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Thread: Signs of overwatering

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    SpyCspider's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I would like to know what are the symptoms of overwatering a flytrap? I have a couple where the buds are withering before being fully developed as well as older traps turning black more quickly than usual. Are these symptoms of overwatering or too many minerals in the water? Thanks.

    Johnny

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    If you don't tell us how you are watering them, and with what, it will be hard to really give an intelligent answer.
    Example: I have a flytrap standing in one inch of water all day. Still stands straight up, red as a beet, roots in R/O water. Water from the top, undrained container.
    Your turn!!!!



    45 yrs. growin\'
    Founder NASC

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    SpyCspider's Avatar
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    hahahah my bad Bugweed, I was initially seeing if there's a general answer.

    But to be specific, they are watered with reverse osmosis from local supermarket, but recently, I've been using rain water collected from off my house roof--I know, it's risky but I accumulate so much more water that way than having buckets sitting out in the open. That's probably the reason for their deterioration, huh? I top water them as well as fill up their rubbermaid tray. Some pots are deeper than others so the big pots sit in about 2 inches, while the shallower pots are raised so about only 1-2 cm of the bottom touch the water.

    And now for the rant: I'm this close to giving up on growing flytraps outdoors here in Houston, TX. There are just too many factors to consider. When I moved them in February from a classic terrarium indoors to grow under dappled sunlight beneath my trees, I was amazed at how vigorous they grew. Fat traps and deep reddening and catching all the bugs they wanted. However, as the summer approached with intense heat, I started noticing a significant slowdown in growth. The traps aren't as red and many wither before they fully develop. I don't see any presence of aphids or other pests so I'm thinking it's more of the way I'm growing them. What started out as a crown of 7 to 8 traps have dwindled to only 2 traps per plant on some. Several of these had started to develop flower buds but I had cut them off when they were around 4 cm in the hopes of conserving energy. But now even the emerging buds are withering before they push out of the crown. They're in pure peat.

    Why is it that when I left them alone indoors in a humid terrarium under grow lights, they grew so much better? My sphagnum was pretty and stray sundews cropped up like weeds. Now I'll be lucky if I barely get one stray coming out of the pot. Of course, the only drawback I had was the presence of mold from time to time, but at least each plant had at least 7 to 8 traps! I think I just need to leave them the f#$$ alone. I keep moving them all over my backyard since I at first I felt they weren't getting enough light or they were getting pecked by birds (recently started hanging cds to scare those away). Ok, end of rant.

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    EEK!!!! I've been ranted!!!! I'm down! I struggle to rise! Somehow, I manage to stand, and rant back. "Strange you can't grow them outdoors in Houston. Should be a LOT of humidity there. Don't know why they are doing what they are doing, they aren't here. Water off a roof is questionable to say the least. Should stick to RO or find another way to collect it via rainwater with a cleaner set up. An in line fiter while you collect water might help, but, the water should be tested for chemicals from the roof, just in case."
    End of rant! Boy! that took a lot out of this old guy! Stop it SpyC!!


    BTW, mine grow outdoors in full sun with much less humidity and are doing well. But they were acclimated to this place
    30 years ago. That took time. One growing season.



    45 yrs. growin\'
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    I didn't know it was possible to overwater a VFT. I agree with bugweed that you should be able to grow them no problem in Houston, Tx. It is possible that there is mineral buildup in the soil, either from the rainwater off the roof or somewhere else. You might try changing the soil with new stuff. Mine grow in a 50/50 peat/sand mix.
    Hi. My name is Ron, and I am a nepaholic.

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    SpyCspider's Avatar
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    seriously, i think it's just the result of my moving them back and forth from one place to another. I keep trying to find the best location that I bet I put them under unnecessary stress each time. First I had them under a tree, then I put them on blast with noonday sun, and now theyr'e back under the tree and drinking rooftop water.

    Like I said, they were doing fine during the springtime when it was more humid and cooler (and those fricckin' birds didn't peck their traps to death), but I guess all this extra moving around is making them struggle. I'll post up pics when I get a chance.

    Two traps per plant is pretty pathetic, no matter how good the trap looks.

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    ok, I know this thread is old, but I finally got off my lazy butt and snapped a few photos. Here are the pathetic 2 trap plants I was talking about:



    Notice I posted my rant around mid-June. It's early July now and I still got only 2 traps on those plants. It's misleading to see new growth coming out, since they often reach about one-half the height of the full leaf, turn black, and then die and I'm still left with one or 2 traps. What gives? hahahah....but I swore I wouldn't repot/move them again.

    And just to show that I'm not totally inept at growing VFTs... , here are some that seem to be doing quite well--same growing conditions.




    babies...




    Notice the charred corners on some of these 1.5 inch traps. Birds. I hate them. But the hanging CDs seem to be driving them away for now...


    ...and finally, this is what the 2nd picture used to be when I was growing them indoors under a lamp....it's a salad bowl.

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    I use roofy rain exclusively. My plants seem to not object.

    Let's look at your mix...what did you use as potting materials?

    I doubt the issue is one of over watering, my plants are pretty near aquatic all year and never a problem.

    They're outside so it isn't insufficient light.

    They get bugs so it isn't nutrition.

    The water is probably ok, provided you get regular rains.

    What does that leave?

    Insect damage
    Root damage by nematodes
    Excessive minerals in the mix

    Provided there are no insect pests evident, the focus goes to the mix. Suggest you repot into a well rinsed mix of peat and white silica sand. Many times this is like restarting your computer, you get rid of problems you didn't even know were there.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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