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Thread: that time of the year again...

  1. #1

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    i know i've asked you guys like every year, but i need some help again.

    my poor plant looks ultra-super-mega unhealthy. question is on dormancy. i live by Dallas, tx and i'm seeking advice on how i should care for my fragile little vft. i'm crossing my fingers that maybe it will come back to life in the spring. right now, it looks sooo bad, that i'm ashamed. if this one survives, i'll reward myself by buying more plants- until then though i don't deserve them cause i'm a terrible plant grower.

  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Exactly what is the problem? VFTs always look a little shaggy during dormancy. Is your plant not going dormant, or is it dying back quickly, or what? If you're having a hard time getting dormancy in your climate, you should try reducing the water (keep it in a very shallow tray, as shallow as possible while keeping it watered; less than an inch or so deep or less than 10%-20% of the height of the pot) and moving it to a spot where it gets less direct light, like the north side of your house. Keeping it away from artificial light at nighttime may help too, but that's just speculation on my part. I know it doesn't get super cold in Dallas, but the nights are brisk enough that your plant should get the idea.
    Best luck,
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
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    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  3. #3

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    the ill health of it has nothing to do with dormancy issues. it's been looking pretty sad for a while. just not sure if i should try the refridgerator method or just try to keep it in the shade or what since this is about the time that they go dormant. i'm just afraid of killing it or making it less healthy than it already is.

    my plant is like 1/4 the size it was when i got it.

  4. #4
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    okay..if its a walmart bought VFT or something..there is an interesting thing I noticed especially with my dentate (the only variety I can buy in stores here). The traps were nearly 3/4th of a inch when u buy them...however all new traps (remember PERFECTLY healthy looking leaves and so on) are a lot smaller.

    There might be two reasons for this:

    1) Dormancy cues for the plant.
    2) Recovering from a unnatural growth method....maybe extended use of fert or something...I'm not sure,,,but the plants I bought from online were all different...they had small traps before i.e., when i bought them..but now some are reaching 1.5 inch traps. even the typical is making 1 inch traps..and its a fresh off tc plant.

    So I dont know what colsanti farms (the supplier of vft's in homedepot's, walmarts etc) is doing...but the plants seem to grow differently.

  5. #5
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Hi. Has your plant looked unhealthy for a long time (for more than a month) Did you keep it in ideal conditions throughout the summer? Do you know of any other factor(s) that might explain why your plant is looking unhealthy?

    Initiating dormancy has to be a gradual process for the plant. If you are considering using the fridge method, you should move your plant into a cold shaded area for a week or so before placing the plant in the fridge. This way your plant does not get thrown into the cold fridge suddenly. Remember, BOTH reduction in temperature AND photoperiod aid in initiating dormancy.

    You also have to realize that using the fridge for dormancy will not alleviate the weakness your plant is displaying, so do not be too hasty in depending on the fridge. The best thing you can do now is get it safely through dormancy, so if your area does not experience cold enough temps, then you may have to go with the fridge method. But… if your area does experiences ideal winter dormancy temps, then just leave it outside. When going into dormancy, some VFT’s traps and leaves turn black and die, leaving the only rhizome, which can make it through the winter and start growing new leaves in the Spring.

    Again, post some factors that might explain why your plant is weak and small.

    Lastly, do NOT be afraid of making mistakes. Making errors allows us to learn and grow, so if your plant does not make it, don’t worry too much about it. Instead, learn from what happened and buy yourself more plants in the Spring.
    -Joel from Southern California


  6. #6
    Stop having a boring tuna, stop having a boring life! neon-eon's Avatar
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    My Wal-Mart VFT's began dormancy when it started getting in the mid 50's. I've had them for almost two months now. for all of october the plants had no black traps. but when November hit and it started to get colder a few of my traps died. Each day I find that another trap has died. My point is, if your traps started dying as it got colder but were healthy when it was warmer, there probably going dormant. If They were healthy in the summer they might have a good chance of making it through the winter. On the other hand I don't know how cold it gets in Dallas. If they are fairly young plants then you may want to keep them in a terrarium until they can make it on there own. I'm a newbie and I might be wrong but this sounds logical to me.
    How cold do your winters get?
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    my little plant only looked slightly better in the summer. i also moved again but less than 10 miles, so it didn't experience a bad trip or anything.

    dallas temps? spastic. it's generally not too cold. sometimes it's warm enough to wear a t-shirt. then the next day, you'll be wearing a heavy coat. (probably not that cold either- just feels like it when it was just hot and dropped many degrees suddenly)

    i've left one outside before during winter- but loosely covered so it was shaded and it made it. that plant was much healthier though. i'm just afraid of the neglect method with this little one cuase it just looks so frail.

  8. #8
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map places Dallas in zone 8a (average annual minimum temperature 10-15 F). Should be plenty cold. The growing regions of VFTs in NC are zone 8a or 7B (5-10 F). Granted the map is based on 20-30 year old data average annual minimum temps could be higher due to global warming.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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