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Carnivorous Plants/Drosera binata leaf die off


Hi guys!

Afraid my binata may be on its last legs and not sure why nor what may be done.  

Got it last summer and had it out on my unobstructed SE exposure 3rd floor balcony until temps cooled down in the fall and it had to be brought in.  (I live in Michigan.)  It resided on the second shelf of a plant stand I have on my balcony so it did receive some shade during the most intense part of the day.  To help keep it from becoming a tangled mess with other plants on my balcony, I made a small "peony hoop" for it out of copper wire.  During this time it did fine growing increasingly longer dewy forks.    

For the winter, it remained on the floor in front of the sliding glass doors for the balcony.  Again it did well.  New longer leaves with extra forking occurred and it even bloomed for me twice around March.  Plants have not yet been placed back outside for the summer.

The issue started around late April/early May.  The older leaves were dying off and I had new ones arising.  But before the "fiddlehead" of a new leaf unfurled (the leaf was approximately 2 inches long at this point), the growing tip blackened and the rest of the leaf soon followed.  I assumed that perhaps mechanical damage had occurred as I was moving plants to water them so thought little of it beyond being a bit miffed as to what I believed had been clumsiness on my part.  But then the same thing happened to the other new leaves.  Currently the plant is leafless though the leaf stubs at the crown still have some color.  (In this case the color is somewhat reddish/purplish which I am used to seeing with some plants that are receiving a good deal of light.)  Unfortunately I did not think to take a photo during "fiddlehead" death.

Whether it makes any difference, I do have a couple plantlets growing from flower stalk cuttings that appear to be doing fine.

Water:  Mainly RO water though last summer they also received some rain while on my balcony.  Over the winter I didn't keep the media as wet as I didn't know if the cooler temps would dictate water reduction as it does with most plants.  During the warm and hot months of the year, I try to keep 1/2 inch of water in their tray.

Temperature:  Last summer, temps were in the 80s and 90s by day, usually falling into the 70s at night.  Over winter, temps were in the 70's by day and upper 60's by night.  So far this spring, temps have been bouncing around with some days in the 80s but others in the upper 50s and 60s.  Most nights cooling down into the 60s or 50s.  During the few 80F days, since they are still indoors, the AC was on but the plants were not subject to any cold drafts from the AC.

Media:50/50 ground coir/coarse sand (quartz based)

Fertilizer:  Over winter, plants were occasionally fed some freeze-dried bloodworms.

Pests:  Haven't noticed any.  Haven't even seen more than the occasional fungus gnat.

Hi L'ster,

Did the problems with the sundew seem to start around the time of a transplant?  Also, could you send me a current photo of the plant?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

Carnivorous Plants

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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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