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why does my D. slackii look so terrible?

I cant get this thing to grow right.. it keeps making leaves but then aborts them before fully forming any tentacles. I have it under bright lights and temps average 60-80degrees throughout the day. i dont have a humidity gauge but im guessing it is generally pretty high since it is in a terrarium that i mist about 2-3 times a day... the plant is over a year old and has never looked nice

God bless!
Look closely and make sure there aren't any aphids on it. Otherwise, maybe too wet?
must be a finicky species....i have had mine for about 4 months and it rarely dews and if it does it doesn't stay on there long. I have had some success with it but i cannot maintain it....unfortunately the conundrum I run into is the plant seems to do better with more light but is too much for some of my other dews which were reduced from majestic plants to little shrubs. problem is i do not currently have the grow space so the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

the misting might be causing the deformation(although more i look at it the more i am thinking it may be too close to the lights).....generally sundews do not care for regular misting. The leaves seem bleached in that pic so it probably needs more light but if the light is already intense then reduce intensity a tad and add some reds to supplement(ie 2700k spectrum)

also how close is that plant to the bulbs?
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temp drops? this plant appreciate temp drops not unlike HL nepenthes.
i find mine grows best in cooler temps ,but amph might be correct with nightly drops,in the higher temps and more sun it colours up well but not so much dew,never looked as bad as yours so god bless (ever fed it)
See the Dec 2012 issue of The Carnivorous Plant Newsletter to see how these look when well grown.

Either you have pests like aphids or it has been exposed to temperatures below 40°F. I don't see skin moults but that doesn't mean there are no pests present. Lift up leaves and go over it with a magnifying glass.

If it has been exposed to cold weather it will eventually recover but might take up to a year. If cold enough (freezing) it will die down to the roots and regrow usually in the spring.

Try some root cuttings and start over.
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I grew this species for a year, but finally gave it away in frustration, as it never looked good. I've had many a grower tell me it is one of the fussier species and won't grow well if conditions are not precisely to its liking. I couldn't meet it's needs, apparently, so I sent it to a new home. NaN's comments are worth paying attention to. I would also reconsider wetting the foliage when you mist, even if your water is very clean (mineral free), since I have noted that a number of Drosera are cranky if the foliage is wet several times a day. I suspect this was a major cause of crabbiness for my D. slackii. (In my Nepenthes house, the fogger comes on many times a day and foliage is often dampened for brief periods)

You haven't used fertilizers or insecticides on your plant, have you? These can cause really bad looking foliage as well.
  • #10
granted my slackii is much smaller but trust me it looks better now than it used to. lol. Once the weather gets better i will have the necessary infrastructure to see if this thing can be grown better. you may not be able to see but a few of the tentacles have a tiny amount of dew on them so I think am close to appeasing it.

  • #11
The natural habitat of this sundew is the small peaty wetlands of the Kleinriviersberg Mountains and the southern Kogelberg, between 70 and 100km south-east of Cape Town. In the Kleinriviersberge this species is known from the boggy beginnings of at least two streams, and includes the type location. In this area it grows in the company of D. admirabilis, D. aliciae, D. capensis, D. x corinthiaca (=D. aliciae x D. glabripes), Utricularia bisquamata, and the sticky-leaved Roridula gorgonias. In the southern Kogelberg this species has been collected in the Palmiet River catchment and has narrower leaves than those of populations to the east. In both areas the plants grow in locations which receive precipitation throughout the year thanks to the not infrequent summer mists. These areas also experience periodic fires, which remove the above-ground growth of this sundew, but it readily resprouts from the roots.

Drosera slackii is an easy plant in cultivation, preferring a peat-based mix, a deep pot, water year-round, and plenty of sun. Whilst not experiencing frost in its natural habitat it is mildly frost tolerant and will resprout from the roots if the rosette is damaged. It is easily propagated by leaf cuttings, root cuttings and, when available, seed.
  • #12
thanks for the advice everybody.. I just repotted it into new soil, got some root cuttings and moved it closer to the lights and out of the water so it wont be so wet all the time. I'll cut down on the misting too or just put a dome over it.

cpbobby: thats exactly what mine looked like when i got it. It never got much better. It will form a leaf and have the outter tentacles just like yours but never completes the center ones. and it rarely has dew. I can't feed it when its like that so a couple times ive given it a bit of foliar fertilizer.. i dont think it helped.. it might have just helped keep it from dying completely since it didnt change its growth at all
  • #13
ahh...mine looked closer to yours when it was smaller and has improved to that state....I have recently deemed it healthy enough to take pullings from hence the missing leaves. i used to have more light in the terrarium and the slackii seemed to make more dew but caused many of my dews to start shrinking. lol. Not sure if the spectrums played a part but it did the best with the 5k bulb in there but cant say if it was that alone or that in addition to the 6400k and the 2700k bulbs which remain.
  • #14
i have two 26w 6500k cfl, one 26w 2700k cfl and one 18" cool white T8 bulb on my terrarium... my slackii was about 13 inches away from the lights but i raised it to 8 inches today

we'll see how it goes from here on
  • #15
I will receive a slackii this spring,
You guys make me feel i have to cancel my order lol
  • #16
it may be difficult, but not impossible. this was a slackii of mine growing along side my highland nepenthes. approximately 8 inches away from the lights:

unfortunately, i had to move it into room perimeters since i needed to make space for nicer things. it never looked as nice since...
  • #17
thats sweet amph heres mine natural outside the flower stalk was about 2foot long and flowered for 4 months
not the best pic its from last summer
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  • #18
that is one hell of a flower stalk
  • #19
sure is ,the best flower stalk i have had off a dew by far,so keep trying because its all worth it if you get them to flower,flowers are large too