Serious weed problem in greenhouse..


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Hi guys,

I have some problems with a species of weed in my plant pots inside the greenhouse (photos below).

I thought it was a harmless species and I controlled them just by removing them with my hands...

BUT the lost months I can't control them anymore, they appear everywhere: first in the pots of my Sarracenia and more specific near the death/brown pitchers.

This was not a big problem for me until I saw what actually happens: First they grow in the soil near the brown parts but than they are growing on the old parts of the rhizome and the rhizome begins to rot and after a few months the whole plant dies and the whole rhizome is soft, weak and rot..

I'm not a big fan of herbicides but I don't see other options, so I'm searching for a good weed killer...Suggestions?

Are there people who had the same problem and how did you solved it?

Here some photos of the b******:

506SNB18981.jpg

396SNB18983.jpg

412SNB18986.jpg

Kind Regards,

Laurent :thank_you2:

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It looks like some kind of moss to me. It doesnt look like any kind of parasite. Parasitic plants would be attached to your plants with specialized structures and they wouldnt cause the host to rot otherwise they would be destroying thenselves to.

It may just be a coincidence that your plant died when these other plants appeared. There may be some other underlying problem. How many have died with these plants in close association? Have you dug up one of the dead plants and examined the rhizome closely for other pests?

Edited by mantrid
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I have this plant in just about all of my pots... It appears to be in some batches of peat. I don't think it does any harm , the problem I have with it is that it starts to out-compete everything else, and is difficult to weed as it has quite a tight root system once established. Even with bigger plants it quickly fills out the entire pot. I try to sterilize my peat in the microwave before using it, which seems to help to some extent, but sooner or later I always find it sprouting rolleyes.gif

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It looks like some kind of moss to me. It doesnt look like any kind of parasite. Parasitic plants would be attached to your plants with specialized structures and they wouldnt cause the host to rot otherwise they would be destroying thenselves to.

It may just be a coincidence that your plant died when these other plants appeared. There may be some other underlying problem. How many have died with these plants in close association? Have you dug up one of the dead plants and examined the rhizome closely for other pests?

Yes I dug up one of the dead plants and I didn't found any other pests on/in the rhizome. But maybe, like Elliot says (below), the Botrytis is the reason of the infection.

It looks like you have Botrytis on that plant.

Hi Elliot,

Thanks mate, went to the greenhouse a few minutes ago and it's not the only plant with Botrytis. I did some survey on the www and I think this is the reason of the death of some of my plants. I never saw this before and that's very strange because I examined my plants already some months to find the problem and never saw that damage. Tomorrow I'am going to buy a good herbicide.

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It will also be near impossible to kill just the moss with the herbicide without killing your Sarracenia too, as they are very close to each other and the herbicides are generally sprayed on.

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I don't want to kill the moss because it doesn't kill my plants but I want to kill the botrytis. If the moss doesn't affect my plants, I don't need to use something against it but I thought the moss was the problem but it is the botrytis.. I found some herbicides on the web for the treatment of the botrytis and tomorrow I will search something in my local garden center which kill the botrytis and not my plants (I hope I'll find something good) but first of all I want to remove the parts which are infected by this disease..

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There is no sure way to get rid of botrytis, even with herbicide or fungicide. Just remove all infected parts, keep your plants well ventilated, and dust them with sulphur powder if you wish.

The best cure is prevention as far as botrytis is concerned.

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Botrytis seems almost impossible to kill. All you can do is dig up the rhizome and cut away all the brown parts until you reach white tissue. And if you have anything left with roots you can try replanting and hope for the best. I've had one plant go brown this year despite the relatively mild winter (here at least). I've now removed the brown parts and it seems to be growing but only time will tell.

Some plants I gave this treatment last year are only now just recovering. It'll be a few years before they're full size plants again.

Best of luck.

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The recent cold spell in europe is probably to blame for the botrytis.It will have frozen the rhizome so bad it bursts the plant cell walls.This only becomes apparent when they thaw out and botrytis gets a hold,it can go from nothing at all to being completely covered in the stuff overnight.

I know,i had the same thing happen to many plants the winter before last,when it went down to nearly -17 degrees and didn't thaw out at all for weeks where i live.Only 1 day was above freezing in over 3 weeks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would say botrytis and spider mites. In the future, you might want to consider the practice of quarantining plants before introducing them to your show collections. I started this practice after discovering that a famous nursery whose name everyone would recognize once sent me a utric infested with mealybugs. I now put every plant I get through a 30 day quarantine until I am confident that it is pest free. It is easier to deal with one sick plant than an entire terrarium or greenhouse full of sick plants.

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I cannot help much with the health of your plants, but your 'weed' is a Moss, possibly a type of Polystichum.

Its in your growing media, its not interested in your plant.

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