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Thread: Oh no!

  1. #9

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    Robin,

    Trichoderma is a bacteria that has been developed to protect roots by keeping fungal pathogens away (it eats them!). You can find out quite a bit about it by doing an internet search. There are many different strains of Trichoderma. The one we use is particularly effective against the root rot pathogen Pythium but others are effective against other pathogens.

    Basically, it's a white powder and you add about a teaspoonful to 10l of potting media and mix it in. Alternatively, mix it with water and drench the roots with it. It breeds in the potting media and colonises the outside of the roots where it feeds on fungal organisms that might otherwise attack the plant by entering through the roots. It's completely harmless to Nepenthes unless you get a lot of it into the pitchers.

    Bill's description of his plant sounds very much like a root rot problem which may have been prevented by using Trichoderma. However, once a plant is infected with something like Pythium, it cannot be cured, only suppressed with treatments of certain fungicides such as 'Aliette' which is Aluminum tris (O-ethyl phosphonate) or alternatively Propamocarb. Some producers perhaps use these fungicides routinely which keeps the symptoms away but when the customer gets the plant and the fungicide is no longer applied, the pathogen takes over and kills the plant.

    Root rot fungi are water-borne and can actually swim from one pot to another if the pots are touching or along a water soaked bench. Nasty things!
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

  2. #10

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    Hi Rob:

    Sorry for the correction, Trichoderma is a fungus spp. that devours bad fungus ie, pythium and phytophtora. it is still used as a preventative measure rather than a fungicide. If your plant is infected, trichoderma is useless, but if your plant is healthy, then trichoderma will keep it healthy by creating a shield with these hungry good fungi
    If you use fungicide ie, mancozeb, chipco spin, fongarid, zyban, the trichoderma will be killed too, so it is best to reinoculate with trichoderma to create the protective barrier
    around the roots.

    Furthermore, there are some type of bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis AND Pantoea, Exiguobacterium, microbacteria - all three of which contribute to the suppression of Rhizoctonia root rot.

    Gus

  3. #11

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    Thanks Gus, I don't know why I put bacteria, I know it's a fungus. Guess it was a bit early in the morning!

    We have our media tested regularly to ensure the Trichoderma is there and active. Drenching with any fungicide we have used kills it stone dead but spraying or misting the plants usually just suppresses it, it comes back.

    I believe the pH of the media is also quite crucial to healthy Trichoderma colonies.

    P.S. Have finally sorted out some T-shirts!
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

  4. #12

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    Thanks Rob.

    Gus

  5. #13
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    I have used trichoderma spp. as reffered by Gus and it is quite helpful as a preventative measure. How does one know if a plant is already infected and if they use this fungi how will they know that it is not helping the plant? I purchased three kilos and didn't use much, the rest is in the fridge. hehe. One thing I would like to know is wether there is a liquid solution of trichoderma spp. that can be added to existing neps in pots without having to repot the whole plant in new media. In addition when refferring to inoculating the media with the powder form of spp. Can you make up a solution of this and pour it on top of the soil of existing plants with the same effect?

    C
    Gus,

  6. #14

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    Hi Christian:

    I do use a solution of trichoderma on the potted plants and i have not had a root rot for past 3 1/2 years. So i do believe it is effective on potted plants.

    Gus

  7. #15
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    I have used trichoderma for the first time this year but only on my Sarr. So must try it on my Neps as well. Does the powder have a shelf life, as there is no indication of date on tub? Also someone said it needed to be stored in the fridge, is that correct?

    This second N. burbidgeae x edwardsiana had actually looked awful soon after getting it. With brown rotten growth and I was convinced it was a goner. Instead a much healthier one died instead! This one them grew 7 new leaves in quick succession before dieing last week. So guess this original diease might have been lurking in it. >;-D

    In the UK there are no decent fungicides now available- they have all been withdrawn!!

    cheers

    bill

  8. #16

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    Thanks very much Rob,
    Boy, the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. heheh. I feel like a beginner here.
    I really like the sounds of that as a preventative measure. I'll see what I can find on the web about Trichoderma.

    I have to say it really is great that we have professionals here that are willing to share they're knowledge so freely. I have gained so much valuable information in just the last few months of participating here on the forums. Thanks to all of you! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    Robin

    Oh, what ph do the Trichoderma prefer?

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