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Black roots

Postby pelicanbeak » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:58 pm

I've seen stuff on the leaves and heads turning black, but nothing on the roots.
I got the mystery box for my daughter for Christmas. I followed the information to preserve them until she could plant them herself. Now the roots are black. Is this because we waited too long? or is it something else?
What can we do to correct this.
Also, I live in Jax, Fl. There is no place that has perlite without it being Miracle Grow. What can I do? Will it kill them if I use just a little of the perlite until I can get the other stuff?
Thank you in advance.
My daughter wants them so much.
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Re: Black roots

Postby 95slvrZ28 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:10 pm

pelicanbeak wrote: I followed the information to preserve them until she could plant them herself. Now the roots are black. Is this because we waited too long? or is it something else?

How long did you wait and what did you do to "preserve them."
The healthy root system of a VFT that comes in the Mystery Box should look something like this:
Image
It's normal for the majority of the root strands to be black (this does not imply they're dead), but you can clearly see a healthy white rhyzome (or bulb) at the base of the plant.

pelicanbeak wrote:Also, I live in Jax, Fl. There is no place that has perlite without it being Miracle Grow.

Jax and in Jacksonville? If you live in Jacksonville there has to be some place that has perilite without Miracle-Gro, it's just going to be a bit harder to find. A common brand they often have at larger stores is Black Gold, and it doesn't have any additives. You can also look around for a smaller nursery instead of a huge retail chain and they are also likely to have some different brands.
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Re: Black roots

Postby pelicanbeak » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:38 pm

Thank you so much for answering.
I opened them up (the bag) as per the directions. But they stayed there for about 1 week. I made sure they were moist, but not wet.
I'll have to have her check your picture. It looks black to me, but I do see the white thing.
I'll check Black Gold. I know I've called Walmart, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowes. HD is the only one that had the moss w/out perlite, but only had the MG perlite.
Again thank you
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Re: Black roots

Postby Darkrai283 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:48 pm

"but I do see the white thing"...

That is the rhizome (the bulb) and if that's black or brown and 'sludgy' it already suffered from root rot and there is no way the vft can be brought back...

"but they stayed there for one week"...

Do you mean they stayed for one week in the bag? Valso what temp were they in? Vfts and any other temperate plants should be about mid-way through their dormancy period right now. If you kept them in the bag with no light what so ever or with no aeration, (even though it's dormancy) they are likely to die from light starvation and suffer root rot and that would be more likely to happen if they were at room temperature and not cold-cool conditions.

"I made sure they were moist but not wet"...

Still, it is dormancy period and since the vft would go into a 'sleeping' stage, it wouldn't need the excess water needed in their growing season for growing and should have been kept in between 'dry and moist' and not 'moist' as they would be in summer.
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Re: Black roots

Postby Steve_D » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:44 am

pelicanbeak wrote:I opened them up (the bag) as per the directions. But they stayed there for about 1 week. I made sure they were moist, but not wet.


The instructions we mail with the plants say to soak the plants in distilled water immediately upon delivery, or "if you don't yet have some distilled, reverse osmosis or rain water, just leave the plant(s) in the bag in a place away from direct sunlight for a while until you are able to obtain pure water, but open the bag momentarily for a fresh air change before closing the bag again"

I guess we need to amend those instructions. The suggestion above was meant for a delay of a few hours, not a few days. If plants need to be stored for several days, it would be better for them to soak in a bowl of (pure) water, or be placed in the refrigerator (not the freezer) to reduce possibility of fungal infection, or both (soaking in water in the refrigerator). They are not intended to be left in the shipping bag for days after delivery. If soaking in water, the plants should be rinsed, the bowl washed and the water changed every day or so to be safest against fungal infections.

It is normal for Venus Flytrap roots to look very dark, all except for the growing tips at the bottom of the roots, which will usually be lighter colored.

If you absolutely can't find sphagnum peat moss and perlite both without any additives of any kind (no Miracle-Gro plant-food enriched ingredients), we do sell growing medium at FlytrapStore.com. But it is much cheaper to make the medium yourself, and the Venus Flytraps need to be planted as soon as possible.

Good luck. :)
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