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Thread: Please help a newbie not kill his first VFT

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    Veronis's Avatar
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    Please help a newbie not kill his first VFT

    Edit: I'm not going to attempt growing from seeds since you all say not to start that way - I don't want to wait another 3 years for my first functional VFT. I'm going to buy a couple from "adnedarn" later on instead. Post below is otherwise unedited.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I've wanted a venus flytrap for years, and I'm finally getting one. I've read all the info I can find in this forum and elsewhere, and I've put together a plan.

    Before I put it into action, I have a few questions:

    1. Will this setup make a healthy environment for it?
    Terrarium (14" diameter)
    Lamp
    Bulb
    Flytrap seeds (can't find anywhere else to get seeds)
    Soil: Mix of 70% peat or sphagnum moss and 30% perlite or coarse pumis
    Water: Distilled or rain water only, will not use any fertilizer etc.
    Temp: Will have a thermometer inside and ensure 75-90 degrees (ideal is 83ish I hear).

    2. How much water do you give the seeds, and how do you know when to add more?

    3. I assume Spring Water would be OK to use?

    4. Will ~Jan 1 be too early to buy/plant the seeds?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Where do you live? The best place to grow VFTs is outdoors, but again it depends on where you live and what space you have available.

    A terrarium would be fine for this winter but if possible move the plants outdoors in the spring.

    Growing from seeds is probably the slowest way to get started and extremely frustrating for a beginner. It will probably take 3-4 years or so with a lot luck and hard work for you to get plants big enough that you can get any satisfaction from feeding them.

    Why not buy some VFTs from Andrew (the proprietor of this board) at flytrapshop.com?

    He sells healthy beautiful plants that will probably be of flowering size within a year or two and you can harvest your own seeds. That way you can enjoy the plants now instead of three year hence.

    Soil: 70/30 mix is ok. 50/50 peat/perlite or silica sand is typical.
    Water: spring water does not equal distilled water. Spring water can mean anything and have a high mineral content. Stick with distilled water or water purified by Reverse Osmosis (aka RO water).

    Some suggested reading:

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=81026
    http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq2000.html
    water

  3. #3
    Veronis's Avatar
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    I live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - it's humid enough in the spring-summer months, but the weather is unpredictable here and changes every ten minutes - I'm not sure if they would do well outside in this particular valley.

    Growing the plant outdoors is a consideration though - I have a corner rise on my backyard deck that sees plenty of sun. I would not plant them in the ground as there's nowhere outside my house that I could consider a "safe" place to grow them (trampling).

    I could move the terrarium outside in the spring and take the lid off - I'll just need to be sure to keep it watered enough (but not too much...I'll have to get more info on that) if it doesn't rain for long periods.

    I didn't know growing from seeds would take years, thanks for the advice. I will probably buy from Andrew when I'm all set up / finalized, and ready to take care of them properly.

    I'm reading your suggested readings now.

  4. #4
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    I agree outside would be best, perhaps in the winter, a window sill would be a good place for it to go dormant. Also you mention planting them in the ground... Since the ground typically has lots of minerals, your plant wouldn't last.

    Thanks for the plug Not a Number But as a side note... The vast majority of my traps are of flowering size! I cut so many flowers off..... lol I have set some aside to let flower this coming spring to have a few for those wanting to try it, but for the most part I just chop them.

    I'm adding media to my store too within the next week (likely today or tomorrow) so you could pick up the correct media to put in that terrarium thing. It seems it's getting harder and harder to find appropriate media locally for people. (Most contain fertilizer and that's bad....)

    Andrew
    Andrew
    -Andrew
    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
    Support FlyTrapShop, support TerraForums! www.flytrapshop.com

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    In my opinion, a better mix is sand and peat, with LFS on top. You can sprout seeds right now and keep them in growth mode for the next calendar year, under great lighting.

    You can transfer the seedlings to a bucket or whiskey barrel or anything large and keep it outside, mulched well for the winter. A friend (JBL), who comes from near Philly has his outside all year long, lining his driveway. But it is warmer in Philly than Harrisburg. It was a little too cold for me to have them oustide all year long, without insulating them - and I was in Reading, PA.

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    Veronis's Avatar
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    Yes, putting a VFT outside year-long in Harrisburg, naked, would end badly. Once I know more about caring for them, I may get more of them and other types of plants, and be able to find safe ways of keeping them outside year-round (e.g. insulation as you suggest).

    With my first VFT's I'll determine if this is something I want to do as a full-time hobby.

    Mainly I'm trying to find out if my lighting is sufficient for it's initial run indoors. Until I get the equipment and the VFT, I'm in reading/learning mode.

  7. #7
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Just a comment on media (since I missed that part my first time though) I started off using peat : sand Thought there was nothing better. Then I went to peat : perlite and while it looks worse, I notice the plants go much longer without needing to be transplanted. But media is probably the one thing you'll notice alot of people doing differently, but all working just fine. From the complicated mixtures, to the simple ones. I don't know about a topping of LFS for seed though... Seems to me if it happens to sprout (and likely would given the long term VFT seeds take to grow up) it may over come the plant. So you'll find yourself having to trim that back often.
    Andrew
    -Andrew
    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
    Support FlyTrapShop, support TerraForums! www.flytrapshop.com

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    Californian in DC DrWurm's Avatar
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    I would highly recommend not growing from seed. It takes quite a long time, and getting flytraps to germinate can be difficult.

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