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Thread: I just got myself a new VFT

  1. #1

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    hey all,
    how u doin?!?!....
    i'm from Melbourne, Australia n i just got 2 new VFT's, i wouldn't have a clue if their red dragons, or green dragons....
    anyways, i bought them from a gardening supply store "K-Mart"....they came in these really s***ty little plastic containers and i would like to replant them to give them a bit more room, 'coz the "jaws" of the plants seem to be all huddling around the center, all squashed together and some are growing in the way of the other adult leaves....

    there are a couple of things i would like some help with...
    1. do i need some sort of bowl to cover the plant to trap humidity?
    2. the plant's have got brown leaves here and there, is it ok if i can cut them off?!...or do i just wait until they drop off?
    3. wot do you guys suggest i need to replant the VFT's? (wot r the main components i need)
    4. i think we're stepping into winter here in Melbourne, Australia, so does that mean that this is the VFT dormant season?!? do i have to look after them in a different manner?

    i'm sorry that this entry has been really long, but i was wanting to replant my VFT's since i bought them.

    tanx for takin time n reading wot i have to say....any feedbak is greatly appreciated!!!


    DreyZ

  2. #2

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    I live in the UK, so conditions here are a bit different to what you experience... but here goes:

    1. You can set up a terrarium (or a dome) to trap the moisture. There are several threads concerning terrarium set ups on this site. It is not that necessary to do this unless you have a dry climate.

    2. I would cut off the brown leaves as it will stop mould etc.

    3. You need to decide what pot size you would like, also where the plant is going to be (indoors, outdoors). 4-5" pots are fine for VFTs (but don't get the dwarf pots get the full depth ones for the roots). You need a tray or saucer that is bigger than your pot - this will help to keep up the humidity as the water evaporates from the saucer. You need peat moss, perlite, lime free sharp sand. People have varying soil mixes. I use half peat, quarter perlite, quarter sand. There are threads in this forum concerning different soil mixes.

    You can treat the plant/soil with a spectrum antifungal treatment to help prevent disease.

    You need rain water or distilled water or de-ionised water. Fill the tray up about an inch deep and let the plant stand in the water. You can mist the plant to help humidity. Humidity of above 40% is fine.

    If you have poor light (unlikely in Aus) you can use artifical fluorescent lights. VFTs are happy with about 14 hours of light a day.

    If you have poor air movement you can use a constant or intermittant small fan (CPU fan is fine).

    Make sure the plant doesn't get too hot, 60-80 F is fine.

    This info is for plants not in dormancy conditions.

    4. VFTs go into dormancy for about 2-3 months over the winter. There are lots of threads on some of the earlier pages of this part of the forum dealing with dormancy etc.

    I hope this helps, and that your VFTs live happily [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]


  3. #3

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    tanx heaps for the reply Oli G....and to tell you the truth, all the info you told me sounds really good!!!!

    tomorrow mornin i'll head off to the garden supply store near me and i'll see if i can get a hold of the material you suggested!!!....

    question:
    should the terrarium or dome be made out of clear "coke bottle" plastic, should it be a "complete" dome?!?...like no holes on the top for airing???
    if it does need a hole for airing, how high should the walls of the dome be???

    question:
    from all of the discussions i've read about watering VFT's, they all say distilled water or rain water....i was wondering if filtered tap water would be ok?
    here at home, i have this jug that has a filter on it, and it claims it gets rid of the chemicals and chlorine etc....would this ok, if not, wot do you reckomend???


    DreyZ

  4. #4

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    Big NO to filtered tap water as that wouldn't get out the minerals from the water. If at the moment you have no rainsyou would need to buy some distilled water.
    about the dome for the start cover the plant later on if the humidity is about 50% and higger you wouldn't need to cover it.
    arie

  5. #5

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    In reference to the dome question, you can get plastic domes that fit on top of the pots, they are thin clear platic and may or may not have holes.

    You can also get solid glass bell domes that would probably be able to fit more plants under. They are more expensive though, and have no air hole.

    If you are going to put your plants in direct sunlight in Aus, with a dome/lid of some sort, I would make sure there are holes for air circulation, so the plant doesn't overheat.

    The height of the lid/dome/terrarium is up to you, make sure that it allows your plant some growing room. Some VFTs have quite erect leave/traps, my Red dragon has leaves 6" higher than the pot, with a combined height of about 12" including the pot. The lid of my 'terrarium' is another 4-6" higher than that at its highest point.

    I use a large propagator for my plants, but I keep the lid half open, it also has air holes in the lid which I have a fan next to for air circulation.

    Lots of people use aquariums with lids that have air holes plus artifical light fixings attached to them.

    It all depends on how much room you have, whether the plants are inside or outside, and your budget.

    Hope this helps [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6

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    I would say that it's unnecessary to have a dome to cover the plant, it's only really necessary in arid climates. If you sit it on a sunny windowsill inside it should be fine.
    Repot in sphagnum peat moss and washed, lime free horticultural sharp sand. Make sure the peat says 'sphagnum' or 'peat moss' on it. You will need to put distilled, rain or deionised water in a bucket and put in the peat and sand so that it is sodden.
    Dig out your VFT with a spoon, and repot it which can be quite fiddly!

  7. #7

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    tanx alvin!!!

    very helpful indeed peoples!!!...tanx heaps!!!

    i shall start to replant my VFT's on friday (2days time)...

    just one more question....
    in all of the soil mixtures i've read, they all talk about peat moss, perlite and/or sand, etc....but nowhere have i read about dirt!!!....like natural plain dirt/soil.....the type u find in ur garden....
    my question is, do i also need to add in some dirt/soil with the peat moss, sand and perlite???


    DreyZ
    (melbourne, Australia)

  8. #8
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Hi DreyZ

    Welcome to the forums and congrats on your new VFTs. :-)

    The soil mixtures mentioned are correct. Do NOT use "dirt" or commercial potting soil. VFTs grow naturally in nutrient-poor soil (which is why they developed their unique ability to supplement their food needs). The peat moss mentioned is a nutrient-poor medium. 50% peat/50% sand is a standard mix but many use their own custom "recipes". I use peat/sand/perlite with a little charcoal tossed in. I top-dress it with pure peat just because I loathe perlite. The perlite adds no nutritional value to the soil but will help keep it a little airy. Some people also use long-fibered sphagnum moss. You do not want "nutritious" soil....sooooo no dirt!!

    And don't sweat the humidity issue too much. VFTs are not tropical plants requiring high humidity. Only if you live in a reallllly dry area should you need to supplement it. Keeping the soil wet and the pot in a saucer of rain/distilled water should do the trick. My VFTs are outdoors in open pots and sucking up flies. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    If you are going into winter, your plant will need its dormant season. It will need to be cold so you must either leave it outside or refrigerate it ('scuse my geographical ignorance but I don't know what winters are like in Australia!)...and it will die back so don't freak out and think its dying. Its a bulb of sorts, so it will come back in the spring.

    Good luck...let us know how its going. :-)

    Suzanne


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