I recently bought a nepenthe hybrid, a flytrap, and a sundew. That's all that was listed on the cards where I bought them, so I can't be any more specific than that about what types they are. I thought I'd post it in this section since it's about three different types of plants.
I built a little bog environment in my front yard in a cooler (I thought it might be nice since it has a drain built in on the bottom - I can fill it up and drain it in the summer when it gets hot here in Northern California. The drain also lands at the root of my grapevine, so I won't really waste water). It's about half sphagnum peat moss and half sand, but there's also a little gravel throughout.
I have the bog sitting next to my compost bin, thinking that they would get some good snacks from all the fruit flies. So far I've only really noticed the flytrap catching anything, but I know that these plants don't need a whole lot of bugs anyway.
Anyway, I'll get down to it. When I first planted them they seemed to do great. They were growing visibly every day, and all were vibrant green. Here's a picture of the second day they were planted:
They got a little bit bigger for a while, and I thought all was well. After a while though the sundew started to turn red. I read online that that might be okay, some types will do that, and I don't know what type I have anyway. But I decided to switch the placement of the plants, taking the sundew over into the least sunlight (still many hours of sunlight a day), then the flytrap, then the nepenthe in the most sunlight. I reasoned that since nepenthes get the biggest and are the most tropical, it would need the most food and the most sunlight (it's also now closest to the compost). I also figured the sundew would probably catch bugs the easiest, so I put it farthest from the food supply.
Since then the sundew has gotten redder, and I think brownish (I'm pretty colorblind), and the flytrap also got reddish on some mouths (I also know this is not necessarily a bad thing). But then the flytrap and nepenthe started to get a lot of brown on their leaves, which worries me.
Here's a couple of pictures from yesterday:
Does anybody have any idea what the problem is, why they haven't been growing as much and why they're browning? It seems like the obvious answer might be too much sunlight or heat. But it's only been about seventy here recently and usually partly cloudy. I was given to believe that the bog environment should keep them pretty safe throughout even the summer here, though I know it'll take a while for them to adjust. Maybe the lid of the cooler is reflecting too much light down on them?
I haven't really been filling the bog, since it's been occasionally raining and hasn't been that hot. But their moss has been damp all the time, at least a little.
I've seen a couple of aphids on the nepenthe, but this doesn't look like aphid damage (from what little I know), and they've been very few.
Thanks very much, anybody who has any ideas!