Re: D. capensis attacked by ravenous FUNGUS!

Clarke Brunt (
Sat, 30 Dec 1995 23:36:41 +0000

On 29 Dec 95 at 17:45, Richard K. Stewart wrote:

> I just started cultivating CPs three months ago. I ordered my plants as
> bare root stocks and up until now they were doing fine. I had ordered three
> plants I thought to be hardy. I ordered two butterworts and one Cape Sundew
> (Drosera capensis). I started them out in dried peat moss (dead sphagnum)
> and they lived quite well for three months. But all of a sudden one day I
> saw that my D.capensis had lost it's leaves. Upon further inspection I noted
> that the bases of the leaves were black and probably rotten. I got all
> worried that I had over watered them, polluted the water, etc. Until seven
> hours later when I found white fuzz coming from the base of the leaves...

I've not often experienced this fungus - it sounds like grey-mould or
Botrytis which sometimes manages to establish on dead leaves and
the like in the greenhouse in Winter. I once lost some Sarracenia
seedlings to it, and sometimes I see it on dead leaf bases in
Sarracenia (I just remove them).

You don't say whether you meant 'hardy' in the 'tolerates freezing'
sense, or the 'impossible to kill' sense. Drosera capensis is pretty
difficult to kill but isn't really frost hardy (though it may
regenerate from the roots if the leaves are killed by frost).

You can't really overwater these plants - they can be drier in
Winter than Summer, but should still be very wet. I've no particular
experience of fungicides. Just give plenty of light and ventilation
(no need to put the plants in any enclosure), and make sure the
soil and water are free of lime and plant food (I don't actually
know the manner of the plant's demise if exposed to alkaline
conditions, or excess concentrations of nutrients).

I know sterile conditions have their uses, but the few times I have
sterilised soil, the first pathogen to get into it seemed to develop
more rapidly than in non-sterile conditions, where I assume there is
a mixture of competing organisms.

Clarke Brunt (