I'm a new user and I bought a common fly trap last summer. *It did real well last summer and I put it through dormancy and it came out after 2 months just fine. *It looked like it was doing well right after dormancy and then it started to look sick. *It sent up a flower and I cut it off at about an inch and now the plant is barely growing and the leaves are wilting. *I replaced the peat moss/gravel about a week ago and it still doesn't look very good. *Here is a picture. *Please help me!!! Actually the picture wont work but the leaves are very wilted and when a new trap starts to grow, it turns black before opening or wont open at all and all traps are very small. I have it under a plant light bulb about a foot under the light. Humidity doesn't seem to be the reason.
Tropical Fish Enthusiast
Please give us more detailed info. How are you growing it? Where are you growing it? What is the temperature? Is the plant / pot covered all the time? Do you use open tray method? when I got a VFT last June and it was growing well until I decided to help it out by leaving the lid on all the time, while on family vacation. MISTAKE! No air circulation and probably a bit of greenhouse effect led to smaller and blackened traps. I had to ease off on the total humidity thing. Then the traps came in healthy and the size returned to 1". Good skill!
I imagine that the temp under the light is about 75-80. I have it in a plastic pot with a tray and I water it everyday. The soil stays pretty damp but not sopping. I tried covering the plant with the plastic cover for about a week and it didn;t do much. I tried covering it in a terrarium and it didn;t do anything. When I leave it to room humidity, the leaves wilt more.
Tropical Fish Enthusiast
I'll let the experts take over from here. That was my limited experience with the same symptoms. But just like a headache has can have many causes, so can a CP have the same symptom, but multiple causes. I had success by taking the lid off during the day and loosely covering by night as well as not having a lid on at all, but doing the open tray method. I have also discovered that radical changes in its environment (humidity, soil media, temperature) puts CP's in "shock." Nearly killed my Drosera capensis as well as a Pinguicula primuliflora. Perhaps the changing of its soil media upset it?
I believe there are two things at fault here.
1) The constantly changing environment has the VFT confused. Keep the humidity and temp as stable as you can.
2) After flowering (even if you cut it off) the VFT will be stressed. It may take a month or so before it starts giving you real growth again.
So, here are my suggestions. Unless the VFT is too big to fit under the plastic cover, leave it on. After you get some decent growth you can SLOWLY acclimate the plant to lower humidity over a period of two weeks or so.
Don't water everyday. If you're using the tray method, wait until the tray has stood dry for a day or two before watering. This will promote good root development and reduce the chance of root rot.
It's been one of dem days
Just out of curiosity, what kind of water are you using? *Also, VFTs are easily put into shock by transplanting and will need a couple weeks to recover from that. *As Snowy said, keep it's environment as stable as possible (pick a spot and leave it there) for a couple weeks. *A spot with bright indirect light will work best until it settles in then you can begin to move it to a spot with lots of direct sunlight. *This also needs to be done over a period of a week or two.
I think Snowy is right about the problem, though I'm leaning more towards a short dormancy combined with overwatering being the main culprit. *Two months is a little on the short side for dormancy. Next year try for three months. Mine seem to do best with at least three months dormancy. With watering, you should let the tray stay dry a day or so before refilling it. *This allows air to get back into the soil so the roots don't 'drown'. *However, if the soil looks dry, add more water. *I like to let the soil dry out until it's just moist during the cooler seasons (spring & fall) and 'till it's damp during the summer. *It doesn't take long for it to go from moist to dry during the summer here.
Hope you can get it growin' healthy again.
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