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Carnivorous Plants/Leaves growing smaller


QUESTION: Hi, I have a Drosera capensis typical and two albas that appear to be very healthy; the capensis has bright red tentacles and is flowering nicely while the albas have a nice bright green color and pinkish tentacles.  Recently, I trimmed the dead leaves on the plants and repotted them and I noticed that the new growth that was coming in contained much smaller leaves.  Probably around 1-2 inch petioles with .5 inch lamina as opposed to the previous 2-3 inch petioles with 1 inch laminas.  I'm wondering if the trimming and repotting might have caused this, or if it is because of the flowering.  Please let me know what you think! Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Austin,

Flowering often does slow them down.  Unless you want seeds, cutting the flower off can help.  Also, making sure the plant is getting more food will help.  If they are not catching lots of bugs give them some rehydrated blood worms, or once every two weeks spray the leaves with a 1/4 strength orchid fertilizer. (Usually that's 1 teaspoon of powdered fertilizer per gallon of water)  Only mist leaves and try not to get much on the soil.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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QUESTION: Okay, thanks for the help! I have one more question.  What do you guys use to prevent algae from growing in pots or to get rid of algae already there?  I grow all of my Droseras under fluorescent lights and I always get algae in every pot.  I try spreading moss into new pots, and while it seems to help, it takes a while.

Hi Austin,

There's a couple things you can do to help with the algae.  First is to rinse your peat a couple times before using it.  Essentially this will mean getting it saturated, let is soak awhile, squeeze or strain it, then do it one more time.  Current consumer peat moss is not the greatest quality, so if you can get out excess mineral salts, it gives the algae less food.

The other thing you can do is pour boiling water onto your media before using it.  This will kill algae spores and slow it down.  Combining the two, boiling water with rinsing works very well.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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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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