Re: ill VFT

John Walker (
Thu, 21 Sep 1995 16:35:45 -0700

>--Many Thanks to Clarke Brunt for your correct diagnosis on my ill VFT -
> only two live roots left. I owe you one. I think I fed it too much
>rainwater that I collected when a hurricane passed over Florida recently....

>I've never seen thrips jump, these could be springtails which live in wet
>places and are harmless. Still it sounds like something is attacking your
>plants. Do they get enough air circulation? Perhaps a fungus could be dining
>on your plants, although the dying immature pitchers and the curly
>capensis leaves sound like the work of spider mites, aphids or some other
>SMALL arthropods. Careful with pesticides on Drosera. I've found the leaves
>to be rather sensitive.
>John Phillips

>Are these tiny things really bugs and not flies? At natural habitats Pings
>frequently catch little black 'sciarid flies' of 2mm lenght (Bradysia
>paupera, Licoriella sp. and other species). The larvae of these miniflies
>feed in wet substrate from tender plant roots. In artificial monocultures
>of Pings and other CP sciarid fly larvae are likely to feed from the
>tender roots of the cultivated plants. This is one of the most frequent
>causes why Ping seedlings and young plants suddenly perish.

Hi all,
Thanks for the many helpful hints!

I'll be sure to dig one or two of my VFT's tonight. It sounds as though
Clarke my have the solution to my VFT problem also. One Question. If I
find a mix of mostly dead and some live roots, what is the best technique
for bringing them back to health?

I bought a jewlers loupe last night and found very tiny bugs that jump
(springtails?) as well as small black gnat type of flies. You know, the
kind of little gnats that inhabit the soil of alot of office plants.
Perhaps these are the sciarid flies. I just wonder why they are not
bothering my Ping? Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaing!

I'll check the roots, forget about the spring tails, and try to gently
control the flies.

Happy Growing!

John Walker,