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By ApgarTraps
Posts:  74
Joined:  Mon May 28, 2018 2:22 pm
#376805
VFT collection.jpg
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It's been about 4 years since my May 2017 rescue of nine (9) hideous-looking near-death VFT plants from a big-box do-it-yourself store that I cannot name but sounds like "Home Depot".

:D

I just did my yearly pot-fest (took about 4 hours and 7 beers) and now I'm just watching the plants start to emerge from dormancy.

Lessons learned over the years, fwiw:

1) I used to repot every year, but now do it every other year. This is because:
  • It's a pain-in-the-ass
      LF sphagnum is expensive
        they do just fine on a 2-year cycle (soil compression is the biggest problem: the surface sinks down into the pot)
      2) I use de-ionized water from a Zero Water pitcher most of the time, and only if it doesn't rain enough. But an occasional dousing with tap water (my TDS is 40 here in Georgia) isn't an issue (because it's continuously flushed with copious rain).

      3) They have survived outside down to a low of 15F without a problem: I'm talkin' a solid block of ice.

      4) Each plant -- when divided after 2 years -- yields at least 10 plantlets of various sizes. I no longer completely separate each cluster into individual plants because I would run out of beer. It would yield HUNDREDS of individual plants: I leave most in clusters as I re-pot, giving each cluster a bit more space.

      5) The hot Georgia sun registers 90+ F for most of the summer, and the only heat issue has been occasional overheating of the growth medium. Therefore, I protect the sides of the south-facing pots with additional containers to keep the pots in the shade (but the plants themselves LOVE the hot sun).

      6) Outdoors in full sun is the only way to go: I have tried indoor south-facing windows, but the plants really need to trap their own meals, and Georgia has plenty of bugs outside! Ants, spiders, flies, moths, and an occasional wasp. During peak season, I would estimate that half of the traps are closed around bugs each day: VFTs are truly skilled "hunters".

      7) Feb or March is the best time to repot. I once did it in May, and that is sub-optimal because the roots need time to re-develop -- prior to the May-June heat -- in order to supply the plants with adequate water. I did notice some signs of heat-stress on hot (80-90F) May days that year because the roots had not yet recovered from the repotting. Cooler temps (60-70F) in March -- along with strong sun -- allow the plants time to establish roots prior to the extreme heat.

      I'm in north Georgia (USDA hardiness zone 7b), so your experience may vary.

      I would love to hear feedback / questions, and I will post add'l pics as the season progresses: this mass of plants will COVER my table by July -- a sea of traps!

      Cheers!

      /A
      Last edited by ApgarTraps on Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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      By Panman
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      Posts:  1480
      Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
      #376813
      I agree with everything you said. I live south of Atlanta and my experience has been the same. My biggest challenge is the freezing/thawing cycles that happen from daytime to nighttime here. Froze is fine but the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw really takes its toll.
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      By ApgarTraps
      Posts:  74
      Joined:  Mon May 28, 2018 2:22 pm
      #376816
      Panman wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:38 pm ... the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw really takes its toll.
      How? What does it do to your plants?

      btw... here's a pic of my VFTs from Feb 6, 2021 after an Atlanta "blizzard"... :lol:
      VFTs in snow.jpg
      VFTs in snow.jpg (472.96 KiB) Viewed 909 times
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      By Panman
      Location: 
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      Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
      #376817
      The freeze/thaw cause them to dry out. Basically, they get freeze dried. I cover my larger bogs with leaves or pine needles and put the smaller pots in a shed. That way they get some protection from the cycles.
      User avatar
      By ApgarTraps
      Posts:  74
      Joined:  Mon May 28, 2018 2:22 pm
      #376822
      Panman wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:53 pm Basically, they get freeze dried.
      LOL "freeze dried"

      Post a pic if you can -- sounds like you grow them in the ground? I'd like to try that.

