Hey everyone... this will be my first post here on these forums. After a few years hiatus from growing, i decided i would try to pick things back up again.
I'v had these traps for about a month now... ordered them online, and go them in the standard way: roots wrapped in a moist paper towel, and in a ziplock baggie.
I'v had other traps around for about 5 months now.
I planted them into a mix of sand and sphagnum, maybe a bit more sphagnum than sand though (not a 50/50 split since its hard to measure correctly).
I grow them outside next to my pond - they get morning/afternoon sunlight, but after about 6:00 they are cast into shadow by a shed.
I have been watering them with bottled water that is advertised as having no sodium and chlorine. I dropped the Ph of each bottle of water to 6.0 - 6.2 (from about 8.0) using standard acid chemicals used in aquarium upkeep (no addition chemicals or nutrients in them). I'v finally found a grocery store that sells distilled drinking water, and am using that - it has a standard Ph level for about 6.0. I try to catch what rain-water i can, but it is a bad time of the year for it (I live in Eugene, Oregon).
I grow completely outdoors, so i think the problem might be aphids or some other bug. I don't think its sun damage, since i don't think the sun can cause this, to my big-mouth VFT:
My guess is that aphids got to it while it was young and freshly developing - i have been tracking its growth since it was a baby, and it always looked warped - it didn't randomly become warped one night.
Similarly, i have had other plants that exhibit a very familiar problem - a tear on the leaf that doesn't seem to have been caused by anything (circled part)- they grow with that tear, and the tear grows with them. The tear is cauterized - or rather, it is not an open break wound - it is like it decided to tear itself while it was developing.
Another familiar ailment is something i am terming "Dead-Trap", in which the trap is freshly growing, and.. just like it was random, the trap turns black, hard, and can be easily brushed/broken off. The stem will continue to grow to normal length, but the trap will never be there.
As you can see, there are 3 (yes 3 ) new traps forming - but only one of them has the burnt-tip - i simply can't understand why, unless aphids have damaged the tissue, and the trap never got any nutrients in its initial stages of growth.
This dead-trap has happened to several other traps that i end up removing - but i don't know why, or how to prevent it.
Another concern is that i have some babies growing with my big-mouth VFT (a new off-shoot, yaay!), and they are exhibiting some signs of leaf-damage very early on. here is a picture - you will be able to note that the leaf is curly and warped - this warping may become a tear within a week or so, but if i can avoid that, i will.
I talked with a friend of mine about the damage, and he said it might be aphids getting down into it, and feeding on the fresh sprouts as they come up, since they have a hard time feeding on them once they are matured. This feeding process damages the tissue, which leads to warping and dead-trap. I bought some ortho systemic bug-killer, mixed two tablespoons (liquid) with a gallon of water, and misted all my plants with it on the top and on the bottom (not the entire gallon mind you, but i was quite liberal). I will wait two weeks before trying again, and this is day 3 (with no visible ailment from bug-killer showing).
To show that it isn't something affecting the entire plant, here is a shot of my big-mouth VFT. The plant is about 3 years old i think because of its trap-size, but it did not flower (i have two that are pre-flowering right now, and have mighty poor traps because of it... sigh). btw, the big-mouth VFT has traps on it that i feed full-grown crickets to >.> my scorpions and tarantula are not happy with it though, since they eat the same thing!
Anyways, your advice is much appreciated, or if you can direct me to a thread in this forum where i can see a solution that would be nice.