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Thread: What's ailing my vft?

  1. #9
    mmlr38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    Its definitely *not* sunburn..im 100% certain of that..
    Looking at the photos again, I agree with you. That's almost certainly not sunburn. It almost looks like it has been sprayed with Roundup or some other sort of herbicide. Nightsky, did you happen to spray your yard recently for weeds and maybe it got some overspray?
    Quote Originally Posted by Indigo View Post
    Seems like chemical burn and over heat to me. Soil seems fine does your plant get rain wash once a while?

    question 1:
    What kind of water you used?

    Question 2:
    Where do you place that VFT outdoor?

    For example: If you place your VFT on a tray near a cement wall or on a cement floor under direct sun you could get those result.
    Very good guesses Indigo. It could certainly be mineral burn from using bad water or that the pot got too hot and cooked the plant. Or perhaps it was sprayed with some sort of insecticide? I've seen the edges on some of my plants leaves brown like that after using Orthenex.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    maybe..but in my experience, they do fine always sitting in water..been growing them that way for 17 years..
    I would say letting a tray dry out completely is definitely "too dry"..
    they *should* always be "sitting in water all the time"!
    there should always be *some* water in the tray..exactly how much is open to debate, but IMO the tray should never be allowed to go dry..

    Scot
    I used to grow my plants sitting in water all the time, and you're right, they do "fine" but they don't really thrive like they will when you moderate their water a bit. See the photos in the thread here:
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=122129
    The first photo by BigBella is an extreme example of what happens to Dionaea root systems when kept too wet. The photos of my plants (sent to me from Steve Doonan) here:
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...25&postcount=9
    show how flytraps grow when kept in soil with good aeration that's just moist, not wet and they're not sitting in water all the time.

    If it's not too hot in the summer, I usually let my trays dry out for 2 to 3 days before watering again. During hot, dry spells, I have to fill the trays every day or two. In the winter, I often go nearly two weeks between refilling the trays. And I never put more than an inch of water in the trays unless I'm going to be away for an extended period of time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    The important thing is to never let the roots dry out. This can certainly be achieved by keeping the trays in standing water. However a dry tray does not mean dry substrate. Peat moss after all can hold 20 times its weight in water.
    Very good point NaN. Just because the tray is dry doesn't indicate anything about the moisture level of the media, which can hold a lot of moisture for a very long time.

  2. #10
    BigBella's Avatar
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    It most closely resembles sunburn of the leaves. I had some plants relocated to a more exposed area early in the Spring and experienced some browning of the leaves very similar to what you experienced. That new developing leaf in the photo looks normal enough, not to immediately to suspect pests (aphids, spider mites, etc.) which would twist and deform it.

    See how that trap develops . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  3. #11
    mmlr38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    It most closely resembles sunburn of the leaves. I had some plants relocated to a more exposed area early in the Spring and experienced some browning of the leaves very similar to what you experienced.
    Initially, that was my assessment too BigBella. After looking at the photos again and having Scotty say that he's 100% sure that it's not sunburn I started doubting it. Now, after your post, I'm not so sure that it's not sunburn. I too have seen sunburn that looks like nightsky's photos when moving plants out from under fluorescent lights to full sun. However, sunburn should be very easy to rule out if nightsky posts back about whether or not the plant has changed locations in the last few weeks.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    That new developing leaf in the photo looks normal enough, not to immediately to suspect pests (aphids, spider mites, etc.) which would twist and deform it.

    See how that trap develops . . .
    From what I've seen of mite damage, it doesn't really affect the shape of the leaf like aphid damage will. Usually the leaves just brown on the edges and the plant stops growing well. I suppose mites could be another thing to consider, though my favorite theories at this point (assuming it's not sunburn), first mentioned by Indigo, are:
    1) Chemical burn from an herbicide or bad water.
    2) The pot got too hot and cooked the roots.

  4. #12
    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmlr38 View Post
    Initially, that was my assessment too BigBella. After looking at the photos again and having Scotty say that he's 100% sure that it's not sunburn I started doubting it. Now, after your post, I'm not so sure that it's not sunburn. I too have seen sunburn that looks like nightsky's photos when moving plants out from under fluorescent lights to full sun. However, sunburn should be very easy to rule out if nightsky posts back about whether or not the plant has changed locations in the last few weeks.

