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Convex heads?

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:34 am
by OnyxWolf
Hello! This is my first venus fly trap, and I'm hoping I haven't done something wrong. I got it at a local store in a tiny little plastic box. I took it out of that after about a week and put it in a glass cookie jar. It's tilted sideways, so it makes a good terrarium. I planted it in moss, as I couldn't find any perlite without chemicals in it. I'm keeping it inside under a normal light. I don't think it's quite warm enough, but it's not cold. I just leave the light on all the time.
I've been misting it daily with rainwater. "He" managed to get a couple of ants on his own. :lol:

Well, I noticed after I got him that one of his heads wasn't shaped quite right. It's not concave, like the classic venus flytrap head. It's more convex, like he stretched really hard one morning and got stuck :shock: And it appears that he didn't have any of the trigger hairs on that head.
After a while it dyed off, so I didn't give it another thought. Well, another head went from being 'normal' to 'convex'. It kinda looked like it might be dying, so I clipped it off. Now another one looks like it's trying to convex itself too.

Anyone have any idea what might be going on with the little guy? :|

Re: Convex heads?

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:39 am
by mitch
hi and welcome to flytrapcare!,
what moss did you put your vft in to? it can only be in 'spagnum peat moss'
and watch out that terrarium doesnt overheat. and im not to sure what could be happening to you vft, got any pics?. other than that, sounds great

Re: Convex heads?

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:03 am
by Matt
Hello OnyxWolf and welcome.
I took it out of that after about a week and put it in a glass cookie jar.

Any kind of clear glass doesn't make a good pot for a Venus fly trap because the light can penetrate the sides and heat up the soil quickly. Your plant is going to do much better in an insulated pot. A 16 ounce styrofoam beverage cup works great and is inexpensive.
I'm keeping it inside under a normal light. I don't think it's quite warm enough, but it's not cold. I just leave the light on all the time.

What kind of light is it? How close is your plant to the light? Warmth isn't really that much of a concern for the plant. Leaving the light on all the time isn't a good idea. Plants need a period of rest so that they can process the energy they create during photosynthesis. Depending on where you live, I'd recommend just putting your plant in a sunny window until it the chance of freezing and frost is gone and then move it outside.
I planted it in moss

As mitch asked, we need to know what kind of moss it is. Some types of moss is deadly for flytraps. It should only be some form of sphagnum moss. Peat is what most people use.
Anyone have any idea what might be going on with the little guy? :|

The convexity of the traps simply sounds like old traps dying off from transplant shock and from being old. The key to know if the plant is healthy is whether or not you see new traps forming from the center of the plant. This time of year the plant should be starting its spring growth and putting out lots of new traps soon or already doing so.

Any way you can take a photo of the plant for us to see and possibly provide more feedback?

Re: Convex heads?

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:31 am
by OnyxWolf
Much to my surprise, my camera was able to get some pretty good up close pics :lol:

Oh, and yes, it's spagnum peat moss. And that's all, not even any rocks in the bottom.




The one on the left is the convex shaped one. It just looks weird ... Oh I just spritzed it before I took the pic, so it's pretty damp.

Sorry, Matt, I didn't see your post cause it took me a moment to post the pics.
I'm in a basement apartment, so I don't really have a window. But I could easily move him from under the light at night so he could get a little rest. I was concerned about the warmth, and didn't think about too much light :oops: So, it's ok if there isn't a lot of humidity? That's why I tried to make a terrarium, cause I had read they like high humidity. I've got plenty of plan clay pots, or I can put him in a plain plastic one. Whatever will keep him from dying :)

Re: Convex heads?

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:30 am
by mitch
i think its lack of light. your vft is getting no where near enouph sun. he needs to be in direct natuaral sunlight.
eather pot will work.

humidity is not very important. just a lot of light and water.

hope this helps...

Re: Convex heads?

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:36 am
by Steve_D
Matt and Mitch have given you good advice.

What type of water are you using? The traps look either somewhat dehydrated, overheated, or affected by salt burn (too many dissolved chemicals in the water).

Please take the lid off the cookie jar. There is no need for it, the inside of the jar will build up heat too quickly in sunlight, and the lack of air movement inside may help cause a fungal infection. If you put that jar in the direct sunlight which the plant needs, the growing medium and plant may both become too hot, even hot enough to bake and kill the plant in some cases.

The plant is not in the healthiest condition right now, but I would nevertheless repot it into a light-colored plastic pot that is larger than you think it needs, and especially deeper. (Try to give the plant at least 4-6 inches of depth in a planter.) As Matt mentioned, a cheap 16-ounce styrofoam beverage cup (a picnic cup / hot coffee cup) works very well as a pot, if you punch a hole in the bottom. Venus Flytraps need to be planted in a container in which the water drains freely, or can be drained periodically, to prevent a buildup of dissolved mineral salts and chemicals.

Best wishes and good luck,

Re: Convex heads?

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:08 am
by OnyxWolf
Thanks everyone for your advice!
I thought I was setting it all up ok, but apparently I was completely off :oops: I re-potted him, again in nothing but the spagnum peat moss. It's a regular pot with room to grow. Since I'm in a basement, I will have to try to keep him on our patio so he can get enough sunlight. The patio gets the morning and a good bit of the midday sun. The windows don't get any direct light, and they aren't large enough for a pot. Plus, I have two very curious cats ... I have tomatoes and other vegetable plants out that require full sunlight and they do fine, so hopefully it will be enough for the VFT too.
I just worry a bit about the cooler temps at night, which are around 45F/7C. But I think during the day it will be warm enough, especially in the sunlight. Should be about 72F/22C during the day. Does that sound like it should work ok? :)

Re: Convex heads?

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:14 am
by Matt
Those temperatures are perfect for your plants this time of year. It's actually almost identical to the temps my plants are getting.

Re: Convex heads?

Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:39 pm
by theflytrapboy
THE TEMPS ARE GREAT. and once its repotted, post some pics! we would all like to see the plant once it starts recovering. oh, and when youre repotting, it seemed like when you had it in the jar the moss was a bit dry. i suggest soaking it in distilled or rain water before potting so its moist enough. also, ( since you had the bad suggestions online) do you know about dormancy? i am just a bit confused since you were worried about the warmth