I've been growing Venus Flytraps for almost 8 years now. It's always been a fun and enjoyable hobby for me. But I have to say that I'm beginning to become more and more discouraged with the hobby.
It seems like there are so many hobbyists and vendors selling plants that are misidentified. I recently had a plant that I bought online a few years ago as a Big Mouth start to grow very large and straight upwards. I posted some photos on this forum and the general consensus was that in no way was this plant a Big Mouth Venus flytrap. So I feel that I wasted a lot of time growing the plant. And I've given out several divisions of the plant to friends. Now I guess they think they have a Big Mouth Venus Flytrap too.
Also I discovered a few months ago that there are apparently two different Low Giant cultivars. So if I do buy a Low Giant, how do I have any idea what plant it is ?
Ebay is loaded with shady vendors selling plants that are misidentified. One vendor who does a lot of sales on Ebay regularly sells seed grown plants as various cultivars. I think most of us know who the guy is but in the meantime how many people has this guy ripped off ? And who knows how many people have passed these phony plants onto other unsuspecting hobbyists. ( Thanks Ebay seller Fingers001 )
The latest Ebay scam is apparently people posting photoshopped pictures of the plants that they are selling. I bought a couple of brilliantly colored Big Mouth Flytraps from a seller on Ebay a few weeks ago. And the plants look nothing like the photo on the auction. Even though the photo was the actual plants that I was bidding on. The plants arrived potted so they can't even use the transplant excuse.
I've got a nice collection of plants in various cultivars that seem to be the real deal. I think I'll focus on growing them and the divisions that come from the plants. From time to time I sell a plant on Ebay, not to make money, but to fund my purchase of other cultivars that I don't have in my collection. I don't embelish my auctions, as a matter of fact I try to downplay the quality of the plant. I sell my flytraps at a reasonable "Buy it now" price. And I've never had a disappointed customer. My feedback on Ebay is 100% positive. When I sell a plant the response from the buyer is usually that they had no idea that the plant would be that big. I wish I could say the same for the pitiful specimens that I've been purchasing lately. ( Thank's for the microscopic Big mouth you sent me last week, a carnivorous plant store. )
I do want to give a shout out to Joels Carnivourous Plants. I've bought several B52's from Joel in the last year. And every one of them has grown into a monster. There are other good vendors and growers out there too. But far too many people selling junk plants at high prices. Just read the various posts in this section of the forum. It's very discouraging.
Last edited by DTDream18 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
I feel your pain. I refuse to buy from most eBay sellers simply because I have no idea of what they're selling is actually even the right cultivar. I'm very particular about the nomenclature of my plants and I hate when I get something incorrectly labeled. I had a similar experience with a Sarracenia oreophila division I received as a gift. I was planning on self pollinating the plant to distribute seeds only to find out that it was truly an oreophila x flava hybrid. I could've seriously messed up the gene pool of that species had I not found out.
Unfortunately this happens from time to time, you only need one person to mislabel something and send stuff off to other people, then those people assuming that the plant is labeled correctly send them to more people. Part of the problem is I feel a lot of people are not observant or perhaps experienced enough to catch it before redistributing them. Of course you got some people doing this on purpose as well... This seems to be more of an issue with flytraps and cephs, where the difference between cultivars isn't very obvious.
Happens in other hobbies, ever try to deal with aquatic moss for planted tanks? That is a nightmare. All sorts of misIDed stuff floating around. To less experience people they all look the same. But they all have different growth patterns, to make matters worse, they all grow differently in different environments.
At any rate I'm pretty anal when it comes to plant IDs and do my best to properly ID my stuff or I will make it clear I am not sure when redistributing. I wish more people would try to as well, it is part of being a responsible hobbyist. With that being said, when looking for plants that have subtle differences between them (flytraps and cephs etc.) it is best to get them from someone who grows a ton of different cultivars. Ideally they grow them all in the same conditions and can spot which one is labeled correctly more easily. My 2cents.