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Thread: Green Snot

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    Green Snot

    I assume this snotty looking stuff on the surface is algae or maybe an early stage in the life of a fern? Many of my Nep seedlings have this and a dark brown to black version beginning to cover the surface, it begins as a single bubble here and there and then slowly covers the surface. I am also seeing a type of moss coming up from this snot. Can someone educate me about what I am seeing and if I should be concerned. Would an algaecide be advisable and what type or brand?

    Nepenthes singalana
    This moss seems to grow out of the snot but I don't understand the connection.


    Last edited by Spooky1; 04-07-2013 at 08:22 PM.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    eww.. so elegantly worded in the title!

    Personally I would look into what might be causing it vs trying to find some chemical to fix it. First thing I would do is scrape it off along with a little of the media and then put a topdressing on of some fresh media to replace what was removed.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    That stuff is the reason I ceased most foliar fertilization years ago. I hate it with an unbridled passion. It can be difficult to lose once it gets a foothold.

    For me, it was mostly a symptom of excess nutrients & media degradation. Follow Tony's recommendations and also run clean water through the pots to leach out the excess ferts. Some have found success using a topdressing of coarse sand.
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    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    It used to happen to me when I got some nice looking newzealand sphagnum from ebay (ravenvision supplies IIRC). But the moss was actually nuked or bleached to give the nice bright clean colour. After potting, every plant with that moss had this on the surface. Basically if you have unhealthy media, your water is not pure enough, or if you are using fertilizers that is the result. After you do what Tony said, perhaps top dress with some pure sand or perlite? Also decrease your watering frequency a bit. It shows that your media is almost always soaked + it might be too dense. What else is in the media?

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    I'm going to start calling this algae problem "Pot Snot"!

    Certain brands of Sphagnum seem more inclined to go "snotty" than others, but the problem is directly linked to the accumulation of nutrients in the media. So, if you have applied fertilizer in any form, 1) stop doing it, and 2) run more clean water through the media more often, not just letting the pot sit in standing water. You will, of course, have to scrape that crap off the soil surface now that you have it, as it won't just go away on its own without manual removal.
    Last edited by Whimgrinder; 04-08-2013 at 02:52 PM.

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    Thanks for the responses, very insightful!
    It's interesting that you mention using sand to coat the surface because I did just that a couple of weeks ago on seedlings that I planted in 1.5" pots. They probably brought traces of algae with them on their stems and it was beginning to take hold so in desperation and just plain not wanting to look at the algae anymore I used some fine playbox sand and covered the surface of the soil. It has created a sort of cap that is permeable and lets water pass and then hardens again. The sand on one pot is beginning to turn green but it is giving the seedlings time to increase in size and I can always replace that sand with a new coat.

    I believe that the root of the problem is coconut coir, I used it in the 72 cell germination boxes when I planted all of those Nep seeds from October to January and it eventually retarded the development of the seedlings and then the green and black algae appeared followed by a spider web type surface covering that started killing the plants. I was able to save most by moving to plastic cookie boxes with a peat, sand and milled NZ sphagnum mix. Growth resumed rapidly and most are looking good now.

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    What I want to know is if that green mucousy stuff is the early stage of what ferns grow from because I have them coming up within the stuff. Also, that moss you see in pictures two and three?..... what is it and is it coming from the algae?

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    Christian James Ambanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spooky1 View Post
    What I want to know is if that green mucousy stuff is the early stage of what ferns grow from because I have them coming up within the stuff. Also, that moss you see in pictures two and three?..... what is it and is it coming from the algae?
    nope just algae.

    The moss gets taken over by the algae if it's too wet

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