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By Nikson
Posts:  400
Joined:  Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:47 am
#440644
Hey all,

I'm honestly at my wits end with my cape sundews. I've been growing the same plants for around 2-3 years now and they just keep doing super poorly.

My original cape sundew grew super well under my Yescom225 growlights (14 hours a day under timers), but then one day just turned into a stump and only put out little tiny traps, then suddenly grew into like three plants. They started to grow nice big and healthy with tons of dew, but now lately they're starting to do the same thing again where they grow new leaves and they seem to struggle to "unfurl" all the way, and there's barely any dew. It put out a flower during summer, if that helps.

From this main plant I propagated a bunch of babies from leaves two years back and they grew decently sized before suddenly all declining and dying out of nowhere.

My second cape sundew seems to be doing the same thing, it came as a weedy small plant, grew super well, then one day just randomly declined and turned into a stumpy little plant. It's still growing, but it just puts out tiny stumpy leaves.

They're all under Yescom225 growlights for 14 hours a day, about 8 inches underneath. It's usually 70-75F inside the room they're in. Distilled water bottom watering only. LFSM and peat moss/perlite mixes for the two plants. I feed them MaxSea every once in a while when they have dew, and they catch little gnats that fly around. 50% humidity.

Is there something I've overlooked in caring for these, or is this just normal for sundews?

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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3058
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#440665
*Maybe top water some to wash out any built up "stuff" in the grow mix.
*If they're catching gnats then I think I'd hold off on the Maxsea.
*When is the last time that you repotted?
*Eight inches seems pretty close to me. But, I'm no expert. I'm under the impression that capes like cool but bright conditions. I haven't used my Yescoms yet, but you might want to get a thermometer and lay it flat beneath the light at the 8" mark just to see what's going on there. I know...LEDs are supposed to be cool...but I've found out that that ain't always so. ;) As for the "cool" aspect of capes...I've had some out in triple-digit temperatures this summer and they've percolated along apparently ok. I kept them well hydrated...they literally would've been toast if I hadn't of! :o They probably would look better if they'd lived in a comfy 75F temperature but that wasn't their destiny. ;)
*Lastly, as Lain mentioned, they simply may not like you. Have you said anything insulting to them? Any disparaging remarks that they might have overheard?

Best wishes!!!
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By Nikson
Posts:  400
Joined:  Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:47 am
#440670
Lain wrote:Three possible things. One too much light. Two not enough air circulation. Three it doesn't like you. To be fair I find capes extremely sensitive but the large form seems to be more forgiving.
Yeah I'm thinking it might be too much light, I asked around some other people and they said it was too much lighting. Not sure about air circulation, but there is a fan that's on overhead in the room, and they're on wire racks so air does move around.
Intheswamp wrote:*Maybe top water some to wash out any built up "stuff" in the grow mix.
*If they're catching gnats then I think I'd hold off on the Maxsea.
*When is the last time that you repotted?
*Eight inches seems pretty close to me. But, I'm no expert. I'm under the impression that capes like cool but bright conditions. I haven't used my Yescoms yet, but you might want to get a thermometer and lay it flat beneath the light at the 8" mark just to see what's going on there. I know...LEDs are supposed to be cool...but I've found out that that ain't always so. ;) As for the "cool" aspect of capes...I've had some out in triple-digit temperatures this summer and they've percolated along apparently ok. I kept them well hydrated...they literally would've been toast if I hadn't of! :o They probably would look better if they'd lived in a comfy 75F temperature but that wasn't their destiny. ;)
*Lastly, as Lain mentioned, they simply may not like you. Have you said anything insulting to them? Any disparaging remarks that they might have overheard?

Best wishes!!!
I'll try top watering as well. I did repot them just last year so they're in fresh medium, so it should be nice and clean.

For temperatures, I put a thermometer constantly under there to monitor the growing conditions and its always around 75 degrees, which seems to be ok. I honestly just don't understand how people are growing them outside when mine just seem to get super fussy indoors haha.

I may have kept calling them "Stumpy" maybe they don't like that? :D
optique wrote:just looking at it i would guess to much light/heat. mine do get fussy some times i just clip them at the media line and they recover no issues.
Yeah I think it's just too much light. I'll move them under weaker growlights and see what happens.
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By elaineo
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Posts:  1001
Joined:  Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am
#440713
I've had that happen to some of mine, but never really investigated the cause. My most vigorous capes are the ones that randomly showed up beneath a nep or a sarr, so others are probably correct about the light.
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By andynorth
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Posts:  1151
Joined:  Fri May 12, 2023 9:08 pm
#440727
I had a similar issue and it turns out it was the media. I changed it out and all is good. One of my capes started to have black leaves so I moved it further away from light and that seems to have worked. Of course, this is Sunday. On Monday they change their minds, Tuesday and Wednesday they sleep, Thursday and Friday they dance around a bit and on Saturday they shoot up flowers. :D :D :D
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By Nikson
Posts:  400
Joined:  Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:47 am
#440748
andynorth wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2023 6:06 pm I had a similar issue and it turns out it was the media. I changed it out and all is good. One of my capes started to have black leaves so I moved it further away from light and that seems to have worked. Of course, this is Sunday. On Monday they change their minds, Tuesday and Wednesday they sleep, Thursday and Friday they dance around a bit and on Saturday they shoot up flowers. :D :D :D
I know, same thing happened to me, when they were under the same exact lights they are under right now they regrew up, turned huge and bushy, grew a huge flower, and now are floppy and sad.

And what's even weirder is I have a bunch of Binata and Spatulata in the same growing conditions next to them that are bright red and happily dewing up like mad!
By Gary
Posts:  404
Joined:  Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:23 pm
#440850
Fascinating. I have four Capes that are three years old and they are behaving the same as yours. Wilting, blackening leaves, not much dew etc. I put a couple of them inside seedling domes to increase the humidity and that seemed to help a bit. Better growth, dew, and their appetites improved.
Mine went thru a lot of trauma this year, their pots got blown off the deck and they got hit with thrips. That was back in the spring and they never really recovered. I'm about to take Optique's advice and repot and cut off all the old growth.
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By Gary
Posts:  404
Joined:  Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:23 pm
#442452
optique wrote: Sat Oct 07, 2023 2:56 pm mine do get fussy some times i just clip them at the media line and they recover no issues.
I took your advice on an older Cape and clipped it off about a month ago. Just spotted some new growth today. I need to clean out some algae but the Cape is coming back. Thanks for the advice!
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