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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By 0r34
Posts:  4
Joined:  Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:48 pm
My flytrap is growing well. It has seven healthy-looking leaves. But none of those leaves have traps on them. It's been this way for at least a month, since I repotted it. I repotted it immediately after buying it, because that pot was three-inches tall. I got it into a four-inch one [still too short, I know, but what I could find, and it's a pretty small plant now], potted in a mixture of peat moss and dirt from outside. It seems happy? It immediately shed its existing leaves and started growing new ones, which it's been doing for a while now. But none of those new leaves have traps.
I've been subirrigating with rain water, keeping some water in the saucer at all times. It's been getting about ten hours of filtered sunlight each day. It's too cold to put it outside.
So I have two questions:
1) Is there anything I can do to encourage trap growth?
2) Is the lack of traps harmful to the plant? Can I just keep growing it like this?
Sorry if this is an obvious answer. I haven't been able to find anything on the internet about a problem like this.
By Leo756
Posts:  764
Joined:  Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:42 pm
0r34 wrote:potted in a mixture of peat moss and dirt from outside.
That's obviously what's causing the problem. Any dirt from the outdoors is going to contain minerals that will quickly burn the roots of a VFT. They need very nutrient-poor soil. More detailed info here: ... traps.html

You need to repot it immediately in nothing but pure sphagnum peat moss and unenriched perlite and/or silica sand or it will probably die very quickly.
By SundewWolf
Posts:  2206
Joined:  Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:38 pm
0r34 wrote:But it's been growing for over a month like this? It's not dying at all.
It is obviously NOT growing well (which means it's slowly progressing towards death). The underdeveloped traps means that something is clearly wrong.

Put it in a deeper pot (at least 4-5 inches deep) and repot it with a nutrient free substrate. (I use Premier Peat Moss that I found at Ace Hardware, and organic perlite, both which are free of minerals, nutrients,etc.) Do this and it should be fine.

The smaller traps also could be because it's not getting enough light. I'm not sure when you bought it, or if it has been outside this summer. Even if this is the issue, I wouldn't be too concerned. Repot it and just put it outside next summer. It should be heading into dormancy soon anyways, and I don't think its so far gone that it wouldn't be able to survive a dormancy.
By 0r34
Posts:  4
Joined:  Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:48 pm
Okay. Yeah, the pot is 4 inches deep, but I was concerned about the sunlight. I haven't had it outside because I live in zone 5. I gave it the sunniest window, but. Yeah. Okay. I guess I'll try a different growing medium, and hope that it goes better next year? Thanks for the advice.
By parker679
Posts:  1642
Joined:  Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:34 pm
Just another point, it's not just the depth of the pot you need to be concerned with but it's the depth of the soil. You may be using a 4 inch tall pot but it looks like the soil surface is about 1.5 inches below the top which means it's really in less than 3 inches of soil depth.

Also as others have said give it more light and ditch the backyard dirt. If you don't have sand or perlite to mix with the peat you can use 100% peat or 100% LFS if you can find it. Of the brands of LFS commonly available Better-Gro is WAY better than Mosser Lee though if Mosser Lee is all you can find it works well enough. I've planted many VFT's in Mosser Lee LFS and they look fantastic.

It's possible that you're giving it enough light and it's just the soil that's the issue though you really can't tell until you fix the soil issue. I would up pot it and throw out the soil it's in now. Give the plant a good rinse in some rain/DI/RO water and re pot it in better CP soil. Taller is better but you can use that 4 inch pot if you fill the soil to the top. Leave it on the window after and see how it starts doing. If it's growing long thin leaves still with small traps it needs light. Also if it's growing up right leaves that are wide it needs more light. Plants around this time are starting to go dormant so if it starts producing wide leaves that are short and lay flat with normal sized traps than you're fine, those are normal late summer/fall leaves.
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