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Thread: Venus Flytrap 911

  1. #9
    mcantrell's Avatar
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    So the $1 question -- do I leave them under the grow lights (and risk shocking them again, to death, but where they'll get enough artificial light to turn nice and red like the other plants under the lights), or do I put them back outside in the smaller and easier to water pot?


    Oh, and their new brother:



    B-52. It was accidentally uprooted when I got rid of that plastic stuff, so I took a spare leaf and threw it in with my Drosera Cuttings in Water. It worked with a Typical, so I am anticipating it'll work with this just as well.

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    --Freedom Czar-- Fryster's Avatar
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    I am guessing it is shock as well.

    Happens to me too when transitioning VFT's from indoors to the outdoors.

    THAT is a lot of perlite though. I use like a 33% perlite, 66% peat ratio for my VFT's. But then everyone has their own soil recipes.
    Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom; the more corrupt and vicious a people becomes, the more it has need of masters. -- Benjamin Franklin

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    mcantrell's Avatar
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    For the time being they are inside the house, I can move them back out tonight. My concern right now is the complete lack of new growth since I got the 2 new ones / moved the typical outside.

    The typical was doing ok in the windowsill inside before I moved it outside with it's neighbors. That's why I thought it was a water problem of some kind and was giving a little bit of top water. Basically in the morning I was taking the pot out of it's saucer and pouring the water near the VFTs, letting it cycle like that. I was already watering a new pot out there (which was bone dry, fresh, media) when I flood watered the VFT pot, too.

    If it really works sufficiently, I could just tray water, but I was worried about root rot -- that 4" of water in that picture will take 2-3 weeks to empty out, for example.

    The light question has me worried. I might have to accept that my deck just does not have sufficient light to grow CP on, unless I can sneak the pots out into the gravel a little ways -- but I think even that would only add a little extra time to them each day. I have Sunday off, I'll try and get some pictures of the various light levels at the hour marks throughout the day.

    My other worry was temperature. It's been down in the 34-35ish range the last few weeks at night. Never hitting freezing, which is why I put those plants outside. http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/...ery=83301&MR=1



    The soil mix I kinda eyeball. The problem with perlite is that when top watering the peat moss settles before the floaty perlite does, so you end up with a LOT of perlite on top after a short while -- but I am not sure what kind of horticultural sand to get to replace the Perlite with. The local brand is Whitney Farms, and they have "White Sand" and "Washed Sand".

    http://www.stylefeeder.com/i/g10z5ql...e-Sand-2-Quart
    http://www.acetogo.com/product/71929...and+2+qt..html

    I used the "Washed Sand" before, it basically turned the soil mix into a thick cement. The VFT in said mix grew very poorly, and upon repotting into a Pete/Perlite mix, I discovered the roots were gnarled and kinked up where it just couldn't push through the soil. The White Sand appears to be silica, but the bag says it's only supposed to be a top dressing, so...

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    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    really, the best type of sand you can get is silica sand. You can find high quality stuff at pool shops, but Lowes and Home Depot may carry some poor-quality sandblasting sand. It should still work better than the stuff you use. Also, make sure, even though it says "washed" that you thoroughly wash the sand again before using it (I'm not sure if you did this or not). Sometimes my "inert" pre-washed silica sand needs to be washed 20 times before the dusts stop clouding the water, and the ppm goes down to an acceptable level.
    Good luck with yours
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    mcantrell's Avatar
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    I don't have enough RO water to really wash sand on out, unfortunately. I make do with "tossing" the perlite before I use it, basically putting it into a container and shaking it gently, like a chef would a skillet or a gold miner would a pan full of river sand. That sends up a huge cloud of dust that blows away from my porch, and what's left is Perlite that's not too fine to use.. Flood watering the pots once or twice as well helps flush out anything that might cause trouble, too.

  6. #14
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    I do so hope you are wearing a dust mask when you toss your perlite.

    See this post about silicosis:

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...5&postcount=15

    You can rinse your sand and perlite thoroughly with tap water first and then a final rinse with RO water. Then top water a few times and don't allow the runoff to collect.

    As long as the roots stay moist a VFT will survive. Letting the roots dry out is a sure way to kill a VFT.

    It is difficult for a beginner to judge how moist peat moss is. It is deceptive. It may look moist when it is actually quite dry. And even though the surface maybe dry and crusty it can be perfectly moist underneath.

    The best way to check for a beginner is the touch test. Is there any sponginess or springiness? Does any of it stick to your finger? You'll eventually learn how to judge by look alone.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fryster View Post
    But then everyone has their own soil recipes.
    I have been growing VFTs longer than most of you have been alive. I have tried just about every soil mix imaginable, and some not imaginable. I have settled on 100% sphagnum peat. Sometimes, just for fun, I will use 75% peat and 25% coarse silica sand. I divide and repot my plants in the early spring (for my climate early March) just as the plants start root growth. Then I don't mess with them until the next spring.

    My recommendation is to experiment and use what works for you.

  8. #16
    mcantrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobZ View Post
    I have been growing VFTs longer than most of you have been alive. I have tried just about every soil mix imaginable, and some not imaginable. I have settled on 100% sphagnum peat. Sometimes, just for fun, I will use 75% peat and 25% coarse silica sand. I divide and repot my plants in the early spring (for my climate early March) just as the plants start root growth. Then I don't mess with them until the next spring.

    My recommendation is to experiment and use what works for you.
    Total non sequitur here, but thank you very much for your awesome photo site. It's an invaluable resource that I spend entirely too much time looking at.


    I'd do 100% peat but it's rather hard to get here. My plants that are doing good are doing great in their current mixes, with the exception of these 3 little guys. Hoping to find something obvious to fix with them.

    My current worry is a mix that can suck up water to the top of that tall pot, that's why I went more or less 1/2/2 LFS/Peat/Perlite -- the LFS is hopefully going to act like a wick and help get the water up to the plants. I would have done a few inches of pure LFS at the bottom of the pot but LFS is even harder to get than peat.

    But then again, it might just be that I wasn't trusting the mix's ability to suck up water, heh.

    The Sarrs I have in the other colony pot one and the Darlingtonia don't seem to have any problem -- the Sarrs roots went down a good 6-7 inches, so that's no issue, the tray being full will be enough for it... the Darlingtonia is in 100% pure dead LFS and it's sucking up water like a sponge, so again, no problems there. The VFT's roots are about 2" long and, yeah. More of a concern, really.


    Well, at this point the plan is to try and get them to do some new growth, either in a smaller group pot or 3 miniature pots. and then I'll look at getting them back in that big pot.

    I might do a weird slack-pot like thing, with the big pot storing the 5 smaller pots that the actual plants are in inside it.

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