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Carnivorous Plants/S.Purpurea sunburn?

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Question
I have a small set of questions I hope you don't mind if I lob then all together.
My S.purpurea seems to have clean little holes forming in some of the leaves, the water drains out of these holes and I was wondering if it is normal, is it the sun magnifying through the water? are insects eating their way out?
Also about S.purpurea, my plant has grown leaves in almost every conveibable direction, once a tight rosette of leaves has been formed, where do the new leaves grow to? do they sit on top of the old ones?
And why do my dionaea traps turn black and rot off whenever they catch real prey?

Answer
Hi Danny,

Since I don't have a photo I can only take a guess at the holes on your purpurea leaves.  Neat little holes don't tend to be sunburn.  They are usually from an insect, and it cold be something chewing it's way out.  You would have to observe and see if you have any kind of worm or little grub that is in the pitchers, or on the outside making holes.

After S. purpurea has grown some they frequently form tight masses.  You can trim out any dead leaves during the winter to open up the crown.  Once the plant gets multiple growing points you can also divide the plant.  This is best done in early spring.  Since you plant sounds like a variety that gets tight masses (not all do) division every few years is a good idea to prevent Botrytis mold from infecting the crown.

How soon a flytrap leaf trap dies depends on various factors such as the size of the trap, your growing conditions, particularly sun, age of the trap and temperatures.  I find that most of the time when traps die quickly after catching a larger bug it's because the plant isn't getting enough sun.  It takes lots of energy for the plant to manufacture the enzymes for the digestion process (bugs do not provide energy), so if sunlight isn't adequate, the bugs start to decay before the plant can finish digesting them.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.cobraplant.com

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