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Carnivorous Plants/Drosera Filiformis black leaves

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sundew in distilled water
sundew in distilled wa  

the dead-looking leaves
the dead-looking leave  
Hello,

I recently became interested in carnivorous plants again, and I bought a threadleaf sundew from an internet vendor about two months ago. It sits in a saucer of distilled water outdoors, recieving direct sunlight for about six hours, and bright indirect sunlight for the rest of the day. The soil is pure sphagnum moss. It was doing well and making plenty of dew until a few weeks ago, when the younger leaves and emerging leaves became black and dead- looking. I live in southern Michigan, but recently there's been a bout of rainy, windy weather. How can I save my plant? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!

Answer
Hi Jiung,

Your soil media and water are fine, but here's a couple things that could be the issue here.  First, the plant may just be going dormant.  Depending on when this filiformis came out of dormancy in the spring, and the geographic origin of the particular strain of this plant, it may just be time for it to shut down.  We definitely have some that really slow down after blooming this time of year.  Our D. x hybrida's which are from New Jersey, start forming their hibernacula right now.

The other issue might be your pot and saucer.  A net pot may not be to this plant's liking since it's not an epiphyte like an orchid.  Try switching to a regular pot so the roots are not exposed, and use an opaque saucer.  I'm not real fond of clear saucers since they can concentrate heat like a little greenhouse.  The water can get very hot in this type of saucer, and root damage could cause the symptoms you're seeing.

If you really like D. filiformis, I recommend getting some seeds this fall, and sow them on several pots and leave them outside for the winter.  They'll germinate in the spring, and you'll have more of them than you know what to do with. :)

Good Growing!

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

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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.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

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