Help with my vft :)

I am relatively new to vft's but I have 2

My family is very plant oriented and I have a kind of "green thumb" with most plants. My parents did some research and decided to get me a vft for my birthday as conditions in my home are right. I have the 'Dente' and 'akai ryu' varieties. I just recieved the akai ryu variety recently.
I believe both are planted in a peat mixture. They recieve and hour or 2 of direct morning sun and full-ish indirect light for the rest of the day. Both are watered with distilled water and kept constantly moist, and have trays to hold the water. Unfortunately I let the dente variety flower before I knew better.
I have a problem with the dente. I am seeing what looks like mildew spots on the leaves and they turn black and fall off very quickly. When I recieved the plant, It had many decent sized leaves, now it has 4 small traps. While the plant continues to make new trap shoots, before long, the new traps develope black along the edges and down the stem of the trap.
Is there anyone who might be able to help me fix this and save the plant?
Thanks in advance



Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, Engl
Hi Malli

Welcome to the forums...and what will probably be a new plant addiction. hehe Allllll the addicts start with a flytrap or two.

First off, how long have you had these plants? Depending on where your plants came from, they may have received poor care prior to arriving at your house (tap water, traps being triggered, etc.). So sometimes a new plant's decline isn't related to the new owner. Also, depending on how long you've had it, it could be just the natural dying off of traps which have fed several times and are spent (especially if it were played with). You may want to flush your pots with distilled water several times to wash out contaminants from its "previous life."

Also, your conditions sound good but one thing they do need is good air circulation. If they are out in the open, they should be alright but if they are enclosed in a tank or something like that, then mold/mildew can quickly become a problem with warm, moist, stagnant air.

They might like a little stronger light than they are getting but that shouldn't make your traps die like that. If they are in a window, depending on where you live, they can get pretty hot too so you might want to check out the temps at their location.

These are just some thoughts. I'm sure more people will offer some suggestions.

I hope your dente comes around. You'll enjoy your VFTs.

Good luck!



God must have an interesting sense of humor
Your "mildew" could be powdery mildew.  It occurs in stagnant damp conditions.  If that is what you have just remove anything around it that is causing the stagnantness.  I would then recomend a fungucide.  Here are a few fungucides that will not harm your plant:  3336 Cleary, Domain, and Captain.  Petflytrap sells 3336 Cleary and a few others.


I have also found that Orthenex does not harm. Some Orthenex products are both Insecticides and fungucides. I hope this helps and someone correct me if I'm wrong.
what would cause stagnantness? there is moss in the pot with the trap, might that do it? The traps look like they have black mouldy spot on them, and black all around the most dead part, so I'm thinking the fungicide is a good thing. I live in B.C. Canada, are any of these products available here?
The dente I have had since the end of May, the Akai ryu I've had for about 2-3 weeks. My parents had the plant before me, and I think took relatively good care of it. They may have watered it with tap water, but only for a short time, and the water they have is not treated with any chemicals (such as chlorine).(still, if you think I should flush it I will-please describe this!
)I don't think it is natural dying off, as the size of the plant has decreased greatly, and the traps haven't even been used before they begin to go black.
Both plants sit on the window sill. When you say stagnant conditions, would moss attribute to that? There is some growing in the pot with the plant.
I would think the temp. wouldn't be more then 85 * F at MOST, since the light is in-direct except for in the morning. Is that too high? I had them at the end of the sill where they get the most light, but I could move them in front of the open window, to cool them down.
so... whats the concensus? fungicide?
please help, I've become rather attached to these plants, and am a little frusterated as to the condition of the dente....



Staff member
Hey Mali,
"Stagnantness" (if there is such a word, lol
) is caused by lack of air circulation. Like if you have them in a tank. Since they are on the widow sill....Do they get any air circulation? you could open the window a bit (until it gets cold out).
I think Plantakiss is right, they could use more light. VFT's typically like several hours of direct sun way down in N carolina, which has stronger sun that B.C. Canada, so I think you should slowly acclimate them to about at least 5 hours of direct sun, maybe even more.
Flushing the pots is a process of just over watering them with pure water for a while, and letting it drain through the medium. This should wash out impurities in the soil.
Good luck, I hope it pulls through for ya!
It doesn't sound too much like a lack of light, the leaves would be limp and etoliated. I'd try a little fresh air. Are they solid black spots or does it look like the edge of the leaf or trap is burning a little? Also are the leaves curling at all? Normal death from what i've seen on a vft is the trap dying off then the whole leaf slowly turning black and going limp down to the substrate. Usually if it starts along the edges of the leaf it's something else.

Silly question of course, but might your parents have given it a little fertilizer? Are the black spots the leaf or something on the leaf? (can you scratch any of it off at first?)

