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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By horsesmouth
Posts:  4
Joined:  Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:12 am
#378295
I bought this Venus fly trap from Raleigh (NC) farmers market, drove it all the way to Atlanta. It has a reddish-brown color. The person i bought it from said there's not much difference in the 'hardiness' of the green and reddish varieties.
Got some sphagnum peat moss and perlite, mixed them up (about 1:1) and repotted my plant.
Placed it in the April sun, no more than 70 degrees.
I didn't have distilled water so i gave it the little bit of rain water i had lying around.
Within a day or two i saw most leaves started to turn black, so i got some distilled water from the market and watered it.
3 days after repotting I saw that the plant was almost dead, all but one leaves turned black and the last one is basically a 'budding' leaf that still looks green but looks like it has no strength left and lays on the ground. I'm sure it's not 'hungry' for flies, etc. and there are no 'viable' leaves on it anyway.
I tried to dig a little around the plant and found almost no root on it, but I do know that it can grow root from a stem cut too.
While searching I came across this forum where i saw that the supermarket peat moss is usually dried and needs to be soaked for a week before repotting. Sounds stupid but I probably didn't read the instructions very well.
My question is this: is there any chance of the plant for survival ? What are the best conditions for it so it at-least lives on?
-Indoors v/s outdoors?
-full sun ? morning v/s afternoon sun? partial shade?
-how frequent watering ? Atlanta temperature can vary drastically from 60 degrees and raining heavily to 80 degrees and blasting sun.
-I didn't cut the blackened leaves for fear of shaking and breaking the plant.. it looks too delicate currently.. only about 2 inches of one budding leaf there.
I know there are instructions online, but considering this plant is almost about to die, i want to see if there's something special I can do for it to live.. maybe sing a song to it :D
In hindsight, pretty stupid of me, even while watering I saw the water seemed to just disappear into the soil and the soil seemed too porous, didn't occur to me to check.
By albertoburrito
Posts:  72
Joined:  Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:34 am
#378303
Outdoors, as much sun as possible, keep it just moist with a tray of water, no more than halfway up the pot, or else root rot can set in. Try digging it out and inspecting the rhizome. A white and firm one is healthy.
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By optique
Location: 
Posts:  780
Joined:  Fri May 24, 2019 11:15 pm
#378306
Atlanta is perfect weather for a flytrap. I am just guessing that your plant was kept out of full sun for to long and when you placed it back in full sun it burned. The damage is done, leave your plant in full sun and let it regrow.

i picked up one from Lowes a few years ago and burned it the same way here are some photo's of its recovery.

Image ImageImage
By Benny
Location: 
Posts:  529
Joined:  Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:46 pm
#378316
Sounds to me like a watering issue.

I would take the plant out, and repot into soaked soil. It doesn't have to be soaking for a week, just squish it around with your hands and try to work some moisture into it.

As far as the watering goes, put the pot in a tray and add just a little bit at the bottom. The plant should not be left sitting in water for a prolonged period of time, but it also should never go dry. Flytraps do best when moist, not wet (moist is like a kitchen sponge that you squeeze out). Over watering leads to rot, rot leads to certain death for your plant.

If you have more questions, ask away!
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By MikeB
Location: 
Posts:  582
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#378322
horsesmouth wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:02 amI bought this Venus fly trap from Raleigh (NC) farmers market, drove it all the way to Atlanta. It has a reddish-brown color.
I used to help my friend with his carnivorous plant sales at that farmers' market (not much over the past year due to COVID). You probably got a Red Dragon / Akai Ryu cultivar. Did they give you a care sheet with the plant?
The person i bought it from said there's not much difference in the 'hardiness' of the green and reddish varieties.
The red ones like to get an extra hour or two of sun if possible. That's about it.
Got some sphagnum peat moss and perlite, mixed them up (about 1:1) and repotted my plant.
What brand(s) of peat moss and perlite did you use? Miracle-Gro products are a definite "no" because the company sprays fertilizer on everything. This will end up poisoning a flytrap.
I didn't have distilled water so i gave it the little bit of rain water i had lying around.
Was the rainwater clean? If it was contaminated with minerals, that would be very bad for your flytrap.
While searching I came across this forum where i saw that the supermarket peat moss is usually dried and needs to be soaked for a week before repotting.
Dry peat moss is very hydrophobic (repels water). You need to soak it before use, but doing it for a week is overkill. An hour or two is enough. You usually have to work the peat moss (like kneading dough) to encourage it to get wet and take up water.
-Indoors v/s outdoors?
-full sun ? morning v/s afternoon sun? partial shade?
Outdoors, morning sun. It needs time to recover.
-how frequent watering ? Atlanta temperature can vary drastically from 60 degrees and raining heavily to 80 degrees and blasting sun.
To start it off, I would put the plant in a deep bowl and fill it with water about 3/4 of the way to the top of the pot. Let the plant sit in deep water for about an hour to get the soil wet, then take the pot out and put it on a saucer to drain.

