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Thread: VFTs--terrarium or not terrarium

  1. #1
    xscd's Avatar
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    It seems like people often want to grow VFTs in a terrarium, and that seems puzzling to me. They don't need it, and a terrarium introduces various problems such as stagnant water, stagnant unmoving air, concentration of fungal spores, overheating in sunlight, etc. At least that's the way it seems to me.

    I guess I can understand the idea of wanting to grow plants in a lighted "display case" to highlight their special-ness--

    --but it seems that Venus Flytraps really enjoy and benefit from fresh moving air, plenty of sun, plenty of open space to attract insects from, etc.

    Here's an example (the photo below, with a link to the full-size version) of how I typically pot my own Venus Flytraps, in small colonies in insulated urethane foam pots (I really believe in insulating the roots of plants in containers--I believe it benefits the plants tremendously, and I can't understand why most seedling containers are a heat-absorbing black or dark green!). I know that everyone's techniques vary a lot. This is just one of the ones I use. I'm not trying to start a cultural war--just a discussion.


    In addition to insulating the roots, I believe in giving them plenty of room to grow downward, and my VFTs roots almost always grow to the bottom of these pots and pots that have an inch or two more than this of depth.

    Anyway, here's a photo of a pot of (very overcrowded, will be divided next Spring) Royal Red VFTs I snapped out on the back patio this fine Labor Day, 2006--


    Link to larger version of above photo

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

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    Thats cool, those are some well fed VFT's. My VFT's cant seem to catch anything around here.
    My life sucks

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    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Wow! Nice looking 'Royal Red' you have there, xscd. How long have you been growing it?

    I don't grow any of my CPs in a terrarium except for a capensis. Don't ask me why it's in a terrarium. I don't recall what I could have been possibly thinking when I stuck a CP weed in a terrarium. Any how, all the rest of my plants are in a south window or out outside. They are all doing fine in spite of low humidity (20%). I'm gonna hafta fined a couple of those insulated urethane foam pots and see if they make a difference for some of my plants.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

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    pingman's Avatar
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    I love the look of the massive growing VFT in the pot!
    I'm familiar with these foam pots. Do you plant right in them without any drain holes?
    Or do you have them in a pot, then in the foam pot?
    Do you let them sit in water for long?
    Thanks!
    Peter
    Please check my website for photos:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/minicatt/sets

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    xscd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (pingman @ Sep. 04 2006,10:36)]I love the look of the massive growing VFT in the pot!
    I'm familiar with these foam pots. Do you plant right in them without any drain holes?
    Or do you have them in a pot, then in the foam pot?
    Do you let them sit in water for long?
    Thanks!
    Peter
    Thanks Peter--

    I believe in a well-drained environment for VFTs, so although the foam pots come without a hole, I drill one about a centimeter in diameter in the bottom of each pot.


    I plant the Venus Flytraps (and other plants such as Sarracenia) directly in the foam pots; I don't double pot. In fact, I'm going to try this same technique with a Darlingtonia I will receive soon and I'm hopeful I won't have to go to any great trouble to keep the roots cool (like rainwater ice cubes on the surface of the soil or double potting with perlite between).

    I often water my VFTs and other CP from the bottom by setting them in a tray of water. But I only do so long enough for them to soak water up to the top; I don't leave them standing in water except on a few rare occasions when I want to place them outside for many hours on a very hot, dry day perhaps with some wind, in direct sun under a mostly cloudless sky (New Mexico skies are often cloudless).


    In that case, sometimes I will leave the pots sitting in a tray of water for a while. But as soon as I bring the pot inside into the greenhouse, I take it out of the tray, and I never leave plants in a tray of water overnight (unless I will not be home for a few days to attend them).

    Our nights in New Mexico at 4000 feet above sea level can become 30 degrees F. or more cooler than the daytime temperatures, and I try to avoid cool-and-wet conditions in general to help prevent fungal infections. So far, so good--I haven't had a single case of fungus in any of my plants for several years now, partly thanks to this semi-desert's extremely low humidity I guess.

    Anyway, I'm a big believer in the benefits of these urethane foam pots. I'm always happy to see, when I divide the plants, that the root systems are very extensive and healthy.

    Best wishes,

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

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    There's a certain bowl of fruit irony abiut that picture!

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    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    The problem for me which compels me to use a terrarium OR just a flower pot is:

    - At uni I do not have a balcony. Only a window that does NOT get direct sunlight. Yet it is bright in the afternoon.
    - To make up for the lack of light.I use this::

    http://www.ott-lite.com/productdetail.asp?product_id=42



    It probably isn't enough according to some of you guys..but right now...I can't afford anything else. I didn't even buy this lamp. Coincidentally..my bro bought it at walmart as a table lamp.

    I keep the lamp on for 16 hours a day including at day time. So far..I think the VFT's like it since every single one seems to be showing signs of growth and there is not sign of stress.

    However, why I didn't use a pot is because I wanted to have an entire VFT collection. I presently own a dentate, B52, 2 typicals(a small graft is starting to propogate..I can see a shoot) and soon to add to this collection: 1 red and 1 green dragon.

    Xscd...I really love the way your plants look. They are probably the closest to a VFT in wild in health. I guess thats why next summer...I will actually make a mini bog..so I can get my minature carolina and the VFT's also get direct sun However, I guess until then...I'll stick with the aquarium. BTW...apart from contrary belief...I keep my terrarium completely open on the top and still the plants are fine. I dpn't water till I feel the peat to be a bit dry. So far its ok. Lets actually see HOW the new developing traps+leaves look. Hopefully they are normal.

  8. #8
    Moderator Alexis's Avatar
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    There's more than way to grow a lot of CP's. My VFTs are in black 11cm square pots and they do well. In theory the ones at the back should receive the full heat of the sun on the side of the pots, although they don't do any better or worse then those insulated in the centre. As far as I can tell and in my experience that is.


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