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Thread: Dear VFT growers, please help fast

  1. #17
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (xscd @ Sep. 01 2006,2:21)]
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (vraev @ Sep. 01 2006,8:01)]lol!

    well...I really love VFT's. I hope they do well in the terrarium. However, I guess I am kinda expecting a bad outcome after reading the FAQ of ICPS on VFT's.
    Venus Flytraps don't need a terrarium. They thrive in fresh moving air and lots of light.

    I live in an extremely dry area of the U.S. (New Mexico), probably drier than where you live, and VFTs are the primary carnivorous plant I grow. I would never consider placing them in the stuffy atmosphere of a terrarium. It's not only unnecessary, the environment in a terrarium (unless it is very open, which defeats the purpose of a terrarium to begin with--to keep everything very humid) can become very stuffy, can overheat in sunlight very rapidly to the point of killing the plants, and can cause problems with stagnant, undrained water and fungal infections that can kill the plants.

    Don't smother your VFTs with too much careful, worried attention.

    And please don't overwater and drown them. They are moist grassland plants, not swamp plants or aquatics.


    All that said, VFTs DO like deep room for their roots (although it is not strictly necessary), and plenty of sun and insect nutrition--just be a little conservative with water (distilled, reverse osmosis or rainwater only, with NOTHING added after the reverse osmosis or distilling process!). Water thoroughly until saturated, then allow the medium to dry out until just moist. In winter dormancy, the water requirements are very diminished and minimal. Here in arid New Mexico, U.S., in the wintertime I may water my VFT pots only once per 7-14 days.

    best wishes and good luck. VFTs are great little plants--

    Steve / xscd
    wow...nice to see you here xscd. I love the pics of your VFT's. They look amazing.

    I understand the thing of VFT's not requiring a terrarium. however, the whole reason I did the entire terrarium is for VFT's since I like them very much . They are the entire reason for this project. yet, I did not want to put them in a silly small pot the size of the walmart one. I wanted a big enclosure which I can have these plants + some live moss for a green carpet.

    Please see my pics and recommend me any tips for improving the condition of the plants. As you see they are struck from the handling during the travel. They look bruised. In fact, if u notice the traps are all kinda turned inside out with convex sides. I guess the traps wanted more sunlight which obviously lacked during the travel.

    thanks,

    varun

  2. #18
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Just put them in a big pot. Really, terraria are totally unnecessary, and invite problems like fungus and algae. Plus, they're undrained, which is definitely undesirable in VFT containers. None of your plants pictured need (or appreciate) the conditions a terrarium supplies; to grow them in a terrarium will continuously compromise their health. The VFTs can survive, but it will probably be an uphill battle to keep the capensis alive, as high humidity plus sugary Drosera dew is a perfect recipe for mold. It's normal for shipped plants to be floppy, because they're at a different angle relative to the soil and light source than the container that they were previously grown in. New leaves, provided proper conditions and adaquate light, will orient themselves correctly. By the look of things, your plants weren't getting enough light before you purchased them, so you'll need to take care and gradually introduce them to higher light levels. Aquafina is purified by reverse osmosis, but be aware that many bottled waters contain salt and other additives to enhance taste that will not jive well with CPs. If you can find it, ordinary distilled or RO water is preferable and cheaper to boot. Also, exposed perlite is an open invitation to algae, and will float in standing water, slowly eroding away at the slope you provided. Better to get a small length of pipe or something similar to sink into the soil to provide an outlet for removing water. Better still to get a drained container and not worry about the tedious task of removing excess water by hand - there's a reason experienced growers use drained containers.
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you have to be real careful picking the CP cultivation instructions you choose to follow; many people get their information from vendors who would like nothing better than for you to come buy more plants from them when your CPs die from well-intentioned improper care.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
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    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  3. #19
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Thank you for the sugestions.

    This is what I plan on doing to improve llight conditions

    I will put the aquarium near a south facing window AND even during daytime...I will put a 13 watt fluoroscent light on it. Hopefully the sunlight + white light should be enough.

    The real plants that I am concerned are the VFT's. The sundew was a complimentary gift....VFT's is my main reason for this setup. It kinda feels sad to hear that this setup is unnecessary. yet...I already did it and uni is starting in 3 days. I cannot spend any more on these things. I rather try them out like this for this year. Next yr...depending on how its going...I'll make more changes.

    About the water...right now for these remaining few days...around for a week or so.....I will use aquafina. is it harmful to the plant? it seems to be RO + no other salts or additives according to the website www.aquafina.com . After my labs start...I will steal some distilled water .

    Once snowing starts I'll collect a lot of snow make it into water and store a crate of water bottles for next spring growth of VFT's.

    So what should I do to this setup? modifications regarding the perlite?

    The reason I kept some of it open is to suck out the stagnant water as required when I water it freshly with more new aquafina water. Since I really cannot spend or afford to re-change the container...is there any other way to provide an outlet for the water through the perlite layer??

    I got my instructions from http://www.the-venus-flytrap.com/how...terrarium.html

    I heard from here that its a generic terrarium. I rather start off with something simple and cheap than gooo too deep without any experience.