Oh also, i'm kind of curious, is the flower still attached?


apple rings.. what more can i say?
<span style='color:red'><span style='font-size:27pt;line-height:100%'>WELCOME TO THE FORUMS!!!</span></span>

Well, I've gotten here too late to give you any advice. That's been done already LOL! Anyway, I'll give you advice about your posts. When you see a mistake in your post, click the thing up in the top righthand corner that says EDIT. It'll take you to and area that you can correct mistakes in.

Good luck with your VFT!
well, The light may be an issue (some of the trap stems do look longer), but there isn't any way I can "acclimate" then to any more, because I don't have any :| They get the most light I have in my apartment. Both plants sit in the only window, in the spot where they get the most light(there are 3 panes in the window, the one at the opposite end from the vft's opens and is always open to a degree). In any plant book I've read it said "full, indirect light" so according to the info I *had* the conditions I have are ideal. My boyfriend even complains because its so bright in the morning (through curtains) he wakes up at 6 because he can't sleep!
I'll try flushing both of the plants.
On another note, there are some offshoots(babies) in the same pot as the vft larger vft that look fine. wide leaves below the traps and large traps.
The spots look just like the mildew you'd see in your bathroom. And yes, the trap begins to go black and then goes limp, there may be a small browness as well. It doesn't look burnt really, the leaves just turn a little black, and then spots start to appear on the stem like I described. The black spots are the leaf, I haven't tried scratching them off but I don't *think* it would work. My parents don't fertilize unless they think a plant needs it, and I don't think they had it long enough, and at the time it looked quite healthy anyway (I'll ask for sure when they get back from vacation), so they wouldn't have bothered. I think they also read up on vft's before they got me this one, to make sure it would work with my situation.The flower is no longer attached, I let it die off in hopes of getting some seeds for my Dad (I pollinated it), but when the seed portion of the flower died, I removed it the rest of the stem.
Thanks for the tip on the edit button
right over my head!

thanks again

I filled each pot to the brim with distilled water and let it drain at least 3 times, then let them sit, then came back to find my tap dripping into the sink next to them so drenched the one it was dripping closest to (the sick one as well) with distilled water again. Both are sitting right in front of the open window on the sill.
any thoughts on that mildew type stuff I described?




Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, Engl
Hi Malli

You could try a little fungicide on it. I don't think it would hurt it any. There are several types available (Cleary's, Mancozeb, etc.). You can mix it up and put it in a spray bottle and mist it on. If your plants are out in the open, I wouldn't think stagnant air is the problem unless the room they're in is closed and very hot. Usually that is more a terrarium issue.

Since I haven't had mold issues with mine (they are all outdoors), I can't offer any thoughts on the black spots. I have only seen my traps die off naturally.

Sounds like you are doing everything right though. You could try supplementing their light with a flourescent fixture (you can get small ones).

What have you been feeding it?(if anything). Because if you overfeed a trap it will blacken and die in the way you described). also it could be black spot disease (same type that effects roses). ohhhhhhhhhh.............and I almost forgot welcome to the forums!!!!!!!!!
I have fed it a couple of ants (I know soft shelled insects are better), baby cochroaches, miscellaneous mosquitos, and small house moths. Thing is, the traps are dying off that haven't been fed.
Do you have a link to a site wich describes black spot or/and has pictures?
Ok, so just a fine misting of fungicide mixed with water only once?(whats the mixture of water to fungicide?) I have a florescent light fixture, I'll set it up


this is the only info i could find on it and i quote "black spots apear on the leaves,gradualy spreading until all the leaves rot away" captan is an efective control follow manufactures directions (quotes from the savage garden)


Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, Engl
Hi Malli

I don't know if flytraps get black spot disease or not (I haven't ever heard of that). But with black spot (which is a fungus) the black area is surrounded by yellow. Its not just a black spot. Leaves get a mottled yellowish color with black spots in the center and then the leaf dies and drops off. This is a common disease with roses and orchids and once infected, you can only control it, not eliminate it. It also spreads quickly (airborn) so its bad thing to have. That said, I doubt your VFT has black spot.

If you try a fungicide, you just follow the directions on the bottle for mixing it because it will depend on what brand you buy. There are quite a few out there. You might try 2 applications...once and then wait about a week and try it again.

the leaves do have a yellowish tinge to them.
The blackness starts on the outside of the traps, normally near the top, and works its way down the leaf. It is accompanied by yellow coloring on the part of the leaf that is about to die yet not dead

Reading PlantaKiss' post, I now fear I have black spot. It cannot ever be eliminated? Are there pics of black spot on vft's?
Might the plant be going dormant? What does that look like?
The akai ryu has yet to show any of these problems, though I'm thinking to treat it with fungicide as well.
ack, I am sad to loose this plant


ahh! I've just discovered my akai ryu has aphids! Little green creatures all over the leaves, and some with wings! what is the correct treatment? submerging the whole plant in distilled water for 24 hours? Would aphids produce the symptoms the dente has?