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Thread: How Wet and Other Beginner Questions

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    How Wet and Other Beginner Questions

    I recently received a Venus Flytrap and Drosera Spatulata in the mail. They both came pretty banged up. I left them in a bowl of distilled water for about two days, and transplanted both the drosera and flytrap in a clay pot (two separate pots) using only long fiber sphagnum moss.

    A few questions (some pictures later):


    1. How wet is too wet? Is there a good way to tell? Don't want either plant to die from root rot.

    2. Is pure long fiber sphagnum only ok? I heard peat moss was non-renewable/unsustainable , and Lowe's only sells them in huge, gigantic bags which I don't need that much.

    3. Some of the flytraps upon arrival were shut...but in a weird way. The traps teeth like parts (sorry, don't know the name yet) are not closed together like normal, but rather straight up, either side not touching each other, but the trap itself it shut tight. The trap itself almost looks like it's trying to suck itself inside out.


    4. Seattle, WA is pretty darn cool and dry, even during the summer. Would buying a humidifier help at all? I read droseras and carnivorous plants like humidity in general and help them grow better, even if they can tolerate cooler weather. If so, hot or cool humidifier?

    5. I purchased a 5000k 13w=60w equivlent compact fluorescent bulb. Is this enough for the plants? I noticed there was 5000k with 20w=100w equiv. What's better? I usually put the plants next to the window where they get sunshine, but at night I like to put them under the light.

    6. My drosera came in a pretty pathetic condition. No dew, dried up, the little hairs look like they just woke up from bed, but it has a nice green color. Assuming I take good care of it, how long can I expect it to grow again? This is my first time taking care of plants, and I know patience is a requirement for this hobby, but I was wondering the average time I can see this drosera start growing some dew. I'm assuming longer than usual for me since I transplanted them today they are both going through some shock.

    I'll post some pictures later...
    Last edited by Plissken; 08-19-2011 at 06:23 PM.

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    cpsammich's Avatar
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    1) tray method works well, put the pot in a tray of distilled water with the water halfway up the side of the pot, refill the tray before it's empty
    2) it's fine just much more expensive than the typical carnivorous plant mix of 1:1 peat to perlite
    3) that is a stage, the cilia (I think that's what the teeth are called) cross the they do that (or vise versa, i don't remember)
    4) inch or so
    5) they don't need high humidity
    6) I'll let somebody else answer that
    7) shipping does that to them, the old leave probably wont make dew but it will put out new leaves in a few days

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    for #6 you can put a bag over the pot if you can to bump up humidity for a bit till new growth starts then slowly take off the bag a little bit each week to let it get used to the lower humidity again and you should be fine. They may go through a little shock but it shouldnt slow them down all that much but raising the humidity with either a plastic bag over the pot or a clear plastic cup over the plant should help it recover faster and help it along the way to its new conditions

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    1. How wet is too wet? Is there a good way to tell? Don't want either plant to die from root rot.
    Use "the tray method"..keep the pots in a tray of water, and always keep water in the tray..that will be the perfect amount of water, not too much, not too little. (clay pots arent so good..(unless they are glazed) unglazed clay pots allow too much water transpiration through the pot, and they retain minerals..plastic pots are much better)

    2. Is pure long fiber sphagnum only ok? I heard peat moss was non-renewable/unsustainable , and Lowe's only sells them in huge, gigantic bags which I don't need that much.
    Pure LFS is perfect! in fact, IMO its the best..an excellent growing mix.


    3. Some of the flytraps upon arrival were shut...but in a weird way. The traps teeth like parts (sorry, don't know the name yet) are not closed together like normal, but rather straight up, either side not touching each other, but the trap itself it shut tight. The trap itself almost looks like it's trying to suck itself inside out.
    A normal stage of VFT trap closing..there are probably bugs in there!

    4. Seattle, WA is pretty darn cool and dry, even during the summer. Would buying a humidifier help at all? I read droseras and carnivorous plants like humidity in general and help them grow better, even if they can tolerate cooler weather. If so, hot or cool humidifier?
    A humidifier wont help much outdoors..the steam will just quickly dissapate into the air..they will be fine without one.

