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  1. greetings. i am needing to build a sort of long-term no-maintenance bog garden. i have several Saracen growing in self-watering pots, but am about to depart on a 3 year contract abroad. i have someone who will be renting my place, and although they are entirely competent i would much rather they not have to do anything for my plants. to that end, i am planning on digging in a bog garden. it will be watered with drip-off from a dehumidifier running inside, and the drip-off from an air-conditioning unit's evaporator coil. so there will be plenty of water even during dry spells. i already have a scheme for building a water entrapment in the bottom of the container that will hold many more gallons of water than simply saturating the aggregate, AND avoid making a home for mosquito like an open container would. my question, then, is about the container itself. i have been looking at various water-troughs for livestock... mostly made out of recycled rubber or plastic. but none of the ones in the size i like give me the depth i need. and then it occurred to me that i have an abandoned truck tool-box just sitting in a shed! the box is 13" deep, 17" wide and 50+" across. is there any risk to my plants from using a container made of raw aluminum to hold them? i know aluminum-oxide is toxic to ingest for animals, but do plants have any problem with it? plan b is a large plastic storage bin, also buried. thanks for advice :)
  2. thank you for the reply :) getting the neem oil isn't the problem, i already have it. my question is about what dilution is recommended and whether or not i need to wash the plant off after the application? have you had success using your neem oil on sarracenia without problems?
  3. greetings. my sarracenia are suffering from an infestation of some type of red aphid, and the resultant white fungus growing from the waste of the little buggers. i did not see any aphids until i was taking the picture of the fungus for this post, so it's not an overwhelming number of them, but the plants are visibly suffering from their presence all the same. i have both neem oil and pyrethrin concentrate on hand, and seen a lot of people praising neem oil as a general fungicide and for pest control... but i haven't seen any mention of after-care. all the other times i've used neem oil there have been specific instructions to apply in the evening and to wash the oil off in the morning to avoid burning the leaves. none of the posts recommending neem oil have mentioned washing the plants off afterwards. is this not needed for sarracenia? i've also seen opinions back and forth about adding soap to the mix, and for the concentration of the neem oil to use. any suggestions? i have also had good success with pyrethrin for pest control, but haven't seen anyone recommending it on here. what is the opinion of pyrethrin on carnivorous plants in general, and sarracenia in particular? concentration and after-care? the plant has picked up some brown spots lately, which i attribute to the dang aphids. i've included a picture of that as well. any advice would be appreciated :)
  4. accidentally posted this in the wrong section of the forum :< have been unable to find a way to delete it.
  5. thanks for all the great replies :) i've been keeping a careful eye on the plant, and haven't seen any indication that the ants are nibbling anywhere, so i think i'll do as Alexis suggests and just leave things be. my greater concern that was they damage the rhizome when they burrow or nest, but i figure since the pot is essentially wet all the time, i doubt they're actually going to choose to nest there... all the ants i ever see tend to nest in the dry bits of my yard. so if they're just scrounging for food, then no harm done! i've heard the soap/water trick before. it works on more than just ants, it will totally knock wasps out of their nest. in fact, a bucket half full with water and a good squirt of dish-washing liquid is my method of choice for dispatching paper wasps whenever they nest near my house. just be sure to slosh the water around a bit first to disperse the soap. the wasps are nearly dead before they hit the ground!
  6. greetings. so far this forum has been brilliant help, so i dutifully return with yet another question for the experts :) i have just recently moved my potted sarracenia flava from one house to another. and no sooner do i find an appropriately sunny patch to set it up in, do i notice that there has been an immediate infestation with fire ants! my initial move was to flick out the ants i could see, and then surround the pot with a thickly spread ring of diatanacious earth to hopefully keep fresh ants from showing up. apparently this hasn't worked. as there are now bunches of ants in the pot, and some crawling around on the pitchers themselves. panic stricken, i ran to the forum and searched for ants. now it appears that these ants actually won't harm the plant, but will indeed fall helplessly into the pitchers if/when they venture too far up? my biggest concern was the ants chewing up the rhizome of the pitcher plants as they nest, but if that generally doesn't happen with fire ants, it sounds like it's just going to be free food for the plant? lastly, if it turns out that the ants must go, is it safe to sprinkle diatanacious earth into the potting medium the plant is living in? thanks!
  7. thank you for your reply. :) do you think it would be better to cut off the older pitchers, so that the newly sprouted get more direct sunlight? i wasn't entirely accurate, the old pitchers are not browning out entirely, the top of the trap browns out and the rest of the pitcher looks really beleaguered and just generally in poor shape. i assume that without the string holding them up, they would droop all the way and then fully brown out. i actually got the plant from a road-side vendor down near Orlando. i live in northern florida, and had only seen this plant whizzing by as i drove down coastal highways. The guy sold a weird mix of bonsai trees and various carnivorous plants. i'll include a picture of my Sarracenia to give you a more informed opinion about the condition of the first and second sprouted pitchers (the shorter ones, that are cut off are LAST years leaves. the tops browned off during the winter, but the rest of the leaf stayed green so i left them on) (http://www.jasongoes.com/!/pitcher.jpg) don't know why it wouldn't post? it looks like i'll need to re-pot this winter!
  8. greetings! i've had a Sarracenia flava plant for almost two years now, and this is my second summer. this spring the plant put up many more pitchers than before (due to improved placement, i think. more sun!), and they are upright compared to the floppy low-light ones from last year. i have four wooden stakes attached to the pot, and string tied in a ring around the stakes to help give the previously droopy pitchers some support. now, my first spring pitchers have started to brown out along the top of the pitcher-cover... lip... thing, and new bright green pitchers are opening up in the center of the plant. when i cut the strings loose the browning pitchers promptly flopped sadly over and the new ones remain firmly upright. i've since tied a looser ring of string around the stakes so that the old pitchers are upright but canted out away from the pot to not crowd the new ones. should i do that? or should i cut off the older browning pitchers since they'd just flop over in nature and get broken off soon enough? all the plants i've seen in the wild have about half as many pitchers as mine currently does, so that tells me the pitchers naturally brown out and break off and are continually replaced during the growing season. yes?
  9. thanks for the advice :) i'll trot out and trim off the brown bits as soon as the rain stops.
  10. greetings. i've got a Sarracenia flava that's been fairly successfully growing in a large pot for nearly a year. this past winter all of the pitchers browned off at the tips, but have retained green lowers. the plant is now putting up several new pitchers and even has 4 flowers! my question is, should i trim back the browned top-portion of the old pitchers to let more light get to the new? i'm hesitant to cut the browned pitchers off at the base, because they're still green from about two-thirds down. any suggestions? i know i've missed the winter trimming/repotting that you're supposed to do, but i'm fairly sure the current pot is big enough for another season. thanks for any advice!