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Thread: Future plant conditions (fpc for short ;)  )

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    I have been trying to grow a venus flytrap for two years now, but without fail, they always die in the winter(go limp, then black, then rot away), and do not neccesarily prosper even when they are not in dormancy(poor growth, poor colour).

    I realise that this obviously has to do with something I am doing, but I cannot figure it out. I am going to try again and I'm planning on buying it in late spring, but before I do I want to correct what I may be doing wrong.

    Vft Growing Conditions In First Year:
    Purchased:Nearby greenhouse
    -Light supplied from one flourescent bulb
    -Humidity supplied by plastic dome plant came with
    -Pot approx. 5cm in diameter
    -Watered from top, no holes in pot for drainage
    -Heat from flourescent light
    -Watered using tap water (Probably the main reason this one died)
    -Soil which came with plant (looked to be 100% sphagnum moss)

    Death:Slowly, near fall, leaves turned black then died.

    VFT Growing Conditions In Second Year:
    Purchased:Same
    -Light supplied by flourescent bulb + small east facing window
    -Humidity supplied by round glass decanter overturned over pot
    -Transplanted to clay pot, approx. 9cm diameter, holes for drainage
    -Watered using tray method, from bottom
    -Heat from sunlight and flourescent light
    -Watered using distilled water
    -Soil was 100% sphagnum moss
    -Put in fridge for dormancy, soil kept moist

    Deathuring dormany, all leaves turned black, rhizome became mush, etc.

    Now the important bit:
    Future Plant Conditions
    Will be Purchased from:Niagra Exotics
    -Flourescent light + east facing window
    -Soil it comes with, may transplant later
    -Humidity from small fishtank terrarium
    -Whichever pot it comes with will be used
    -Will water with distilled water, tray method
    -Fridge dormancy, soil kept dryer than last time

    Death: I hope not! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    If of any importance,
    Geographical Location: Trenton, Ontario

    (I think I have now given as much information as is humanly possible )

    Now if I use the above plan, will I have any problems keeping this plant alive?

  2. #2

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    yes, the tap water killed it (DOH! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] )
    when you put it in dormancy make sure you unpot it, and dip the entire plant in fungicide, then wrap the plant in a paper towel soaked in distilled water and wrung out completely, and put it in the fridge for 3 months.
    make sure the potting soil mas NO nutrients, as the nutrients may kill it.

  3. #3
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Hi Spark,

    I think youíre probably right that tap water was responsible for your first VFTs demise. But, it may not have been all your doing. The people at the greenhouse may have watered with tap water and/or fertilized your VFT while it was in their care. If you get any more carnivorous plants from them, thoroughly rinse the soil or transplant them into fresh soil when you get them home. Of course, with plants from Niagra Exotics this wonít be necessary [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] .

    Having the VFT in an undrained pot would have made the mineral build up worse. As water evaporates, it leaves the minerals behind. You add more water and it, too evaporates leaving the minerals behind. The minerals build up much quicker and kill the plant. Minerals will also build up using the tray method. But with the tray method, you can flush the pot with water occasionally to wash out the excess minerals, reducing the build up.

    You should also avoid using unglazed clay pots. The inside should be glazed or sealed so that the clay canít soak up dissolved minerals which will later leach back out killing your plant.


    While I normally donít suggest removing plants from their pot for refrigerator dormancy, I think you should. It sounds like you may be having trouble with fungus rotting your bulb/rhizome. To be on the safe side, after you remove your VFT from the pot, gently rinse off the soil by swishing it carefully in a bowl of distilled water, then dunk the plant in fungicide and treat it as Spectabilis73 described.
    Hope you get this one through dormancy [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] !
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

    My Grow List

  4. #4
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Spark,
    I live in pretty much the same climate as you, (Rochester, NY)
    and the best advice I can give you is "keep the plants outside all summer..as much full sunlight as you can give them..no cover, dont even worry about humidity.."

