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Found 4 results

  1. Hiya peeps I've had a good poke around on the tinterweb to find care sheets for my new N,alata and N.hookeriana. I've found that a handful of folk feed their Neps by watering them with orchid feed instead of feeding caught insects or fish food flakes into the traps. The reason they said they do this was because they didn't like the look of mouldy things in the bottom of the traps and possibly the smell of decay. Which led to a thought popping up which was, can fungus/mould in the traps of pitcher plants be beneficial to the plants? I'm no microbiologist but I do have some understanding on how fungi work and it does fascinate me. Except for mouldy bread and rot on my plants. I do know that fungi are a secondary decomposer that can break down dead or decaying matter down to its molecular state. For multi celled fungi to get the nutrients they need is to send out growth known as mycelium through the soil or into dead material for new sources of food. The fungal root hair at the edges of the mycelium (known as hyphae) acts like minute pneumatic dills by increasing the water pressure in the tips of the growing hyphae which then pushes or punches the head through whatever its growing into. These microscopic hyphae are known to penetrate even the most toughest of materials and is the reason why people get fungal infections in their toe nails. Then the mycelium secretes enzymes and acids into the material to break it down to a more soluble form to absorb. My thinking is that with this in mind the fungus could help with the feeding process of pitcher plants, whether they are Nepenthes, Cephalotus or gluttonous Sarracenia. Especially in tall Sarracenia such as S.leucophylla or S.flava where their traps get filled with all kinds of creepy crawlies and out of reach from the digestive juices at the bottom of the leaf. Despite the leaves can become damaged when they are too full, I think the fungus that grows on the prey would be able to get their hyphae through the joints and air holes on the bodies of the insects and any excess nutritious juices then drips down into the leaf. These fungi could also help speed up the digestion process with something as big as a fat blue bottle which has a small surface area and may take a while for the plant's own juices to get into it to break it down. It would be interesting what everyone thinks on this and more so if anyone knows any research material on the subject. I've had a gander with no luck and one article mentioning that some Japanese scientists have found that the fluid in neps have anti bacterial and fungal enzymes which could be used to help people with infections in the gut. The following photos are of my N.'Bloody Mary' which is living the thug life on the landing window sill and one of its traps contains a mouldy fly. By the way the tea lights are there from black outs the other year and never get lit. Mike
  2. How do you guys control mould whilst germinating nepenthes seeds? I ask because i have some bicalcarata, spectabilis, flava and mirabilis seeds in milled sphag moss at the moment for the past 2-3 weeks. I treated the seeds to a hydrogen peroxide spray and did the same with the moss aswell as a blast in the microwave before sowing. i still get tiny amounts of green and white mould, less than the size od a pin head which i have been picking out to stop it spreading too much. does anyone use sprays etc it would be handy to know. thanks.
  3. Looking at my little D. capensis today I have seen many of the ends of the tentacles where the mucus comes from have turned black and some of the new leaves coming out look black!!!!! Are they done for, is it a fungus, black root rot!!! REALLY don't want to lose the first lot I have got to grow. Any help more than welcome.
  4. Has anyone used Bayer Systhane fungicide on carnivorous plants? It's active ingredient is Myclobutanil @1.53g/l. I haven't had a mould problem yet, but thought I'd get a fungicide just in case and I am unsure about which type to buy, the only thing I'm sure of is not to use copper based products, so any advice would be appreciated. Regards, Ian.