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Jagged leaves? help?!

Joined
Apr 21, 2003
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9
Hey guys, something's going on with my little vft! All of my new leaves have grown in with a jagged edge, like they've been chewed up. And some of them have already begun to rot and their not fully formed yet! What is this? What should I do?

Also, some of the fuller grown leaves are also rotting (normal rot that is). Should I clip them off now or wait for them to rot away completely?

Thanks!
 

Ozzy

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Are you sure that it's not trying to go dormant? Did you give it a winter dormancy this year?
 
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It is hard to tell what is going on from your description, but it sounds like a couple of possibilities. The chewed-looking leaves could be from some bug or slug. Check the plant and pot thoroughly for bugs. I do not know what "normal rot" is, but rotting young newly-forming leaves is not normal and suggests that the plant may have a disease. You might consider repotting the plant. Carefully wash the plant and roots in pure water, looking for evidence of bugs. Remove any sign of rotting. Then replant the cleaned-up VFT in fresh sphagnum peat, or peat and sand. This may be unnecessary -- you be the judge.
 
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No, I didn't give it a dormancy period because I bought it in about a month ago and figured that the store had either taken care of it or that it was too late for the plant to have one.

And by "normal rot" I mean the rotting of the older leaves that had already opened and completed their purpose.

I'll try and describe it with better detail. Each new leaf that comes up looks just fine and healthy for a while, like a bright green stalk. Then, as the leaf unfolds (into the V-shaped formation) I'll notice that the edges look chewed up and are beginning to rot. The "mouth" part of these new leaves is usually already black or brown and never grows and opens.
 

Ozzy

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I just want to make sure that you're describing what I think you are before I tell you what I think.

When you say the edge of the leaf, you don't mean the trap, you mean the part of the leaf below the trap. The edge is jagged, like it almost has perfect v shaped points down the side of the leaf.

Is this close to what you are describing?
 

RamPuppy

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That is the impression I am getting... what do you think Ozzy? maybe fungus gnats gnawing on the young flesh, and then as the leaf grows the damaged parts cause the leaf to fail since they don't grow?

What conditions do you have the plant in? have you seen a lot of gnats around? any small insects that look like sand almost? or little red ones? Do you have any other plants in this area and how are they doing?

Before uprooting the plant and washing it down, an effort that will most likely send it into shock, we should make a best effort determination of what is going on with the plant.

If it is insect, I would say either make the choice of dunking the plant and submerging it, pot and all, in pure distilled or RO water for about an hour or two, that should be sufficient to drown any pests. Some people go longer, and that may be prescribed.

Note, what I said above will only do you good if you are suffering from pests.

Another thing to consider, is that you said you just bought it from a store. Many times, unfortunately, places like Lowes of Home Depot will kill a Carnivorous plant in the store by giving it tap water. Sometimes even a mile fertilizer, and many times this often ends up killing the plant slowly, and a few weeks after the potential hobbyist takes the plant home, it starts dieing, and they think it's something they did, when in reality, there was little, if anything they could do to save it.

usually your ok if you do one of two things: Get the plant as they are un-boxing it and setting up the display. or Take it home, and flush the pot with a gallon or so of distilled water if they have been there longer.

What your experiencing does not sound like either of the last two conditions, it honestly sounds like fungus gnats larvae to me, if I am reading you right, OR that your plant is not in optimum lighting conditions... If you have other VFT's in the area showing strong growth, then your OK there, and it is probably the larvae, dunk the pot in that case.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
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Ok, I just examined my plant carefully.

When I say the leaves are jagged, I mean the part below the traps, the V shaped stalk. I don't know what the traps are like because as of yet, none of them have grown to term. And when I say jagged, no they are not perfect v-shaped triangles down the stalk. It almost looks like something have chewed the stalk while it was rolled up and forming. The edges are irregular and browning, and the little bit on top of the stalk that would eventually become a trap, is black.

I keep my plant in my room (which stays above 70 degrees F) and I use the dish method, giving it bottled water (not tap). I do not use a terrarium because I read online that the dish method would be sufficient and a terrarium would cook the plant if kept in sunlight. I keep the plant by my window, and though it is not in full sunlight it does get light, though maybe not enough (I'm not sure). I do not have any other plants in the room, and have noticed no bugs or gnats around the plant.

However, upon looking at it I discovered a light covering of white fluffy stuff in certain areas on the soil. Am I right in thinking this is bad?
 

RamPuppy

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White fuzzy stuff is mold or fungus. You can order banrot or Clearys 3336 from this site to take care of it. I don't know that it is your problem though, I doubt it. (Oh, I reccomend the Cleary's)

What compass point does your window face? North, South, East? West? and where do you live?

If your in the Northern Hemisphere, Southern exposures are ideal, opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, Western Exposures usually give you the Sunds brutal afternoon force, and at least here, can give a plant difficulty.

At this point, I am going to guess either low lighting, or fungas gnat larvae...

You might want to consider moving it to a better location with more light, if the problem persists, or worsens, you might want to give it a good dunk to take care of any soil born predators munching on it.

oh, one last thing, bottled water... what kind? You should always use RO or Distilled, Ozarka and other brands of drinking bottled water have salt in them, this will build up and kill your plant faster than you can imagine.

Oh, and ifeel your pot in the afternoons, is it getting warm?
 

Ozzy

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I think that your ploblem could be a mixture of the bottled water and the low light. If you give a vft direct sun all day long they will be happy, just let them get use to the sunlight slowly. You can probably put it outside and it will be alot healthier, Where do you live?
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
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I'm a bad parent!!!
sad.gif
Jagged leaves, rot, mold, bad sunlight, wrong water...

*Sniffs* Ok anyways. I've been using just bottled spring water. Poland Natural Spring Water and whatever other bottled water water I can find. As long as it wasn't tap water I figured I was safe.

I'm located in New York and since I don't have a compass, the best I can figure is that my plant is facing North (which is bad I now realize). I'm not sure I can put my plant in a Southern facing window without running the risk of it being eaten by my cats. I'll figure something out....
 
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