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Help! Hard white substance on the base of D. Multifida Extrema arm

Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
4
Hi there!
Long-time lurker, first-time poster here looking for a little help with my D. Multifida Extrema that has suddenly developed a hard white substance on the base of a new arm. I also just noticed rust-colored algae(?) developing on the tips on the live moss and along the edges of the dirt. Not sure if the rust-colored algae and the white substance are related, but they seem to have emerged around the same time together.

I have a significant amount of experience growing CP’s but this situation is outside of my experience so far. Any insight from the community would be warmly welcomed.

Here’s all the information I can think of that would be useful in determining what this is and how to resolve/prevent it from happening again. Thanks for reading!
  • The white substance is not soft or fuzzy and does not come off easily. I checked it out using a 20x jeweler’s loupe and saw there was nothing moving and it’s def not aphid shells.
  • The newest arm growth has the most white substance on it, I thought it was only on one but then I noticed a substantially smaller amount on the next youngest arm. So, if it is a fungus it’s gaining traction. :/
  • No wilting or deformed growth as of yet.
  • Fairly new plant, still acclimating but producing dew and new growth.
  • Using RO water - measured at 23ppm
Living conditions:
Currently growing in a terrarium cabinet that I’ve modded to house some Highland Neps, Sundews, and Utricularia. I recently moved to a desert climate and I worried the lack of humidity in the house would be an issue for the Multifida, so I stuck it in my terrarium.

Grown under 3 40w full-spectrum LED lights for 12 hrs a day. Hangs approx 14” away from lights.
(2) @ 4500k
(1) @ 6500k

Avg Temp:
61F at night
80F during the day

Airflow:
Two small fans installed for airflow-
(1) faces inward for fresh air
(1) facing outward acting as an exhaust

Humidity:
Avg humidity fluctuates between 30 and 80% ( Not ideal but I’m working out how to keep the humidity levels stable without losing the input and exhaust system.)

Fogger installed and set to fog for 15 minutes every hour. Fog enters the tank through two spouts (aka ‘humidity vents’ ) spaced about 2 ft apart from each other. Extrema hangs suspended in the tank at around the same height as the vent but not directly in front of it. (See pics)

My thoughts:
A - Too much direct moisture from the humidity ‘vents’ + the warmth has fostered fungus growth?

B - Possible contamination from metal suspension chains due to moisture accumulation from humidity vents? I’ve never seen the metal chains dripping with moisture, and I’m not sure how and if that would even affect anything but the thought crossed my mind.

C. White scale?
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Rust Algae on tip of sphag.
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Weird rust algae smear.
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Multifida Suspended- sits inside glass cup not in contact with the aluminum pot
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Fog System Video

I’m happy to provide additional information if needed. Pleaseeee hellllp meee!
 
Last edited:

bluemax

Lotsa blue
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Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
2,792
Location
Vancouver, Washington State, US
I've never seen the issue of hard white stuff on the base of sundew leaves but I agree with Ewreck. If you can wipe it off then you can watch to see if it comes back, and if it affects the health of your plant. So far it looks healthy. There are times when plants have a bit of algae or harmless fungi on them but really aren't impacted as far as health. 'Sorry I can't be more definitive but I wish you success with your plant. The stuff on the moss is new to me as well, unfortunately.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
4
Is the white stuff mealybugs? Try taking a cotton swab and some alcohol and see if it wipes off?
TBH I hope that's what it is. I've wiped it down with denatured alcohol diluted 5:1. I'm going to keep an eye on it and see what happens.
I'm just hoping it's not Hibiscus/snow scale, which is unlikely but not entirely impossible.
Thank you for taking the time to respond!
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
4
I've never seen the issue of hard white stuff on the base of sundew leaves but I agree with Ewreck. If you can wipe it off then you can watch to see if it comes back, and if it affects the health of your plant. So far it looks healthy. There are times when plants have a bit of algae or harmless fungi on them but really aren't impacted as far as health. 'Sorry I can't be more definitive but I wish you success with your plant. The stuff on the moss is new to me as well, unfortunately.
It's the first time I've come across this white substance as well. Hopefully, it's nothing or, at the very least, an easily managed case of mealy bugs. Fingers crossed. She is currently quarantined and I'm inspecting all the other plants in the terrarium.

As for the rust-colored slime/ algae, after some obsessive researching, I'm pretty sure it's iron bacteria and not harmful to the plant, just unsightly. Unbeknownst to me, according to a study published in 2016, "Sphagnum peatlands represent very important terrestrial sources of organically-bound iron..." so, with the right amount of light, humidity, and waterlogged conditions it's something that can develop. Here's a link to the article in case anyone is interested.

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
:)
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
154
Location
Southern California
Hi there!
Long-time lurker, first-time poster here looking for a little help with my D. Multifida Extrema that has suddenly developed a hard white substance on the base of a new arm. I also just noticed rust-colored algae(?)

Your rust colored substance in humic acid from peat decomposition. You can rinse it off by spraying water.
 
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