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Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Kentucky (Zone 6a)
Hi All, I've been dealing with an issue for a good bit now and I think one of the two of my D.Spatula plants has just about bit the dust:

First of all my setup:
Lights: Agrobrite 4 bulb/2 foot T5 HO (Amazon.com : Agrobrite T5, FLT28, 2 Foot, 8-Tube Fixture with Included Fluorescent Grow Lights : Plant Growing Light Fixtures : Patio, Lawn & Garden) specifically
Trays: 1.5 Inch tall trays filled with always RO distilled water (Sometimes it'll maybe get down to about an inch but in general I keep it filled up)
Media: equal parts peat moss and perlite (From Sarracenia Northwest)
Pots: Plastic 5.5" square pots (Possibly too tall? unlikely though IMO)

Stats:
Temp: 75~ during the day (with the lights on), 69~ at night.
Humidity: Hovers from 39-49 usually (It should be adapted however as it's been here about 5-6 months)

Here is a picture: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet (This picture is actually slightly old, maybe 2 weeks old) but essentially the lower plant is looking ok but the one above it is basically completely gone (it looks completely dead besides a few fibers coming from the middle). They both (When I took this picture) seemed to be lacking dew and I couldn't tell why.....then they both declined what seemed to be rapidly. Im not even sure what could've caused it either. (And nothing really changed)

I mean it seems it should have perfect conditions? I use ONLY RO distilled water. I've been top watering too....I also keep the tray always filled (1.5 inches of water to the 5.5 inch pots).

Do the leaves look burnt? they are bright red so they should be getting plenty of light. I have a cape sundew in the exact same setup and it is flourishing like crazy. Im not sure what burnt leaves look like but the temp hovers around 75 with the lights around 8 inches above the plants.

I've had suggestions that maybe it's not getting enough air? The soil is only 5-6 months old but I do keep the tray filled constantly......which is what I was always told to do? With sundews should I be letting the tray maybe dry out first then fill it back up?

I've accepted it's "probably" dead, but I'd like to figure out what could be causing the issue so I can fix whats going wrong.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
127
Location
Southern California
I think they are actually D. tokaiensis as the leaf ends are more rounded. You should have restarted new plants from leaf cuttings. Looks like they got old. Hope that helps.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Kentucky (Zone 6a)
Top water occasionally, do not rely on filling the tray, soil will compact and become anaerobic.
I've actually been doing this more here recently, Like once a month at least just to flush things out. Im thinking of switching to 100% LFS for all the sundews however and putting them in a terrarium. Seems just like a better media from what i've seen. I think however I was just a little bit late to doing that unfortunately.
 
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Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
4,663
Location
Greeley, CO, USA
They're tokaiensis; this plant and several of its relatives like to die back occasionally for no good reason and then come up fine again later; however, the soil does look a little rough, and that moss around it isn't sphagnum so it may pose a risk of overwhelming the plants. I would also look for pests as the die-back can also occur from having mites or thrips.
Also, not all sundews like sphagnum as a growing medium, either for reasons of moisture or the texture of it compared to a peat/sand based soil, though tokaiensis couldn't care less.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Kentucky (Zone 6a)
They're tokaiensis; this plant and several of its relatives like to die back occasionally for no good reason and then come up fine again later; however, the soil does look a little rough, and that moss around it isn't sphagnum so it may pose a risk of overwhelming the plants. I would also look for pests as the die-back can also occur from having mites or thrips.
Also, not all sundews like sphagnum as a growing medium, either for reasons of moisture or the texture of it compared to a peat/sand based soil, though tokaiensis couldn't care less.

Maybe that is what has happened, as my capensis and the OTHER tokaiensis is fine. But yeah I agree the soil does look....not well? As in the moss almost looks brownish on top of it. But I just can't figure out the problem. I think im going to be repotting them either way as im afraid the media wasn't washed out very good beforehand (I say this because I seem to get a "clear slime" in my tray, which makes me think there is some sort of runoff)
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
4,663
Location
Greeley, CO, USA
It's often a good idea to wash media anyway before using, as a lot of sources nowadays have gone downhill in quality (I have resorted to soaking all my peat moss before using because it often seems to have unwanted dissolved nutrients etc. in it).
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Kentucky (Zone 6a)
I'd honestly rather use sand as the other media instead of perilite, but unfortunately it seems it's basically impossible to find the right sort of sand without order it unfortunately :/. Either way im def. going to over-clean this next set of media when repotting. Should I have any problems with potting all sundews in 4 or 5.5 inch pots? (or is that too big)
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
337
I can tell you from experience that tokaiensis does very well in sphagnum, both dead and live.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Kentucky (Zone 6a)
I've been considered actually just staying with the normal 1:1 Peat/Sand (or Perilite) mix and maybe just switching to some LFS as a top dressing (to help with humidity). Seems like the best of both worlds (and to put on the bottom of the container so stuff doesn't fall out of the holes).
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
337
Any mix will work with tokaiensis, so I wouldn't worry. Also I wouldn't worry about humidity with them. For me it's probably the easiest dew to grow ( most of mine are grown at regular room humidity).
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Kentucky (Zone 6a)
Yeah, I was hugely debating on the terrarium thing. From a lot of searches it seems like it's basically un-necessary. (and not worth the problems/$$$$ it causes)
 
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