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Spiders in pitchers? A Nuisance?


lil_flytrap_kid
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All of my sarracenia seem to have a spider inhabiting every pitcher at one time or another. Today I was looking at my S x popei and noticed the typical web inside and a spider sitting there with an undeserved meal. It really annoys me because obviously no insects end up getting digested! But I know about plants that use spiders and other animals to an advantage by feeding off the waste products from them (Their poo :D ) Anyway :D I just got a twig and stuck it inside the pitcher destroying the web and pushing the spider down to [hopefully] it's death.

Is there anyway I can prevent spiders making homes out of my pitchers? Or shall I just leave nature to take it's course? I really want to hear your opinions.

Thanks.

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Guest Aidan
.Is there anyway I can prevent spiders making homes out of my pitchers?

No and pushing it down the pitcher will be ineffective. Unlike flies, spiders will simply climb back out. :D

.Or shall I just leave nature to take it's course?

Yes. Every plant I grow (thousands!!!) must have at least one resident spider.

Let them have their share...

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.Or shall I just leave nature to take it's course?

Yes. Every plant I grow (thousands!!!) must have at least one resident spider.

Let them have their share...

But I don't grow thousands of plants like you - I don't have the room, the money, the permission [i am 14 and still -obviously- live with my parents], so you may have the odd few whereas all of my few plants have them in. I have 3 outdoor Sarras that are mature and I want them to get the nutrition they should be getting. And having webs in all of them is completely stupid. I was just wondering if there was anyway of stopping it in the first place. Now I know the answer is No, I will have to just keep an eye on them and scoop out the spiders and get rid of the webs. Thanks for the feedback.

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Guest Aidan

What I said was that I must have thousands (probably tens of thousands)of spiders living amongst my plants! Your plants will get all the nutrition they need with or without spiders present. Think about it... You are not there to to unblock every single pitcher of every plant in existence and they all do fine without your help.

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But if you think about it; wild Sarracenia don't have the luxury of people scooping out spider webs. I'm sure your plants will be getting sufficient nutrition - they don't need a pitcher full of flies to obtain the correct amount of nutrients.

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I sometimes see a bit of silk in between pitchers, but I never see any spiders and certainly none blocking pitchers. You must be unlucky!

Talking of nutrition, has anyone noticed there aren't a huge number of insects around? The miserable second half of May maybe set them back a few weeks?

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Surely an empty pitcher isn't OK?

I mean, I keep seeing these beautiful plants grown by so many people on this forum. And I just want to try my best to acheive this myself. The fact that I have few plants makes it easier to pay more attention to them and 'help them out' sometimes even out of the littlest of problems. Surely you can't blame me for doing this?

What's wrong with giving my plants a little 'luxury' - Isn't that what cultivating a plant is all about? And enjoying the rewards of a beautiful plant?

Sorry I'm blabbing on but I don't want you to think of me as some overly excited teenager who's making a big deal over nothing. I only asked a simple question.. Now I have the answer. Thanks for that :lol:

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Guest Aidan

The worst thing that you can do with plants... any plants, is fuss endlessly over them. Keep your plants watered and leave them to get on with what they do.

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The biggest problem I have with my Sarracenia is they quickly get too full of insects and then the pitchers start rotting. I have considered putting cotton wool in the entrances to slow their gluttony, but at the end of the day I can't actually be bothered!

I don't think that spiders stop insects getting in the pitchers in the long term. How long does a spider live?

Cheers,

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Guest Sheila

Spiders have quite a varied lifespan. Some of our smaller native ones only live for a year, but the bigger ones such as female tarantulas can live for 12 - 30 years, male tarantulas usually only live for 5 -7 years. I find I get quite a few spiders weaving webs in the top of pitchers but it is not usually more than one or two pitchers on a plant which leaves most of them still able to catch and digest food, so I leave the spiders alone, we all have to make a living somehow. :)

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I go through the greenhouse with a soft brush, cleaning out the spiders' webs from the walls and apex of the inside of the roof every so often. The insects aren't flocking to the pitchers just as much as I'd like them to at the moment, and it doesn't hurt to hobble the competition!

That said, I'd find pitcher de-cobwebbing very time consuming and fiddly. I know where Aidan is coming from, too. Over-fussing with plants can be as destructive as neglect!

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I guess it comes down to what the pitcher plants' real job is: Is it to catch flies and insects? or is it to privide a home for spiders?

OK, so they may have evolved to allow the ingestion of insects, but who's to say that part of that evolution wasn't about spiders too - even in some small part!?!

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Strange, I don't get spiders inside pitchers, but I do get a lot of the ones that don't do a web (the kind you see on flowers). They always manage to be the same color as the plant. Should post some photos ...

http://usuarios.lycos.es/portalcarnivoro/concurso22.jpg

I've seen 4 or 5 different species on my plants

I get those spiders too. We call them crab spiders....

crabsp2.jpg

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I have spiders in pitchers and out. The best thing you can do to get good looking healthy Sarracenia is to give them loads of sun. Also, the best looking pitchers are those not crammed full of prey, as has been already mentioned. I don't think spiders matter much.

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