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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

Moderator: Matt

By Updating
Posts:  9
Joined:  Thu May 31, 2012 9:24 pm
Hi folks,
Brand new to the site. I have been reading for several days now, and wanted to sign up and get some feedback on how I am doing. For years I have attempted to grow fly traps, unarmed with the knowledge and education needed. My plants would only last a couple months at most. A week ago I got two new plants and started reading as much information as I can. I read Steve's post, along with the novice and expert growing tips/guide. I poked over a few other threads too.

I don't want any more of these little guys to die do to my ignorance and lack of abilty to keep a plant alive.

1. Here's the details of my current plants (chewy and chompers). They were purchased and growing in very small containers a week ago.
2. I transplanted them and brushed off as much soil as possible before planting in about a 5" deep pot. (growers tips recommend 6") Will this be ok?
3. I only had peat, and didn't have sand or the silica material that was suggested. I soaked the peat well and made a good hole for the root and bulb. (bulb is covered)
4. I made the mistake of watering with tap water until today when I purchased two gallons of distilled water. Will these few days of tap water harm them?
5. I used a spray bottle with a mist setting to water them, and just gently spray the peat and plant. I was over watering before I read the care guide, and will reduce the amount of water they get.
6. I also made the mistake and added a few balls of matter magic fertilizer (since I'm growing tomatoes) and have since removed those fertilizer balls, because I read that is very bad.
7. I live in Pennsylvania, in a second floor apartment with a small deck. My plants only get direct sunlight through glass from sunrise till about 10:30am. I don't think this is enough light, but I'm afraid to put them on the deck with the gusty winds we might get, or flash thunder storms. Today I had off work and was able to place them outside for about 7 hours of direct sunlight, but I can't always do that.
8. Chewy had a long flower stem when it was purchased, about 5-6"s long. I read that they should be nipped before longer then 2"s. I nipped it prior to reading that. Will that cause the plant harm, is there any way to reverse the trama I might have caused? It was just a bud, and not a flower.
9. My plants are mildly pink, mostly green, and don't have that pretty redish pink color. Is that from a lack of light?
10. Chewy has only blrownish black leaf, and I read you can nip them or just let them decay. Is that a sign that the rest of my plant is dying since I nipped the flower stem?
11. Will my plants eat a whopper from BK? Just kidding...

I appreciate any and all help. And thank you to all who have posted information on this site. I found a lot of information, and things I have been incorrectly. I am hoping to be a successful fly trap grower this time around. I'm a little worried about the dormacy period, and that is how I lost my last two traps. They never came back. I'm sure I'll have more questions the closer to winter.

Pics of my plants:

Pic of Chewwy who had the flower stem:

The flower stem:

Chompers (looks better then Chewy, and has 2 signs of new growth)
By English Springer
Posts:  705
Joined:  Wed May 06, 2009 1:08 am
Some points:

Peat only will make it hard for the plants to drain and can retain too much water over time increasing the chance for rot...try and find some perlite to mix in with your medium (make sure it is not "enhanced" like miracle grow junk)

Distilled or RO water only--check..

You can tell they are somewhat light starved from their color (light green). If you can't increase the natural sunlight, you may want to think about supplementing with a cheap T1 type lighting system.

Don"t worry about the flowerstalk since you have already snipped it, but going forward it is a good idea to cut the stalk unless you have a mature plant and want the seed.

No, do not feed them BK whoppers, but now I am hungry!!

Good luck--keep growing!
English Springer liked this
By just5398
Posts:  80
Joined:  Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:40 pm
If you've used tap water you can flush the pots with the distilled or rain water until it comes out the bottom. and since they appear to need more light make sure you do it gradually or you can burn the plant. Definitely try to get some silica sand or perlite to mix with the peat to lighten it up; again make sure the perlite doesn't have miracle-grow added.
By Updating
Posts:  9
Joined:  Thu May 31, 2012 9:24 pm
Great tips. I'll try to get to my local gardening store tomorrow before work and pick up some perlite (fert. Free). Is it safe to replant them again even though it's only been a week? From what I've read the roots are very sensitive. I'm considering ditching my pots for deep foam cups. More importantly I think I'll need to focus on the lighting issue. I had a feeling they weren't getting enough.

Thanks for the replies and advice!!
By English Springer
Posts:  705
Joined:  Wed May 06, 2009 1:08 am
give them a couple weeks before transplanting again...concentrate on following the main rules and try and get as much light on them as possible.

6 inch plastic pots work great as well as the foam cups...just make sure you have drainage holes at the bottom..

keep us updated
By pieguy452
Posts:  2460
Joined:  Sun May 22, 2011 11:09 pm
Factors of low light are usually associated with the leaves and the traps (that will be long or broad with small traps). Although light does play a role in trap coloration, it shouldn't be used as an indicator of whether or not a flytrap is receiving enough sunlight. Some plants will sit in the sun all day and barely color up. As English Springer said, you could supplement the flytrap with artificial light (there are tons of articles on this site about artificial lighting) :)
By GothicJackalPaws
Posts:  361
Joined:  Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:20 pm
I'm not sure spraying is the best way to do it-- the traps normally won't close in response to being watered, because the trigger hairs have to be touched in quick succession (otherwise, traps in the wild would find themselves wasting energy needlessly and often every time it rained, and let me tell you, it can rain an awful lot in NC/SC sometimes.) It's really better just to water them the way you'd water any other plant-- I myself use a giant watering can, and my plants are happy as can be.

You're already aware of the lighting issue. They're not light-starved if they're getting a couple hours, but you really want to find a way to expose them to longer hours.

Unless you plan to pollinate, you should always snip the stem, because it takes a good deal of energy for flytraps to put up a flower stalk, and it can even kill them if they're already weakened. Dead or dying traps are normal-- they have a limited lifespan, and die and are replaced constantly as a part of the plant's normal cycle. You can snip the dying traps to make the plant look pretty, but unless it's in extremely wet and humid conditions, letting it decay naturally is perfectly fine.

Great names, by the way. :P

Keep an eye on the snipped stem. I would actually place it in soil, if I were you, and not in water, though that's just me. Watch it, and if you see tiny nubs or bumbs start to form on it, you'll know a third plant is starting to develop on it. :)

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