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Thread: Am I doing this OK?????--Help needed...

  1. #9
    xscd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]hey, would you guys feel it's necessary to harden off a VFT bought from Lowes? Or can it go straight to being uncovered right away?
    If I bought a VFT from Lowes, I would take the lid off and transplant the plant (after a half-hour to one-hour soak in water with a few drops of Superthrive) into a larger pot with more room for the roots to grow and more soil buffer against temperature-extreme changes (a small pot's soil can get very hot in the sun very quickly, damaging or even killing the roots in extreme cases).


    I often use an 8 or 10 inch diameter pot, and plant 3 to 5 VFTs or more together in the same larger pot as a colony. Too small a planting container can stunt the growth of a VFT, making it kind of like a CP bonsai. Such a plant, when transplanted to a larger, deeper container, can really stretch out and grow a lot bigger very quickly, up to its maximum size.


    I would leave the plant in bright light but not outdoors in full direct sun yet, because the plant is probably spindly and weak and has been forced to grow with too little light, and with too much water for the amount of light it gets.

    I would then accustom it over a period of 2-3 weeks to more light (including some full sun, indoors or out) and less humidity, and I would keep the soil moist but not soggy.

    I never keep a pot in a tray of water myself, unless I have to be gone for several days and have no one to care for the plants during that time. However, some people do apparently have good results using the tray method, keeping their plants in trays containing water most or all the time.

    My personal feeling is that VFTs appreciate and grow better with more air around their roots even though they can tolerate water-saturated planting medium pretty well and for a fairly long time. However, I believe that keeping the planting medium a little drier (aiming for moist instead of soggy) also helps to prevent various problems like crown and leaf rot from fungal infections.

    Likewise, lower humidity also helps prevent fungal problems and VFTs are amazingly adaptable to low humidity. I know this because the humidity in my area, a high and dry treeless plain, is extremely low, and my VFTs grow just fine without me purposely trying to increase the humidity around them. I do however try to shelter and protect them from the full force of the harsh dry wind in my region (eastern New Mexico US) when they are outside.

    best wishes,

    Steve/xscd
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

  2. #10
    SpyCspider's Avatar
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    ^as usual, Steve...extremely informative and helpful. Thanks.

    Yea mine's in a small pot right now, but I had thought about getting a bunch and putting them in a bigger pot. I'm enthusiastic about getting a forest of flytraps going. Maybe I'll splurge for my bday and just get a bunch from Lowes.

  3. #11
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    I grow them in a terrarium becuase i live in a high desert area. This place experiances high winds and extreme temps. It got up to 94 today, just imagine how how it will get in the summer! Not to mention the freezing winters. I basically have no other choice than to grow them indoors.
    -Joel from Southern California


  4. #12
    xscd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I grow them in a terrarium becuase i live in a high desert area.
    Hello joossa-- Where do you live? I live relatively high and dry too, at 4000 ft with very little rain, extremely low humidity, and strong, hot, dry winds.

    I grow my VFTs indoors, in a sun room (like a greenhouse attached to the house), and I put groups of them outside for several hours to half a day at a time to catch bugs, and I make sure the wind isn't blowing or I put them in a spot sheltered from the dessicating winds (the wind alone can dry things so fast here in New Mexico, US that it can create mummies of dead bodies, and has done just that on occasion).

    I don't grow anything in a terrarium, including my VFTs. All my plants are in pots exposed to the fresh, circulating air, which forms my chief complaint about terrariums--the enclosed space may concentrate humidity (which VFTs don't really need that much--they happily adapt), but it also may concentrate or accentuate problems, like insect pests and fungal and bacterial microorganisms in the unmoving air and sometimes undrained water. If you do allow or force air into or through the terrarium, you dramatically reduce the humidity that was the reason (presumably) you placed the plants into the terrarium in the first place.

    In short, plants growing in a "display case" may be an attractive idea, or attractive in reality if one can clean the algae that may form in the soil and keep the sides of the terrarium from fogging with condensation and obscuring the view, but terrariums are not necessarily healthy for your plants, and the plants will adapt to a great degree to lower humidity so long as you make sure their medium is always moist (not too wet for too long though--not soggy all the time).

    In addition to not being the healthiest way to grow your plants, terrariums make it more difficult for you to maneuver around and tend to them, to trim leaves, to spray orthene or some other insecticide on the undersides of the leaves to kill scale, mealybugs, mites or aphids that wander in decide they like it in your terrarium and begin to raise huge families, to remove plants for transplanting, etc.

    If you have already invested in a terrarium, you may want to give it a try. I did the same thing the first time I grew carnivorous plants. But after they all died (an enclosed terrarium, like a greenhouse, can concentrate the heat from sunlight and quickly become an oven in a matter of 15-30 minutes, baking and killing the plants, among other problems a terrarium can cause), I began to grow them in uncovered pots in the open air of the greenhouse with frequent bug-catching expeditions outside instead.

    --Just my two bits. Have fun.
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

  5. #13
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    wow! thanks so much for the great and helpful detailed explination! That really hlped a lot!
    -Joel from Southern California


  6. #14

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    XSCD and I agree completely on growing outdoors or out of a terrarium. Had more trouble with fungus' and molds than was necessary. The day I learned I could grow outdoors, I was ecstatic. Changed everything for me, and I was able to duplicate their growing conditions to a "T". Still grow outdoors, even in 10% humidity with no trouble from the plants at all. My VFT's grow in a working bog, complete with running water flow through the soil they live in. Lots of oxygen is drawn through the soil due to water flow, and my VFT's are an absolute jungle. They are looking really good this year with about 120 scapes. Many flowers means TONS of seed!!! Ready, Copcar??????



    45 yrs. growin\'
    Founder NASC

  7. #15
    xscd's Avatar
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    VFTs are wonderful little plants. Good luck with them joossa.

    Since you live at a high altitude, you no doubt know how intense the sun can become because of the thinner atmosphere, which at lower altitudes diffuses and softens the light. So, if you decide to plant your VFTs in pots, you might look for some of the insulated foam pots to plant them in. These prevent the roots from cooking when the sun heats up the sides of the planting container too much.

    These foam pots insulate like styrofoam beverage containers (which is what I use to grow small VFT divisions, the 16 ounce styrofoam cups), but they are made of polyurethane foam instead (by various companies/brands), and are more decorative and attractive, rigid and tougher than styrofoam.

    Best wishes. Enjoy your plants--
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

  8. #16

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    Hey Bugweed, do you mind posting a picture of your VFT jungle?

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