Stunted growth on Sarracenia?

bumblinBee

Sprout
Hi there! First pic is from several months ago, second from last month, third from today. This one has been struggling since before and as long as I’ve had it. The pitchers never really mature to full size and they’ve got a wavey look to them? They keep making new pitchers so I know it's trying but I don't know what it's lacking. And then there’s those dried out tips. This isn’t a pest problem, I know cause I’ve been treating all my plants with a systemic and neem. The new growth is also considerably paler.. Is this a humidity issue? I’m assuming the paleness is from lack of light? I’ve got reduced lighting right now because it’s “winter” so that’s not unexpected.. but the rest of it? I’ve no idea what I’m doing wrong.
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As a side note, the root growth on this guy is crazy. Better root growth than any of my other CPs, I don’t know if that's just because of the kind of CP or something else? Please, any suggestions are welcome at this point!
 
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Sib

Carnivorous Plant Addict
my sarracenia usually have pretty robust root systems. you say lowered lighting because of winter is it in a cool spot then? cause even my semi-dormant plants put out a bit of weak growth in the winter.

I find any time I get a mass-produced plant like that I have to unpot it, rinse off whatever crap they put it in then repot it properly to get good growth, otherwise I get a bunch of spindly pitchers that like like that. Saracenia are light hogs. they like strong light and lots of it. to get strong growth you'll have to cater to that. looking at the lowii x next to it, it;s not bad. but length may be an issue.

are you planning on putting it outside in the spring? like is this just it's winter go? or the permanent home?
 

bumblinBee

Sprout
my sarracenia usually have pretty robust root systems. you say lowered lighting because of winter is it in a cool spot then? cause even my semi-dormant plants put out a bit of weak growth in the winter.

I find any time I get a mass-produced plant like that I have to unpot it, rinse off whatever crap they put it in then repot it properly to get good growth, otherwise I get a bunch of spindly pitchers that like like that. Saracenia are light hogs. they like strong light and lots of it. to get strong growth you'll have to cater to that. looking at the lowii x next to it, it;s not bad. but length may be an issue.

are you planning on putting it outside in the spring? like is this just it's winter go? or the permanent home?
I repotted it when I first got it. I'm in complete agreeance with you - I've no idea what they were watering it with before I got it so I always repot and change the subtrate to a sphagnum/perlite mix. I tried it outdoors in pretty much full sun last summer, and it was still doing this. I don't have a way of keeping them outdoors during the winter so I've got it under full spectrum lights right now that all my other CPs seem totally fine with.

When I say it's "winter" here, I just mean I've reduced the hours the light goes on for. When spring starts to swing around again I'll be increasing it back to the normal "summer" hours. Not sure what else I can do lighting wise if it's still not producing nice pitchers in full sun during summer haha. Thank you for your suggestions btw!
 

Sib

Carnivorous Plant Addict
i swear the hormones they use and fertilizer to manipulate the growth really messes with them and can take some time to work out. I typically repot and I'll even trim the oldest pitchers to open the crown/get better light. a smidge of fish food down the pitchers and they usually straighten out. maybe try giving them a push in the spring?
 

Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
It's not humidity. My baby Sarr's are growing in room air, humidity around high 20's now and no misting. The pot does sit in a cm. of water.
 

bumblinBee

Sprout
i swear the hormones they use and fertilizer to manipulate the growth really messes with them and can take some time to work out. I typically repot and I'll even trim the oldest pitchers to open the crown/get better light. a smidge of fish food down the pitchers and they usually straighten out. maybe try giving them a push in the spring?
Mmm, maybe you're right. I don't plan on giving up on this little guy, but it's really disheartening to be doing everything "right" and still getting iffy results. I hope with time maybe it'll straighten itself out.. I can try feeding the pitchers in spring, but I'm not sure I'll even be able to fit anything down them. I'll be sure to update come spring.
It's not humidity. My baby Sarr's are growing in room air, humidity around high 20's now and no misting. The pot does sit in a cm. of water.
On one hand I'm glad that I can eliminate humidity as the problem - on the other hand it means I've kind of exhausted all of my options haha. No idea what else I can be doing to help this one along.. could the burnt tips be lack of water? I water it about as often as I do my other CP's, but maybe I ought to leave it sitting in a water dish for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference?
 

Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
As above my TC babies pots sit in water. I suspect your plant will grow out of this, especially if you can acclimatate it to the sun in early spring.
 

bumblinBee

Sprout
As above my TC babies pots sit in water. I suspect your plant will grow out of this, especially if you can acclimatate it to the sun in early spring.
Small insect bites work great I feed seedlings a fraction of that size :)
Thank you both, crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. I'll definitely be moving it outdoors once it warms up. I've got Fluval Bug Bites, I'll see if I can fit those in! I will update if there are any changes :)
 

Patrick S.

Carnivore
What type of Fluval Bug Bites do people use? Is there one that is better for CPs? I'm also guessing that "colour enhancing" only works on the fish.
 

bumblinBee

Sprout
What type of Fluval Bug Bites do people use? Is there one that is better for CPs? I'm also guessing that "colour enhancing" only works on the fish.
I remember looking at the label and going for highest percent protein but that's just me
I haven't actually checked myself, but their betta formula should (in theory) have the highest protein content. At least, it should be highest in protein sourced from actual bugs.

I know they have a few other formulas, and they do use fish and fish byproducts to make up a portion of their foods - but bettas are carnivores, specifically insectivores. I imagine the betta formula would therefore have the highest bug protein content of any of their other varieties.

For instance, their community fish formula should cater to omnivore tendencies and thereby have more plant content. Cichlid diets can be quite varied, so I don't know much about how they've opted to formulate their food marketed to cichlids, and I know next to knowing about goldfish diets, so I can't say much for how they've made that one either - I may just have to double check.

Edit. Upon a quick overview of Fluval's website, as far as I can tell, Betta bugbites is the one you're going to want to go for. It has 45% crude protein, which is actually the highest protein content I've seen in any kind of fishfood - ever. Pretty impressive. Of all their other options, it seems to have the highest content of actual bugs as well - the other formulas tend to use a lot of shrimp for it's colour enhancing properties in aquarium fish. Although, it's worth noting that shrimp likely isn't bad for your CPs, they're essentially aquatic bugs after all haha.
 
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Patrick S.

Carnivore
Found the nutritional differences, about halfway down the page:

The Betta formula has high protein and fats, and low fibre. Ingredients include black fly larvae, herring, shrimp, krill, potatoes and wheat.

Edit: Just saw bumblinBee's edit. I repeated what they said.
 

Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
Remember any protein is just used by the CP's for nitrogen. So you could just use a nitrogen source such as MaxSea. Also fats are probably not useful, might cause rot.
 

Carson Hardy

Carnivorous Plant Addict
My experiences using maxsea on purpurea have had highly negative effects.. one or two drops seems to be okay, but a full pitcher has almost always equaled death for me. But, being dumb, I'd try and try and try again... I went from dozens of healthy seedlings to one single plant. I swear to never ever feed this guy anything! Maybe a decaying leaf... Haha
 
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