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Thread: Many q's about vft care

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    Hi, I recently became interested in Dionaea Muscipula, and I plan on getting one soon. I have a few questions about caring for them, though:

    1. On many websites, including this one, it says that it is best to keep your VFT in a fishbowl with the right kind of soil, and then occasionally you can feed it flies. I want opinions from experienced keepers: Is this really the best way? And are the terrarium kits you can buy from **********.com a good purchase? I'd really prefer just to keep one or 2 flytraps, and the choices for the terrarium kit have 2, and then other species... Is there a way I can create my own terrarium, and with what supplies? Also, would I be able to buy a mature flytrap plant from, say, the Home Depot, and then repot it into a terrarium? Or would it be best to keep it in a regular pot?

    2. Which direction-faced windowsill should I put my flytrap on?

    3. For the winter dormancy period, can I just put my flytrap in, like, the windowsill of our basement? It is defintately colder in there, maybe in the 50's.

    These are all the questions I can think of, for now. Thanks in advance!
    Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening. ~Pardo.

    \"I think we should always make certain we have chocolate. One never knows when it might be necessary.\"

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    I keep my VFT (well, actually 3 in one pot) in a 4-inch pot with drainage holes in the bottom. It's being watered with the tray method, and I keep it in a 10-gallon tank with clingwrap over the top for humidity (although that's mostly for the ping and drosera). It seems to be doing great. I have him near an east-facing window.

    I haven't had any experience with dormancy yet, but I hear you can just put the whole pot in a plastic zip-lock bag, and put it in the refridgerator for a few months.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Hi VFT lover123 and welcome to TerraForums! This is a deja vu because another person just asked nearly the same questions yesterday. I think a picture is worth a thousaand words, and here is a current set up. Notice the VFT's in the foreground. Basically, VFT's do their best when placed outside, in full sunshine. If that is not possible or desirable, then a south-facing window sill is the best direction for placement. Th picture illustrates what is called the "open tray" method, whereby the VFT pot is placed in another container that has store-bought distilled water. I use deionized water, because I work in a lab. Do not use tap or spring water.

    VFT's may be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes or any garden center / nursery, depending upon whether they carry them.

    Soil: many opinions abound, but you can't go wrong with a mix of sand (from a pool supply outlet) and peat (Canadian peat from H.D.) and topdressed with LFS (dried, bagged long fibred Sphagnum, from H.D. or Lowes) Rinse the soil media thoroughly. VFT's can be repotted, with care given to make sure you move it with as much of the soil from the pot it came from as possible, thus disturbing it the least.

    Dormancy: Hot topic, with many opinions. Many people will leave their plants outside, where their climate allows it. That is, if it doesn't freeze too much or too deeply. Some still do do and mulch it up heavily. Others keep it outside for as long as possible - which for you would be until November. Dormancy is more or less achieved when light is at its minimum and temps are just above the freezing point. Toward that end, some people put their plant in baggies, after it has cooled down to ~40 degrees and put in the fridge, often with fungicide, and keep it in their from Thanksgiving until Valentines Day. The garage isn't cool enough. ~35-40 is best. What I did successfully, was actually put my VFT's, still in its open tray plastic container, in the fridge - in the butter keeper. no fungicide. No baggie. They did just fine and rewarded me with flowers in the spring.

    Any other questions?

    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/jimscott/Jamie's%20Plants.jpg[/img]

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    Okay. But, since this afternoon, I have read many more FAQ's and websites, and they say that many of the VFT's found in stores such as the Home Depot are taken from the wild, not captive-(I was about to type born. Gosh, sometimes plants are so much like pets!) propagated. I guess that I will just buy one either from local stores, or **********.com, and keep it in the container until it possible outgrows it...By the way, what size pot is good for a mature VFT? On some sites I have read 4-5 in., but do they mean diameter or depth?
    Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening. ~Pardo.

    \"I think we should always make certain we have chocolate. One never knows when it might be necessary.\"

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    Homedepot and US stores are from Tissue Culture (I will not explain but you can google it if you want). Not from the wild so you don't have to worry about that. Some people take them from the wild but that is illegal (due to goverment regulations). It still happens but no store is going to sell those (well good stores anyway).

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    4-5" pots refer to their diameter.

    And now for something completely different - there is a guy on our forum that calls himself VFT Guy in SJ. Since I enjoy puns, teasing, and other fun stuff, I have taken to referring to him (Steve), when I follow one of his posts, as VFT Guy in San Juan or South Jersey. Your forum name reminds me of him. He's really from San Jose and now I have reminders of this fact, in his signature.

  7. #7
    VFT and Drosera lover vft guy in SJ's Avatar
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    LMAO Jim..

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]On many websites, including this one, it says that it is best to keep your VFT in a fishbowl with the right kind of soil,
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]and I keep it in a 10-gallon tank with clingwrap over the top for humidity
    Ditch the fishbowls, ditch the clingfilm. VFTs do not need the humidity boost, and by covering your tank you are inviting fungus and algae. Stagnant air is probably the biggest enemy of CPs.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]And are the terrarium kits you can buy from **********.com a good purchase?
    Everything ********** sells is good quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I'd really prefer just to keep one or 2 flytraps, and the choices for the terrarium kit have 2, and then other species... Is there a way I can create my own terrarium, and with what supplies?
    For BEST results, put your flytrap outside in full sun. They will catch their own bugs and they will be very happy to have the sunlight they really want. (and save you the $$$ for the terrarium.)

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Also, would I be able to buy a mature flytrap plant from, say, the Home Depot, and then repot it into a terrarium? Or would it be best to keep it in a regular pot?
    Its unlikely you will buy a mature plant at Home Depot or Lowes. Chances are you wont even get a healthy plant from one of those places. Many people have rescued plants from there, but I would advise against it for a beginner.

    ********** carries very high quality plants that I would not hesitate to recommend to even the most novice grower.

    When you get your plant, I suggest repotting it into a minimum 4 inch diameter pot. If you get 2 plants, you may want to go with a 6 inch pot. My experience is that they prefer a little elbow room.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Which direction-faced windowsill should I put my flytrap on?
    Again, outside in full sun is best. If you MUST keep it indoors, Id say the sunniest east facing window you can find.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]For the winter dormancy period, can I just put my flytrap in, like, the windowsill of our basement? It is defintately colder in there, maybe in the 50's.
    Well in New Jersey its gonna be far too cold outside to do a natural dormancy. As been said, seal it in a ziplock baggie and stick it in the fridge. You will know when its time, the plant will suddenly start producing short wide leaves that tend to lay flat to the substrate. Its a big difference from the normal summer leaves so no worries about not knowing when its time.

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

  8. #8
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    VFT_lover123: Je voudrais tu presenter VFT guy in SJ (Steve). He knows his stuff! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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