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Thread: Newbie seeks care advice based on the attached pics...

  1. #1

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    Newbie seeks care advice based on the attached pics...

    Hello. I'm fairly new to plant care in general, and the carnivorous plants i recently bought and planted in a long planter box are doing pretty well in my opinion (i.e. growing new traps/flowers), but i have a few main concerns...


    Let me first give some background info in case it helps:

    The place i bought these plants from was basically a greenhouse, and they had all their CPs submerged in 1/4" or so of what looked like standing "swamp" water (lots of algae), and they said some of the plants were just coming out of dormancy. the plants weren't all labeled, but the varieties i know i have are: cape sundew, scarlet belle, venus flytrap, and i believe a purple pitcher plant...the far left and the middle plant (trumpet pitcher?) i'm not sure of.
    Note: since i unfortunately don't presently know the exact names of all 6 plants, i'll be referring to them below by number (1-6, from left to right, as seen in the pics of the whole planter).

    i planted them using 2 different varieties of sphagnum peat moss (one was dark and very finely grounded, the other was light and stringy--but made sure that neither had any fertilizers in them), mixed w/ sand (in a mixture of about 1.5:1 moss:sand), and made sure the mixture was wet (using distilled water) before i potted the plants. The plants haven't been outside yet (except for once or twice during the daytime in an attempt to get them some full, unfiltered sunlight), as it's still a little too cold at night here in Philadelphia. my plan is to wait until the daily "low" is consisently above 50 (at least), then hang them from a planter rack on my balcony. in the meantime, they've mostly been in the windowsill pictured, which admittedly doesn't get direct sunlight, but again, they seem to be growing new traps rather quickly. Oh, and there is also a streetlamp directly outside my window (see picture) that lights up our parking lot--all i know is that it's some type of flourescent bulb...probably doesn't help the plants all that much, tho maybe a little. Also note that the substrate you see in the pictures is not a good representation of the substrate i used throughout--after i was done putting the mix in and planting my CPs, i just put a very thin layer of one variety of straight peat moss across the top, mainly because i had a little bit left in the bag, and for appearance.


    So, my questions are as follows, BASED ON THE PICTURES BELOW...

    1) what should i do about the giant stalks/pitchers on the middle plant (plant # 4, actually in the middle-right)?...they must've been there from the previous year(s), but as you can see, they've grown so long that they're leaning down, further & further towards the ground--i personally love that they're this long and i'd really like to keep them (as long as it can't hurt the rest of the plant)...can i leave them hanging/sagging, or should i try to gradually prop them up so that they'll eventually stand more vertically on their own?

    2) I've been rotating the planter 180 degrees every two days or so (basically flipping it around), thinking this will help the taller plants to grow straight up, rather than them all leaning in one direction because the sun only hits that one side. Is this a good practice, bad practice, or indifferent?

    3) What should i do with individual pitchers/traps that are in each of the following conditions:
    a. completely blackened (like on the VFT)?
    b. somewhat brown towards the top of the pitcher (like the tips of plant # 6 & the lids on the really tall pitchers on plant #4)?
    c. have holes in the pitcher, likely from bugs eating through them (like the one long pitcher on #4 that i took a closeup of)?

    4) it looks like someone clipped a lot of growth off of the plants--now, i know you're supposed to clip some traps in relation to dormancy, but i just wanted to make sure... notice all the little brown "nubs" at the bottom of plants 2, 3 (especially), and 4 (can be seen in the last photo in each plant's set of pics) ...Is this normal?

    5) i thought that cape sundew traps were supposed to curl upwards towards the sky... mine are all curled downwards towards the ground... Is this a problem?


    Thanks in advance for any advice/input you're able to provide!!...


    Here's the pics:


    Pics of the whole planter...








    Plant # 1...










    Plant # 2...








    Plant # 3...







    Plant # 4...










    Plant # 5...








    Plant # 6...






    Thanks again!! :-)

  2. #2
    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Question1: you can cut them off because the new ones growing in (the green things growing straight up on the plant) will be even taller than those. And yes, they are from last year.

    All other questions: don't worry about it, and just make sure you keep the "soil" you're using moist at all times, and preferably keep water standing in the bottom/saucer part of that planter at all times. Your plants look pretty fine actually.

    Make sure your planter is getting at least 6-7 (Absolutely the least!) amount of direct sunshine every day. Turning it is probably a good idea every now and then since you have it on a window sill, if you can't put this planter outside. Since they're temperate except for the cape sundew, which can go down to freezing and grow back from the roots, they should actually be outside for the temps and sunlight assuming the nursery had them growing outside all winter long. If the nursery had them growing inside, keep them inside until May/June so you don't give them a shock with the cold if you live somewhere like the Indiana or further North in the US (though it looks like things are already green/growing outside from your photos). Where are you from so we can give you proper advice on when to put these outside?

