Do not worry I cannot stand that "WhAtZzZ uP". What happen to the simple "Hello and how are doing today?”.
I thought it would be neat to see how all of you got into the hobby of collecting or learning how to take care of Carnivorous Plants. To get this party started (YES!!)...I will do a background of how I started this wonderful hobby. If you think it is boring feel free to stop reading...I am sure you will not hurt my feelings but I may cry later on.;-]~
For me it started when I was around 12 now thirteen years later I'm still interested. When I was young I use to collect cactuses as a hobby with my one Gardner Snake in Calif. There is this one-day that changed my evil ways (that is a joke I am nice) I spotted this one Venus flytrap I believe at Riley’s. It was the best thing I ever saw. To see a plant that can eat bugs was amazing. I purchased the VFT and took it home. Well, the sad fact is it died in a week. During that time we started to move to MI in the U.P. Due to the temperature change and air my cactuses died in a month (about 30 of them). It took me a while to recover from that tragic loss.
About a year living in the UP I found one VFT, which I purchased. I tried to take care of it but that one died in a week. Although that time I blamed it on my sister as she kept on shutting the traps. After that it took me roughly ten years to find another VFT (by that time I moved down state). About a year ago I finally purchased a flytrap. I purchased the VFT at PFT.com in June of 2001. Well, since then I have gone on to purchase a few more plants. Now my big bulging eyes can't stop looking at them. That is basically how I got started on CP's.
If you would like add your little or BIG story on how you got started feel free if not you at least know how I got started collecting CP's.
Due to a tight budget the light at the end the tunnel has been turned off,
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I guess I'll go next [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
When I was 14 I got my first VFT at King Soopers and proptly killed it. This went on for 4 years and then I found out you could get plants through mail order. So I ordered some Sarrs and Drosera and they went the way of the Dodo too. About this time I decided CPs were not for me.
Time rolled on. One day while searching amazon.com I saw D'Amato's book. I bought it and then stumbled upon the CP FAQs. That was 3 years ago and now I have more plants than space. And this time around they are all growing for me (most of them anyway)
I remember many years ago seeing a special on PBS about cp`s. I was totally in awe of what I saw. I`ve always been interested in kind of off the wall things,anyway many years after seeing this PBS special I purchased a rather sickly vft from a local nursery,and as you`ve heard a million times before I knew nothing of how to take care of it and it died,probably from the tap water I was feeding it from above,not below! So I decided to go online and I came across this site(after being kicked off Garden Web-thank you!) I now have a beautiful collection vft`s that I water with distilled from below! Thanks and peace, John
My first plant was an airplant, loved it so much I bought another, then a cactus. *By this time, I was pretty confident that I can grow other things. *One day I was at Home Depot and came across their carnivorous plant section. *I was totally amazed, never thought I'd see something so exotic at plain 'ol Home Depot :o *I only knew of the vft and wanted one, but all the ones they had were near dead. *Alongside of the vft were beautiful Cape Sundews. *I picked up a nice pot with 2 D. capensis growing in it. *So I bought it, took it home and grew it outdoors. *I was dissapointed for the first two weeks because it was dewless. *Then it became a dew factory. *This was about half a year ago. *I still have it, and it has grown to an incredible size, even produced a pup [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] *Anyways, back to the story. *Shortly after my success with the capensis, I went back to HD and bought a healthy vft. *I am happy to say, the vft is still alive and producing bigger and bigger traps. *By now I was in love with cp's and had to have more. *So now I continue to buy more and more. *Who knows when this will end!
well, i started when i was 11 with a vft from jome depot. It was dead within a month. I soon killed manyother cp's (about 15 vfts, 3 pitcher plants) until finally i gave the cape sudew a shot. It was my first cp to survive a month! (it is still alive today!) i guess i started getting interested while working with my small herp collection (a garter snake and 2 anoles; the snake dead a while ago, while the anoles died at age 5 each!)
as i gained knowledge, i stilled killed cp's lol. it seemed to me i would never get perfect with cp's! the greatest lost to me was probably my cobra plant. well, now im loaded with thriving cp's of all sort (i have about 50 cps) and im happy to say my love for herps didnt die away with the loss of my first pets, as i now have a mexican milsnake.
I had always had an interest in Cp's for as long as I can remember, but I had only ever seen them on tv. I always wanted a vft so badly, but it seemed there were non to be found. As my general interest in plants increased I like Travis started to collect cacti. I had hundreds of them all over the house! My next door neighbour at the time new of my interest in plants and was always bringing me new things from the garden centre to try. One week I was out the back and she peered over the fence and told me she had something for me. She bought over this little terracotta pot and in it was a venus flytrap! I could hardly believe my eyes! Mainly because I thought the traps were supposed to be about the size of your fist! I took the plant and promptly closed every single trap. Weeks followed of the same treatment. Trap opens in the morning, I close it. Come home from school, trap open, I close it again. Needless to say the plant declined rather rapidly!
