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Thread: Growing a VFT in Texas

  1. #1

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    Hello, everyone. I recently purchased my first VFT at a Wal-Mart in my area. To my surprise, they looked to be in very good condition and health, so I decided to try my hand at growing one of these amazing plants. Of course, it came in a little plastic terranium-type thing, and was being grown in the outdoor part of the garden center.

    Since I bought the plant yesterday, I've read lots of useful information on the web about how to properly grow a VFT. However, I have some concerns about growing them properly in my specific area. (I live in Texas, about 60-70 miles North of Houston. )

    I was planning on growing the plant outdoors. Do you think that considering Texas weather, this will work out alright? I've compared the humidity and temperatures here in TX to that of the VFT's native home, North Carolina, and there is of course, a difference, but not a drastic one. We seem to have higher temperatures, but less humidity, whereas NC has lower temps. and higher humidity.

    For example, here are the conditions right now in both places.

    Here: 89.3 - 42% humidity
    Wilmington, North Carolina: 84 F - 62% humidity

    So, if I grow the plant outdoors, in a sunny spot, will I need to keep it in the little plastic terranium to increase the humidity or will that create too much heat and fry the poor thing?

    I might be agonizing too much over details, but I just really don't want my flytrap to die. If anyone out there can give me any suggestions or tips, I'm all ears!

    Thanks, guys.

  2. #2
    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    What up fellow Texan!

    I'm right here in south Dallas and I grow all my VFT's outside year round. VFT's dont give a crap about humidity and they are tough enough to handle the 100+ degree temps here. Also they love our winters and will come back the next year and flower.

    To grow a happy VFT in Texas all you need to do is put it outdoors in as much sun as possable and keep it wet with clean (distilled, RO, Rain) water. If you have any other questions let me know.
    My life sucks

  3. #3
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Welcome to Terraforums! I think that Rail pretty much covered the basics. Another hobbyist that grows them, also in harsh conditions, is 'xscd'. He lives in the desert SW. They like a well-drained (not sitting in water) environment, with lots of sun, and they require a dormancy period for the winter. Also, when moving a plant from one environement to another, it is best to acclimate them slowly, taking into account temperature, humidity, and light differences. They can react to a significant change.

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    xscd's Avatar
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    I agree with CopcarFC regarding humidity. Venus Flytraps can adapt to low humidity, as they have done where I grow them on the high plains of eastern New Mexico. Their roots are very delicate, but their top-growth can become quite tough and hardy.

    I used to live in east Texas, in the Piney Woods area north of where you are. There is *plenty* of humidity there for VFTs, and I'll bet that the winter temperatures outside where you are will be cool enough to initiate and ensure an adequate dormancy for your VFTs.

    Just be sure to plant them in a container (above or sunken into the earth) that isolates them from the native soil, and use a good VFT planting medium (I use 50/50 blasting sand (pure silica sand, NOT river or beach or sandbox "play" sand) and sphagnum peat moss, but there are lots of good soil recipes). Make sure there is *no* fertilizer (like time-release gelatin pellets) in the planting medium, as you sometimes find in commercial potting soil, and don't spray them with fertilizer either until you have grown them for a while and know how weak to make it and how infrequently to give it. You don't really need to ever fertilize VFTs. They fertilize themselves with sun and bugs very efficiently.


    Venus Flytraps like lots of sun and plenty of bugs. They are great at catching their own food so you probably won't have to worry about supplementing their own catch. They get plenty of nutrition straight from the sun via photosynthesis if you let them have lots of direct sunlight.

    Regarding water, be very careful to give them, as everyone else mentions, *only* pure water with nothing added, which means collected rainwater, or distilled water or reverse osmosis water (with nothing added after the distillation or osmosis process). Give your plants plenty of water in order for their planting medium/soil to stay moist, but please don't drown them with too much water, and to reinforce what jimscott wrote, don't leave them sitting in water for hours and hours. They will grow healthier if you don't force them to react to too much water by growing faster (but weaker and prone to rot and early leaf-death).

    Remember (everyone else is probably tired of me saying this) to aim for moist, rarely saturated, and never soggy for long and never dry. VFTs are a moist grassland or savannah plant, not a swamp or aquatic plant, although they *can* grow in wetter conditions. There is actually a lot of controversy over how wet a VFT should be grown. My own VFTs do very well with my technique, but use your own best judgement of course.

    Good luck and best wishes,


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

  5. #5

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    hey CopcarFC, u grow your vfts OUTSIDE all year round? wat about the dormancy period? do u just leave it outside during the winter?

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    Yep. If your in zone 7 or 8 (like me) you can keep your VFT's outside year round. In the winter they will go dormant naturally and the next year they wake up full of energy and flower. The only thing I do to care for my VFT's is water them. Thats all you need to do in this zone.
    My life sucks

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    Thanks everyone for your replies, they are greatly appreciated. I feel confident now that I will be able to give my VFT a good home.

    By the way...
    xscd: I took a look at some of your pics, you have some very nice plants!

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