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Thread: Need advice quick or my vft is a gonner

  1. #1

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    This is my second try growing a VFT. As happend with my first one, after a couple of days the edges of the traps are turning black and the slowly wither and die. Here is what I have, any advice would be greatly appreciated its so hard to stand by helplessy and watch this magnificent creation of mother nature waste away.

    I bought it a Wal-Mart (big mistake I know) but it looked very healthy, vibrant and green.

    I put it in a medium vase, I took the plant out of its small container and placed it in the vase with some cactus potting mix, but I left the plant in the moss that it was originally in from the store and surrounded it with the cactus potting mix.

    I have not fed it any insects yet.

    I have had it for almost two weeks.

    It is outside uncovered in the full sun, soil is very moist, and I keep it so.

    I don't know what to do.

    Thanks.

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    Lord Humungus's Avatar
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    When the plants die quickly, I found that people have used tap water to feed them. The soil you have put them in may already be to rich in minerals. They can not tolerate any fertilizer either. Perlite and sphagnum is best because it lacks nutrients. Perlite is basicly volcanic glass that holds water. Feed them only flies until you feel they can handle experimenting. Some bugs can hurt them.
    I have heard some people say VFT's are hard to keep alive. I have had no trouble. I just keep the soil wet with rain and distiled water. I also use two floresent aquarium lights for 14 hours a day on a timer. Hope this is some help. Good growing ssgrock.
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    well a Dionaea isn't a cactus so......

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    Cactus potting mix?? Are you nuts? Put your plant in straight sphagnum peat moss, and keep it wet with distilled/rain/RO water. put it in full sun, leave it alone except for watering, let it feed itself, and watch it grow. Cactus Mix?? Omigawd. Maybe you should have read about its requirements before you helped it to a slow agonizing death.
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    I have to go with bugweed and JLAP here it would be best to adjust the soil, quick! I use Peat mixed with a little perlite for most of my cps even some exotics. But sphgnum is good to, I recently bought a VFT from wal mart to and repotted it, it is growing nicely and in the peat mixture, also here in Colorado the water is low enough in minerals that I can use tap Water, but you may have to use distilled water, In florida the water was high in minerals so I simply used hose water
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    Lord Humungus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Bugweed @ June 18 2005,1:02)]Cactus potting mix?? Are you nuts? Put your plant in straight sphagnum peat moss, and keep it wet with distilled/rain/RO water. put it in full sun, leave it alone except for watering, let it feed itself, and watch it grow. Cactus Mix?? Omigawd. Maybe you should have read about its requirements before you helped it to a slow agonizing death.
    Geess Bug! ease up. He is new. I guess the therapy is not working.

    I live in Florida and the water is so hard I have had to repair my water heater twice in 4 years. Rain water is best. Distiled will do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Cactus potting mix?? Are you nuts? Put your plant in straight sphagnum peat moss, and keep it wet with distilled/rain/RO water. put it in full sun, leave it alone except for watering, let it feed itself, and watch it grow. Cactus Mix?? Omigawd. Maybe you should have read about its requirements before you helped it to a slow agonizing death.
    Yes, as Bugweed tactfully put, VFTs need to live in sphagnum moss peat. They cannot tolerate rich soils as they have evolved to catch insects to gain the nutrients they can't get from the poor peaty sandy soils they live in, in North Carolina.

    So you need to get hold of some peat (not sedge peat - the bag should say 'Moss Peat' or 'Sphagnum Peat'). You can use perlite for a bit of aeration, but it's not compulsory.

    Your other plant may have suffered as it was living in dark Walmart and was then put in the sun. A few traps might burn, but the plant will recover in a couple of weeks.

    Don't worry about feeding. VFTs survive by photosynthesis like any other plant and just use bugs as 'fertiliser'. Let it catch its own, or feed it twice a month with a live insect.

    Also, welcome to the forums!



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    My Lord Humungous, heck no I am not kidding! With the wealth of information available to everyone now (not like it was when I started growing), there should be little reason to mess it up with a VFT. My oldest plant is 31 years old now, and Bob Z has older plants than that. One of the very first things I did learn was to put them in peat moss, and let nature take her course. Angry I am not, frustrated that no research was done--well, there ya go! We do have to get this fellow up to speed so he can enjoy his babies. REPOT! QUICK!!!!!!! Straight Sphagnum peat moss is the thing, pure water the next, and loads of sunlight. And read! Absorb all you can and help out others who need it. The shock to my sysem motivated my response. Reminds me of walking into a nursery full of darlingtonia where they recommended African Violet Mix! NOOOOOOO! I thought I would die!
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