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By Zach7286
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Joined:  Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:04 pm
#351392
Hi all - I realized earlier today that something seems to be going wrong with the flytrap seedling that I've been trying to grow here in my apartment. Things had been actually going very well on the whole, but this morning I realized that his coloring was off, and that furthermore its one main flytrap had started to sort of collapse to one side, so that it was leaning at a much lower angle against the surface of the medium than it had been before. Here are some pictures...

Before (this was on March 29):
droop1.jpg
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And then what I'm seeing today:
droop2.jpg
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Hopefully you can sort of make out how (in addition to the green being less vibrant) the flytrap on the left is now leaning much closer to the ground than it had been leaning originally (the two photos are taken from the same vantage). This re-positioning seems (so far as I can tell) to correlate with a change of coloration that I'm noticing now at the base of this main flytrap. This photo (which I've fiddled with slightly so as to make the color-contrast more exaggerated/perceptible) is hopefully showing how the flytrap's base has become sort of brownish:
droop3.jpg
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Does anyone know what might be going on here? It's got me pretty worried!

Points of potentially-relevant context:

Last night (the night before I noticed this drooping) was the first time that I sprayed the plant with some Neem Oil that I ordered recently on Amazon (this brand: https://www.amazon.com/BONIDE-PRODUCTS- ... r=8-2&th=1). I'd primarily been using the Neem Oil just for some seeds that I've been trying to get to germinate in a separate container, so spraying it into the baby flytrap was mainly just for fun - I hadn't noticed anything particularly off about it. But then shortly after the spraying I noticed a couple of tiny white worm-looking creatures scurrying around (they seemed to move in a manner similar to green inchworms, but were much smaller). They disappeared before I was able to get a picture of them but I saw them and sort of thought "sheesh maybe I ought to spray a little more," so that's what I ended up doing. Is the neem oil perhaps the underlying cause, then? Or maybe those white worms are doing some kind of damage to the plant? In any case, I should maybe also note that the coloring of the flytraps had sort of been changing for little a while before any of this - the flytrap tips had been slowly turning reddish. But I hadn't before then noticed any of the drooping that I'm now seeing today.

Does anyone have any insight on how big of an issue this is, and/or what might have caused it? Thanks very much!
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By Zach7286
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#351393
Here are another couple photos just for further illustration. Not sure to what extent it's coming across but the seedling is really looking pretty beaten-up to me, whereas before it had seemed so sturdy!
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droop5.jpg
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Also maybe notice how the mouth of the flytrap itself is listing over to one side (i.e. rather than being upright and perpendicular to the ground like usual).
By Fly Trap Hunter
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Joined:  Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:56 am
#351398
my guess is its too wet and or there is too many chemicals in the medium its growing in. just a guess. it seems to be drooping as you say.
what type of fly trap is that?
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By Zach7286
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#351405
Fly Trap Hunter wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:12 pm my guess is its too wet and or there is too many chemicals in the medium its growing in. just a guess. it seems to be drooping as you say.
what type of fly trap is that?
Noted! I hadn't really changed the medium or watering-regimen recently but I'm wondering now if there might be some sort of chemical or mineral contained within the neem oil spray I've been using that might have been harmful to the flytrap? The list of ingredients on the spray bottle is rather vague - something like 1% neem oil, and then 99% "other ingredients." So maybe there's something in that remaining 99% that might have caused the problem? I'll definitely plan on *not* using it anymore for the time being, unless others are of the impression that the problem might be attributable instead to some type of an infestation. I hope it'll be able to recover from this!
Fly Trap Hunter wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:12 pm what type of fly trap is that?
And I'm not sure! I just got it as part of a mixed bag of seeds from the flytrapcare.com store.

In any case thank you for your perspective!
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By Zach7286
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#351411
Yikes... I just checked back on the plant and it's looking even worse than before. Less drooping now and more like shriveling:
droop6.jpg
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droop7.jpg
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(in both pictures the pink circle is delineating the part of the plant that used to be its biggest flytrap-leaf, as visible in the "before" picture posted above)

... just thought I'd add that extra info in case it helps anyone make their diagnosis. Eager to hear any and all perspectives! As of right now I'm feeling tempted to rinse it off a little with some water.
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By Matt
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#351424
Sometimes flytraps look a little odd at birth and grow out of it. But that one might be some sort of anomaly in terms of its growth characteristics.

First thing I'd recommend doing is flatting out that soil mix to make it more uniformly smooth on the surface. Then I'd repot the little flytrap using a toothpick. It isn't well potted and, as such, it is struggling to stay hydrated.
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By Zach7286
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#351444
Matt wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:16 pm Sometimes flytraps look a little odd at birth and grow out of it. But that one might be some sort of anomaly in terms of its growth characteristics.
Interesting! I hadn't really known that it was doing anything out of the ordinary. I suppose the oddity was that its initial trap was sticking up as erectly as it had been? It does seem as though the flytraps that have followed are lying down closer to the ground.

Matt wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:16 pm First thing I'd recommend doing is flatting out that soil mix to make it more uniformly smooth on the surface. Then I'd repot the little flytrap using a toothpick. It isn't well potted and, as such, it is struggling to stay hydrated.
Thank you for this insight! I'll definitely re-pot this evening. I'm curious to know why the evenness of the soil would make a difference for the flytrap? How does an even surface help the flytrap to stay hydrated?

