Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England
Although I don't specifically remember it, I know I tried a flytrap or two as a kid...and fed them hamburger because the instructions said to. And of course they died.
A bit over a year ago I just picked up a VFT and decided to try it just for a new plant. I looked up info on them on the web...and the...um....infamous GardenWeb. I started reading all the posts and got interesting in trying other plants. And like just about everybody, got D'Amatos Savage Garden. And of course it went from there. Being a collector at heart, I had to try a little of everything. From VFTs to a sarracenia...to a nepenthes. But what I really wanted was a sundew! They are harder to find locally. I finally found ONE pot with two tiny, half dead sundews. I didn't think they'd live but they were the only ones I had found so I bought them. And I'm happy to report I still have them and they look nothing like they did when I bought them. They are healthy and beautiful! Bit by bit, I'm adding more plants as time, money and space allow. I love all my CPs but sundews remain my favorites (oh and my byblis). :-) There are many I still want and hope to have someday.
CPs are definitely something you get hooked on. You can't have just one. :-) Is there ANYONE who bought just one CP and never got the desire to get another...and another...and ......
This will be short because my history with CPs is short.
I remember at some point in my childhood, probably around 10, seeing a special on PBS about CPs and being intrigued. I remember thinking a venus flytrap would be the perfect comliment to my already large collection of lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs, tarantulas, newts, salamanders and of course the ever popular guenea pig.
With much of my family being school teachers, I was able to find CP rhizomes for sale in a Frey Scientific catalog. I ordered some venus fly traps, pitcher plants (purpera I think), sundews (no idea what kind) and a butterwort (?). Like most of you, I killed all but the purpera. probably a combination of the 10 gallon tank with 100% humidity and the tap water I was giving them. I don't remember how long the purpera survived, maybe a month or two.
Now here I am in my 6th year of college at Oklahoma State University. I decided earlier this year that I needed a plant and decided that I might as well have a plant that can eat things. I found this website, ordered a green dragon and the rest is history. I've had it a few months and it is growing vigorously with no sign of weakness. And like Suzanne said, I've just got to get more CPs!!
In 1963 there was a National Geographic article that showed Dr. Paul Zahl building a terrarium with all sorts of CP. It was a good article, and I said "I'm going to do this" The article mentioned his source as the Carolina Biological Supply Co., and I wrote to them inquiring about the plants. I did a lot of research before I ordered them (they were not cheap) and also ordered the correct "soil" for the plants. I built my terrarium and the plants liked it. I flowered Pinguicula vulgaris in the spring, but lost it in the summer (didn't realize it was an alpine species). I didn't kill off to many species, and began to seek out plants from other sources. World Insectivorous Plants was a great source, and the owner Bob Hanrahan was an inspiration. I stayed into it pretty much into the 80's, and was active in the ICPS on and off, writing to everyone that published an address. There was no internet back then to hook us all together. Phill Mann stayed with me on his tour of the U.S. and showed me photos of Australian species that just blew me away. There were only a few books with good photos, and I had about worn the photos off the pages by staring at them. Phill also brought me a complete collection of the tuberous Drosera, but I had not a clue how to grow these, and lost them all. The plants led me to study Botany in college , and I specialized as much as possible in CP, reading the scientific papers on CP, and studying bog ecology and sucession. Mid-80's I had an infection in my terrarium that killed every plant in my collection, no stopping the mold, and they went FAST, which is why I always use individual pots now. Shortly after this I began a major in childrearing, and really I couldn't bear to even look at a CP photo. Now that I am retired, I again have the time and space to grow these plants, and I returned to the world of CP about this time last April to work on my online taxonomic reference for Droserae, and various other projects and research. It is a brand new world out there for CP growers compared to the old days! This is the golden age of CP in my opinion. Getting the species back I lost is like meeting old friends again, and I am as happy as I have ever been, thanks to friends all over the world.
Well, my story is pretty much the same. The first VFT I bought died within weeks, most likely from bad water, little water, and the large carpenter ant for dinner was the final straw. That was maybe 10 years ago.
Last summer I found another VFT at the grocery store and couldn't resist. Told myself I was older and wiser now and I could do this. The internet has been a wonderful resource and I took the time to learn what to do this time. Now, the verdict is not fully in yet, cause last summer's VFT is still in dormancy and I don't know if it made it through the winter yet. It did make it through at least December which is a record in my book.
Like others, my collection has grown and continues to grow as I continue to research. I want one of each; I find them to be a challenge but worth the effort.