    Also, nice find! Looks like 1-6 is 1. Sarracenia purpurea, 2. Sarracenia Scarlett Belle, 3. Drosera capensis, 4. Sarracenia Dana's Delight, 5. Venus Flytrap, 6. Sarracenia purpurea with a small Drosera Capensis with it.

  3. #3

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    ...Where are you from so we can give you proper advice on when to put these outside?...
    Sorry, it was kinda buried in the middle of my (very long) post :-) ...I live just outside of Philadelphia.
    Also: forgot to mention that I plugged the holes in the bottom of the planter before i put the substrate in... so yes, they're always in standing distilled water right now (and will be getting some rain water when i put them outside).

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post
    So, my questions are as follows, BASED ON THE PICTURES BELOW...

    1) what should i do about the giant stalks/pitchers on the middle plant (plant # 4, actually in the middle-right)?...they must've been there from the previous year(s), but as you can see, they've grown so long that they're leaning down, further & further towards the ground--i personally love that they're this long and i'd really like to keep them (as long as it can't hurt the rest of the plant)...can i leave them hanging/sagging, or should i try to gradually prop them up so that they'll eventually stand more vertically on their own?

    2) I've been rotating the planter 180 degrees every two days or so (basically flipping it around), thinking this will help the taller plants to grow straight up, rather than them all leaning in one direction because the sun only hits that one side. Is this a good practice, bad practice, or indifferent?

    3) What should i do with individual pitchers/traps that are in each of the following conditions:
    a. completely blackened (like on the VFT)?
    b. somewhat brown towards the top of the pitcher (like the tips of plant # 6 & the lids on the really tall pitchers on plant #4)?
    c. have holes in the pitcher, likely from bugs eating through them (like the one long pitcher on #4 that i took a closeup of)?

    4) it looks like someone clipped a lot of growth off of the plants--now, i know you're supposed to clip some traps in relation to dormancy, but i just wanted to make sure... notice all the little brown "nubs" at the bottom of plants 2, 3 (especially), and 4 (can be seen in the last photo in each plant's set of pics) ...Is this normal?

    5) i thought that cape sundew traps were supposed to curl upwards towards the sky... mine are all curled downwards towards the ground... Is this a problem?


    Thanks in advance for any advice/input you're able to provide!!...
    1. Leave them be unless they are brown and dead in which case you can clip them off.

    2. Rotating is fine.

    3. Black/brown you can clip off regardless of which plant. The tall pitcher types will usually go brown at the top first, particularly at the end of the grow season.

    4. Last seasons and previous seasons growth is usuall trimmed off so yes there will be alot of clipped 'nubs' on the pitcher plants.

    and Finally 5.. which is caused by insufficient light. In fact all your plants are showing severe signs of insufficient light. It is notoriously difficult to grow Sarracenia in particular indoors as they come from areas that receive full blazing sun for most of the day. They are difficult to light overhead with artificial lights because of the upright narrow shape of many of them. They do best outdoors or in a greenhouse where they will receive lots of sun from all angles as the sun rises and sets.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #5
    Zero's Avatar
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    As Tony said, Light Light and more light.
    The elongated green growth is from lack of light.
    SK-8 OR DIE

    growlist

  6. #6
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    If it were me, I would take them all outside, except for D. capensis, which grows just fine at sunny window sills or under artificial lighting.

  7. #7
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    Hey bleed,
    welcome to the forum!
    sounds like you you are doing things very well so far!

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post
    Note: since i unfortunately don't presently know the exact names of all 6 plants, i'll be referring to them below by number (1-6, from left to right, as seen in the pics of the whole planter).
    1. Hard to tell exactly..probably some variety of Sarracenia ×catesbaei (which is S. flava crossed with S. purpurea) could be some other Sarr species in the mix too..
    you will never know its exact "varierty name" if it even has one at all..so its best to label it a "mixed hybrid"

    2. Thats a Sarracenia x wrigleyana (S. psittacina crossed with S. leucophylla)

    3. Drosera capensis

    4. Hard to tell at this stage..you need some new pitchers before a better ID can be made..
    but its probably a S. leucophylla 'Red'..most likely 'Dana's Delight'
    but again, you can never be certain, if it didnt come with a label when you bought it.

    5. Dionaea muscipula

    6. Another "mixed hybrid" of unknown parentage..definately some S. purpurea in the mix,
    and maybe some S. flava again..but its impossible to know for sure..

    when in doubt, you shouldnt label a plant with a specific name, if you arent absolutely sure..
    just label it a "mixed hybrid"..