    Now the important bit:
    Future Plant Conditions
    Will be Purchased from:Niagra Exotics
    -Flourescent light + east facing window - why not outside?,
    no flourresent, sunlight only.
    -Soil it comes with, may transplant later - should be fine.
    -Humidity from small fishtank terrarium - not needed.
    -Whichever pot it comes with will be used - good idea..use plastic pots only
    -Will water with distilled water, tray method - perfect.
    -Fridge dormancy, soil kept dryer than last time - fine.
    [I]

    I have been keeping VFT's alive for over 6 years now..here are my conditions..

    -plants in plastic pots..some in small pots with one plant per pot..others in groups of 5-12 plants in one bigger pot..
    -water-distilled or rain water only, tray method..one inch of water in the tray at all times. (except dormancy)
    - plants come out of dormancy mid-February...stay indoors in a bright window until winter ends..(which is right about now here..) when the night-time lows start to stay ABOVE freezing they go outside..I will leave them out even if the temp falls to 35 at night (2C)..only bringing them in at night if there is a chance of frost..then they go right back out in the morning..
    then by April/MAy they stay outdoors all season..getting as much direct light as I can give them..
    in the fall, they stay out as the temps begin to fall..so they can feel the approaching autumn and prepare for dormancy naturally..again I only bring them in at night if there is a chance of frost..in the spring and fall, if the temps are above freezing, the plants are outside!

    I never even worry about humidity..if its humid in the summer, thats fine..if the air is a little dry, no big deal..I just dont concern myself with it! the plants are just right out in the open! they get whatever nature feels like throwing at them..no covers, no "hunidity trays", no terrarium..nothing..the plants THRIVE!! as long as there is water in the trays, the plants will be fine..
    your climate is probably identical to mine..

    IMO people worry far too much about humidity when it comes to VFT's..as long as the soil is damp (water in the tray) humidity isnt really a concern..(unless of course you live in a desert&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    if its a choice between:
    A. keeping a VFT in a terrarium, so humidity is high, but light is weak, just flouresent lights..
    or..
    B. putting the plant outside, with no cover, not even thinking about humidity, but giving the plant lots of sunlight..
    I would choose B every time!
    my plants have been thriving and surviving for 6 years, and I never even think about providing them with extra humidity..
    right now my plants have been indoors for a month, living in front of my sliding-glass door..no cover,getting direct east light in the mornings, sitting in water trays, but also sitting right next to a heat vent! its still been winter here until last weekend..heat has been on! inside air has been very dry! plants are doing great! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    then usually in late October or early november, when autumn is basically over and winter weather hits, the plants go into the fridge..by this time they have pretty much shut down naturally because they have been outside all autumn..
    I leave them in their pots, trim off ALL leaves and traps, leaving only small green stubs behind..I stick some wood dowels in the sides of the pots to hold up the plastic, then bag each pot securely in a plastic bag..fully sealing them in..
    no water tray, the soil is damp..I dont worry too much about "how damp"..I usually just remove them from their water trays without ceremony..
    then they go straight into the refrigrator..there they sit until Mid-february..3 and 1/2 months..basically all of Nov, Dec, Jan,and half of Feb..
    then they come out and immediately go into a bright window!
    and the cycle repeats..

    I dont use fungecide for dormancy only because I keep my plants in my one and only refrigrator..fungicide can be quite toxic, and I dont want it in my food!
    every winter some fuzzy fungus grows on the green stubs, but it almost never kills the plants..I would say overall I have maybe 5% winter deaths..this winter I had none! 15 VFT's, 8 sarracenia, and a big D. Binata all survived..
    (btw, my sarracenia get the exact same treatment as the VFT's..)

    so basically, I think you are doing fine..I would just put the plants outside! its possible they arent gettign enough light, making them weak, making them more likely to die during dormancy...

    when you buy a new VFT and stick it right out in full sun light..the leaves will burn!! thats ok..the new leaves will then take the sun without burning! the plant adapts..
    VFT's like to be POUNDED by direct sunlight! they thrive on tons of light...weak window light and a flouresent lamp might not be nearly enough sun...
    thats the only problem I see! probably not enough light..everything else looks fine..