    Thanks for all these comments seedjar. Can you please provide some more outlook on how to improve my lacking concepts in the terrarium? As I said...I care about the VFT's. I don't mind the sundew as much as the VFT's. its ironic that VFTs require soo much maintenance. MAN!!! one must wonder how there isnt a really hardy cultivar of VFT that can handle a lot more beating. heck...I don't mind having the dandilions in my backyard substitued by an equally voracious VFT that is very hardy. Almost as hardy as it can be grown as a indoor plant.

    lol! enough dreams....back to reality....

    so seedjar....what do I do with the open perlite? do I cover it with the moss?? or is there another easy solution?

    once again...as I said....VFTs are my only concern. The light prob will be solved soon.....The water prob isn't that bad....humidity according to you guys and ICPS is fine as in mine....what else is the prob Dormancy is taken care of..as I will put them into dormancy starting from november till feb in stages. i will open the window to expose it to low temps....the day light lowered during winter...this should probably trigger dormancy.

    any other things??

    BTW...a little OT....notice the small yellow seeds...it came with the moss...I don't know what it is.....

  4. #20
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Just cover the perlite with peat and it'll be fine. If you can find a small section of plastic pipe, bury it in the peat to create a space where you can draw out excess water. Alternatively, you can cut the bottom off of a plastic bottle and do the same thing. Perlite will still rise with the water level, but with something solid to hold the rest of the media in place, erosion shouldn't be as much of an issue.
    Really, VFTs and most other CPs are very easy, and require little maintenance compared to other widely cultivated plants. The trick is getting the right setup, mostly because there's so much misinformation out there. Your water will be fine for the time being - if Aquafina is truly sodium-free, then it will probably work indefinitely, but you pay for the fancy label, designer bottles and advertising, which is the major reason why I say ordinary purified water is better.
    Take a look at the following sources:
    Barry Rice's CP FAQ
    Sarracenia NW's VFT Care Sheet
    California Carnivores' VFT Care Sheet (Kind of redundant and not quite as good as the above, but still worth looking over.)
    Additionally, poke around in the previous posts here on the VFT forum. You will find that almost all of your questions have already been asked and answered by other people.
    Best luck,
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  5. #21
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    my total knowledge used to make this terrarium is based on the first link. ICPS..barry rice's faq on VFT. it is really amazing and taught me a lot about these plants.




    is this what u mean about covering up the perlite and adding a pipe + a plastic container to get water But since water will be in perlite layer...I don't see the purpose exactly. The pipe should be in perlite for anything.. IMO.

  6. #22
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    The pipe should be sticking up vertically, so that one end is open above the planting mix, and the other end is sunk into the perlite (but not all the way to the bottom of the terrarium.) What I'm saying is that if the water level rises beyond the perlite, the layer will float, and the perlite under the peat will be coaxed out as well, leading your slope to collapse. So, stick a pipe in the perlite, cover the perlite outside of the pipe with peat, and then the water will pool inside the pipe without letting any media to collapse into the empty space, allowing you to remove the excess.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #23
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    aaah...I understand....

    lol! I was thinking of a drain pipe habitat.

    anyways...bad news....

    I was browsing the forum and found that the yellow balls are actually fertilizer which the VFT is apparently very sensitive to.

    I was talking to mabudon and he said I should try and get it out.

    I tried but...noticed the entire medium contaminated

    So I took out the plants again. wet them with water...put them back into the plastic container for another day. I removed as much possible substrate from the tank. tomorrow along with this + orginal bag...I am trying to return it to walmart.

    darn...darn darn...

    I don't know why its soo hard to get proper stuff....SHEESH...

    I guess I'll see if I can go to a garden center instead and see if they have some pure peat. I thought brand names are better. But... darn...only happens with me...

    Well...I guess I will see and get a bale if I can...even though I don't need it. I guess these VFT's are going to have to stand my 2 pottings in around one day.

    darn....

    darn...

  8. #24
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    FINALLY here is the final revision and NEW terrarium of mine.

    The old one I made apparently had schultz moss which contained fetilizer. I was away since 11 AM today morning....took buses, returned a 4 $ moss....then came back got the smallest bale of peat moss possible for less than 4 $. (I know...but I want little...not a big bale). Now the time is 5 PM after finishing everything.

    Finally.....this time I took some drainage considerations and already it seems to be working well. Thanks to a member on the forum here seedjar or someone who advised me about it.

    so here are pics:

    OLD TERRARIUM....near a south facing window + a 13 watt white light bulb




    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NEW revisions:

    Once again...removed everything in the aquarium. cleaned it with tap water. Then used FRESH perlite.

    I took a risk with teh new plants this time. All highlighted in blue. They came packaged with some wet LFS. This time...I put them in a shallow pot with fresh rain water....removed all the LFS carefully....didn;t see big bulbs AT ALL...all I saw was black root fibers. I carefully then put it in the mixture and drew the mixture from the sides without pressing the plant. I did this for all the plants. SO I guess I'll know if it was a mistake in a few months

    But I think confidently this time its done right. . The moss bale had just too much crap ie., sticks in it. But nothing else.

    Is it just me or spaghnum moss just looks like compost out of the bale.

    anyways...I didn't waste the LFS. I cut some up in between my hands and put it around the empty spaces. I buried some...I left some intact.

    so here are pics.









    BTW...the corner plant is still in its walmart plant. I'll repot it after this winters dormancy.




    Hopefully this time..its good.

    cheers,

    vraev

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