About two years later I was reading an article in a gardening magazine all about carnivorous plants. It explained how they required high humidity and it was best to put the plant in a tray of water. I kept this magazine so I could look up the info the next time I got a carnivorous plant. I didnt realise how soon that would be! On March 29 1994 (the day afyter my birthday!) we took my grandparents to a garden centre not too far from where I live. In the one glass house was a tray containing Sarracenia Flava, Sarracenia Purpurea ssp Venosa and a sundew labeled Drosera Dictoma (wich turned out to be multifida!) The purpurea was extremely expensive but I had enough birthday money to get the Flava and the sundew. My mom warned me not to get them because they would die but I just had to have them. I took them home and placed them in the water tray as instructed by the magazine and placed the tray in the rather flimsy polythene greenhouse I had at the time. Suprise! They all survived, and were growing healthily! That was when I became hooked. In the magazine article was listed a UK cp nursery called Marston exsotics. I got their catalog and realised they wren't to far from where I lived so I managed to persuade my dad to take me! I bought a few other plants and Carnivorous plants by Adrian Slack. That was it. I joined the UK CP society, got a proper Glasshouse and my collection just grew and grew. As my knowledge increased, the more plants I was able to keep. Selling/swapping plants at Meetings meant That i gained large numbers of plants without paying huge prices. Thanks to Mike King for taking me to the meetings!!!
I don't remember how old I was exactly, pretty young though. I got a starter kit from the now defunct World Insectivorous Plants, that was based out of Marietta, GA. I vaguely remember having a butterwort, a sundew, a pitcher plant and a few other things. I kept them in an old aquarium with a peat sand mix as the soil. They succumbed quickly I'm sure as I used tap water, and only sparingly! I don't think I got any more until many, many years later when I was in college. I was still ignorant and they kept dying. Finally, around the bloom of the internet I finally got a handle on how to grow them. And I did fairly well, until the winter. For a couple of Wisconsin winters, I didn't do much in the way of protecting them, so they all succumbed. I moved to Missouri about 5 years ago, with relatively milder winters. And had some more success, learned more, but still lost a lot of plants to old man winter. Finally, I'm going on 3 years in a row without losing a plant (all I grow are Sarracenia) and it looks like this spring will be a bountiful flower show on my back patio in a few more weeks. I never got into terrarium growing, because most Sarr's are too tall and it seems much more trouble than growing them outside where they get the best light. It's kind of weird but the fact that they're insect-eating doesn't even appeal to me anymore. I'm much more interested in the colors and forms and creating my own unique hybrids, which I'm finally going to try starting this spring. Although I still get a smile when I go outside and hear buzzing sounds coming from in the pitchers, or seeing a trail of ants leading up to a S. leucophylla and peering inside and seeing a lake of frantic ants.
Travis, this is a great great topic! I love reading about how everyone got started with cp's. So to all of you who haven't told us your story, please do.
It seems like a lot of people killed their first cp's. My first cp's are still alive. I'm fortunate that there's so much information on the internet that I can't help but be successful. I learned so much from this forum, thanks all! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
Well, Hah... My first was one that I cant remember... Its dead, it was dead within a few weeks. A few more VFTs that croaked, and then I went to the Ex (a gigantic fair). Inside, in the garden section, there were ppl selling stuff... I was like, oooh. I stumbled upon a few CPs... I begged my parents to buy me one. They said no, because i would kill it like i did the rest. I thought i was a smart because I knew that this was a butterwort that i saw... I wanted it... I pretened to be a know it all, because my trusy thousand year old encyclopedia had picutres of CPs in it... NO care tips, just what and why they were... The butterwort lived a bit... till i fed it egg (the, um, next day) like the guy at the place said... It was hard boiled, but a fairly good sized chunk... It turned gross slimey brown, then the other side of the plant turned the same color (As the egg) it died. This other time. I bought a venus flytrap... To my recolection it was huge, and there may have been more than one plant, like a circle of them, but my mom said there was only one, and it was normal sized. Anyhow, she turned around and tried to spank me (we were driving home) because i was being a little brat, and she broke my plant!!!!! I'm sure now that i could have revived it if i knew how, she just broke some leaves... We pulled into another garden center and bought me a replacement (after my appology for being a brat)... I dont remember that plant AT ALL...
Many years passed. I'm sure there were a few VFTs in those years that i killed with hamburger as soon as i got home, but i dont have clear memories about them...
Feb. 17, 2002.
I get another VFT... Now I'm sixteen... Capable of researching on the internet. Housing enough will power to not prod... Harbouring love, for plants... To this day, that plant is alive, and chewing sow bug... wow, two mothes... Uh, since then though, my collection has grown... ALOT!!! Here wut i have: Gubler's Nepenthes, Drosera rotundifolia, Sarracenia purpurea, Dionaea Muscipula(two adults, six babies that may or may not live... they were almost seedlings in a small pot when i bout them a week ago)... I'de say thats quite a bit... Oh, not to mention the S. Flava, D. muscipula, Ceph, D. binata, D. capensis and D. vulgaris seeds I'm growing!!! On its way, from good ol pyro, is a Utricularia calcyfida in the mail!!!
This is my story... I know that i can make them live now though because i am actually capable, before i lacked a few skills, you know??? Ah, how nice it is to see enzymes pooling in the palms of my rotundifolia...
THIS IS GREAT!!! *I'm so glad...It is nice to know that I am not the only one that struggled but never gave up on CP's. *I'm with Larry, I love reading about how people got started collecting CP's. This makes me want hug a huge Sundew...wait...maybe a Pitcher plant or a Venus Fly Trap...O' I will just hug them all. ;-] *Hopefully as I get better taking care of CPs I can help more people.
(Edited by Travis at 7:31 pm on April 3, 2002)
(Edited by Travis at 7:39 pm on April 3, 2002)