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Thread: How much light do vft's need?

  1. #1

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    I have never had good sucess with growing VFT's indoor at all. Most of them start getting weaker and weaker... How much flourecent light do they need?
    So far I have them about 4 inches away from a daylight compact flourcent lightbulb and is only growing ok, kind of weak compared to the growth my outdoor plants.
    Is there any tips on how to make them grow better?
    I've only gotten vft seedlings to grow under lights ok. How much lighting do you guys grow them under?

    What humdity, watering, ect... any tips would be helpful!

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    VFT and Drosera lover vft guy in SJ's Avatar
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    Well I grow mine outdoors in direct sun so my advice is there is no such thing as too much light, especially up north where you are. If fluorescents arent cutting it for you, then perhaps either upgrade to something more intense or else go with the real thing.
    Humidity is irrelevant with VFT's, They will be perfectly happy well into the low teens or even dryer. They can easily handle temps into the 100's, although they may give you trouble for the first season, especially comming from a controlled indoor environment, but it will adapt and will be fine after a season or so.

    Cheers
    Steve
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    I got that part down already, but what frustrates me is that all my vft's during the summer all grow so well, but they are all dornmant. I just want some during the winter to look at but they are the only thing that don't do well under lights for me. All the sarracenia's do great with good red coloration during the winter months under lights, so I don't lighting is a problem... but like you said we never know. I mean, how much more light can I give them? A compact flourecent is baisically the brighest possible light I can give them aside from some other ones that are too fancy for my tastes and seem to cause more trouble then good.

    They are currently under 15 hour light cycles, and I keep them pretty damp and water when needed. The humidity is around 50% I believe, but that's not the problem probably as VFT guy said.
    Anyone else got any tips?

    They are not dying or anything, but the growth is NO WHERE as good as outdoor grown ones.
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  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Flytraps need to go dormant once a year, and I think that there's no way around it... so if you want some awake in the winter, maybe you should try raising some from seed and putting them into an artificial fridge dormancy during the summer. That way, you can bring them out in the fall and they'll be waking up at the same time that the outdoor vfts are going to sleep.
    The slow growth you observe might be the result of exhaustion; plants that go into dormancy usually need that time to gather nutrients and prepare for the next year's growth. If you've kept your plants out of dormancy by artificial means, they're probably just wondering why summer has lasted for nine months and are unsure of what they should be doing. Keep in mind, most vfts would be getting ready to flower by this time of year, and the day length and temperatures would have indicated to them that it was appropriate to do so.
    BTW, it sounds like you have plenty of light; those plants just need a little rest.
    Good luck!
    ~Joe
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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Yeah, my VFTs that were used to dormancy already before I bought them kept shrinking and shrinking as winter approached even though their conditions didn't change at all. I don't think I could have done anything to prevent it.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    You will be hard pressed to fool the plant. They know when Winter is and simply grow poorly during the Winter if you try and force them. Perhaps if your persistent and stick them in the fridge all Summer and grow totally under artificial conditions all year long you might reverse their growing season. But even short exposure to the natural cycle and they will get all messed up again.

    As for the amount of light if you use all artificial lighting. Hmm would be tough with just fluorescent. I think you would need high intensity fluorescent/metal halide/sodium vapor to really mimic the sun best.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    its virtually impossible to give enough light artifically indoors..
    they need FULL sun blasted down on them all day..
    direct, intense sun.
    the kind of sun that will burn your skin to a crisp in 10 minutes.
    a flourscent light indoors is a tiny fraction of real sunlight..
    I would bet its like 5% or less of full outdoor sunlight intensity.

    there are SUPER high intensity lights you can buy, but they are expensive, and suck electricity like crazy:
    http://homeharvest.com/sbsys.htm
    real sun is better, and free!

    IMO, VFTs and Sarracenia really shouldnt be grown in terrariums at all,
    they just arent suitable for that kind of growing, they need far more light than a typical terrarium setup is able to provide..
    a normal "fish tank" type light just isnt going to cut it.
    not nearly enough light.
    they should be outdoors all season.
    (and dormant in the winter)

    Scot

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    Oh, I forgot to mention that the vft's grew during the summer are way dornmant now. I'm not that much of a newb... LOL
    The only ones under lights are ones I found at Meijers and walmart late fall, so they shouldn't need dormacy since they are fresh from t/c.
    I plan on giving the indoor vft's dormacy during the summer to grow during the winter.

    Like I said before, lighting shouldn't be an isue since the 2 year old seed grown Sarracenia's are all doing great with red coloration so lighting isn't the problem I don't think, the VFT's indoor have light red traps too.

    The plants are no where from dying or being unhealthy they are just not as robust as some other terrainium grown vfts I've seen on the net. And on those the lighting seem to be alot less then mine...
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