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  1. #1

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    I just purchased a little baby flytrap. I brought it home, watered it a bit with rain water (thank god it rained today!) and fed it an ant. It seemed to close well.

    I live in Canada in a not-too-humid nowadays climate and the plant I originally intended keeping on a basement window. But now that I'm reading this site I'm wondering what special accomodations I need to make for the plant to survive. If someone can give me some starter info I'd be grateful.

    Also, how often does the plant need to 'eat'? I realize it catches its own grub but providing the supply of bugs is low, how often would I need to help it out?

  2. #2
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Hi Amsdell and welcome to the forums. If you are still experiencing summer temps, you could very easily put your plant outside, where it would catch its own critters. In which case, you won't need to help it along.

    Here is a link to an informative and humorous website that can help you with some questions you have, including how often one should a VFT:

    Carnivorous Plant FAQ

    You can also grow it on a window sill, preferably east-facing, open tray. You would need to supply some food for it. I hope you enjoy catching flies or crickets (small ones). [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]

    Collected rainwater or store bought distilled water is your best bet for providing liquid nourishment.

    Since the photoperiod has been declining for about a month and a half now, you will need to be providing a dormancy period.

    Happy growing!

  3. #3

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    Thank you for the welcome. I look forward to growing this currently-tiny plant into something significant.

    The faq was very helpful but still I don't understand, what's a dormancy period? I know its a basic question and the answer is probably ridiculously simple.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    To borrow an analogy, it's like hibernation. VFT's and some other CP's need to sleep - for a few months. Basically, it rejuvenates them and allows them to live and prosper the next growing season. Without it they are weak and may die. That's the "nutshell." Think of how a human would be going without sleep for a few days.

    Trust me, my first few posts were even more basic, even laughable. Keep asking questions - we'll answer them.

  5. #5

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    Hehe thanks. I only have one more question, the faq took care of the rest.

    I'm currently having a small panic attack pertaining to water. It hasn't rained for a day or so and I don't have any distilled water left. I understand I can't water it with tap water (I sprinkled a bit of tap water on it regardless as I have nothing else.) or water that's been standing for a while, but what can I use? Will it take bottled water from the store?

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Bottled water: Believe it or not, there are fewer governmental regulations for bottled "natural spring water" than there are for tap water, so you don't really know what you are buying. Also, some companies add salt to the bottled water to make it taste better. So, I would AVOID bottled "natural spring water."

    Tap water: You should also AVOID tap water for similar reasons.

    Rain water: Realize that if you live in a heavily industrialized part of the country (or if you are "down-wind") from a city, your rain water is likely high in sulfur and particulates. If you collect rain water that has run-off a metal/shingled roof or gutter, it may pickup additional iron, tars and other chemicals. I'm relatively new to CPs so I don't know whether these affect them, but it's safe to say that they certainly won't help the plant. I know that rain water and atmospheric pollution have killed off 1/3 of the pine trees in the Appalachians.....and I always think of pine trees as being less "finiky" than CPs!

    Distilled water: In my humble opinion, distilled water is the best option. Of course, if you run-out of distilled water, it would be better to temporarily use tap/bottled water than let your trap severely dry out. Pardon the analogy, but it's very much like smoking......one or two puffs, while certainly not healthy for the lungs, will not result in significant lung damage, whereas chronic smoking will.

    Hope this helps.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

  7. #7
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Amsdell,
    I see you are somewhere in Ontario..
    even if you were directly downwind of Detroit, your rain water is probably fine..
    im in Rochester, NY, directly downwind of the entire great-lakes industrial complex, and my plants have been thriving for 10 years on local rainwater!
    so I wouldnt worry about rainwater pollution..

    what you need is a rain collector..
    I recently collected 25 gallons of rain in one day!
    I have a small balcony, I bought a blue plastic tarp, the kind you buy for camping or to cover up your BBQ grill, that kind of thing..
    its about 4X6 feet and has the brass holes (grommits?) in the corners to attach small bunjie cords to..
    (I can take some pictures if it will help..)
    I cut a hole in the center, and attached a funnel with brass screws..
    now, when it rains, I set up the tarp, attach it to the 4 corners of my balcony, and stick a 5-gallon bucket under the funnel!
    in a good solid rainstorm, the bucket can fill up in 20 minutes!
    5 gallons will last you all year with only one plant!!

    but..I wouldnt bother with that this year! because there is only a bout a month left until its time for dormancy..
    I would leave your plant outdoors until mid-october (or until the first frost..)
    then put it somewhere that has good dormancy conditions.
    (there are tons of threads here about that..)
    meanwhile, I think store-bought distilled is your best choice..
    most grocery stores around here carry it..
    do you have decent sized city near by? should be easy to find..
    you *can* use tap water in an emergency!!
    if its choice between tap water and NO water, give it tap!
    it wont kill it instantly,
    but then, when you do get the distilled or rain water, flush out the pot by pouring on some good water and letting it run out the bottom..onto the ground or into a sink..yes, thats wastes some "good" water, but it flushes out the minerals from the tap water..
    and if you have 5 gallons of rain water, you can afford to waste a little!
    Scot

  8. #8
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    What Scottychaos said was dead on! Other suggestions, but maybe not feasible, is purchasing a RO unit (reverse osmosis) or finding a local laboratory that has deionized (DI) water. I work in an environmental laboratory and have access to DI water. Perhaps you can "borrow" some. Your best bet is to purchase the inexpensive distilled water from a grocery store. Someone once mentioned gas stations as a source?

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