      btw -- my friend goes by the name "Pan Man"; he's a pathologist. Maybe you are, too? :D
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      By ChefDean
      Location: 
      Posts:  3092
      Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
      #376823
      ApgarTraps wrote:
      Panman wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:38 pm ... the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw really takes its toll.
      How? What does it do to your plants?
      Take an onion, put it in a ziploc, and put it in the freezer overnight. Take it out the next morning and allow it to thaw completely. Put it back in the freezer overnight again, take it out and allow it to thaw completely. Soon enough, the onion will go soft and turn to mush.
      The same thing will happen to the potted VFT rhizome if allowed to freeze/thaw/ freeze/ thaw. VFT's in situ have some insulation from the ground and groundwater that helps them survive the occasional freeze/thaw they experience in the wild.
      Freezing once, and staying frozen still hurts them, but much less than cycling up and down multiple times.
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      By ApgarTraps
      Posts:  74
      Joined:  Mon May 28, 2018 2:22 pm
      #376824
      ChefDean wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:11 pm
      ApgarTraps wrote:
      Panman wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:38 pm ... the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw really takes its toll.
      How? What does it do to your plants?
      Take an onion, put it in a ziploc, and put it in the freezer overnight. Take it out the next morning and allow it to thaw completely. Put it back in the freezer overnight again, take it out and allow it to thaw completely. Soon enough, the onion will go soft and turn to mush.
      The same thing will happen to the potted VFT rhizome if allowed to freeze/thaw/ freeze/ thaw. VFT's in situ have some insulation from the ground and groundwater that helps them survive the occasional freeze/thaw they experience in the wild.
      Freezing once, and staying frozen still hurts them, but much less than cycling up and down multiple times.
      Excellent explanation: thank you Chef.
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      By Panman
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      Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
      #376827
      ApgarTraps wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:00 pm LOL "freeze dried"

      Send a pic if you can -- sounds like you grow them in the ground? I'd like to try that.

      btw -- my friend goes by the name "Pan Man"; he's a pathologist. Maybe you are, too? :D
      Nope, my last name is Panzenhagen and the nickname stuck.

      Here is my current set up. The larger 'bogs' in the top right corner of the first picture are 15 gallon feed troughs from Tractor Supply. They stay out all year because I don't want to move them. I put everything else in the shed. This year I might leave out the larger 3 gallon pots as well.
      IMG_31032021_131854_(1000_x_1200_pixel)[1].jpg
      IMG_31032021_131854_(1000_x_1200_pixel)[1].jpg (678.64 KiB) Viewed 859 times
      IMG_31032021_131917_(1000_x_1200_pixel)[1].jpg
      IMG_31032021_131917_(1000_x_1200_pixel)[1].jpg (584.48 KiB) Viewed 859 times
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      By ApgarTraps
      Posts:  74
      Joined:  Mon May 28, 2018 2:22 pm
      #376829
      :o Nice collection, Panman!
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      By Supercazzola
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      Joined:  Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:57 am
      #376897
      Panman wrote:
      Here is my current set up. The larger 'bogs' in the top right corner of the first picture are 15 gallon feed troughs from Tractor Supply.
      Just curious, what is that grey object on one of the bogs? It’s on the right side in one of the bogs in the photos.
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      By Panman
      Location: 
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      Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
      #376898
      Those are Deer Be Gone repellents. At times the deer were grazing on my pitchers. That reminds me, I need to get some fresh ones. I hope they work for squirrels.
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      By isaacsbees
      Posts:  83
      Joined:  Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:13 pm
      #376904
      Gorgeous collection! Mini-bogs are something I've always wanted to try. This year I've gotta step up to the plate.
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      By Panman
      Location: 
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      Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
      #376906
      I love the mini bog. It is so much easier to maintain than individual pots. The large volume of soil maintains the temperature better and makes watering easier. It also makes dormancy easier as I just pile leaves on top of them and leave them outside. I've tried various containers, but I really like the 15 gallon oval feed troughs from Tractor Supply. I just made one for my daughter in the plastic half barrel planter. It is definitely more attractive, but I don't like it being so deep. My next container is going to be a Rubbermaid 50 gallon stock tank.
      Image
      It is 52x31x12. We use these types of tanks for watering the horses so I know how durable they are and that they are very UV resistant. It will last for years.
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      By isaacsbees
      Posts:  83
      Joined:  Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:13 pm
      #376907
      Panman wrote:I love the mini bog. It is so much easier to maintain than individual pots. The large volume of soil maintains the temperature better and makes watering easier. It also makes dormancy easier as I just pile leaves on top of them and leave them outside. I've tried various containers, but I really like the 15 gallon oval feed troughs from Tractor Supply. I just made one for my daughter in the plastic half barrel planter. It is definitely more attractive, but I don't like it being so deep. My next container is going to be a Rubbermaid 50 gallon stock tank.
      Image
      It is 52x31x12. We use these types of tanks for watering the horses so I know how durable they are and that they are very UV resistant. It will last for years.
      Oh, I use that to hold water for my pigs haha. I'll have to stop by TSC and get one for my plants too!
      Panman liked this
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