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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By Lewis
Posts:  3
Joined:  Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:57 pm
#221617
Hi guys,

My name is Lewis, I am studying for my masters degree in Biology and am currently running a plasticity experiment with around 80 Dionaea.

I have them set up in a grow room standing in ~5cm of R0 water with plenty of light and humidity. However I am having some issues which I hope someone might be able to help me with as I am hoping to get this study published, which will increase what is known about everyone's favorite carnivorous plant!!

At first my Dionaea had large traps and thin upright petioles, however soon after the move into the lab, from the supplier, many began to go dormant. The majority of plants did not go dormant however but are now growing winter leaves, which are smaller and less vertical than the summer forms. I am feeding the plants one maggot a week as part of the feeding stage of my experiment, however the smaller winter traps are unable to contain the maggots with many escaping. What would you recommend as an alternate food source or is there a way to prepare the maggots to avoid them escaping.

Another issue that I am having is that many of the traps seem to have lost their appetite! They are not closing as quickly or as well as they used to with some just not closing at all, even with a viable food source present.

Thirdly, there seem to be a large number of small, black flies around my plants. To try and combat this I have put up flypaper and now this flypaper is inundated with small flies.

Any help that you can give me to get me plants to get their appetite back, prepare my prey and deal with my pest problem would be much appreciated!!

Thankyou!
User avatar
By Maiden
Posts:  1047
Joined:  Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:46 am
#221622
Hello Lewis and welcome to flytrapcare forum.

I think this webpage will help you;
http://www.flytrapcare.com/feeding-venus-fly-traps

Also, for your pest problem or any other questions, feel free to ask on the forum in the right section, or surf the other pages on the site, you will find the answers you are looking for :)

Keep us posted with your experiments results !

Francois
Maiden liked this
By Lewis
Posts:  3
Joined:  Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:57 pm
#221623
Thankyou very much Francois, after looking at your post you recommend watering twice a week with R0 water from the top. Would you therefore advise I do not keep my plants standing in water at all times?

Thanks!
By Sander
Posts:  1226
Joined:  Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:29 pm
#221628
Lewis wrote:Thankyou very much Francois, after looking at your post you recommend watering twice a week with R0 water from the top. Would you therefore advise I do not keep my plants standing in water at all times?

Thanks!
Absolutely, venus flytraps tend to rot quite fast, they like it humid, not wet (in my experience, but this varies from grower to grower).

As for feeding, i would recommend bloodworms, they seem to have close to double the amount of protein and are generally smaller. (you do need to massage the traps after triggering, be gentile tho :) )
source:
http://www.sfbb.com/
http://www.ijser.org/researchpaper%5CCo ... aggots.pdf

Traps which are closing slowly is a sign of them going through dormancy, so that is expected, you can try to rush them through it and make them believe its spring (increase photoperiod to 16h, gradually, and raise temperature, again gradually).

The flies you are talking about are probably fungus gnat flies, one thing that suits your research is have some Pinguicula near your plants, nothing beats natural flypaper. If the plants are mature and healthy they should not pose a problem.
Sander liked this
User avatar
By Maiden
Posts:  1047
Joined:  Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:46 am
#221630
Lewis, the watering method have to fit with the soil mix, relative humidity and ventilation around the plants.
If you have a very airy soil mix, like long fiber sphagnum, of course you can keep your dionaea in standing water(~1cm). If you have heavy peat based soil mix, then you should go with top watering.
Also, your pest problem is probably due to wet soil mix. Try to keep em on the 'dry' side.

If you keep feeding your plants every weeks, in tropical conditions, they should skip dormancy. Also try to mimic the same growing conditions(temperatures/lighting) your little guys had before you bring them in your lab. This will help a lot.
By Lewis
Posts:  3
Joined:  Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:57 pm
#221755
Thanks for your help guys!
I have ordered some freeze dried blood worms and have changed my watering schedule. To help get rid of the root flies I have bought some fly paper and out it up around my plants as I want to limit their feeding!
I also have another question if you would be so kind to help, at the end of this project I wish to dissect each of my plants to determine if they have vegetativley propagated in a certain direction. Do you have any advise for how to go about doing this? For example how would you separate two plants in one pot?

Thanks!
By Sander
Posts:  1226
Joined:  Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:29 pm
#221832
Lewis wrote:Thanks for your help guys!
Do you have any advise for how to go about doing this? For example how would you separate two plants in one pot?
The most obvious one would be: turn the pot upside down :mrgreen:

But this is generally i keep the pot with plants horizontal and squeeze gently untill the peat becomes loose, continue untill the roots and peat are sepparated and pull them out.
Then a quick shake in a water bath to see where the 2 plants are entanged (if any), worst case cut the roots of either of them.
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