For regular watering, it should be damp but not soggy-wet all the time. That would be once every 2 or 3 days. If you water it from the top, then give it a good drink and wait a minute to see if any water runs out of the drain holes. It that doesn't happen, then give it another drink. When the water starts running out of the pot, stop watering.

Keep us informed about your plant's recovery.
By horsesmouth
Posts:  4
Joined:  Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:12 am
#378327
Hi, yes, here are some pictures..
There are actually 2 stalks i see, one of them is slightly bigger and floppy, the other is smaller and growing straight up.. not sure if it's a flower or a leaf.
The rhizome does look white, but not sure if it's still alive..
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By MikeB
Location: 
Posts:  582
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#378328
Your flytrap looks salvageable. I don't see any sign of a flower stalk. Get it into some damp soil and it should recover.
horsesmouth liked this
By horsesmouth
Posts:  4
Joined:  Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:12 am
#378330
MikeB wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:56 pm I used to help my friend with his carnivorous plant sales at that farmers' market (not much over the past year due to COVID). You probably got a Red Dragon / Akai Ryu cultivar. Did they give you a care sheet with the plant?
Yes, i got a care sheet.. it said to use peat moss and perlite mix, not specifically to soak the new soil..
The red ones like to get an extra hour or two of sun if possible. That's about it.
...
Outdoors, morning sun. It needs time to recover.
I have two 'areas' outside my house.. backyard gets only morning sun and front yard gets only afternoon-evening sun.. morning sun seems like a good bet at this point
What brand(s) of peat moss and perlite did you use? Miracle-Gro products are a definite "no" because the company sprays fertilizer on everything. This will end up poisoning a flytrap.
I did get the miracle-gro soil. Which brand do you suggest buying? and from where? amazon/home depot ?
Was the rainwater clean? If it was contaminated with minerals, that would be very bad for your flytrap.
It was clean, maybe a 6-7 days old because it seeps into this little box whenever it rains heavily.
If it was already poisoned (due to bad water and the miracle-gro soil, what should I do now?
By Hang94
Location: 
Posts:  40
Joined:  Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:46 am
#378334
horsesmouth wrote:Also, do I have the right ratio of perlite to peat moss by the looks of it?
1:1 ratio, use a bowl or cup equal amount of perlife and peat
By Hang94
Location: 
Posts:  40
Joined:  Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:46 am
#378335
Hang94 wrote:
horsesmouth wrote:Also, do I have the right ratio of perlite to peat moss by the looks of it?
1:1 ratio, use a bowl or cup equal amount of perlife and peat
*perlite
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By MikeB
Location: 
Posts:  582
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#378390
MikeB wrote: Did they give you a care sheet with the plant?
horsesmouth wrote: Yes, i got a care sheet.. it said to use peat moss and perlite mix, not specifically to soak the new soil..
Hmmm, this flytrap likely came from my friend's booth, and I wrote that care sheet for him. I see now that I omitted an important detail.
horsesmouth wrote: I did get the miracle-gro soil. Which brand do you suggest buying? and from where? amazon/home depot ?
I just looked at the care sheet. I need to add the "No Miracle-Gro!" detail.

These brands of peat moss and perlite are safe to use:
  • Espoma
  • Hoffman
  • SunGro (Black Gold and Sunshine)
  • Vigoro
If you have an Ace Hardware store in the area, they should have SunGro products. Otherwise, you can buy them on Amazon and eBay. Or if you don't want to make your own soil, then you can buy bags of premixed carnivorous plant soil on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
horsesmouth wrote:If it was already poisoned (due to bad water and the miracle-gro soil, what should I do now?
Replant it in new soil (with no fertilizer added) and water it with rainwater, distilled water, or RO (reverse osmosis) water. It should recover just fine.

FYI - Matt has posted an excellent Venus flytrap care guide here.
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