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Thread: Do these VFTs look healthy?

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    Natalie's Avatar
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    Do these VFTs look healthy?

    I got these two VFTs (one 'Red Dragon' and one 'B52') over a month ago, and I'm just wondering how they are doing since I have been noticing traps dying over the past few weeks. Where they were grown before, they had higher humidity and I don't think they got any direct sunlight (just lots of bright filtered light)... At my house they get direct sun all day and are exposed to low humidity during the day. When the traps die, they do it pretty slowly and start from the edge and gradually die back to the leaf base over an extended period of time, which I believe is normal.

    This typically wouldn't have me worried, but some of the young traps that hadn't even opened up yet have died as well. On the 'Red Dragon' you can see one of the small traps that has turned brown and crispy at the top (that will eventually spread down the whole leaf). The 'B52 used to have like twice as many pitchers, but many of them died off (including new ones) and I removed them. However, you can see in the photos that the plants have new pitchers forming... The only problem is, they seem to have stopped growing. They're not dying, they're just not growing. I'm not sure if I'm just expecting them to grow faster than they actually do or if they really are on standby.

    Would all this be a result of going from lower light/higher humidity to higher light/lower humidity? Is there anything I can do to jumpstart their growth again or should I just wait it out? I have them in a tray of water, but I've elevated the VFT corner so the water level is never that high (generally less than an inch, a fraction of the way up the pot). Any thoughts?






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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    seems like your plants are a little on the dry side...do you top water them? they seem to benefit from that. they also seem to benefit from a yearly media change--best done during late winter, right before they wake up from dormancy.

    but to address the current problem, i would suspect it is your quick environmental changes from high humidity low light to high light low humidity...you should try putting your plants under a shade cloth, so that it is protected in the afternoons, and gradually remove the shade...which will give the plants time to adjust to their new environment.
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    Natalie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info! I do not top water them, I generally just fill up the tray. I have been keeping the water level lower lately because I read that VFTs don't tolerate waterlogged roots like many other carnivorous plants do, so I dried them out a bit in case it was some kind of root rot that was making the leaves die (previously I would fill the tray up to the top). The moss next to the B52 looks a bit crispy, but I think that's more from the sun than the soil. Plenty of water still comes from the substrate if I press on it with my finger, but do you think it would be wise to raise the water level again anyway?

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    ah...if that's the case, keep on doing what you're doing....when i mean top water, i mean water the plants directly above them...overhead watering allows oxygen to be pushed down to the roots, which the plants benefit from.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Last pic shows that the two black traps are shut.......does that mean they are fed and satisfied and they eventually die which is normal isn't it ? Just a guess.

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    Natalie's Avatar
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    Yes, mature traps do die (usually) after a few separate meals, but I've also been having young traps die before they've opened for the first time, which is what has me concerned. I'll try top watering and see if that helps a bit.

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    Devon's Avatar
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    What soil mix are they growing in? It doesn't look very airy. It's a bit late to re-pot them now, but next year try potting them in a mix like 2:2:1 peat:sand:Perlite, or just pure LFS.

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    Natalie's Avatar
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    Cool, I will try that. Right now they are just in the substrate they came in, which from what I can tell looks to be mostly peat. You're right, it doesn't seem too airy. Is the best time to repot them during their dormancy period? Also, I've been wondering about how to treat them during the winter. We get all of our rain in the winter, so should I take them out of the tray and just let them sit out since they like to be a bit drier that time of year?

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