    Its a nice collection!

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post
    as it's still a little too cold at night here in Philadelphia. my plan is to wait until the daily "low" is consisently above 50 (at least), then hang them from a planter rack on my balcony.
    you dont need to wait for 50 degrees!
    anything above 32 degrees, day or night, they should be outside..

    when I put my plants outside in early spring, I only bring them in (to the garage for the night) is there is going to be a heavy frost overnight, or an overnight low in the 20's is forecast...if the forecast is 32 degrees or warmer, they stay outside! they can handle that just fine..even if they get a light frost, or it hits 30 degrees..thats still fine..and getting the direct sun is more important than staying warm..there is no need to "protect" them from temps between 32 and 50..keep them outside 24/7 if its above freezing!

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post
    Oh, and there is also a streetlamp directly outside my window (see picture) that lights up our parking lot--all i know is that it's some type of flourescent bulb...probably doesn't help the plants all that much, tho maybe a little.
    to the plants, the streetlamp doesnt even exist!
    we, as humans, can adjust our eyesight..to us, full sun during the day, and streetlights at night, doesnt look significantly different..we might guess the streetlamp at night is "half" as bright as the sun during the day..or maybe 25% as bright...but thats only because our pupils contract in the sunlight, and open wide at night..in reality, the streetlamp, at the plant's location, is probably about a thousand times dimmer than the the sun! to the plants, there is really no difference between the streetlight and pure darkness..the street light does absolutely nothing for them..

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post

    So, my questions are as follows, BASED ON THE PICTURES BELOW...

    1) what should i do about the giant stalks/pitchers on the middle plant (plant # 4, actually in the middle-right)?...they must've been there from the previous year(s),
    yes, thats an old pitcher from last season..
    you can leave it, or cut it off..makes little difference either way..
    personally I would just snip it off completely..some say you should leave anything that is not brown, as it helps the plant photosynthesize..which has some merit..
    but its really up to you..IMO the plant would be fine if you cut it off, because lots of new pitchers are already coming up..its really just a matter of personal aesthetic taste..

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post
    2) I've been rotating the planter 180 degrees every two days or so (basically flipping it around), thinking this will help the taller plants to grow straight up, rather than them all leaning in one direction because the sun only hits that one side. Is this a good practice, bad practice, or indifferent?
    you should stop rotating, and get them outside in the full sunlight! as long as its above freezing.

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post
    3) What should i do with individual pitchers/traps that are in each of the following conditions:
    a. completely blackened (like on the VFT)?
    b. somewhat brown towards the top of the pitcher (like the tips of plant # 6 & the lids on the really tall pitchers on plant #4)?
    c. have holes in the pitcher, likely from bugs eating through them (like the one long pitcher on #4 that i took a closeup of)?
    completely black, just cut it off..
    brown pitcher..you can snip off the whole pitcher, or just the brown bits, leaving any un-brown parts.
    holes in the pitcher? as long as the pitcher is fairly new and green, I would leave it alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post

    4) it looks like someone clipped a lot of growth off of the plants--now, i know you're supposed to clip some traps in relation to dormancy, but i just wanted to make sure... notice all the little brown "nubs" at the bottom of plants 2, 3 (especially), and 4 (can be seen in the last photo in each plant's set of pics) ...Is this normal?
    you *can* snip off all the pitchers for dormancy..but you dont have to..
    some say its better to leave on the pitchers through the winter, as it gives the plants a jump-start in the spring..personally I snip off all the pitchers and leaves for dormancy, only because I have to use "the fridge method" and wrap the pots in plastic..with that method, leaving all the pitchers on isnt practical...ideally, if I could leave my plants outside all winter, I wouldnt snip off the pitchers..but I dont have that option, because my winters are too cold..
    (see my webpage, link in my signature, for details on how I handle dormancy)

    but yes, having those old brown stubs is "normal"..its just the remains of old pitchers that have been cut off..the stubs eventually turn brown and die..you can just ignore them.

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedMusic View Post

    5) i thought that cape sundew traps were supposed to curl upwards towards the sky... mine are all curled downwards towards the ground... Is this a problem?
    I would say curling in either direction is normal..
    the older leaves tend to curl down..newer leaves tend to curl up..
    either way is fine! your capensis looks good to me..

    Scot

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    If you are a newbie, then I reccomend you clip all of the flower stalks. It drains energy from the mother and the divisions to the flower stalks. You can divide your plants if you wish, but you obviously have more than you think. Good luck!

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