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Mold?

Joined
Sep 11, 2004
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754
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Florida
Today in one of my sundew pots I noticed what could be mold and in my 3 consecutive years of growing sundews I never had this problem. I did my usual google search and the answers were that it's caused by bad circulation...well my plants are out doors so that's not the case. The soil mixture is 1:11 peat and sand. Here's a picture for reference. <a href="http://imgur.com/QEQ3IDZ"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/QEQ3IDZ.jpg?1" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>
 

Not a Number

Hello, I must be going...
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It does and doesn't look like mold from the photo. Sometimes it looks like there are egg masses underneath. Take a toothpick or something and play with it a bit. If it stretches like spider silk then it could be tents from some critter or another. If it is mold it will just dissolve if sprayed with a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide. Then treat with a suitable fungicide - sulfur would do if it is a powdery mold.

While poor air circulation can be a contributing factor mold and fungus can still flourish if the conditions are right even with plenty of fresh air. You probably have a build up of dead matter couple with a cold damp winter.
 
Joined
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Athens, GA
Hi! I do not know exactly what that fuzzy stuff is, but I have had it appear for many years and I have tried not only to ID it (unsuccessful still!), but also to find an appropriate fungicide to kill it with (still unsuccessful). It seems to appear from my peat moss frequently. I can tell it comes from the peat because I've had it appear in small, sealed yogurt cups which I use to start seeds. Everything but the peat was heavily sterilized beforehand. I also get it at home and in my greenhouses at work, almost exclusively in peaty CP mixes.

The best guess I have is Pythium. Banrot and Subdue MAXX should work on it if so, but I just haven't gotten around to testing them yet. The photo below is incredibly similar-looking:
http://www.eternallygreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/pythium-blight.jpg

Also, a less sure guess of mine is something called "snow mold." It seems to be more common in more northerly climates than mine, so I am guessing that perhaps in bogs it's quite common. I've never seen it occurring natively in Georgia--always comes out of peat moss. Most of the stuff I use is collected from Canada, the midwest, etc.

Things I can definitely say about "the plague":
-Most effective I have found is simply scraping it off. It's very fibrous and if you get some tweezers or a stick, you can wind it around itself very effectively, almost like string. It does not pull up the soil and if you're careful, it will not pull up anything but small seedlings.
-Absolutely not an insect, coccoon, caterpillar production, spider, or anything. It's either a fungus or maybe nematodes. In my CP greenhouse over the past 4 years, I have used almost 30 different insecticides and miticides on a rotating basis (I'm not chemical-happy by any means--I can speak firsthand that pest resistance is something to be feared and makes your life miserable). Anything that is an insect or arachnid will have been eradicated by this. I have also never seen anything living on, under, or near the white fuzz.
-Other than growing over your plants, it does not seem to actually infect or harm CPs directly. It seems to mainly be a decomposer of the peat IMO. I really hate it since it outgrows your stuff and just looks downright ugly.
-This is too labor-intensive for me but I imagine you can sterilize your peat before planting with either a microwave or boiling water. I grow too many plants to bother with this so I'm trialing different fungicides. And there's always a complete repotting.
 
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Joined
Sep 11, 2004
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Florida
Yes I do keep all my plants in full/part sun. Maybe it is the damp winter but I live in Miami. It doesn't drop below 60 usually. I am getting a microscope though so I will def use a tweezer to get a sample.

To plantman: I don't think it's a decomposer of peat. Isn't peat already the decomposed version of sphagnum moss?
 
Joined
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Florida
Did it spread gradually or did you just notice it today? I've never seen that much at once before. Are the plants in full sun?

I am not sure if it was gradually. Lately I don't check on my plants. I just check if they need water and I water them and just go back indoors but once in a while I like to admire the insects struggling on my sundews and that's when I noticed the mold or mold-like substance.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
973
Location
Athens, GA
Yes I do keep all my plants in full/part sun. Maybe it is the damp winter but I live in Miami. It doesn't drop below 60 usually. I am getting a microscope though so I will def use a tweezer to get a sample.

To plantman: I don't think it's a decomposer of peat. Isn't peat already the decomposed version of sphagnum moss?
Peat is by no means a fully decomposed product because of the anerobic nature of bogs. There's still plenty of carbon in peat for microorganisms to feed on.

Ultimately, I'm still guessing what exactly this is but I have seen it pop up enough times that I've noticed a pattern. I've never seen it on anything other than peat mixes.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
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Location
Western New York, USA
I did my usual google search and the answers were that it's caused by bad circulation...well my plants are out doors so that's not the case.

So, mold doesnt exist outside? ;)
it has only existed since humans invented the indoors? ;)

yes, its definitely mold..
you crossed a magic mold threshold of cool, damp, dim, and still, and it made mold happy.
correct any one of those things, and it will probably go away..

Scot
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2004
Messages
754
Location
Florida
So, mold doesnt exist outside? ;)
it has only existed since humans invented the indoors? ;)

yes, its definitely mold..
you crossed a magic mold threshold of cool, damp, dim, and still, and it made mold happy.
correct any one of those things, and it will probably go away..

Scot

what do you mean by still? Well the cool and dim part is not an issue since it's warm and bright now at least here in Florida. Damp? Well it is a sundew they do need to be wet. So far it hasn't spread anymore so I guess that's good.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
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Western New York, USA
by "still" I meant "slow moving air" or "no moving air"..
perhaps its always breezy for your plants? could be..so the stillness might not be the problem..

Mold generally likes four things: "cool, damp, dim, and still,"..but it doesnt need to have all four..
perhaps just two of things have been more common lately that usual?
less sun? (cloudy)..rainy and cloudy? (dim and wet) cooler than usual? even for just a day or two?
Its hard to know exactly what triggers it..but once conditions change, (either naturally, or you make them change)
the mold will go away..

Scot
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
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Location
Athens, GA
Physical removal is best... this stuff will grow out in full blazing sun and with excellent ventilation in my greenhouses. Summer in Georgia definitely does not kill it. Perhaps the spores germinate during the cool, wet weather, but as long as it's there you won't be able to eliminate it by changing conditions. Other fungi are easily killed by light or air circulation, but this stuff is a completely different ballgame.
 
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