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Carnivorous Plants/Deformed leaves


Nepenthes Ventricosa
Nepenthes Ventricosa  
My name is nick and i live in meridian Idaho, zone 6 region.  I am writing regarding a problem i am experiencing with some of my Nepenthes.  I grow my Nepenthes in a N.E. facing window that gets less than an hour of sunlight and is supplemented with florescent bulbs that are on a 16 hour cycle at this time of the year.  I water with regular tap water that is less than 80 ppm and flush out all my plants with distilled water every other month.  The soil mix i use is 1 part peat moss, 1 part sphagnum moss, 2 parts perlite, and a top cover of small fir bark to prevent the perlite from floating to the top.  The problem I am experiencing is that some of the leaves are deformed and getting smaller and smaller.  This looks like aphid damage to me which I have had before except for two reasons.  1. The only species that are having this occur are all N. ventricosa or hybrids with N. ventricosa present. (The only exception being my N. spectabilis x talangensis). 2. Both times i have had aphids before i could actually see the aphids all over the place.  The picture below is of my N. ventricosa mother plant.  This plant I recieved when it was already mature enough to flower and i have had this specific plant for two years.  My other plants are anywhere from 1-5 years old and i have had them from 6 months to 2 years.  Just to confuse it even more, all the damage (with one exception) is confined to N. ventricosa and hybrids thereof, but not all my ventricosa/hybrids have the damage present.  Thanx for your time and i hope i included enough info.  Nick

That is a classic sign of thrips.  They are very tiny critters that damage new growth on plants.  Often they are very difficult to find because they are tiny and hide in the developing new growth.  The best way to get rid of them is to spray your plants with a systemic insecticide. Watch our video podcast about using insecticides.

You may need to repeat again in a few weeks.  However, the current leaves are already damaged, so this is permanent.  You'll know when you eradicated the thrips when you see normal new growth again.  

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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Sarracenia Northwest


If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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