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Thread: Newbie questions.

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    Andenes's Avatar
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    Talking Newbie questions.

    Hey everyone. It's been years since I last posted here...I think.
    Anyway, I'm sure your all very tired from hearing the same thing, but hear me out:

    I've always wanted a venus flytrap, but I never had the guts to purchase one. I always thought it'd be quite tedious to own one since I live in the tropics here in Puerto Rico. From what I remember these plants require damp soil and bright sunlight. The average temp. can be from 70-100 degrees Fahrenheit (cool cuz' here in Puerto Rico temp. easily rises to a 90 on an average day). Problem is that it's very difficult to maintain a damp soil here in the island since the sun is so merciless. I also read that they hibernate or go into some sort of dormant state on winter. We don't have cold winters here in Puerto Rico, so can I just pop it into the fridge? I have a book that says that they need temperatures from 35-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill me in on the details. I really want one of these little wonders.

    Thanks!


    -erick
    Mom says: "Its stupid to collect plants that all look alike! Get a new hobie!"

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    mmlr38's Avatar
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    Hey erick,

    It sounds like you already know pretty much all you need to know about growing VFTs.

    With regards to keeping the soil damp, that shouldn't be an issue at all. I live in Boulder, CO where the summer temps can get up near 100F and the humidity routinely drops below 30%. I think the humidity in Puerto Rico is much higher. Just set the VFT pot in a tray of water and keep about an inch or two of water in the bottom.

    Dormancy will be an issue for you though. As you say, you will likely have to attempt the refrigerator method since the temps won't get cool enough for your plants. The other option is to try to let them grow outside year round and see if they can survive long term. It's not likely, but it may happen.

    In any case, you should definitely get a VFT. They're really fun to grow and definitely not too hard to keep alive. If you do end up killing your plant, you can always buy another one.

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    Andenes's Avatar
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    Water in tray? Can't I just water it daily?

    And when winter comes I just have to pop it into the fridge? No special treatments?
    Mom says: "Its stupid to collect plants that all look alike! Get a new hobie!"

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    mmlr38's Avatar
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    You can water it daily. I prefer the tray method because that way you don't have to worry about watering every day. This is especially beneficial if you end up leaving town for a few days or you happen to get busy and forget about your plant.

    I've never done the refrigerator dormancy method, so I'm afraid I can't speak from experience here. From what I've read, you wait for the days to shorten (I assume that your days do get shorter late in the year in Puerto Rico) and then lightly treat the plant with a fungicide and place it in the fridge. For more details you can read my Venus Fly Trap Dormancy write up.

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    Andenes's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'll read everything and try it out. I'll keep you updated on how it goes. I'm not sure what fungicide is or does, but I'll read some of that also. This is all very new to me. My common knowledge is in Nepenthes. Wish me luck.
    Mom says: "Its stupid to collect plants that all look alike! Get a new hobie!"

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    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    I've used the fridge method with mixed success. The first couple times I had no problems other than a little fungus which I treated by picking it out of the pot or rinsing it of the plant. Last year I lost several plants because I didn't catch the fungus soon enough. The fridge method also requires a little more maintenance than leaving them out doors. You need to check the plants regularly for fungus and open the containers (I use ziplock bags) to let them air out and remove condensation.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    When I was new to the hobby I put a couple pots of VFT's in the butter keeper, as was, with no fungicides or baggies. They did fine. Strangely, my wife didn't complain

    The following winter, in a fridge that the lab owned, in an apartment next door, I placed all of my Sarracenias and other temperates. I had them on the shelves, right with the cases of beer. They were uncovered and I lost one plant. The thing is, you don't want to plunk a 70 F plant into a 40 F fridge. It should be a lot closer to 40 F before changing its conditions. Only add a little water, maybe once every couple weeks, just to "wet their whistle".

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    Andenes's Avatar
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    Ummm, so I'm suppose to place it inside a zip-lock? Won't it suffocate?

    So I guess you use the fungicide to prevent fungus from building up and killing the plant huh? I guess picking out the fungus is also pretty easy. It also makes sense that I shouldn't place the plant into a the fridge without it getting use to the temperatures...So what should I do? Place it 15 minutes everyday in the fridge and gradually increase the amount of time its left in there? Or just let it grow outside and hope that it adapts to its environment?

    How does the fridge method works?
    Mom says: "Its stupid to collect plants that all look alike! Get a new hobie!"

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