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Carnivorous Plants/Black Spots/Decay Appear on New VFT Leaves



The attached pictures show newly emerging leaves with black spots, decay, and deformity.The spots appear randomly on new leaves on the same plant; some leaves have it, then several new leaves appear without it, then it appears again.

Location: outdoor bog garden (with drainage holes)
Soil: sphagnum peat, builders sand (may not be washed), some perlite
Water: RO water (new filters, runs great)
Sun: about 6-7 hours full sun daily

I thought the soil may have been the problem, so I replaced the soil with pure sphagnum (the kind from Lowe's in the large bales), but the black spot problem persists. Any suggestions?

Thank you ahead of time!

Someone suggested that I may be over watering the plants. Is that possible in a bog garden?

Hi Kirk,

This looks like it could be a couple things.  You mentioned builders sand.  I've used builders sand in the past with disasterous results.  It is unwashed with a high mineral impurity.  It is often used with concrete, so they don't wash soil material out of it.  It's better to use children's play sand, or better, commercial grade sand which is silica.  Here's an example:

The other problem might be the peat moss.  You said you got it at Lowes.  What was the brand?  About a month ago we picked up a bag of Greensmix peat moss at our local Lowes here, and it was loaded with mineral impurities.  Plants in it have been ok after the peat was leached for awhile, but if you were to have this stuff, combined with the builder's sand, it would be too much for Venus Flytraps.  This is the only brand of Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss we've ever had this problem with.  One other time we got some Greensmix and it had cow manure in it.  I'm in the process of writing this company.

So, unfortunately, you will probably need to change the soil again.  Sorry. :(

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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