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Thread: Do these VFTs look healthy?

  1. #17
    ALGEBRAIC! Crofthulhu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
    I've read a few places that keeping them in a bit of water all the time is preferable in hot, dry climates so the plants don't become dessicated. I think if I took them out of the water the substrate would become a brick after the first day! Our humidity here often drops to 20-25% or lower during the day (Wednesday we had 14% humidity), which I think would be even harder on the plants if they weren't sitting in water.

    I think the real problem here is the substrate... I took out a few chunks of substrate of the Red Dragon pot, and it smelled strongly of marsh gas. That means the soil is hypoxic and the anaerobic bacteria are having a ball in there. In this case, would it be best to repot the plants now rather than wait till the winter? Also, from what I could tell, the substrate seems to be 100% peat.
    Ahh yes, you are right. Sometimes I forget that I never get days over 80 degrees..

    Could very well be the stuff you got them in. Either way, I really hope they recover!

  2. #18
    Natalie's Avatar
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    M'kay, I repotted them! Unfortunately I awoke this morning to find that my dog, intrigued by the marshy smell coming from the pots, had pulled up the Red Dragon. No damage to the plant as far as I could tell, when he pulls up my plants he usually just carries them someplace else and puts them down. Luckily it was before the fog had lifted so everything was damp and the plant wasn't dried out.

    Anyway, I planted them in larger pots with a 1:1 mix of LFS and horticultural sand, since that mix seems to hold moisture and allow a lot of air in. I also put a top dressing of LFS to hopefully raise the humidity around the plants a bit more. When I was removing the plants from their original pots, the soil looked like almost 100% peat with a pinch of perlite mixed in and a 2cm layer of LFS on the bottom. It was very dense and both pots smelled marshy.

    Hopefully the plants will recover and thrive in their new pots... All I can do now is sit back and watch what happens.




  3. #19
    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    I've repotted my plants in later in the growing season and they weathered a very harsh dormancy perfectly fine. Your's should survive without a problem.

  4. #20
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crofthulhu View Post
    If you are keeping them in a tray of water at all times, then you are keeping them too wet. Venus flytraps benefit from letting the soil dry out maybe half an inch to an inch from the top. To check I will usually poke a hole and feel with my finger.
    That goes against decades of experience from..well..everyone!

    No, keeping them is a tray of water at all times is NOT keeping them too wet..in fact, its perfect, and exactly what you want to do..especially during the growing season, Spring-Summer-Autumn..I would also not let the top layer dry out..that could be bad. basically, that is all very bad advice that no one should ever follow..

    your winters could be an issue if you do get a ton of rain..I would keep them in shallow trays..perhaps shallower than the growing season, and maybe cover them from the rain if the rain is excessive..or..you could take them out of the trays completey and let winter rains keep them wet, but well-drained..but then you have to watch for becoming too dry, if you have no trays...but otherwise, the climate of San Fran sounds about perfect! you are very lucky!

    Looks to me like the media was REALLY old..like the plants havent been repotted in years..repotting was definitely the right thing to do..they should recover fine! Dont expect too much new growth right now..they should be going dormant soon..you might get a few new leaves before winter, but not a lot..normal growth should resume in the spring..

    Scot

  5. #21
    Natalie's Avatar
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    That's good to hear. I just hope my dog didn't destroy too many of the plant's roots when he pulled it up. I'm thinking in the winter I might just move them closer to the house under the overhang, sitting in a small tray of water so they don't dry out completely. I really hope they aren't going dormant soon! We usually have 80+ degree days into October and generally don't get frost till late December.

  6. #22
    nepguy's Avatar
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    Venus flytraps take transplanting very well. I'm of the opinion that it can be done any time if there is great need to do so. I personally wouldn't leave them in exhausted or compacted medium to go through the winter. This year I actually had to transplant my VFTs again in midsummer (June) because when I put them into new medium in March I used bad sand, which I didn't realize wasn't pure quartz sand until it was too late, and the plants were getting sick. They responded immediately with robust growth and grew the rest of the summer just fine. (see: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/ar.../t-128153.html)

    As for dormancy, the plants take most of their cues from the length of the day. When the day length slips below 12 hours in September, they will begin to revert to producing the shorter rosette-type leaves to get ready for dormancy. They will look terrible in the winter, but with sufficient rest they will reward you greatly next year.

    I keep mine in water trays all year, even in dormancy. I let the water go up and down in the trays, but never let the trays dry out completely. I keep the water level a bit lower in the winter when I place the plants in insulated picnic coolers to protect them against the harsh Pennsylvania winters. They go in the coolers when the night temperatures threaten to go below freezing, usually by late October or early November. They come out in the spring as soon as the night temperatures are no longer falling below freezing in late March or early April, and that's when I put them into new medium for the growing season.

    I've fitted my coolers with stiff plastic sheets on top that I can adjust to give the plants some sun while keeping the daytime temps inside generally in the 40-55 range. I also put large flat containers of water in the coolers under the plants to regulate the temperature during the night and keep them from freezing when the coolers are closed. The extra water absorbs heat during the day and releases it slowly at night. This method works great, and I have never had my plants freeze on me. You almost certainly will not need to go to such lengths where you live. An outside position in a protected southern exposure such as you describe will probably work just fine.

    In my experience, deeps pots (at least 5" deep) work better because it seems to be important to keep the water level in the trays below the level of the bottom of the bulbs, and a deep pot makes that easier to regulate. If you do that you shouldn't have problems with tray-watering. (Be sure to keep the water clean, too.)

  7. #23
    Devon's Avatar
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    They look great!

    I'm sure they will grow very well now, and probably come back really healthy next year.

  8. #24
    Natalie's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Nepguy, yours look incredible! I hope mine will look as good as that someday. A few days ago I saw a mature B52 in the same size of pot as your plants, and WOW! The traps seriously looked like they could have eaten the mice I feed my snakes, they must have been 3" long.

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