    5. I purchased a 5000k 13w=60w equivlent compact fluorescent bulb. Is this enough for the plants? I noticed there was 5000k with 20w=100w equiv. What's better? I usually put the plants next to the window where they get sunshine, but at night I like to put them under the light.
    I dont understand the question..you dont purchase light for VFTs.. k? w? the Sun provides all the light your plants need..that should be your only light source. im joking of course..but not about the Sunlight..VFTs should *always* be grown outdoors..much much much much much better than growing them indoors..people will dispute this, they are 85% wrong..for the reasons behind these statements, please see my "page 2" http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/sco.../CP/page2.html

    6. My drosera came in a pretty pathetic condition. No dew, dried up, the little hairs look like they just woke up from bed, but it has a nice green color. Assuming I take good care of it, how long can I expect it to grow again? This is my first time taking care of plants, and I know patience is a requirement for this hobby, but I was wondering the average time I can see this drosera start growing some dew. I'm assuming longer than usual for me since I transplanted them today they are both going through some shock.
    With good conditions, new leaves should appear soon that will have "normal dew"..the older leaves might not develope new dew..this is fine, not a big deal, and nothing to worry about..with good conditions, the plant should be putting out new leaves and returning to normal in a month or two..

    This is a somewhat bad season to be starting out with new plants..especially the VFT..because the plant should be just be getting ready to go into dormancy..Was the VFT growing outside before you bought it? by the description of the traps (that probably contain bugs) its most likely was..if you bought it from a reputable CP dealer, it almost ceraintly was..you should continue to grow it outdoors for the rest of the summer and autumn, because it is still in the middle of its yearly cycle..it expects to be fully dormant in another 2 months..keeping it indoors right now will mess up its clock..outside outside outside! FAR better for the health of the plant..depending on your winter climate, it can stay outdoors 24/7/365, or if you winters are too severe, you will have to find a sheltered place for its winter rest..but I think Seattle is pretty mild..you can probably keep the VFT outside all winter! in which case, you have no idea how lucky you are yet..

    the sundew is another story when it comes to dormancy..it might need the same winter dormancy as the VFT, or it might need no dormancy at all! depends on the species, and we dont know that yet..when you can post some photos, and we can ID the species, the dormancy requirements for the sundew can be determined..

    Scot

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    cpsammich's Avatar
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    Scottychaos said it all
    But spatulata needs to stay inside over the winter

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    oh! I missed that it was Drosera Spatulata! opps..
    yes, no dormancy needed..the sundew can stay outside Spring-Summer-Autumn with the VFT, but around September it can be moved indoors..it should overwinter fine in a bright window. (the VFT should NOT be brought indoors for the winter! it needs very different conditions)

    the VFT likes FULL direct sun! as much sun as you can possibly give it..
    the Drosera will be happier in less intense sun.."bright indirect light"..which is nebulous I know..but if the plant seems happy, then you have it right..

    Scot

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    Wow! Thanks for the replies. Scotty, thanks for the thorough answers. I'll definitely be leaving these outside till they go into dormancy.

    For the VFT, since winters are pretty cold around here in Washington (I think average is like 30 deg faren.), is my best bet refrigerating them? Do I just take plant w/roots and store them in a plastic bag? Or is 30 degs ok?

    Now I'm a little worried about the clay pots. Didn't think they would have minerals in them.

    Repotted today:


    Closeup of drosera (before replanting):

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    xQuinnx's Avatar
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    Hey Plissken,
    I'm not a super experienced grower, but I do live around your area (Port Orchard is only about two hours away from Seattle). I'm pretty sure it's quite safe to keep VFTs outside through the winter here. I haven't personally done this yet but I plan to this winter. I was really nervous about keeping my VFTs outside at all, but I have to say that since I moved them outside they've done 10x better than before. I'm sure it would be much happier outside during the winter.

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