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Thread: Newbie Questions/Help needed :)

  1. #1

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    Hey,

    Hows everyone doing? I'm new to growing carnivorous plants (I'm growing VFT's and Sundews[Drosera capensis] ) and need some advice about how to grow the plants well.
    I have two species of VFT, unfortunately I don't have the exact species name - but I can give a description. The first is a green VFT with no red whatsoever, the second has green stems and bright red traps. I was told the red one was a rarer form of the VFT. I have kept the plants in the container/soil they were sold in, which I think is made from some sort of green moss. I keep the water up at 1 - 2 cm's and have started using distilled water.

    The problem is that my plants seem to by dying, and I can't figure out why. They haven't flowered as of yet and when I brought them they were in good condition. I'm in Brisbane, Australia, so the climate here is virtually always hot and humid in summer, warm and dry in winter. The plants almost seem to be going into dormancy, tho over here we have just gone into summer. The location is out of direct sun, but in strong light. The temperature is very warm, usually up in the high 20/low 30 degrees celcius (I don't know what that is in fereignhight sorry)

    Anyway if you have any ideas which might help me figure out whats wrong, that would be great. Have a good week, I'll cya's around. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Cheers,
    dan



    Dan.

  2. #2
    VFT and Drosera lover vft guy in SJ's Avatar
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    Hi Dan, welcome to the forum.. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    First thing you should do is read the FAQ pages on VFT cultivation at: http://www.sarracenia.com/faq.html.
    Also there is a good care sheet pinned at the top of this forum.


    One thing that worries me is the comment "started using distilled water" I take this to mean that you have been using tap water to this point which is VERY bad. If you have been watering with tap water for a while the soil is likely contaminated with minerals now. You may want to repot your plants into a 50/50 mixture of sphagnum peat and sand. Make sure that the peat you buy specifically says "sphagnum".

    Remove the plants from the pots and gently swish the rootball in a bowl of distilled water to remove all the existing soil. Be careful not to damage the roots!! Then repot into fresh soil, and place them where they will get bright shade for a couple days. After that you may begin slowly acclimating them to full sunlight. 20-30 C is well within acceptable range for VFTs.. antyhing over about 35C and I advise that you not leave them directly in sunlight. Move them into the shade on those days and they should do fine. My plants regularly survive temps into the 40+ range as long as they are not in direct sun.

    Good luck with your plants
    Steve
    There are only 2 infinite things... the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not too sure about the universe.

  3. #3
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Dan,
    another possible cause of declining vigor, besides water,
    is possible dormancy issues..
    How long have you had these plants?
    since its spring where you are right now..(actually..I guess its summer now isnt it!)
    the plants should have been dormant all through your past winter..were they?
    if not, that might be causing them to weaken now..
    If your winters are naturally too warm for dormancy,
    you might have to use the "fridge method"..
    (you should have temps in the 2-10 degrees C range for a proper winter dormancy..anything warmer and the plant wont go dormant, and will eventually weaken and die as a result)

    scot

  4. #4
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Stormcrow @ Dec. 12 2003,01:16)]Hey,

    I have two species of VFT, unfortunately I don't have the exact species name - but I can give a description. The first is a green VFT with no red whatsoever, the second has green stems and bright red traps.
    Hi Dan,
    There is only one species of VFT (Dionaea muscipula) however there are a LOT of different varieties. You have (possibly) 2 varieties of VFT.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I have kept the plants in the container/soil they were sold in, which I think is made from some sort of green moss.
    The green moss might be live sphagnum moss which is OK, but need more descrption or better yet a picture, to be sure. It could also be a green sheet moss used for floral decorations which is not OK. Also, is it just covering the top of the soil or does it fill the whole pot?

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ].....and have started using distilled water.
    As Steve pointed out tap water is not good for carnivorous plants. It contains minerals and salts that build up in the soil and 'burn' (like spilling fertilizer on the lawn) the roots of most CP's. If you don't have sphagnum peatmoss available, flushing the soil with distilled water several time will help flush the mineral buildup out of the soil. I usually do this every couple of monthes anyway to help keep minerals from my RO water from building up in the soil and to flush any other nutrients out that may have been brought in by the wind and rain (I grow mine outside during the spring/summer).

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]The plants almost seem to be going into dormancy, tho over here we have just gone into summer. The location is out of direct sun, but in strong light.
    First question that popped into my mind when I read this is "Wonder if they were grown locally or imported?". If they were imported from the Northern Hemisphere then they have their systems set for dormancy right now. Since most plants can skip a dormany without too much problem they should be all right. If they are going dormant let them. Normally they need 3 to 4 monthes of dormancy. The fridge method Scot mentions works well. Not sure how hot and dry your summers are but if you get temps above 30c on a regular basis through the summer, you might consider keeping them dormant in the fridge during this time. The roots don't handle soil temps above 32c (90f) to well. This will save you water and them stress.

    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    BCK
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

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    Thanks heaps for the replies. I think I have a slightly better idea of what might be wrong. I will wait for a week or so, and if they keep turning brown I guess they are set for dormancy. Did I read right when you said to put them into the fridge?! (how long do I leave them for? The full few months?)
    Cheers once again for the help! If anyone knows of a good aussie company to by C.Plants from pls tell me [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Dan

    Also how do you get replies sent to you by email? I've never used Ikonbaord before (I'm used to Vbulliten) Cheers [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    Dan.

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    I managed to take a photo with my mobile phone's camera, to show what my Venus Fly Traps look like. They both look like the one in the photo - leaves browning off, spindly growth and traps not forming properly.



    dan
    Dan.

  7. #7
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Stormcrow @ Dec. 12 2003,17:14)]Did I read right when you said to put them into the fridge?! (how long do I leave them for? The full few months?)
    Just put them in the fridge for 3 to 4 months. I let the soil dry to where it is moist, then clean the dead leaves and traps off, place them, pot and all, in a ziplock bag and then check them every week or so to make sure they are OK. Others trim all leaves off and/or bare root them before placing them in the baggie. Some also insist that fungicide is necessary. If you have trouble with fungus then the fungicide is a good idea. My method works for me and theirs works for them. You will likely develope one that works for you [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif[/img]


    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Stormcrow @ Dec. 12 2003,17:14)]Also how do you get replies sent to you by email?
    There is a link in the upper left corner of each topic page "Track this topic". Clicking that will add the page to your list of pages being tracked. You will get an email notice each time someone replies to that topic. Also, you can unhide your email from other users and a "Mail" button will be added to the bottom of your posts next to the "Profile" and "PM" buttons that people can use to email you. Your address remains hidden from them unless you post a reply back to them using email. When they email you, you will see their email address and vice versa.

    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    BCK

    Dan, for some reasons your pics aren't showing. I get a "Cannot find server" error.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

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