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Thread: Mold in pitchers

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    While I was watering and misting my Neps the other day, I noticed a large amount of fuzzy material growing in my pitcher traps. I keep my N. x miranda and N. x coccinea, along with my N. maxima outside all summer. Of course, I had to bring them in last month since it was getting a little too chilly at night. The plants get misted 3 times daily and sit in front of my large baywindow which receives the best southern sun in the winter (and believe it or not, i still get pitchers on all of them). But, they did an excellent job of catching critters this summer and i really noticed most of the fuzzy mold stuff on top of floating carcasses in the larger pitchers. I don't know if i should be worried about this or not. the pitchers still look healthy and i was wondering if anyone else has ever seen this happen too? the smell from the pitchers is strong, but the plants are doing well. I shook the pitchers and destroyed the fuzzy stuff. Should I be worried? should i think about scooping the carcasses out of the pitchers or is just nature at work?
    What do you guys/gals think?? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smilie4.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    That should do it, I generally just shake the pitchers and the acid should destroy the mold.....least I've never seen it again after I've shaken the pitcher around.

  3. #3
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Let nature do it's thing. Or you can swirl them around a bit. Usually not a big deal as long as the fuzzy bits are not touching the wall of the pitcher. Sometimes it can cause a brown spot on the pitcher if it does come in contact.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  4. #4

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    I have one old pitcher on my N. x ventrata that the liquid inside has hardened into something that is probably the consistency of agar. It looks like there is mold inside as it is whitish. Interesting to note that a section of the tendril turned black, so perhaps the pitcher is cut off enough that it is unable to produce acid. It is still green for the most part though.
    1 Nxventrata

    D. muscipula & D. muscipula 'Red Dragon'(barely)

    Sarracenia leucophylla(seedling)

    S. purpurea and Drosera filiformis filiformis/ intermedia seeds waiting to sprout.

    Drosera capensis

  5. #5

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    Generaly the mould you see forming on the surface of the carcases is a Botritis or sooty mould. This mould also develops on dead plant material and the deposits left by sap sucking insects. Before you panick and reach for a scoop or stir up the liquid you should know that in most cases this mould wont attack healthy plant tissues. It can, however, enter through damaged or weak tissues where it causes necroses (black, moist rotting) of the damaged area which will start to spread through the remainder of the surrounding tissues. This can be prevented by removing the affected area, in this case the trap!
    I have had to do this on a few occasions where large insects have caused damage to the inside of a trap when trying to escape and the mould was present on previously digested victims (the insects were mature grasshoppers). Generaly I leave the mould alone as it rarely causes problems and it in most instances can't be seen.

    I have also noticed that the liquid in the pitchers of my N. ventricosa's (a parent of N. x ventrata) goes to the gelatinous consistency mentioned by Nflytrap. I have not seen this in any of the other species in my collection (i have only one hybrid in my collection, the name of which is not known to me). Perhaps this is a natural part of the pitcher's cycle (only seen in older pitchers in my collection) that has been passed on to the hybrid offspring?

    Anyway, hope this is of some help,

    Cheers, Chris
    VFT to Fly -- \" who's winning the evolutionary race now?\"

  6. #6

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    If you are curious I could slit the pitcher in question and see if it has truly hardened?
    1 Nxventrata

    D. muscipula & D. muscipula 'Red Dragon'(barely)

    Sarracenia leucophylla(seedling)

    S. purpurea and Drosera filiformis filiformis/ intermedia seeds waiting to sprout.

    Drosera capensis

  7. #7

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    don't have to do that, one day i'll get my but into gear and run some tests on my own plants. thanks for the offer though,

    Chris.
    VFT to Fly -- \" who's winning the evolutionary race now?\"

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