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Problems when sowing Ant Plants and how to solve them

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In my experience the main issue when raising young Hydnophytinae and non-scaly Lecanopteris species are larvae of fungus gnats, small slugs and moss.

Please note that a few larvae of fungus gnats and a single slug can destroy a beautiful pot of rare seedlings over night!


Fungus gnats:

Personally, I regularly water pots with small seedlings with a solution of Calypso (Bayer). It's an insecticide based on 480 g/l Thiacloprid as active ingredient.

It's officially approved to be used against fungus gnats in pot plants and also approved for indoor use when being watered. So this, at least in the EU, is not even an "off-label-use". I have not yet seen any damage caused by Calypso and have even used it mixed with fertilizer on seeds that were just in the process of germinating - no negative effect at all!



Against large slugs pellets containing Metaldehyde work well. However the really small slugs that cause problems here are best killed using Metaldehyde dust. I dust seedling-pots from time to time with a commercial size salt shaker filled with the dust.

Metaldehyde is not very poisonous, so as long as you do not eat the powder and wash your hands after use, you'll be on the safe side.

Plants look funny covered with a little bit of white dust but it seems to be completely safe to plants - even germinating seeds.



The only way to fight moss I found so far is repotting....

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I use these methods :


- for slugs or snail :

just a cup full of beer.They come drown into.


- for moss or grub   in the peat :

passing the substrate either in the microwave or in the oven before sowing , 5mn


- for sciarides (following the insect )



tape glue ,  blue or yellow ( like this http://www.head-shop.fr/article/05484/Bande-adh%C3%A9sive-jaune-anti-insectes.xhtml )   the colour is very important



- by this nematod : steinernema feltiae

- Trying, if the plant supports, leaving the substrate time to dry out between waterings
- Covering your land a little sand to prevent fungus gnats laying
- By emptying standing water in the cups


others infos :

- Placing a cup containing water and honey nearby infested plants. The fungus gnat adults should be attracted to this mixture and drown in the liquid.
- Closing your flower pot with a piece of tulle. Adults will be trapped by the fabric and can neither feed nor reproduce.



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