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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By Zach7286
Posts:  21
Joined:  Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:04 pm
Hi everyone - I've been keeping one flytrap seedling which I initially planted back in October. For a while everything appeared to be going swimmingly but more recently I've been noticing a slightly concerning development which is that a couple of its "leaves" (the two that are still attached to the flytrap's original seed) have not been looking so great. It looks almost as though they're drying out - they're kind of grayer and browner and darker, whereas the rest of the seedling (its other two leaflets, for example) are a much more vibrant green color.

It's been slightly difficult to get this discoloration to come across in photos, but here are a few attempts that I was able to take. You should be able to just make out the discoloration around the point where the two worrying leaves intersect with each other at the seed (it might be helpful to contrast against the remainder of the plant in the background):
badleavessmall2.png (563.77 KiB) Viewed 582 times
badleavessmall1.png (438.52 KiB) Viewed 582 times
badleavessmall3.png (428.25 KiB) Viewed 582 times

Can anyone advise as to how bad of a sign this is? And/or what I should do going forward?

My initial thought has been that this might be happening because of under-watering. I've been using the "soak upwards" method of watering and had read somewhere around the forum that it can be beneficial to wait a little while before refilling the water tray after it dries out (the thinking being, as I recall, that less water encourages more root growth). I've been poking at the surface of the medium every day to ensure that it's remaining at least slightly moist (which by my own standards it's been doing), but maybe I've been going a little overboard with the water deprivation?

Another thought was that maybe this is some kind of fungus or mold?

Of course I barely know what I'm doing so I would love to get any other perspectives as to what might be going on here. Are there any corrective actions that I could adopt? Thanks for the help!

By oval
Posts:  164
Joined:  Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:36 pm
The first two leaves (the cotyledons) will eventually die off as the plant starts making true leaves. If the newer leaves are vibrant green then you should be all right. In general the older leaves will all brown and die - just make sure the more current leaves are green and healthy.
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By Matt
Posts:  20700
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
It looks like the little baby flytrap might not be down in the soil deep enough to keep itself hydrated. I'd recommend using a toothpick to dig a tiny hold and gently nestling the baby flytrap into the soil.

Also, it is OK to water baby flytraps from the top of the soil if done very gently or with a misting as long as the soil is evenly moist throughout (meaning don't just mist and forget it --- make sure that the soil is thoroughly watered).

Baby flytraps don't have a very significant root system, so they can't go very deep for water and need water near the surface of the soil to keep themselves hydrated.
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By Zach7286
Posts:  21
Joined:  Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:04 pm
Thank you Matt for the insights! I tried rearranging the peat moss a bit (using a thumbtack) so that the flytrap-to-be has a little bit more of a collar to pull water from. Does this look better than it did beforehand, do you think?
vft2.jpg (382.73 KiB) Viewed 427 times
vft1.PNG (329.6 KiB) Viewed 427 times
Other than that - yes, I will definitely start spray-watering as well!
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