My thought on the whole is that maybe I ought to be packing the peat moss down more firmly than I've been doing in the past. The surface of the medium started out more or less even at the beginning, but then over time it began to sort of crumble up and cake together, resulting in the more gravelly texture that you can see now in my pictures.

I've also gotten a little confused I think about how much water I should be administering to the flytrap. Earlier on (cf. this previous thread: seedling-leaflets-not-looking-so-great-t46185.html) I had been giving it too *little* water. I was using just the tray method at that point and was allowing maybe a couple days or so to pass before refilling the tray after each time it went dry. Afterward (i.e. after getting advice from the folks here, which was incredibly helpful!) I started keeping the the tray so that it always had at least a little moisture in it, and then I also began spraying the flytrap from above once a day... maybe twice... just a couple spritzes of distilled water each time. But then over time I started developing that thin layer of green algae that gets referenced on the "myths" page (here: https://www.flytrapcare.com/venus-fly-trap-myths/), which I guess is a sign of *over*watering. So then would the happy medium (pun unintended) be to use *only* the tray method, making sure that the tray stays continually stocked with some water, but never spraying any water from above? Haha I am familiar by now with the mantra "moist not wet" or "moist not soggy" but I guess I have trouble knowing which label my medium is falling under at any given time. When I use only the tray method, the peat tends to stay what I would call "damp." If I press my finger down into it, I can feel the slight moist-ness on my fingertip but don't (for example) see any pooling or puddling within the medium itself, and my finger certainly isn't drippy after withdrawing it. Is that the kind of consistency I should be aiming for?

Thank you so much to everyone for all the help! I know I tend to run long with all these questions. I really appreciate the advice!
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By Matt
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#351449
Zach7286 wrote:Interesting! I hadn't really known that it was doing anything out of the ordinary. I suppose the oddity was that its initial trap was sticking up as erectly as it had been? It does seem as though the flytraps that have followed are lying down closer to the ground.
Yeah, it is growing oddly both in terms of habit and trap shape at that age.
Zach7286 wrote:I'm curious to know why the evenness of the soil would make a difference for the flytrap? How does an even surface help the flytrap to stay hydrated?
At that size, the uneveness of the surface doesn't allow the plant to root very well. It exposes its rhizome and roots more. With an even surface, the roots and rhizome will be better covered. Also, the majority of the plant will be closer to the surface once it is smoothed. The highest humidity levels are found very close to the surface, so that allows the plant to more easily stay hydrated.
Zach7286 wrote:Afterward (i.e. after getting advice from the folks here, which was incredibly helpful!) I started keeping the the tray so that it always had at least a little moisture in it, and then I also began spraying the flytrap from above once a day... maybe twice... just a couple spritzes of distilled water each time. But then over time I started developing that thin layer of green algae that gets referenced on the "myths" page (here: https://www.flytrapcare.com/venus-fly-trap-myths/), which I guess is a sign of *over*watering.
Now you know why growing flytraps from seed is so hard!!! That is normal. It is hard to find the balance between keeping them hydrated enough but not keeping them so wet that algae and mold will grow.

If at all possible, always grow outdoors. This will eliminate 90% of the issues of algae and mold and thus make it much easier to grow healthy baby flytraps. They do great under a 50% shade cloth in full sun as long as the surface of the soil is always damp. I'd not recommend watering babies from the top of the soil or misting them, but keep them sitting in water all the time. Growing baby flytraps is different than growing adult flytraps with a larger rhizome that can hold water and an established root system that can pull water up to hydrate the plant.
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By Zach7286
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Joined:  Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:04 pm
#351456
Haha well good to know that I'm in good company! And thank you again for your thoughts. The weather is starting to warm up here in NYC so I've been thinking about putting the flytrap outside onto my fire escape... my main reticence being just the danger that it might get knocked over by the neighbors who like to hang around out there sometimes. Also the paint chips falling down from the upper floors... anyway maybe a topic for another time.

I made my attempt at re-potting this evening and some pictures of the end-result are below - would love to hear if they're setting off any red flags for anyone!
Attachments:
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By Big-Jack
Posts:  328
Joined:  Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:46 pm
#351520
Looks like it is rebounding and getting healthier. Good luck. After several attempts I've given up trying to grow VFT's from seed. No problem sprouting but keeping the seedlings alive are a challenge. There is no rhizome to give them a second or third chance at life if conditions are not perfect.
By Benny
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Joined:  Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:46 pm
#351523
Props to you for successfully re-potting that seedling! I would have accidentally destroyed the poor guy.
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By Zach7286
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#351572
Thanks to both of you! Haha yeah it ended up being a pretty surgical process trying to get the peat moss arranged in a way that felt secure to me. But yes I hope the condition continues to improve! It still seems to be doing well, certainly better than it was doing beforehand (what a relief!).
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By Matt
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#351579
It looks great now!! Well done!! Isn't it hard to repot something that small?! It has been years since I've done it but I recall doing several hundred of them one time and it was a painstaking process.
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