    scot

  5. #5
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    scottychaos,
    I grow my plants the same as you do. I keep them in trays on my porch rail all summer, no cover. I tried putting some new ones in a terrarium for a while but they didn't look near as healthy as the ones I'd grown outside in full sun and whatever humidity Colorado happened to have. I agree with you too on the humidity. Keep the soil moist and humidity isn't usually a problem.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

    My Grow List

  6. #6

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    I think lots of people have already coverd some info, but because I tend to grow my plants a bit differently then most, I'll through in my 2 cents so you have some more info to go on.

    Vft Growing Conditions In First Year:
    Purchased:Nearby greenhouse
    -Light supplied from one flourescent bulb

    ***Not recomended unless using low water levels-"Humidity supplied by plastic dome plant came with

    -Pot approx. 5cm in diameter

    ***Say hello to root rot-Watered from top, no holes in pot for drainage

    -Heat from flourescent light

    ***Ding ding ding we have a winner-Watered using tap water (Probably the main reason this one died)

    ****Wow, that bites-Soil which came with plant (looked to be 100% sphagnum moss)

    "Death:Slowly, near fall, leaves turned black then died."
    ***Your death actually indicates root rot. Amazing, you must have half way decent tap water o_O (DON'T USE IT THOUGH)
    Okay, so no drainage, a cover AND solid water holding soil. Wow, this thing didn't have a chance, somebody smack compony who packaged this one, lol.


    VFT Growing Conditions In Second Year:
    Purchased:Same
    -Light supplied by flourescent bulb + small east facing window

    ***Thats how I gren my first plant, till it outgrew it-Humidity supplied by round glass decanter overturned over pot

    ***Ah! Transplant not for newbies. Clay pots evil = mold and mineral build up and death!-Transplanted to clay pot, approx. 9cm diameter, holes for drainage

    -Watered using tray method, from bottom
    -Heat from sunlight and flourescent light
    -Watered using distilled water
    ***Never use solid water holding medium with cover-Soil was 100% sphagnum moss
    -Put in fridge for dormancy, soil kept moist

    Deathuring dormany, all leaves turned black, rhizome became mush, etc.
    ***Okay, first things first, you had a toxic soil/pot humidity thing going on their. That makes your plant just about beg for root rot. I am guessing lots of people here have sugested fungiside, but I don't, not for one plant. Once you have a proper set up, you'll be fine (fungiside is very very toxic and should be a last resort)

    Now the important bit:
    Future Plant Conditions
    ***For a beginer, I recomend this places green dragon, but you should be okay with one from here (your good to avoid the dumb greenhouse)-Will be Purchased from:Niagra Exotics
    ***Oh yah, the untimit in flytrap lighting-Flourescent light + east facing window
    ***NO TRANSPLANT, only transplant well, two weeks ago or so, lol. And even then, you should avoid it untill the roots poke out the bottom because these plants can shock easy and while it is easy for old time growings to pull a plant out of shock, it may be harder for you.-Soil it comes with, may transplant later
    ***Yes, this works well, that is where my overgrown plant lives now and the ventilation of the cheap hood keep it a little less wet (which is good if you don't know how to grow a humid plant (which very few people do))-Humidity from small fishtank terrarium
    ***Smart, good places will give you a nice little plastic pot with proper drainage-Whichever pot it comes with will be used
    ***Remember to let a day or so go by between the time the tray is sucked dry and you add more water-Will water with distilled water, tray method
    ***Good idea, if you have a cool windowsill, that will be even better though-Fridge dormancy, soil kept dryer than last time

    Death: I hope not!


    I think you have coverd most of the issues. I will recomend checking your dorment plant monthly for fungi and then treating it with rubbing alcohol if it has any. Hopefully between everyones take, you can pollish your plan, good luck [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    -Darcie
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
    My Grow List

  7. #7

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    Well thank you to everybody for posting a reply, I'm sure with all this information I should have no problem growing a vft. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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