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Thread: Help and advice for VFT set up

  1. #1

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    Help and advice for VFT set up

    Hi all

    I have been reading this forum for several weeks now, and have enjoyed reading all your posts and have tried to learn what I can!

    I am having some trouble with my plants though.
    The set up you see in the picture below is contained on a shelf on my bookcase.
    My plants have been there for a few weeks now, however the VFT is turning yellow to black, and my sundews have not got any dew.

    They are potted in 6in pots in the correct soil mix, and they are watered with rain water only.
    The lighting is provided by 2x 24W T5 Sunblaster lights, which are less than 6 inches above the plants.

    The problems I can think of are:
    1) Not enough light, as I have no reflectors on the light fittings, which I guess means I am losing a lot of potential light.
    2) Poor air circulation. Can this be fixed with something as simple as a fan blowing into the area?

    Thanks for any help and advice you can give, I would appreciate it, as I hope to successfully grow these plants!
    Let me know if any more images would help.




  2. #2
    jlechtm's Avatar
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    Aza,

    I'm not making any promises that I know what's going on, but here are a few thoughts/observations (I grow my VFTs outside, so lighting is never an issue for me):

    1. Did you just repot your plants before placing them in the new environment? That's often a reason for losing dew on a sundew and a few leaves on a VFT.
    2. Is it just the oldest traps on your VFT that are dying off? Looks like that might be the issue from the photo. Older leaves are always dying off on my plants. It also looks like the obviously yellow/black trap is physically damaged as well. That could potentially be the cause.
    3. Might be too much light (another reason for sundew becoming sundewless). The yellow/black trap on your VFT is also the tallest, i.e. closest to the light (although I see one of the more prostrate traps yellow as well, although that also looks like an older trap).
    4. Most of the traps on your VFT look fine, and I see (I think) dew on the seedling D. binata in the VFT pot.

    How long have the plants been in their new home? They may just need to settle in a bit.
    Growing CP since 1975. Succeeding (more or less) since 1990.

    Sarracenia & Heliamphora Growlist

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    Hi Jay
    Thanks for your response.

    1. Yes I repotted the sundews. I also repotted the VFT, however I removed it from the pot complete and just put it into a bigger pot, filling the rest of the space with new soil mix. So would that count as a full repot?
    2. In the VFT pot there is one larger plant and one smaller one. The larger one seems to be completely turning yellow and with no new growth. The small plant seems to be better.
    3. I'm not sure it's too much light based on my research with indoor lighting, I dont really know though as I am inexperienced!
    4. Yes there is dew on the seedling D.binata.

    So maybe I just need to be a bit more patient and let them settle in some more, they have only been there for a few weeks so far.
    Just a bit worrying that the larger VFT seems to be going all yellow with no new growth, and yet the smaller one in the pot is doing better, but all under the same conditions!
    I hope to get the lighting just right, and still a bit unsure as to whether I need to use a fan for better air circulation.
    I may even be over watering them a little? I will also try letting them rest a little before topping up the water in the tray.
    Thanks

  4. #4
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Hi Aza,
    welcome to the forum!
    you are right that you have a few problems..but the fixes are very easy:

    Problem 1:
    1) Not enough light, as I have no reflectors on the light fittings, which I guess means I am losing a lot of potential light.
    You are right, they arent getting enough light.
    VFT's need a LOT of light.

    Solution:
    VFT's should never be grown indoors..they do a million times better outdoors..
    for new and inexperienced growers especially, growing them outdoors will almost certainty guarantee success, and growing them indoors will almost certainty guarantee failure: the plants will die.

    your VFTs need to be outside, in full sunlight, in as much direct sun as you can possibly give them.
    in a tray of pure water (rain, distilled or RO water) at all times.

    Problem 2:
    2) Poor air circulation. Can this be fixed with something as simple as a fan blowing into the area?
    there is a much better fix than using a fan:

    Solution:
    VFT's should never be grown indoors..they do a million times better outdoors..
    for new and inexperienced growers especially, growing them outdoors will almost certainty guarantee success, and growing them indoors will almost certainty guarantee failure: the plants will die.

    your VFTs need to be outside, in full sunlight, in as much direct sun as you can possibly give them.
    in a tray of pure water (rain, distilled or RO water) at all times.
    air circulation outside is a non-issue..the air circulates very nicely.

    Doing that one thing will solve all your problems..
    you need to get them out of that terrarium, its very bad for them..
    for more details about that, please check out my page here:
    http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/sco.../CP/page2.html

    Scot

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    Thanks Scot, unfortunately I do not have a garden
    Through my research I have seen people have quite a lot of success growing indoors under lights, hopefully some experienced indoor growers will chip in

  6. #6
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    garden? who said anything about a garden?
    all you need is a place to sit a pot or two in the sun..
    no garden necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aza View Post
    Through my research I have seen people have quite a lot of success growing indoors under lights, hopefully some experienced indoor growers will chip in
    actually no, you haven't seen that..
    lots of people try it..the plants look fine for about 3 months, so they say "SEE! it can be done! I have owned my VFT for 5 weeks now, and its doing great indoors! so there!"! Those same people are mysteriously quiet after a year or so..

    VFTs can be grown indoors *for a short time*..maybe 6 months at best.
    but they require a winter dormancy, and to *go* dormant they require a period of gradually declining photoperiod, and declining temperature,
    for several months...outdoors, that period is called "summer and autumn"..it is virtually impossible to replicate in a terrarium..
    which is why 99% of VFT's grown in a terrarium will be dead within a year..maybe 2 years max.

    Before someone brings it up, I will mention Barry Rice...a well known CP hobbiest who has written books on CP's, and who it is *said* grows VFTs indoors successfully..what people often leave out is that he only grows them indoors for part of the year!
    he puts them outdoors for part of the year so they can go dormant..

    You can not grow VFT's in a terrarium indoors long-term..
    you just cant..its just biology, and you cant fight it.
    if you try, your plants will die.
    sorry, but its just a fact of life.

    if you want your VFTs to live longer than a year, pot them up and get them outside..
    this is the perfect time of year to do it.
    then let us know where your live, (just city and state is fine) and your native climate will dictate that you have to do with them in the fall..

    Scot

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    Thanks Scot
    I'm in the UK.
    I was planning on putting the VFTs outdoors for dormancy in my parents garden.
    Being in their garden during dormancy wouldnt be an issue, but during the growing months I really want to be able to view them on a daily basis, which I can only do at home.

    Looks like maybe VFT are not for me then, I suppose I better get back to researching what WILL work indoors

  8. #8
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Uk?? dude, you have no idea how lucky you are!
    you can grow VFT's and Sarracenia outdoors, 24/7/365, and never have to worry in the least about winter dormancy!
    im so jealous..
    all that stuff I wrote in the link (to my webpage, page 2) about the "Fridge method" simply doesn't apply to you,
    because your winters are perfect for just leaving them outside all winter long..

    now you *really* get those VFT's outdoors! because you have an awesome climate for growing them..

    you dont live with your parents? are you at college?
    hmm..in that case, that's tricky..colleges aren't the best place for an outdoor CP collection.
    well, someday you will have your own place and can try VFT's and Sarrs then..
    meanwhile, keep the two VFT's you have, see how they do, but yeah, I would concentrate on more
    "indoor friendly" species for now..Nepenthes are an indoor favorite.

    Scot

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