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Altair

H. Tatei rotting pitcher

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Hi, last spring I bought a H. tatei var tatei. I keep the plant in an highland terrarium, 25 - 30°C day and 10°C night.

This winter I have a lot of midge in the terrarium and I think the plant has an overfeeding problem: the yougest pitcher starts rotting at the middle, then becomes yellowish on the top and now is going to completely rot.

Is rhizome in danger? Sould I cut all the pitcher from the base? I know that Tatei hate to get its pitchers cut.

Last week:

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Today:

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dsc052715xk.th.jpg

Thanks,

Vale

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Guest Andreas Eils

Hi Vale,

I have a similar problem on my H. hispida for a few weeks for reasons not visible to me. But you should cut the rotting pitcher as well as all other completely dead pitchers. As the newest pitcher still looks very fine it doesn´t look acutely to a rhizome harm. But should the newest pitcher suddenly begin to wither from the top it could be a sign for rhizome fungus.

Has the prey inside the pitcher begun to molder? That could probably be the reason for the pitcher´s decay. Also if the pitcher surface is wet long term this could cause selective die off of the pitcher tissue (by fungus attack). Therefore Heliamphoras kept in terraria are better not regularly misted.

Keep watching the newest pitcher. Maybe it is for advantage to lower the humidity a little during very warm weather - down to ~ 60%. :?:

Hope, everything will become well again,

Andreas

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Ok, thanks for the reply.

I cut the pitcher in the middle. I'm sure the plant got too much preys: the pitchers liquid is black.

All the parametres are right, I water the plant only when the live sphagnum in the surface starts to became white, the humidity is low (I don't have an hygrometer but i keep the plants in an open terrarium, very close to the lights), the temperatures vary from 25°C during the day and 8°C at night.

Is there a way to "clean" the pitchers from the excess of preys? I really have a lot of midges in the terrarium and they enjoy doing bungee jumping down to my tatei pitcers. Maybe aboundant water from above, inside the pitchers will simulate a rain, washing out the dead rotting insects.

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Guest Andreas Eils
...they enjoy doing bungee jumping down to my tatei pitcers.

Hi Altair (or Vale),

very nice imagination midges doing bungee jumping into the pitcher! :haha2:

You can pour water into the pitchers and carefully agitate the pitcher´s content with a small stick or so to get the prey loose from the walls. Then you turn the pitchers over a washbasin letting all fluid run out. Some cadavers of prey that leave at the pitcher wall can be wiped away with a cotton bud (Q-tip). After cleaning you fill the lower third of the pitcher with fresh water. Must work.

Have once cleaned one of my pitchers this way that have caught too large prey. Actually I first removed the cadaver with a forceps. But that could be a lot of Sisyphean task with hundreds of small midges.

Regards,

Andreas

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Dear Altair:

I have seen that problem before. it's usually a fungal infection. You should treat it with fungicide.

Cutting the affected pitcher may not be enough since the fungus produce spores. Spores are like the seeds of the fungus and these things are resistant to all types of treatments including heat and bleach. It only takes a couple of spores left behing and the infection will start all over again

Gus

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thanks for the advices, I'll control the new pitchers. If they'll get the same problem without overfeed I'll treat the plant.

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