FlytrapCare Carnivorous Plant Forums

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Discuss fertilization techniques here. For advanced growers only!

Moderator: Matt

By twigs
Posts:  244
Joined:  Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:23 pm
#16641
Do you feed and/or fertilize your ceph? If so what do you use and how often? I'm debating whether to go to the petstore for some dried bloodworms (or other small bugs) or go get some orchid fertilizer.
By kevinqwe
Posts:  1840
Joined:  Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:04 am
#16643
no fertilizers!~~!!
you can feed it but not too much be cause it can die. or you can just leave it outside and it will catch on it's own.
By twigs
Posts:  244
Joined:  Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:23 pm
#16656
Jeff from Sarracenia Northwest (cobraplant.com) uses fertilizer on his.

"Once you do see sprouting on the leaf base, it wouldn't hurt to lightly spray them with a weak orchid fertilizer. Use 1/4 tsp. per gallon of water. This will help speed up growth some"

see
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Carnivorous- ... tion-1.htm

I was just wondering if anyone here had experience with it.
By Aging_Bourbon
Posts:  2799
Joined:  Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:14 pm
#16660
twigs wrote:Jeff from Sarracenia Northwest (cobraplant.com) uses fertilizer on his.

"Once you do see sprouting on the leaf base, it wouldn't hurt to lightly spray them with a weak orchid fertilizer. Use 1/4 tsp. per gallon of water. This will help speed up growth some"

see
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Carnivorous- ... tion-1.htm

I was just wondering if anyone here had experience with it.

oh yeah that too haha
By hackerberry
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Posts:  1704
Joined:  Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:58 pm
#16670
When I first got my ceph, I foliar feed it with very weak orchid fertilizer until I saw some nice pitcher development. When the pitchers formed and opened, I fed it with crickets from the petstore. They really love it! I'll post some pics when I got time.

hb
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By Steve_D
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Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#16753
twigs wrote:Do you feed and/or fertilize your ceph? If so what do you use and how often? I'm debating whether to go to the petstore for some dried bloodworms (or other small bugs) or go get some orchid fertilizer.

Yes, you can fertilize your Cephalotus, if you do it carefully. No fertilizer in the growing medium of course (I haven't tried it but I wouldn't risk it) and I don't like foliar spray feeding because the spray that settles to the growing medium surface greatly encourages algae and moss.

Instead, you can make up a weak liquid fertilizer from dry ingredients. I use kelp extract and a general purpose dry fertilizer like Miracle-Gro or Peter's. Just make it a weak solution, and then feed a few drops of that liquid into some of the Ceph's pitchers with an eyedropper or laboratory pipette.

Steve
By Adam
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Posts:  2892
Joined:  Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:39 am
#17365
Has anyone tried fertilizing VFTs by swabbing the weak foliar fertilizer on the leaves? Don't mean to hijack the thread, please feel free to post in another area if you want to respond.
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By Steve_D
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Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#17398
Adam wrote:Has anyone tried fertilizing VFTs by swabbing the weak foliar fertilizer on the leaves? Don't mean to hijack the thread, please feel free to post in another area if you want to respond.
Flytrap Ranch Artificial Bug

The part of the VFT that is designed to suck up food is the trap. So you can make--I've never mentioned this to anyone before--an "artificial bug."
  • make a fertilizer solution (experiment with strength, I use general purpose + kelp extract)
  • cut a cellulose sponge into tiny bits (about a 2-3 millimeter cube)
  • let a bit of sponge soak up some fertilizer
  • place the fertilizer soaked sponge into a trap and trigger the trap to close
  • massage the trap from the outside between two fingers, 3-5 times over the course of an hour or two, to ensure that the trap closes further and seals
Steve
By watnazn
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Posts:  426
Joined:  Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:52 am
#17401
Very creative, is there a noticeable difference in growth with the fertilizer compared to none?
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By Steve_D
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Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#17593
Adam wrote:Wow. Do you do that often, Steve?

Just when I feel like it. The cellulose of the sponge is not broken down by the flytrap, so these bits of sponge can be rinsed and boiled in the microwave, dried and used over and over again.

The only thing to beware of is getting the sponge too large or too wet with fertilizer, in which case the trap, squeezing ever tighter, may squeeze a little of the rich fertilizer solution out of the trap where it may drip to the growing medium, so be careful about that. Otherwise, this is an effective fertilizing trick, and the fertilizer solution can be stronger than you might think, but just not too strong. Experiment-- :)

Steve
By Adam
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Posts:  2892
Joined:  Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:39 am
#17736
What noticeable differences have you seen by using the fertilizer? If the VFT eats insects, would there still be a difference? ... sorry with all the questions.. I'm just really curious and already have a number of experiments going :shock:
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By Steve_D
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Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#17785
Adam wrote:What noticeable differences have you seen by using the fertilizer? If the VFT eats insects, would there still be a difference? ... sorry with all the questions.. I'm just really curious and already have a number of experiments going :shock:
I was hoping to supply fertilizer in a greater-than-normal strength, like a real booster pill so to speak. In addition, I wanted to try to give a wide range of micronutrients (those things a plant uses that are not NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium)) to see if I could encourage any particular excellence in any VFT characteristic.

However, my experiments so far have shown that while the fertilizing works, it is not noticeably better than live insects, and it doesn't cause the fertilized trap to, for example, turn red more readily, or grow much or at all faster. I think that the real effect is more stored food in the leaf bases underground, which could promote more division or just make the plant hardier and more robust.

Care has to be taken to experiment with the maximum strength of liquid fertilizer that can be used without burning the traps from the inside out with chemical burn. That type of chemical burn will become evident within hours after fertilizing with an "artificial bug" that contains fertilizer that is too strong. I concentrated on a larger amount of kelp extract (which is weak in major nutrients but extremely rich in micronutrients) and a much smaller amount of NPK fertilizer (such as Miracle-Gro or Peter's).
:)
Steve
By Adam
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Posts:  2892
Joined:  Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:39 am
#17823
I have lots of bugs volunteering to be fertilizer.. Do let us know if there is advantage to fertilizer though...
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