Re: VFT roots
Wed, 27 Sep 1995 15:04:20 -0300

>>was left. Maybe nutritious or alkaline soil provokes this?
>>All you can do is attempt to remove any dead or rotting bits,
>>then replant. Covering the plant might help while it attempts to
>>recover (just to reduce water loss through the leaves while there
>>aren't many roots).
>>Clarke Brunt (
>Thanks for the advice. I checked the two VFT's that appear to be having the
>hardest time and I think there roots are O.K. Only two of the six roots per
>plant had any "white" at the tips but the roots were not falling apart and
>the "bulbs" were nice and firm. I'm going to change the soil anyway incase
>it is infected with any little bugs.
>John Walker


I had a similar problem a few years ago: it was caused by three things,
seperately, and at different times.

1) The VFTs were being grown in a mixture of milled peat moss and perlite
with a top dressing of live sphagnum moss. Aphids had managed to colonize
the crown of the plants below the top of the vigorously growing sphagnum
and could not be found until I lifted the plant for inspection. Also, these
appeared to be common green aphids, but they were remarkably small; yet
they gave birth to live young (pinhead size) as observed under a magnifying

2) Same growth medium as above, but some nasty little mite was infesting
the very _inside_ of the crown. I could just make them out with a 5X loupe.

These two I treated with a mild spray of a nicotine infusion with a drop of
liquid dish soap added to ensure contact. The bare-root plants were washed
in rainwater after fifteen minutes and repotted in new medium. All plants

3) Two closely growing VFTs were infected by some kind of mold, or rot,
that attacked the basal stems and turned them to mush. I threw them and the
potting media out after treating them with a fungicide to no avail. Never
did find out the name of the infection, but it developed extraordinarily

I do NOT recommend using a soap and/or nicotine spray on droseras or near
the crowns of ANY potted CPs. Some Nepenthes may be treated in this manner,
but care must be taken to avoid open pitchers and to keep such mixtures
away from the growing medium.

Don't know if this helps, but Good Growing,

Rand Nicholson
The Writing Service