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Thread: Vft maybe entering dormancy?

  1. #1

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    Howdy, this is my first post here. I took pity on a VFT at a local garden center a few months ago, one of those in the little red put with the plastic cup on top. I grow orchids in a big case in my office, and put the VFT in with the higher-light orchids -- There is a HID light on a mover track, and the VFT has been at a point where it gets about 500 foot-candles of light maximum. A recent rearrangement of the orchids makes it spot very shady.

    It has been doing very well until recently, when the larger traps started turning brown, and the new growths look a bit on the smallish side.

    As for culture, the plant is watered exclusively with reverse-osmosis water. I have it sitting in a little tray with about 1/8" of R.O. water in it so it stays boggy in the pot. It has never dried out. I don't fertilize it. Humidity in the case is kept to around 70%, temperatures range to upper 70's daytime, 60's at night. It really doesn't get bugs because the case is in the house, and the only thing I typically see in there are some little fungus gnats from time to time. I haven't seen it trigger a trap from one of these, anyway. From what I understand, though, bugs aren't essential to it growing -- It will just grow slower in their absence -- right?

    My questions are:

    1) I moved it to a higher point in the case where it will get closer to the light, and out of the shade of the taller orchids. At the new location it will get about 1250 f/c max. Is this OK? I was kind of careful to keep it from getting too much light but think the shade from the orchids really was overdoing it.

    2) Could the plant just be going dormant? I got it at a store, it could have been growing without dormancy for some time and needs it. It's getting cooler at night here now, could that be a trigger for dormancy, or am I just seeing the effects of too little light?

    3) The plant is in its original media, in its cute little red pot. Any trouble leaving it there, or should I repot it/pot it up/etc.?

    I can post a photo if that would help. Thanks for any input you might have.

  2. #2
    BobZ's Avatar
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    First of all, welcome!

    You don't say what photoperiod you are using. You are apparently in Wisconsin. I am a bit lower in latitude in Calif and my VFTs are beginning to go dormant, being triggered by reduced photoperiod and reduced temperature. Since you are growing it in a box with artifical light, I don't what the conditions are, exactly. However, low light levels usually result in long petioles and a leggy plant. When a VFT goes dormant, the petioles generrally get shorter and the plant becomes more compact looking.

    I think I would take the plant out of its' original media and repot it in some sphagnum peat. You can never tell how it was watered and treated at the store. They may have even fertilized it.

    A good source of additional information is
    http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq2000.html

  3. #3
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Hi Klankster and welcome to the forums! Dormancy has been used in two ways - one as the state in which the plant is actually asleep, and the process thatleads to sleep. Being in Wisconsin, there is plenty of Fall left. So it should be a couple months shy of being asleep. However, the temps have declined since late July and more omprotantly, the photperiod has been in decline for 3 months. It is in the process toward sleep. It is difficult to assess what it is doing (by me) without pictures and its recent history, before you took pity on it. My VFT's are still putting put decent traps and are still catching bugs - but they are all outside. Have you thought about keeping it outside for another couple months? There maybe more going on than light, temperature, and nutrition. Perhaps someone with more experience can take it from here?

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    WELCOME TO THE FORUMS! My vfts are all starting to grow there winter leafs and slow down for the winter,especially the 'clumping cultivar'. I wonder how they will like overwintering in a greenhouse this year?[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pondboy/Neps/Neps%20sig..JPG[/img]

  5. #5

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    @BobZ: The orchid case is set to run the light for 13 hours per day. I'll take your advice and carefully repot with sphagnum.

    Here's a photo of this plant, taken this morning. It has a couple of new traps coming out of the center, so maybe it isn't too badly off, after all. Do those outer, older, brown traps and petioles need to be trimmed off?


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Klankster @ Oct. 02 2004,12:47)]@BobZ: The orchid case is set to run the light for 13 hours per day. I'll take your advice and carefully repot with sphagnum.

    Here's a photo of this plant, taken this morning. It has a couple of new traps coming out of the center, so maybe it isn't too badly off, after all. Do those outer, older, brown traps and petioles need to be trimmed off?

    yes, if the leaves and thigs are not trimmed off, the plant could catch an infection and mabey DIE [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img]

  7. #7

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    yep should be entering dormancy
    Join the CCPS, you wont regret it: http://s4.invisionfree.com/CCPS

  8. #8
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    you dont have "a couple months" of outdoor weather left in Wisconsin..you have maybe 2 weeks..a month if you are lucky..
    Sub-freezing temps kick in late-october early November here in the north..
    personally, I consider November the 1st month of winter..
    we might get some snow this weekend..

    so, having said that, I would still put the plant outside immediately! leave it outside all day and all night unless the nightime temp is forecast to be below 35 degrees, or if frost is forecast for overnight..
    in that case, bring it inside for the night and put it right back out in the morning..
    2-4 weeks of slowly going dormant is better than nothing..

    then, when temps are staying below freezing every night, its time to find a cool winter spot for it..
    someplace that is 35-50 degrees all winter..
    some use the fridge,
    some use an unheated room..
    anyplace that is cool, but not freezing..
    I would consider 55 degrees the absolute top end..
    40's is ideal..
    Scot

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