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Dexenthes

Aristoloingulamata
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
3,741
Location
Southern Tongass Rainforest, Alaska
So some time in October, I bought a 6.99 Fred Meyer's cylinder of death fly trap.
It did 'ok' for a while, until I put it into dormancy, when then it died back and lost a few leaves - no biggy.

It remained a spindly rosette of green petioles until sometime in January when, in the midst of dormancy, it decided to send a flower stalk up. Seeing as it was meek and unhealthy, I of course cut it off before it got too far. A few weeks later it decided to shoot up Another flower stalk, this time, a strange one with a second one branching off the side. I, again, cut it off.

I took it out of dormancy (away from the open window) a few weeks ago. Since then I have seen absolutely no growth, whatsoever. It has maintained the same pathetic rosette as it has since November. That was, until two day ago when I noticed that a large portion of it was starting die even further. So today I decided to uproot the whole thing and see what was going on underground. It turns out that more than half of the root system and plant was quite visibly rotted away. There is practically one large root and another small one that still seemed to hold life, attached to two excuses for leaves, oh yeah, and a decapitated flower stalk.

So I took away all of the extremely damp moss that came with the plant and attempted to replant just the "living" portion into my mix of 2:2:1:1 (roughly) peat moss, sand, LFS, and Perlite.

I realize that the cause of death has been that the substrate was much too damp.

So I have a few questions:


1.) How should I water what is left? How damp should I keep it, should I let it dry out between waterings, and should I stop the occasional mistings?

2.) What color are roots supposed to be? Mine are brown, but still seem thick and living.

3.) What would you guys do to best ensure that this sad plant continues living?
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
551
Location
Lawrence, Kansas
"I realize that the cause of death has been that the substrate was much too damp...."

are you sure? how much water were you giving it?

and you gave it dormancy on an open window... and it sent up 2 flower stalks in January? in the midst of dormancy?.... that doesn't sound right at all...

1.) How should I water what is left? How damp should I keep it, should I let it dry out between waterings, and should I stop the occasional mistings?...

A) the media should always be moist... not waterlogged... and it should never be dry. so typically do about a half inch worth of water and then let it run dry in the tray... ( dont let the media dry out whatever you do ) and repeat.

2.) What color are roots supposed to be? Mine are brown, but still seem thick and living.

A) the rhizome should be white, the roots should be black...

3.) What would you guys do to best ensure that this sad plant continues living?

A) if it has good roots and a white rhizome I'd leave it where it is, obviously making sure first off that its getting enough light ( which is a TON ) and make sure you dont over/uner water it... and just leave it alone for a while and hope for a bounce back.


-Chris
 

Dexenthes

Aristoloingulamata
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
3,741
Location
Southern Tongass Rainforest, Alaska
Thanks for the response.

I'm fairly sure that it was over watered because it was pretty tightly entrenched within the LFS that it came in from the store, and when I took it out, the moss was pretty dang wet, enough so that when I squeezed it between my fingers, water came out. I have been misting it probably every other day/every day. I've watered it quite profusely and it seemed like boggish conditions. I may have let it dry out just once, and it was nowhere close to bone dry.

The flower stalk thing, I just do not know about. I had the window open 24/7 and here in Oregon I'd have to say that is pretty chilly. I'm guessing that during winter it had a temp of 35-50 give or take, I could be wrong though. I'm pretty sure it was dormant though because most of the traps died back, and it did not grow at all, aside from the flower stalks.

The part that I assume is living was the only part that had a remotely white rhizome and roots are blackish brown. The rhizome is pretty puney though seeing as it is a relatively young TC plant.

A problem I may have is that it might not get enough light, I have it in the brightest area available in my window, but it doesn't get direct sunlight for probably more than 4-6 hours.

I'll just try to leave it alone, and water it as best I can...
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
4,641
Location
Far Away NY
I think you have a number of issues to correct.

1. Flytraps are not windowsill plants and will not get enough light through a window.
2. Opening the window for a few months will not give the plant a dormant period. Dormant VFT do not flower in January!
 

Dexenthes

Aristoloingulamata
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
3,741
Location
Southern Tongass Rainforest, Alaska
Why can't you keep it outside in full sun?

Because I have no yard or any other windows, I live in an apartment at the moment.

Tony: Are you sure they cannot be put into dormancy via chilly window? I've read more than once that it can work, depending on your climate. I admit though, it is strange that it tried flowering, and maybe it was consistently cold enough.

So what then should I do? Would it be more harmful to try and put it back in dormancy or to try and bring it into season? Or am I just bound to lose this plant no matter what I do? It had all the signs of dormancy up until it flowered, traps stopped functioning, leaves died back, stopped growth...
 

Not a Number

Hello, I must be going...
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If you keep the room unheated and the plants get a bare minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight in the winter then maybe it will work on a windowsill.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
4,641
Location
Far Away NY
I suspect the dying back and no growth was a result of the plant in decline. A VFT in proper dormancy will still grow a Winter rosette. The flowering was probably a response as a last ditch effort.

Personally I would start fresh.. Clean up the remains of the bulb and put in fresh sphagnum peat/sand and keep it damp. Can you get a small light fixture to put a CFL bulb in and suppliment with? A small desk lamp with reflector with a 23w bulb would be enough to at least give a couple plants a much needed boost. Or maybe one of them clip on reflector lamps? As for dormancy I would use the fridge. With the room lights on and off and the wildly fluctuating temperatures next to an open window, the plant will not get the rest it needs.. Maybe if you had a room you could close up and open every window so that it stayed cold for months it would work..
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
632
Location
Maryland
go to home depo and get one of those nice large spiral lights i believe its a 68 watt 4200 lumens and put it under that and hope for the best, i currently have a vft in the house under this light and its looking great so far also the media change sounds like a good idea too
 

Dexenthes

Aristoloingulamata
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
3,741
Location
Southern Tongass Rainforest, Alaska
I suspect the dying back and no growth was a result of the plant in decline. A VFT in proper dormancy will still grow a Winter rosette. The flowering was probably a response as a last ditch effort.

Personally I would start fresh.. Clean up the remains of the bulb and put in fresh sphagnum peat/sand and keep it damp. Can you get a small light fixture to put a CFL bulb in and suppliment with? A small desk lamp with reflector with a 23w bulb would be enough to at least give a couple plants a much needed boost. Or maybe one of them clip on reflector lamps? As for dormancy I would use the fridge. With the room lights on and off and the wildly fluctuating temperatures next to an open window, the plant will not get the rest it needs.. Maybe if you had a room you could close up and open every window so that it stayed cold for months it would work..

Thanks, I was thinking about a light supplement, could do the trick. Only problem is I'm moving in just a few days so this will most likely be a very stressful time for my poor Dionea.

Oh well, I suppose it was just a Fred Meyers plant. If I lose it then, maybe I will try and get some nice healthy cultivars from a real nursery this spring.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
79
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
go to home depo and get one of those nice large spiral lights i believe its a 68 watt 4200 lumens and put it under that and hope for the best, i currently have a vft in the house under this light and its looking great so far also the media change sounds like a good idea too

I used 3 of the flat back and forth zig zagged tukes last year and it did the trick.
 
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