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Thread: Biting off more than it can chew

  1. #1

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    So I thought I'd be a nice guy yesterday.

    My poor flytrap is stuck inside my house, and hasn't eaten since I brought him home over a week ago (I know they don't have to eat, but I like to keep my plants well fertilized for maximum growth). It just so worked out that we had two large flies in the house yesterday. After a few minutes of hard work and some quick reflexes we had one fly in the house...and one trapped in an upside down blender.


    So I go ahead and move my VFT under the cover, and proceed to allow it to 'aquaint itself' with the fly I caught for it. But my flytrap is still just a little guy, and the fly was more of a monster than I thought (it's always hard to tell when they're zig-zagging circles around your head). He finally ended up in the biggest trap, but even that doesn't look like it'll be enough to handle him. I have a feeling part of the meal will still be outside my little guy's maw. So I'm expecting the trap to rot and die due to an inability to form a tight seal.

    My question is: will the plant still get nourishment from this? I mean, the trap should still be able to do some digestion before things get bad, and I would expect the extracted nitrogen to make it back down into the heart of the plant, but I'm also still a relative newbie. So could anyone tell me if I helped or hurt my VFT yesterday? I'm really hoping it's able to extract something, as I'm guessing it hasn't exactly eaten well up to this point in its life...

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    it may or may not rot. i've had traps catch big things like that not form a complete seal, and they do fine. other times they rot. i imagine it could get something from it before (if it rots)

    keep it outside if you can.

  3. #3
    白人看不懂 Drosera36's Avatar
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    Usually, it'll only rot if it's in a really wet environment. If you leave it outside the little plastic thing, it should be fine.

    -Ben
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    Well, here's hoping then. I just hope the fly had enough life in it to look like a yummy meal; it wasn't looking so healthy by the time it made it in...

    Thanks guys.

  5. #5
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Don't worry about feeding your plants. Really. People have grown flytraps just fine in sterile labs where they get no bugs to eat at all. Your plant will attract and catch appropriate-sized prey all on its own in due time, even inside the house. It has probably spent the majority of its life in a tissue culture flask or a greenhouse full of other VFTs anyways; if it needed bugs so desperately, it wouldn't have made it this far. Don't stress - feeding your plants is rarely a necessity. It's a fun little novelty of keeping these guys, but not really a part of the care regimine. If you want to feed a plant to get it to bulk up, it should probably be healthy enough to trap on its own first:
    Barry Rice's CP FAQ: Overfeeding VFTs
    On the bright side, one overfed trap isn't going to kill the plant. It probably won't even kill the petiole of the leaf in question if you trim the trap off when it begins to brown.
    Best luck,
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    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    The trap will digest whatever part of the fly it managed to get gold of. As they tend to suck of the insides like a straw, it will probably manage to get the lot.

    Traps rarely rot when they're kept in airy conditions and can they can often cope with enormous meals way bigger than the third of a trap size advice banded about.
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    one time i droppd a cricket into a trap and the trap closed but the head was sticking out, for days i poked the head to see if it was alive and it WAS
    the trap never reopend about 2-3weeks later the trap died and so did the cricket
    i always feel bad when traps are turning black and die, but there are always new ones so im kinda happy

  8. #8
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    i fed a large mealworm to one of my VFTs once... those darn things are tough. when they trap didnt open for 2 weeks i decided to try something... so i stuck the blunt end of a needle in the trap and coaxed the dead mealworm out.

    the trap began reopening the next day, and turned out just fine.

    if your worried about it, just remove the bug, its not too hard once the teeth receed
    if i were ruler of the world, anyone who defined a nepenthene as a "companion plant" to orchids would be fired from a cannon atop mt. kinabalu.

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