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Bay Area Sarracenia growers, Help!

Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
316
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
Hey guys,

For those that live in the Bay Area, CA are you having issues with your Sarracenia? This year my sarrs are doing quite bad, poor growth and some rhizome rot. I'm trying to figure out is it because of the funky weather we been having? Lots of hot and cold swings(100s for a couple of days then drops down to 60-70s, nights are around 50). Is it because of the drought? I get water from EBMUD and usually the ppm is quite low <100. Since the reservoirs are low could have the ppm shot up higher? Could it be a build up of minerals in the soil since there hasn't been any rain to flush them out like they usually are every winter? I replanted some of them this season (in dec-jan), and they are doing probably the worst, I wonder if the sphagnum peat I purchased was contaminated, or is the shock of being transplanted then going through hot and cold cycles?

Any input would be helpful... I'm thinking of getting some new peat this weekend and cleaning the most effected plants, swap soil, spray with fungicide and bring them indoors.

thanks!
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
324
Location
Bay Area, CA
I have a few Sarracenias that I transferred from a nice controlled environment to honest to goodness back yard living. They were transferred ~3 months ago and while they did not feel our past winter, they have experienced duress from the unusual recent weather. Although, I think I suffer more over temperature differentials than them. Thus, nothing remarkable about their behavior to report and even a recent acquisition from Europe, which spent 2 weeks ping ponging and site seeing, is putting out new pitchers.

Checking the variables is always a wise decision when troubleshooting. Personally, I don't use tap water, so I can't comment on that.

To be honest, I am fairly new to growing Sarracenias, but I think there are many more local veterans in the bay who will chime in with their observations.

Good luck :)
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
408
Location
sf bay area, CA
My plants are doing fine. and i have lower cold temps and higher warm temps than most of the east bay. are you east or west of the hills? have you checked for pests? have you tested the water?
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,940
At close to 100ppm, the minerals will accumulate unless you are dumping and flushing your pools. Have you measured the tds of the water the pots are sitting in? That will reveal whether or not that is an issue.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
316
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
Hmm, I'm east of the hills in the valley. I did have a mealy bug infestation that I caught late last year as I was transplanting that severely weakened my flavas. They are the ones I'm most concerned about. I probably should check the water, tho the rest of my CPs indoor are fine with it. The typical value are 21-58ppm. Do you use tap pebes? What brand of peat do you guys use? I recently switched brands.
 
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Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
408
Location
sf bay area, CA
east of the hills climate is very similar to mine. i dont use tap water, i have a small RO similar to this one The mealy bugs will definitely cause the kinds of problems you're describing and they can be tough to get rid of. I would keep after them.
 
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Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
590
Location
Burlingame, CA
Yeah I haven't noticed a whole lot of abnormal plant activity this year. Although the wind seems to be stronger than usual and has claimed some of my taller pitchers as victims unfortunately...
 

Tacks

The sticky ones are my favorite.
Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Messages
295
Location
SF Bay Area, California
I've got a division of S. alata that's all wiggly from wind damage but that's it. I'm sort of sick of all the wind.
 
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Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
316
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
Ah, well it seems like it's on my end then. What do you guys suggest I should do with the ones that are showing some die off? I've been growing these guys for the past 15 years and never really experienced anything like this. What brand of peat are you guys using?
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Messages
1,447
Location
Hacienda Heights, CA USA
I was using tap water in Berkeley and noticed a buildup of mineral deposits not on Sarracenia specifically, but on the soil of other plants such as Drosera and Utricularia, so maybe there was a spike in the TDS of the water. I didn't get it tested, though.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,940
Ah, well it seems like it's on my end then. What do you guys suggest I should do with the ones that are showing some die off? I've been growing these guys for the past 15 years and never really experienced anything like this. What brand of peat are you guys using?

If you use peat directly out of the bag without first soaking and rinsing it to remove minerals, then you may be introducing an undesirable concentration of minerals via the peat. Some brands (and even some batches) vary in the amount of mineral content, and you can be playing roulette with your plants if you don't wash the peat before using it. I strongly recommend purchasing an inexpensive ($20 or less on Amazon) TDS meter and soak the peat you use (new stuff, from the bag/bale) and then squeeze out the water after a day of soaking, and measure the TDS of that water. That should be a clear indicator whether or not the peat has significant mineral content, and determine whether or not it needs "washing" before use. I have seen some significant mineral content in certain bales I have bought, and so now I wash all peat before using it.
 
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