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Thread: VFT turning black

  1. #1

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    I have a VFT I got nearly a year ago that has divided into two and possibly three plants, but the original plants traps are turning black before they mature. I recently moved it into a new terrarium for better drainage and let it get comfortable in its new home. I then moved it into more sun gradually but I think the sun has burnt it. The divided plant is doing very nicely in the same type terrarium with same soil, light and water. Any suggestions?

    I would also like to point out that I'm sort of new to carnivoruous plants and am learning alot. I have read the care guide on this board, along with many other internet sites.

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    Brad, Why are they in a terrarium???? You live in Mississippi, so why not grow them outdoors instead. A water container under a pot of VFT's is good to go in Miss.!!! Full sun and lotsa good pure water, and VFT's would go crazy outdoors. Terraria are NOT necessary. Change that and your VFT's will more than likely thrive.
    Just a few things. Plant in pure Canadian Peat Moss. Sand, not necessary. Perlite? Well, I never found that in Nature so I NEVER use it. Some of my VFT's are 30 plus years old, and live outdoors here in sunny California. Make sure your water is nothing but rainwater, RO water, or de-ionized water, or distilled water. Water labeled Bottled water, or purified water should not be used as they may contain minerals that will kill the plants. NO tap water. Watch closely, but try not to worry too much. VFT's are easier to get now than when I first started to raise them years ago. Always keep just damp to moist. Never allow them to get completely dry.
    45 yrs. growin\'
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    Bugweed, the VFT that is doing well is in a pot with a tray and not covered full time, only when i bring it in at night, and it is doing very well. The plant I'm having trouble with is in a terrarium without a tray. Would it be better to move it into a pot with a tray and both plants outside full time? Also both are in peat moss topped with long fibered sphagnum moss. I use only distilled water and try to give them as much sun as possible.

  4. #4
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Brad, has your plant had a dormancy period since you got it? VFTs need at least a short dormancy period during the winter to do well the rest of the year. Some people say theirs do fine without a dormancy for several years, but mine have always declined without a dormancy.

    As for moving the VFT out of the terrarium I would. It will make giving it a dormancy much easier if it's in a pot than if it's in a terrarium.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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    Yea, BCK, it has gone through a dormancy and did nicely coming out. It produced a stalk which I cut off and did fine up untill some weeks ago. I had moved it to a pot with a tray so I could keep it watered but it seemed like to me that the sun here in MS burnt the plant. I'm also not sure that it got the humidity it needed with the amount of sun it was getting.

  6. #6
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Were the leaves turning black before you moved it to the pot or after?

    For leaf burn there's two ways to deal with it. First, you can just leave it in the sun and figure that the new leaves will be adapted to getting more light or the second is to cut back little on the amount of direct sun for a while to minimize damage to the leaves while allowing them time to adapt before continuing with moving them into more light. As for the humidity, I don't think you'll have problems with it being too low. My VFTs grow fine in humidity that is between 20% to 35% most of the time and they receive direct sun from 7:30am until 1:30pm. This week we've had a couple of rain showers and the humidity got all the way up to 43% the other day. It's back down to 21% today.

    It sounds like you've transplanted your VFT a couple times in just a short period so if you decide to move it out of the terrarium, you should wait a while before doing it or wait until this fall/winter when it's dormant to minimize putting too much stress on it at one time.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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    They began turning black after I had transplanted it. I'm trying to leave it alone for some time but I do want to move it to the pot with a tray.

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    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Bradley556 @ June 09 2006,2:15)]They began turning black after I had transplanted it. I'm trying to leave it alone for some time but I do want to move it to the pot with a tray.
    Then that may be the cause of the problem. A little bit of transplant shock. The only other thing that comes to mind is using tap water on them. One of the first signs I had that my VFTs were getting root burn from minerals was the traps turning black and the leaves dying before they were more than a week or so old. This was when I first grew VFTs and used tap water. My waters TDS is about 120ppm so the plants did fine for a while until the minerals built up enough in the soil to damage the roots. I use the tray method which aggravates the problem by retaining the water and concentrating the minerals over time. Now, even though I use distilled water, I flush the pots and dump the trays at least once a month just in case.

    Other things to look for would be aphids or mites, they usually cause distorted growth of the leaves or fungus.

    I would give it a little more TLC, keep an eye on it and wait to transplant it until the plant has had time to recover a little bit if you can. Transplanting them when they are in poor health or already suffering from shock has killed many a VFT. So don't do it unless leaving it alone would be more likely to kill it than transplanting it.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

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