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Thread: Flower question

  1. #1
    Metal King
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    Flower question

    Okay, I usually chop the flowers off my VFTs BUT I read Don Schnell's book a month or so ago.. in there, he mentioned that if you cut a scape/stalk off before the first flower opens, it will trick the plant into thinking (well, technically KNOWING) that the flower didn't work out, and thus rather than "save" your plants the trouble of the whole flowering process, it will effectively increase the "stress" put on them

    I seem to recall this actually happening to me last year- I thought it was just a fluke, but after reading about it, I have a feeling it's probably bang-on. I'm pretty sure I had a single plant that sent out another stalk after I mucked with the first one, but not absolutely positive... (and I do some weird stuff with my VFTs so I DO like to help by chopping the stalks off, but if it makes it worse, then I don't know)

    Any thoughts on this??
    Da Growlist

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  2. #2
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Who knows. I had four VFTs flower on me between Oct & Feb, actually they all had flowers when I bought them.

    The first one I let grow until it was just about to open - the bracts and sepals were retracting on a couple of the flowers. That one died. I think I overwatered it with poor air circulation (in a fish bowl).

    The second one I clipped as soon as I got the plant - the flower stalk was 1-2 inches. The plant is healthy with large 1-1.5 inch traps. It slowed growth for a couple weeks after I repotted it in Feb.

    The third one I let grow again until one of the buds was starting to separate from the bunch - maybe 4-4.5 inches long. It was growing fine until I repotted it a few weeks after clipping it. I stressed the plant while repotting by repotting it twice in Feb and pressing down on it (one of those that the leaves curl down strongly and pops out when you're potting it up). It's finally growing large traps again.

    The fourth is a 'Cupped Trap'. You can see photos of it in the flowering sticky. The stalk was about 3 inches when I bought the plant. I let it grow a couple weeks as I acclimated the plant to my tank and later windowsill. It was again maybe 4-4.5 inches when I clipped it and the buds were starting to separate. A week or two after I clipped it another stalk formed and I also noticed the new traps were very small. I let this stalk grow to about 4 inches because I wanted to use the material for tissue culture. As you can see from the photos the traps are missing from the leaves that developed during this period. The plant stopped growing for a couple weeks after I clipped the flower but is now putting out large traps again.

    I don't know what conclusions to draw from all this. Don Schnell certainly has a lot more experience growing VFTs than me
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  3. #3
    Metal King
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    Ahh, see, that's about where I ended up after thinking about it and recalling (as best I could) my experiences- might be a good time to start a plant journal actually

    And since I got the book out of the library and since returned it, I can't remember how assertive the claim was- I know it was in there but can't recall if it was "likely" or "definitely" the case...
    Da Growlist

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    Moderator Alexis's Avatar
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    Yep, don't clip them as soon as you spot one; let it grow a few centimetres high before snipping.

    Growing flowers isn't a huge strain on the plant - it's the formation of seeds that use up the energy.

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    A yellow M&M Jefforever's Avatar
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    You should let them flower and make SEEEEEEEEEEDSSSSSSS!!!!
    Really, VFTs from seed are worth a whole lot more. And more genetic diversity and possibly new cultivars.....

  6. #6
    Metal King
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    That's the trick tho, in my area the pollinators don't show up til it's too late- and I SUCK at being a bee, as previous seedless attempts at hand pollination have made ZIP for me

    I know that seed-grown VFTs have a chance of popping up as something interesting, tho and would like to try some-A local friend has different protocols for winter, and he gets lots o' seeds, so I'll just ask him nicely for some once they're ready

    Thanks Alexis, one more bit to back up the "theory"
    Da Growlist

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Personally, I think you're better off taking leaf cuttings and sprouting clusters of plants.

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