If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't we...

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If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't we...

by bannister » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:42 pm

So cutting the flower spike on a VFT helps redirect that flower energy into plant growth.
By that logic, shouldn't we cut flower spikes on most plants then if we want them to grow bigger?

Am I missing something here? It seems people only talk about cutting flower spikes on Venus Fly Traps, but not other plants.
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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by SFLguy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:24 pm

From what I understand, VFT flower stalks are very taxing on the plant whereas other plants have enough energy to even have new growth while flowering
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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by dmagnan » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:03 pm

Regular potting soil for veggies and houseplants are full of utilizable nitrogen, vitamins, and salts in excess, so plants grown in those media have plenty of everything to spare and can grow as fast as they want/are able. That includes things like growing leaves and flower stalks at the same time. Peat moss has very low concentrations of nutrients and they are released slowly over time as it breaks down, so flytraps grown in it can't grow very fast. If they want to grow a flower stalk, they have to use the limited resources on that INSTEAD of growing new leaves. The idea is, that's why plants first developed carnivory, to supplement their nitrogen supply from the soil.
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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by SFLguy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:04 pm

Also most vft constantly put all their energy into growing leaves and barely store any of that energy unless they have to - at least that's what I've been told
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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by Cory » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:50 pm

Sundews do get some setback from flower stalks. Especially if the plant produces multiple stalks at once


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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by SFLguy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:55 pm

Cory wrote:Sundews do get some setback from flower stalks. Especially if the plant produces multiple stalks at once


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Really? I haven't noticed but that's probably because mine's a Capensis it just flowers non-stop
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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by Cory » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:57 pm

Capensis will even do it if it has multiple stalks all at once.


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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by parker679 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:07 pm

SFLguy wrote:Also most vft constantly put all their energy into growing leaves and barely store any of that energy unless they have to - at least that's what I've been told


Hmmm...I haven't seen anything said either way but I would assume that's not the case since they have rhizomes. A rhizome is where they store "extra" energy, that's why you can grow a plants from a rootless/leafless rhizome.

As for OP, vft's also grow much slower than other plants. So maybe cutting the flowers off some plants would make them grow quicker, but it's probably negligible compared to the plants over all growth rate.

But it's worth pointing out that for some plants you do cut the flowers to either make them grow more or to keep them from setting seed which in some plants is the end of their cycle. Basil for instance you usually try very hard to keep from flowering. And if my tomatoes/peppers start to flower while too small I will cut them so they put more energy into leafy growth a little while longer.

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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by bannister » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:45 pm

dmagnan wrote:Regular potting soil for veggies and houseplants are full of utilizable nitrogen, vitamins, and salts in excess, so plants grown in those media have plenty of everything to spare and can grow as fast as they want/are able. That includes things like growing leaves and flower stalks at the same time. Peat moss has very low concentrations of nutrients and they are released slowly over time as it breaks down, so flytraps grown in it can't grow very fast. If they want to grow a flower stalk, they have to use the limited resources on that INSTEAD of growing new leaves. The idea is, that's why plants first developed carnivory, to supplement their nitrogen supply from the soil.


That is a good point. But carnivorous get their nutrients from bugs, so if they are catching enough bugs wouldn't regular plants and carnivorous plants be equal in terms of getting nutrients? That still doesn't explain this rule of cutting of flowers just for Venus Fly Traps, and not all plants in general. I'm trying to understand the logic and science behind it all.
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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by mnwatson1 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:57 pm

bannister wrote:
dmagnan wrote:Regular potting soil for veggies and houseplants are full of utilizable nitrogen, vitamins, and salts in excess, so plants grown in those media have plenty of everything to spare and can grow as fast as they want/are able. That includes things like growing leaves and flower stalks at the same time. Peat moss has very low concentrations of nutrients and they are released slowly over time as it breaks down, so flytraps grown in it can't grow very fast. If they want to grow a flower stalk, they have to use the limited resources on that INSTEAD of growing new leaves. The idea is, that's why plants first developed carnivory, to supplement their nitrogen supply from the soil.


