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Thread: New VFT owner

  1. #9
    xscd's Avatar
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    If your VFT is slowly becoming dormant (or when it does), if the window has lots of very cool to cold air falling from it on the inside, that should probably be enough to keep it chilled most of the time and give it its rest/dormancy, even if the temperatures rise some during the day on the window sill. It seems a bit early for dormancy though (mine go dormant in November here in eastern New Mexico), so maybe it's just pausing to readjust to its new environment, or maybe the cool air of the window is causing it to slow temporarily.

    When the plant does become dormant, be sure to reduce the water a lot, because the plant isn't using nearly as much, and to discourage rot and fungal infections that can occur in too-wet environments. During dormancy I would take the VFT out of the tray of water and just water it occasionally, when it has dried to just moist (the dry side of moist). Then water it thoroughly and let it (almost) dry out again, all through dormancy.

    The plant will probably still grow a little during dormancy, and will still photosynthesize and store that food for a vigorous growth spurt next spring.

    If the plant is not going dormant right now, don't worry too much. Try not to give it much more water than it needs, but allow it to adjust to the temperatures and environment it has newly been placed in.

    Best wishes. Nice plant--
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

  2. #10
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Excellent guidance provided above, so I won't add to it, except that if you have a way of augmenting the light, go for it!.

    There are a variety of ways of approaching the winter, depending upon what climate you are in, as well as what you have available to you. I'm in Buffalo, NY, so having cold temps isn't an issue. If I had them outside for the winter, I would need to keep them from getting too cold. That can be dealt with by mulching it heavily. If you were in Florida or the equivalent, you'd have to find another way of providing cold - like a fridge. What I have been doing is keeping my dormancy type plants outside from April-> mid-November, in bickets of minibogs and then I tote them to the cold, but not frigid attic, as is, placed at the SW window sill. When mid-winter comes around, the photoperiod has increased enough such that the plants begin to awaken, on their own.

    Some people take their plants from the cold outside or inside window sill and move them into the fridge. Some put their pots in there, as is. Some add fungicide and put into baggies. Different approaches are made, based upon the respective dynamics. 3 Years ago I had my VFT's, purchased during the summer, on a window sill in the lab that I worked. The sill was not airtight and it got into the 50's. Then I took them home and put them in between the storm and inner kitchen windows. But it wasn't cold enough at first. So then I put them on the screened porch - until we had a cold snap and the soil froze. Then I moved them to our butter keeper, as was., where they stayed there for another month. Then it was back to the lab and into a sample fridge, until March. Then it was back to the coldish window sill. Lastly, in April, I took them outside, where I was then rewarded with flower stalks. The point is that there are more than one way to successfully approach matters, albet circuitous, in my case. I may have been emphasizing temperature in this post, but light is still the dominating factor, as many Californians can attest.

  3. #11

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    I'm really thinking a lot of it has just been a reaction to the cold and the overcast skies--today was sunny (more sunny than I like, but the plant digs it), and the immature traps did more than they have all week. I'm going to see if I can get ahold of a thermometer and see how cold the window sill gets once it starts getting cold for real, but it ought to be all right from what you've all said.

    I've been letting the water in the dish dry up so I can control how moist it is (though now that it seems to be warming back up maybe it's too soon--it's always something, hahaha). I'm hesitant about taking it out of the dish for winter just because the pot of course has drainage from the bottom. Suppose I could put it on an old towel. If nothing else, I am planning to change it out for a smaller dish that's actually designed for this. I'm just using the cereal bowl because I couldn't find the other when I moved the plant up here.

    I doubt I'm going to be able to make it down to Colorado Springs this weekend. Even if I go home I'll have to convince someone to drive me, and it's a bit of a long drive to visit one booth, even if it is a chance to get healthy carnivorous plants.

    What's disturbing is that I'm already having thoughts about getting a second one so I can get seeds a year or two down the road and cram my window full of the things.

  4. #12

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    Hey, sorry to bump this but it's doing something new. The two little just-barely-there new traps that were in those pictures have about doubled in size since I posted them (slower growth than I'd seen before, but I haven't been too worried), but they're now only about half green and the backs are tannish reddish. I haven't seen this happen before, so I'm wondering if it has to do with dormancy/location change/sick plant. It's probably been getting more water than it really needs, but I was out of town this weekend and had to leave a good amount of water in the dish to avoid it going dry while I was gone. I think they were turning that color before then, though.

  5. #13
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    I was told by a CP seller at keehns that most VFTs on sale are out of TC. That means they need a little time to sync up with the real seasons around. He said...that if the plant is growing....keep them growing (if u grow them in terraria like me) until it shows changes like blackening of traps...etc...and only then send it into dormancy. DO NOT FORCE THE PLANT. Even the universty greenhouse caretaker who has 10 yr old VFT's told me that. Let it grow. It will let u know when it wants dormancy.

    I am in a similar stage..when I don't know the language of my vft. I don't know when I should send it into dormancy. I guess the best bet is to keep a close observation on it. Then depending on the need and require ment send it dormant.

    Keehns told me that only 2 plants so far in my 5 plant collection...one typical and one dentate(from walmart) require dormancy this yr. The others are straight off TC and can probably withstand till next winter for their first dormancy. however,I guess I will watch the signs and put them into dormancy whenever they express themselves appropriately. In the worst case....I'll do a force dormancy in stages....move it away from light....open the window...and so on. I don't know....I just hope the plants survive thorugh the firsst yr of my noobism.

  6. #14
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    @Kat Are your plants receiving lots of direct sun? If so that is the likely cause of the tannish reddish color developing on the leaves. It's the normal reaction of most healthy VFT to bright sunlight and is nothing to worry about. It will develope to varying degrees in VFTs as a sort uf sunscreen to protect the leaves from sunburn and indicates your giving them adequate sunlight. Don't worry about occasionally having to overwater. They can handle that a lot better than getting too dry.

    @vraev Sounds like you've done some asking around. I don't think you'll have any problems with getting your plants through dormancy
    ---Steve Allinger---

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  7. #15

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    It's been getting more sunlight than before, since after the "augment the light if you can" comment I've been moving it back and forth in the window each day so it stays in the sunlight as long as possible.

    I'm also trying to start watering a little at a time from the top instead of leaving it to sit in the dish full of water, but it's going to have to face a decent number of weekends where I just leave it overwatered. Hasn't hurt it yet, so I'll take your word for it that it'll be all right.

    vraev, I just have it in a pot on the window sill, so it's pretty much taking its cues from nature.

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