    From what I've seen of mite damage, it doesn't really affect the shape of the leaf like aphid damage will. Usually the leaves just brown on the edges and the plant stops growing well. I suppose mites could be another thing to consider, though my favorite theories at this point (assuming it's not sunburn), first mentioned by Indigo, are:
    1) Chemical burn from an herbicide or bad water.
    2) The pot got too hot and cooked the roots.
    As far as pest damage is concerned, I had a bad experience with spider mites a while back, which also tended to create a twisted, aphid-like damage to developing traps; but the tiny webbing was the tell-tail sign.

    I too would suspect a burn from using an insecticide, especially too late in the day, when the oil-based material would damge the foliage; but, unless that was explicitly stated, I cannot say.

    Were the roots so affected, I would not expect a normal set of leaves to be produced -- as it seems to be the case in the photos.

    I still suspect sun damage or potentially mineral-laden water -- but the latter would also damage new growth . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  5. #13
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. It is silica sand that I used. Fresh peat with no ferts. RO water, TDS <10. Yeah, I don't keep my vfts waterlogged, I've found they do better moist rather then wet. Hasn't been sprayed with ferts or any chemical for that matter. It was placed outside in March directly from dormancy, so it didn't need to be adjusted to the sun. Gets about 7 hours of sun right now. We did have a spell of cool weather for a few weeks, but nothing that it shouldn't have been able to handle. Back at the end of May, we did get a couple inches of snow one night. It melted that day. But my other vfts in the same conditions didn't hiccup. I'm really stumped..? Oh yeah, I checked for bugs but couldn't see any, not to say they aren't there. I'm wondering if there's some kind of parasite at the root level. I may just uproot it to have a look and repot it. But I hate to set it into shock when in an already weakened state.

    The latest leaf coming out is actually looking good, but so did the last few. They looked fine only to degrade quickly as they grew out.

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    mmlr38's Avatar
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    Hmmm, that is weird. Maybe something somehow got into the soil without you knowing it? I heard a story from Bob Ziemer that he had a plant growing underneath a hide that he was tanning and salt from the hide fell into the soil.

    Given that we've basically ruled out sunburn due to the fact that the plant hasn't been moved since March, I'd guess some sort of chemical burn. I'd probably repot if my plant looked like that and I didn't know why.

  7. #15
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    Just looking at the photos, its very obvious it cant possibly be sunburn..
    absolutely no question..
    there is no way the sun can burn both sides of a leaf, but leave the center of the leaf unburned..(top most leaf in the first photo)
    that alone proves its not sunburn..

    I cant think of anything else it could be except some kind of contamination in the media..
    I would immediately repot..
    whatever it is, its not likely to get better all by itself..
    IMO, repotting immediately is the only way to save the plant..
    if you do nothing, it will almost certaintly die..

    actually, I would go extreme..
    not only would I repot, but I would cut off ALL leaves and traps except for that one newest leaf emerging from the rhizome..if the contamination is "in the plants blood", so to speak, I think it would help to just remove all those "diseased" leaves..let the plant start from scratch as a simple rhizome with just a few new leaves..

    remove it from the media..cut off all the old traps (except for that new one emerging) cut off anything questionable on the rhizome and roots,
    swish the rhizome around in a bowl of distilled water, to really rinse it off well..then repot in brand-new media..not the same stuff you used before..
    I would say the sand is the most likely culprit..you can never be sure what is in sand..
    the peat is probably ok..

    it *could* still die even you try that!
    the plant is clearly sick..
    it might already be too late, no matter what you do..
    but IMO, repotting gives probably 50% odds of survival..
    not repotting gives about 95% odds of death..

    thats what I would do if it were my plant..

    for those of you with aquariums..what is the first thing to do when you have a sick fish?
    "do a water change!"
    a clean environment is the first step to improved health..even if you dont know what the sickness is..

    Scot
    Last edited by scottychaos; 06-09-2010 at 07:57 PM.

  8. #16
    SpyCspider's Avatar
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    hmm, have to agree with Scot on this one from my own experience. With sunburnt plants, I usually get a dark reddish hue as opposed to blackened/brown and my plants didn't look like they're dying, just well tanned along the central "vein" and edges.

    These occur with plants that I move from an indoor- growing-under-lights enclosure directly to oudoors in noon to afternoon sun.

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