70%.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimi View Post
    I appreciate the replies. I'm still keeping my hopes high, since the growing tip is not blackened, and I'll keep an eye on it.
    Think there seems to be some misunderstanding about where the growing tip is located? The growth point (meristem) where new leaves originate is located at the tip of the stem in the center of the plant. It is most deffinately black...

    The reason the tips of the upper leaves are not black yet is the pathogen starts at the roots and progresses very rapidly up the vascular tissue in the stem. It then progresses into each leaf at the base where it is attached to the stem and causes the leaf base to blacken. It will slowly progress from the base of the leaf to the tip of each leaf with the upper most leaves usually the last to show symptoms because they are furthest from the roots. The problem with this particular disease is it is very difficult to spot until it is much too late because by the time the growth point has blackened and the bases of the leaves begin to blacken, the disease has travelled all the way up the stem and infected the whole inside of the plant.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Thanks Tony, I thought that the little leaf tip peaking from the top gives reason for optimism, but I guess not.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimi View Post
    Thanks Tony, I thought that the little leaf tip peaking from the top gives reason for optimism, but I guess not.
    Ah gotcha.. It is most likely black at the base like the other leaves. ;<

    Sometimes you can save a plant that gets this disease if it is caught really early and you can get just a tip cutting that is free of the pathogen inside the stem. It seems to hit younger Nepenthes more often though and they go quickly downhill. This is what is frequently termed the 'black rot'.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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