U. livida problem


Richard Bunn
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During early summer I bought a starter of the Durban form of U. livida from Nigel HC. I planted it in small ceramic pudding basin (around 15cm) in peat and perlite, and kept the water level quite high and it thrived all summer and flowered well.

The trouble is now it is looking incredibly bad and is getting over run with moss too. What am I doing wrong and how can I save it?

I noticed the other 3 terrestrial Utrics I have (uniflora, bisquamata 'Betty's Bay' & sandersonii) that I have kept growing in either 5cm pots or egg cups are doing much better. Did I go overkill on the size of the container for the livida and upset the balance? I was wanting it to colonise the bowl

If I was to cut all the moss down to the ground will the Utric come back from beneath the soil?

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Hi Richard,

could you post a photo of how your U. livida looks like right now. It it goes for terrestrial Utricularia, I hope I can say, that they generally don't die in an instant. If they have somehow bad conditions, they slowly, but constantly grow worse and worse. I wouldn't expect U. livida to just start dying just like that. It must have had grown worse for some time to reach this point is now. Have you any idea when it started happening? Maybe some change in conditions, or maybe a lack of such could be the trigger. I feel like I lack information here.

It is interesting why the pot have been so much overgrown by a moss. I don't have such problems in peat with sand mixtures and Utricularia like it much. Maybe it could be something with your water or maybe perlite made the mixture more rich for moss to grow so well...

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When exactly it started to look worse. What temperatures you have in your greenhouse where you kept it. The soil mix doesn't look well, at least for me. I don't know if it will be good to replant it at this time of year, but I am afraid you might not have much of a choice. I think that peat with sand 1:1 or 1:2, or even pure peat should be enough. Just as formality I will write, "well washed sand" if you will use any. If I wanted to save this plant I would leave it on the windowsill, providing it warm temperatures or even put under artificial light to a terrarium or so.

I am afraid, that the leaf that can be seen, might be all what is left of your plant. It can regrow, but from my own experience I can tell you that it can take different length of time. It can take 3 moths or even 7 months, before it will start growing at all. At least I had such situation with U. livida 'Mexico'... Now it started growing fine, but for 7 months it was just one leaf rosette.

Also bringing it from your greenhouse to your house could be a kind of shock, which could worsen it state. The best thing you can do is not to change the conditions too much now.

I am just guessing that it might have had too cold in your greenhouse, but I do not have knowledge about how cold temperatures U. livida can withstand.

I hope I helped even a little.

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Yep. I would change the soil mix. Less perlite if at all (I never go above 30% anymore). I find my utrics don't like perlite, especially when it is breaking down. Also you should every year repot your utrics and when you do that try to break up the plant the a little/ Even al little tearing and turning the poll inside out helps to activate growth..

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I grow my livida in pure dried spag, 12cm tall pot and a water level of 5-6cm with partial sun and they thrive, but your soil looks like there is either somthing in it mineral wise thats to high or the plant has been in stagnant air.

I also have a couple small pots of livida in equal peat/sand, but they grow much slower in peat for me.

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I went against what I said in the last post and ended up potting what I could salvage into dead LFS in a 2" pot. There's less chance of other mosses growing then. If I can remember how to properly upload a photo then I'll do one tomorrow.

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I grow my livida in pure dried spag, 12cm tall pot and a water level of 5-6cm with partial sun and they thrive, but your soil looks like there is either somthing in it mineral wise thats to high or the plant has been in stagnant air.

I also have a couple small pots of livida in equal peat/sand, but they grow much slower in peat for me.

I'd agree with everyone else that it looks like your soil composition had broken down quite a bit and your plant needs a repotting.

I also grow mine in lfs. That, more than anything, seems to help. However, I've found with my clones of U. livida (I have 2 definitely, and possibly a third) that livida appreciates high humidity, as might U. calycifida. In fact, I've found growing livida in the same conditions as U. calycifida causes it to flourish.

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