Saturday, April 18, 2015

Aphids: The Aftermath

As I've mentioned a few times in the past, I've had problems with aphids lately. I don't know where they came from, but come they did, first attacking my Drosera anglica CA × HI, then my Drosera aliciae, and then to the rest of my collection. I ended up attacking them with Take Down Garden Spray, which is Pyrethrin and canola oil. Damon over at California Carnivores recommended Take Down, and after a month of repeated applications I think I've got the aphids on the retreat.

That's not without them taking their toll. Apparently one thing that aphids can do is make a plant just divide its growth point like crazy. This D. aliciae is the most dramatic example of the phenomenon. When the aphids struck it was only one plant. Now...

Drosera aliciae with multiple growth points.
Now that's one, two, three...
Drosera aliciae with multiple growth points.
Four, five...six? growth points. Seven?
I think there are seven plants there now? Or at least growth points. I don't really know. I suppose someday I might separate them out, but for now I kind of like how it looks.

The D. anglica CA × HI, which was hit much harder, also split.

Drosera anglica with aphid damage.
This pot is a mess.
It's a bit harder to see, since there are some Drosera ultramafica × spatulata in there, and maybe a couple Drosera burmannii. It's a big mess in the growth point though.

My D. burmannii also had some aphids, but since D. burmannii don't divide they just got to suffer.

Drosera burmannii with aphid damage.
My poor D. burmannii are such troopers.
I'm not sure, but I think I may have noticed some caterpillar droppings in there too. Poor D. burmannii, just getting the one-two punch.

I was very very annoyed to see aphids on my Utricularia longifolia flower stalk. Either because of the aphids, or because of the repeated applications of Take Down, a few of the buds didn't develop, and the older ones faded earlier than I had expected.

Utricularia longifolia flowers with aphid damage.
I'm still very happy to have these flowers.
At least they're gone now. I think. The new flowers still look great.

Whenever I talk about pests in my collection I like to also talk about bugs getting eaten. This is a fly that got trapped by my Dionaea 'B-52' just as my roommate and my dad were out looking at my Sarracenia with me.

Dionaea 'B-52' with fly.
It was a whole mini-drama.
This photo is very ghoulish – the fly is reaching its front legs out in a (futile) attempt to escape.

Before I started growing carnivores I was never the sort of kid to, say, burn an ant hill with a magnifying glass, or pull the wings off of moths. I catch spiders in my house and put them outside instead of smashing them. Carnivorous plants, though, have a certain elegant brutality that allows me to appreciate their particular style of minor violence. Just look that that Dionaea photo. It's grim.

. . .

Btw one of my Byblis liniflora is forming a stem.

Byblis liniflora forming stalk.
Now I'm becoming enamored of Byblis. This could be a problem.

1 comment:

  1. Same thing happened to my D. aliciae re: multiple crown divisions. I've been inspecting it and cannot find any evidence of pests but so far it has about 3-4 growth points. I'll be posting an update shortly.