That is a good point. But carnivorous get their nutrients from bugs, so if they are catching enough bugs wouldn't regular plants and carnivorous plants be equal in terms of getting nutrients? That still doesn't explain this rule of cutting of flowers just for Venus Fly Traps, and not all plants in general. I'm trying to understand the logic and science behind it all.

I believe, and someone please correct if I'm wrong, that from a vfts perspective, there is no knowing when the next "meal" is, so when it grows, it just grows. When it flowers, it just flowers. Cutting the stalk essentially tells the plant, "Hey, it's not time for that right now, work on yourself first." So the plant returns its energy to growing.

Regular plants that get nutrients from the soil are more or less "guaranteed" a "meal" from the soil, so it doesn't need to focus energy on one task over another.

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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by bannister » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:17 pm

mnwatson1 wrote:I believe, and someone please correct if I'm wrong, that from a vfts perspective, there is no knowing when the next "meal" is, so when it grows, it just grows. When it flowers, it just flowers. Cutting the stalk essentially tells the plant, "Hey, it's not time for that right now, work on yourself first." So the plant returns its energy to growing.

Regular plants that get nutrients from the soil are more or less "guaranteed" a "meal" from the soil, so it doesn't need to focus energy on one task over another.


This makes sense to me. But also, by this logic, doesn't that mean we should cut the flowers of all carnivorous plants?
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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by mnwatson1 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:22 pm

bannister wrote:
mnwatson1 wrote:I believe, and someone please correct if I'm wrong, that from a vfts perspective, there is no knowing when the next "meal" is, so when it grows, it just grows. When it flowers, it just flowers. Cutting the stalk essentially tells the plant, "Hey, it's not time for that right now, work on yourself first." So the plant returns its energy to growing.

Regular plants that get nutrients from the soil are more or less "guaranteed" a "meal" from the soil, so it doesn't need to focus energy on one task over another.


This makes sense to me. But also, by this logic, doesn't that mean we should cut the flowers of all carnivorous plants?

Yes and no. Most others use a trapping mechanism that allows them to absorb the nutrients over a long period of time, whereas vfts "eat" their prey all at once: what they absorb while the trap is closed is what they get, whereas Droseras slowly break Dow what they've caught, and pitcher-based cps create a sort of "nutrient stew" inside their traps.

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Re: If cutting flower spike on VFT helps growth, shouldn't w

by parker679 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:16 pm

bannister wrote:
dmagnan wrote:Regular potting soil for veggies and houseplants are full of utilizable nitrogen, vitamins, and salts in excess, so plants grown in those media have plenty of everything to spare and can grow as fast as they want/are able. That includes things like growing leaves and flower stalks at the same time. Peat moss has very low concentrations of nutrients and they are released slowly over time as it breaks down, so flytraps grown in it can't grow very fast. If they want to grow a flower stalk, they have to use the limited resources on that INSTEAD of growing new leaves. The idea is, that's why plants first developed carnivory, to supplement their nitrogen supply from the soil.


That is a good point. But carnivorous get their nutrients from bugs, so if they are catching enough bugs wouldn't regular plants and carnivorous plants be equal in terms of getting nutrients? That still doesn't explain this rule of cutting of flowers just for Venus Fly Traps, and not all plants in general. I'm trying to understand the logic and science behind it all.


Like I said, most plants grow much faster than VFT's so while cutting the flowers may make them grow quicker it's not noticeable so why do it. Plant a VFT seed and a tomato seed at the same time and you'll see what I mean. VFT's grow so slow that milestones are measured in years, so any growth boost you can give it is significant.

But more importantly most people aren't growing their VFT's for seed so there is no reason to let it flower. The flowers aren't all that pretty and they only stay open a day of two.

Plus, how many non carnivorous flowering plants can you think of that people don't grow for the flowers yet still have a significant flower? No one is cutting the flowers off a rose bush because that's the reason it's grown. I really can't think of more than a couple plants I grow that flowers and I don't need it to. Other than herbs which I mentioned in my previous post.

And finally, since most CP's flower via stalks the work input from you to cut them is negligible and typically worth it for the results. You make one cut per plant, maybe two if it sends an other stalk. My rosemary flowers and cutting them may be beneficial but there are hundreds all over the branches so the effort required on my part is not worth the benefit of cutting them.

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