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Thread: Is bone meal a killer.

  1. #1
    Terminus's Avatar
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    A few months ago I transplanted a VFT into a large outdoor container bog. I am in Georgia, and have had success keeping VFTs outdoor all year. I did not disturb the roots and simply placed the entire previous soil into the larger pot and back-filled.

    Since them, things have not been well. The plant first became infested with aphids, which I religiously addressed by picking them off one-by-one with tweezers. Then the leaves failed to develop. Now there are no leaves, but the "bulb" is alive because I can see it is green. Little leaves start to form, but turn black at the tips and wilt away.

    I recently realized that the mixture I had transplanted the smaller soil clump into contained 70% dried sphagnum, and 30% a mixture of sand, perlite, and BONE MEAL. I had used a cactus mix instead of pure sand because I could find any. I searched for THREE weeks for sand, even looking on construction sites, to no avail (I live in a central city, where the basics are nearly impossible to come by).

    Since the location, lighting and watering are the same as before, could the phosphorous from the bone meal be killing my VFT? Should I transplant it back to a bone-meal free mix (I've since identified a sand source)? At this point, the risk of killing the plant is irrelevant. It will die if I do nothing.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    I would Definately re-pot!
    sounds like the bone meal is your culprit..
    VFTs like soil with *no* nutrients, and slightly acid.
    thats why pure peat ("spagnum peat") or pure Long-fiber-spagnum are the best..
    I would just gently remove the bulb and roots, throw away all the potting mix it is currently in, rinse the bulb and roots well under water (tap water right from the faucet is fine for this, just rinse the bulb right under the faucet! use a water temp that is comfortable for you..not too warm or too cold..if its comfortable for you, its comfortable for the plant..) then pot it back up in pure peat or pure spagnum..
    then water it with distilled or rain water only..it will probably bounce back!
    Scot

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    Bone meal=nutrients=root burn. Your VFT might be furiously trying to make new roots and so has no energy to grow leaves [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
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    Hi, I also live in the central city and searched for sand forever. Here are two options you can try. Check your local pet store that sells tropical fish and ask for silica sand. If they don't have that check their reptile section for a product called called Repti- Sand (by zoo med) . The package states: "Pure, very fine quartz desert sand". It also states "Natural colours no added dyes or chemicals". From what I am told this is the same sand, I did the lime test and it did not bubble up so I am now using this with my cp's. Its a little pricy but when you consider how much I spent running around all over Toronto looking for safe sand to use.

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    Quote (scottychaos @ Sep. 07 2003,5:27)
    I would Definately re-pot!
    sounds like the bone meal is your culprit..
    VFTs like soil with *no* nutrients, and slightly acid.
    thats why pure peat ("spagnum peat") or pure Long-fiber-spagnum are the best..
    I would just gently remove the bulb and roots, throw away all the potting mix it is currently in, rinse the bulb and roots well under water (tap water right from the faucet is fine for this, just rinse the bulb right under the faucet! use a water temp that is comfortable for you..not too warm or too cold..if its comfortable for you, its comfortable for the plant..) then pot it back up in pure peat or pure spagnum..
    then water it with distilled or rain water only..it will probably bounce back!
    Scot[/QUOTE]
    Thanks. Mow that the weekend is upon me I'm repotting tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn!

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    Quote (seedling @ Sep. 10 2003,10:17)
    Hi, I also live in the central city and searched for sand forever. Here are two options you can try. Check your local pet store that sells tropical fish and ask for silica sand. If they don't have that check their reptile section for a product called called Repti- Sand (by zoo med) . The package states: "Pure, very fine quartz desert sand". It also states "Natural colours no added dyes or chemicals". From what I am told this is the same sand, I did the lime test and it did not bubble up so I am now using this with my cp's. Its a little pricy but when you consider how much I spent running around all over Toronto looking for safe sand to use.[/QUOTE]
    Thanks. I ended up buying perlite.

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    I repotted a few days ago and washed the roots.

    It seems to have taken well to it's new surroundings, and is actually producing two new leaves. I just hope these new ones don't turn black at the tips and die in a few days!

    Thanks for all your help.

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