I started with CPs in the mid 70s when I was in my early teens. I went into the hobby with my usual zeal and soon had a VFT, a sundew, a butterwort and a Darlingtonia, joined the ICPS, read every book in the library (all three of them) then accidently left my terrarium outside on a hot day and cooked them all.
Over the years I have had reptiles (boas, iguanas), amphibians (south african bullfrog),aquariums (salt and fresh water), tarantulas, scorpions, cacti, rugosa and moss roses, tree ferns etc. etc. etc.
My getting married put a stop to most of my hobbies, then after a sloppy divorce I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do that would "not cost an arm and a leg" or trip my alergies.
I saw a VFT at a Fred Meyer store and it was like running into a high school sweet heart, off I went, love at first site again.
I have to agree with Tamlin, having experenced the bad old days of the hobby, that this is the golden age of the CP hobby, so to all you younger members out there, research, learn, imagine, enjoy. And keep letting us old guys (relatively) know how you are doing!
I remember it like it was yesterday! *
* *It was my first day in kindergarten in Bel Aire Texas, and I hated it because we had just moved there from Boston Mass. *That first day started out to be the worst day of my little 5 year old life, but then we had show and tell time. *Most of the things that the kids brought in were typical kid stuff items, but there was this one little girl who brought in a VFT. *To me it was just a funny looking plant... that is until she pulled out tweezers, grabbed a live fly that she had in a baggy, and put it in one of the VFT's mouth. *The thing snapped shut, and it was all over for me! *I believe that was the first time in my life that I was actually bewildered, and from that point on all I ever wanted was a VFT. *Saddly, as the years went on I kind of forgot about them until I finally saw one in a store and bought it 25 years later.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *THE END
I wrote how I got into CPs in the CP listserv, but I guess that I'll copy and paste and change it a little for the good people here at PFT.com. *[img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
It all started at the beginning of the new millennium (July 2001 :cool:) when my mother forced me to go with her to the Aibonito Flower Festival in the municipality of Aibonito (in Puerto Rico). I was never really what you would call a "plant" person, so I was not at all interested in going (especially when you have to drive for an hour on small twisting mountain roads to get there!). *When we got there though, I realized the error of my ways…..NOT! THE PLACE WAS AWFUL! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img] It was HOT, it was HUMID and there were TONS of people! I just wanted to leave the moment I saw all the cars parked on the streets. However, what was I going to do; stay in the car with no A/C or go look at plants? It was an easy question to answer since my mom yanked me out of the car and wouldn’t let go of my wrist! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] Anyway, we looked around, and saw lots of pretty flowers (WOW! <sarcasm> [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]), and bonsai (WOW! <more sarcasm> [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]), and lots of other things that I wasn’t interested in seeing. We were coming to the last part of the fair (FINALLY!) when all of the sudden I saw something that would change me for the rest of my life. There, in a dark corner, at a small partially hidden kiosk, with few people looking, I saw something very strange (very strange indeed!), something that I had never seen before. I immediately ran (or at least walked enthusiastically) to the kiosk, where I saw my first CP, a Nepenthes (I of course had no idea what the #### it was, but it looked cool)! They were beautiful plants with tens of pitchers two feet long hanging gracefully over the lip of an orchid basket (I might be exaggerating a little here, but that was the feeling that I had at that moment [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]). *I immediately ran back to my mother, who was looking at some BORING gingers, and told her what I saw, and that I wanted one! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] The small ones were priced at Ű (not too expensive) but she said that I would kill it (ME kill a plant, impossible!). I then used the old keep-asking-until-she-gives-you-what-you-want routine until she said "OK! *Here's the stupid money! Go buy it and kill it, I don't care!" (or something like that [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]). We left the flower festival, me with my Nep (happy, happy, joy, joy! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]) and my mom with her ginger; I've had the plant ever since (and it’s still alive!). Like most of you, I couldn’t have just one, so I ordered 2 more Neps from the internet, and it sort of snowballed from there. I’m hoping to expand my collection, and thanks to PFT.com, I’m meeting all sorts of cool people and reading about their CP stories as well. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
Thanks Phil and Jeff for making such a cool site, and thanks to everyone who finished reading my story!
Just thought I'd bring this post back up to the top so more people can post their stories. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
I think my first "amazing flesh eating" plant was ordered from the back of a comic book. It's been so long...
my first cps were some venus flytraps and a sarracenia that i bought after finding it in a Bunnings cataog in the year 2000. It the vfts died that winter(Spring for northern hemisphere), but tha sarracenia lived on and THRIVED!!!. i tried with vft each year after that but they never make it through winter. The Sarracenia is now overgrown and i'm going to split it up.
In essence, i'm still a newbie. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]