Sometimes you can't win

Joined
May 13, 2003
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Location
Madras,Oregon
I weaned one of my VFTs from it's assisted humidity environment  indoors and gradually accustomed it to the real  central Oregon world of <20% humidity.

It was doing well outdoors in it's water tray..much better than I expected really.

It was getting about 12-13 hours of good sunshine and appeared to be responding ..nice green color and the traps inside were becoming quite red.

What I hadn't counted on was all the insects the little monster gobbled up outside.Out of ten open traps it caught insects in 7 within a matter of days.

The problem is  that the traps are not reopening as I have read they should,after digestion, but simply turning black and decaying within a mater of days....no exceptions.

Not knowing what else to do, the VFT is back indoors.I trimmed the decay and the plant is sending up new leaves.

So the choice (as I see it) is between so-so light inside or death by decay from overeating  outside.

I suppose I could protect it with mosquito netting outside but that strikes me as being a bit on the ridiculous side.

Your thoughts appreciated.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2002
Messages
1,338
I think I might wait and see if maybe you don't get a growth period after your plant has eaten so many bugs. You might even get a new growth point.
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FlytrapGurl

apple rings.. what more can i say?
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
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Location
T-ville, Florida
Like my VFTs! I am the proud owner of a Green Dragon with three growth points and a Common with two growth points!
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Greetings,
           FTG

EDIT: Off-topic, but I just hit the 600 mark on my post count! WOOTWOOT!!!
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***dances around like an idiot***
 

PlantAKiss

Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, Engl
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Aug 25, 2001
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Location
Richmond, Virginia/Zone 7
Hey Seminole

Could you provide a little more information? Is this a new VFT or one you've had for a while? Have you seen it successfully feed and re-open its traps indoors, but not outdoors?

Like yours, my flytraps are outdoors and most of the traps are always closed and feeding. I don't mess with Mama Nature. What kind of bugs is it feeding on?

Are the bugs possibly too large for the trap? Large mosquitos or bees? If bug parts stick out of the trap it can allow bacteria in and it can rot the trap. And I've heard certain bugs can be "poisonous" to a trap and can them to blacken. Could it be a combination of natural death from wearing out plus some with oversized meals? Or perhaps it just happened all the traps were at their limit of life and expired as they normally do after several meals? If its a relatively new VFT from a store...its possible people poking the traps wore it out.

The new traps should help define the problem...if they open and function normally then it may have just been old traps.

Good luck!

Suzanne
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Cambridge, MA, USA
It also stands to reason (and i think i read this somewhere, but i don't remember where) that a plant which has not been fed in the past needs to be gradually introduced to a regular diet. Don't quote me on that, though.
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Joined
May 13, 2003
Messages
47
Location
Madras,Oregon
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (D muscipula @ June 18 2003,12:24)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">It also stands to reason (and i think i read this somewhere, but i don't remember where) that a plant which has not been fed in the past needs to be gradually introduced to a regular diet.  Don't quote me on that, though.
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Cool!

Anybody have the address of the Plant Psychic?.....maybe she can tell it not to be so darn greedy.


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Joined
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Messages
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Madras,Oregon
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (PlantAKiss @ June 17 2003,7:31)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Hey Seminole

Could you provide a little more information?  Is this a new VFT or one you've had for a while?  Have you seen it successfully feed and re-open its traps indoors, but not outdoors?

Like yours, my flytraps are outdoors and most of the traps are always closed and feeding.  I don't mess with Mama Nature.  What kind of bugs is it feeding on?

Are the bugs possibly too large for the trap?  Large mosquitos or bees?  If bug parts stick out of the trap it can allow bacteria in and it can rot the trap.  And I've heard certain bugs can be "poisonous" to a trap and can them to blacken.  Could it be a combination of natural death from wearing out plus some with oversized meals?  Or perhaps it just happened all the traps were at their limit of life and expired as they normally do after several meals?  If its a relatively new VFT from a store...its possible people poking the traps wore it out.

The new traps should help define the problem...if they open and function normally then it may have just been old traps.

Good luck!

Suzanne[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
I can answer no/negative or not a problem to all of your questions but one.

That question deals with the type of insects on the menu and their toxicity potential.From seeing the capture and/or dissecting the traps post mortem-two were small ants and the rest were a type of bug I have seen nowhere else but here.This critter resembles a flying ant but is some kind of bee ,I'm sure. I don't know if it has a sting.It is basically black with a few white tints and behaves like a sweat bee(buzzes and darts about rapidly) and is about 1/2 -3/4 the size of a typical sweat bee.

(Just to make sure of the sweat bee I'm referring to as a point of reference-) see:

http://www.everythingabout.net/article....eat_bee


The plant is recovering nicely indoors and has already sent up 3 new shoots.They should be opening up in a week or so.

I think ,when the plant regains the ground it lost I will capture a safe bug-say a small housefly and feed it-just to see what happens.

Another odd thing and I didn't mention this in the original post-was that I put out another of my VFTs right beside the troubled one at the same time.

This particular plant has many more traps (30+) the majority fully developed,of good size and open.Yet this plant never caught a single insect during exactly the same time frame(blessing in disquise?).The only difference being the plant with more traps only has a slight pink tint and the other had developed a much deeper red.
 
Joined
May 13, 2003
Messages
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Location
Madras,Oregon
Well-'ell's bells.

After going back and reading the article about sweat bees I referenced above- looks like I answered my own question.

Black and white bee, has stinging potential,indigenious to the west(I live in Oregon)and they are especially attracted to alphalpha(which is a tremendous cash crop in my area)and alphalpha farmers propogate artifically high population levels of this sweat bee species to pollinate their crops.Case closed.The plant stays indoors.

Being a native easterner when I think of a sweat bee I think of the brassy yellow type.It never occured to me that I was dealing with another species of sweat bee out here.

Live and learn.

I recall mentioning ( in another thread) the kamikaze style of attack this bee makes on the VFT's trap and of my being amazed at the ability of the VFT to react swiftly enough to make the capture.If I had been aware of the consequences I would not have been so delighted at the time.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
818
Location
Cambridge, MA, USA
I have fed ants, fish food, mealworms, and a small beetle to my VFT, and the trap has never died on me. I suggest you do what you mentioned before - feed it a single insect - and after a few days, feed it another. Once it gets used to a diet of bugs, try taking it outside again. These things DO get by on their own in Carolina.
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Please keep us informed what you observe.
 

BigCarnivourKid

It's been one of dem days
Joined
Jun 7, 2002
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I live in Chaffee County, Colorado, USA
Seminole,
It may be that your plant wasn't used to getting so much so fast as, I believe was mentioned above. I have had this problem with my VFTs, especially in the spring when I first start putting them outside. I just left them outside and now the new leaves are catching several insects before they quit working.
 
Joined
May 13, 2003
Messages
47
Location
Madras,Oregon
Followup:

Well now,it appears that the traps that died off may have been a blessing in disguise.

The replacement traps that grew back are especially vigorous.They are as big as my thumb from the knuckle to the tip and have nice thick walls and are a deep, deep red.

The traps that were dying off after their first feeding were much more puny in comparison but it looks as if they did the job ...that is...provided the supplemental nutrients the VFT needed to continue development.

It's back outside and again nabbing bugs....so far the new traps are not showing signs of decay...and hopefully will reopen after digestion.....fingers crossed!


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