Sick Sarracenia

Barry Meyers-Rice (
Fri, 19 Aug 1994 11:59:07 +0700

Sick plants:

OK, so the symptoms of a few unhappy Sarracenia are:

1)Leaves starting to become a little pale---not yellowing so much as white!
I first thought perhaps some Calcium buildup from something. Mind you, fully
mature leaves which looked fine earlier in the season are changing colour. It
is not just young leaves being hurt.

2)Small brown drops about .5 mm diameter on the leaves. When I saw these,
I first thought they were scale. But it is just some kind of dried material.

3)Some dying leaves, and new leaves appear distorted.

4)The roots are in excellent shape.

5)It is not chemical/cultural since other plants in the same tray are not
being effected.

So I went to the plant pathology department yesterday. The department head
thought it was a virus (but he's a virologist). Another professor suspected
it was a fungus (but he studies fungus). This morning I looked at the
plants and found the smoking gun---on some of the most infected leaves I
found zillions of invertebrates. I took new samples into the entomology dept.
and had it verified as thrips.

To look for thrips, you'll probably need a hand-lens. Look for small crawling
insects about 0.5--1.0 mm long, and about .25 mm wide. They are elongated
crawling insects that are semi-transparent (at least mine are). They suck
fluids and expell droplets onto the plant. I'm going to get rid of mine
by swabbing the leaves with a bit of alcohol, and letting them sit in shade
for a few hours as the alcohol dries. They apparently do not enter the roots.