Thanks for the replies, next year I'm going to try a sandier mixture. I pulled away all the dead stuff and I'm surprised I found live growth underneath. It clumped 3 plants and everything was smothered by all the leaves.
I had some issues with Pink Venus while growing them next to around 50 other VFTS (some typicals from seed, some cultivars) that never had any problems whatsoever, grown in the same setup. My remedy was going 50/50 sand/peat and not using perlite. As others have said, VFTs don't mind sandier soils and can be allowed to get somewhat dry between watering. They seem to like being repotted every year anyway so if you're going to do that might as well try using sand this time. All of my VFTS grow in peat / sand now, with the mature plants in 4" pots with 1/2 - 1" of water standing in the tray at ALL times during the growing season with no problems.
Did you "rinse" your perlite before using? If not, you'd be amazed what the water looks like after rinsing and even double rinsing it before actually using it. I rinse my peat and my sand as well, but I think rinsing perlite is a much more important.
I take a 1 gallon container, fill it half full of perlite, half full of 1ppm RO+DI water. Let the perlite set in there for days, stirring it a few times each day. After about a week, dump the water into a fine strainer that catches the perlite and allows the water to pass through. Usually there is a 1/4" layer of white "paste" literally stuck to the bottom of the container. Its pretty gross. If you are not rising your perlite, and your peat for that matter, it's probably not as sterile as you might imagine it should be. Plants can get pretty sick growing in that stuff, though I'm not saying all of them will. It's just something to consider....
Easy way to avoid all those issues..just dont use perlite at all.
I have never seen any reason to use it..
I tried it probably 15 years ago, didn't like it, haven't used it since..plants are fine.
I can see how it can be good for houseplants..it makes the houseplant potting soil more airy, which can be a good thing..
but for CP's, especially VFT's and Sarracenia, they grow in very wet spagnum or peat..no reason to make it "airy" at all..
I think perlite in CP-use is simply something that has migrated over from the houseplant world..
people just assume its "good" and they "need to use it"..
For VFT's and Sarrs, I dont think its good, it *can* be bad (if it has fertilizer added, which some perlite brands do)
and I dont think there is any reason to use it at all..
IMO, VFT's and Sarrs are better off without it..
heatherfeather knows the weather!
I do not really like perlite that much either. Instead I use silica sand. And I probably make my mix a little more on the sandy side. The plants seem to like it. I haven't had any complaints so far. I have not tried growing Pink Venus before so I cannot really help besides the pro-sand comment.
I would agree with the look of the plant,looks over watered. I just ordered a Pink Venus and it should be here this week..I read so many good things about the cultivar I just had to have it,But some people here say they need a little different care than a standard VFT. Here comes the learning curve,just when you think you figured it out,