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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By Angelnstuff
Posts:  4
Joined:  Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:23 am
#3141
My boyfriend bought me a venus flytrap from Lowes, which is really cute <3. Anyway, I'm not sure what to do with it! So far I've read online that i have to water it using distilled water or rain water, not tap. And i also read that I'm not supposed to feed it anything other than live bugs, But is there anything else i need to know?

It came in a little plastic case. Which i think I'm supposed to keep it in right? am i supposed to keep the lid on it? if so how does it catch bugs? Also, theres a thin piece of plastic in there, on top of the pot, between the dirt and the traps, i think its just to help it from being shaken during shipping. I don't know if i should leave that in there or take it out, it looks like theres some leaves under it? How often should i water it? I've read a lot of different things online, some say that it can sit in water, and some say to just water it a little every day? Also how much sun does it need? should it be kept in or near window? or just in a room with an open window? somethings online say to keep it in the bathroom but we don't have a window in out bathroom.Sorry you guys prolly answer these questions all the time, but I've wanted a flytrap for a long time but i don't have great luck with plants so i need alot of advice!
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By linton
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Posts:  940
Joined:  Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:29 am
#3142
Hi Angelnstuff and welcome to Flytrapcare. The plastic cover that your plant came with should be removed slowly over the course of a week to allow the plant to acclimatise to lower humidity - raise it or open it a little more each day so that you don't shock your plant. The plastic on top of the soil can be removed immediately. Ideally your plant should be watered with rainwater or distilled water and the best way to water it is to keep it sitting in a shallow dish or bowl that always has some water in it - about 1/2" - 1" of water is good, the soil that your plant is in should never be allowed to dry out. Venus Fly Traps enjoy exposure to full sun all day - a sunny position near a window is good, but outside is definitely the best place for your plant. If you decide to leave your plant inside near a window be careful that the sun does not heat up the side of the pot too much or you could damage the roots. There is no need to feed your plant - it will manage just fine on its own. Have fun with your plant and don't be afraid to ask questions - we are here to help you.
Happy growing,
Linton.
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By Matt
Location: 
Posts:  21107
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#3145
Linton covered it all!
1) Distilled or rain water only
2) Lots of sun
3) No need for the cover, but remove it gradually so as not to shock the plant
4) Use the tray method and keep the pot in 1/2" to 1" of water
5) You don't ever really need to feed the plant. Give it lots of sun and when it's warm enough, move it outside and it will catch it's own food.
6) When you have questions, be sure to come back and we'll be happy to help!

Welcome to flytrapcare!
By Angelnstuff
Posts:  4
Joined:  Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:23 am
#3150
Thanks for your Quick replies!

Its pretty hot dry and windy here during most of the summer so I'm not sure how well it would do outside, But i do kinda like the idea of putting it outside, i guess we'll figure that out once the weather starts to steady out more. But for now Should i keep it in the case with water in the the bottom, or should i take it out of the case and find a tray or something for it? Heres a picture of what the case looks like.. http://www.flickr.com/photos/amatthews/2536914504/ this isn't a picture of my plant, Just a picture i found online that looks the same, except mine is in a square pot inside instead of round. I put about a 1/2 inch of distilled water in this afternoon, should the plant be sitting in it, or would it be better to put some rocks under the pot to raise it up some? Also, my boyfriend wanted to see it eat, so he caught a fly and just let it in the case, and it climbed all over the plant, including walking through one of the traps, the trap closed, but didn't catch the fly, is this normal? I know your not supposed to trigger the traps if you can help it. so im a bit worried? it looks like theres 5 traps on it, i know at least one was closed when we got it, and i think one might have closed when i took the plastic out last night. and now the fly closed one. so theres 2 left open. How long does it usually take for the traps to reopen? I was also wondering for future reference, when picking out a flytrap at the store, what should you look for? i mean is more traps better? or taller traps or? My boyfriend said he picked this one because there was more traps, and because it had a little pink inside the traps, and the other ones didn't look like they did as much,
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By linton
Location: 
Posts:  940
Joined:  Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:29 am
#3154
Personally, I would remove the plant from the case and find a bowl or tray to sit it in - Dionaea grown in terrarium conditions can produce weak growth and the excess moisture and lack of air flow around the plant can encourage the growth of mold which is detrimental to the health of your plant. Sun on your case can also cook your new plant very quickly. It is fine for your plant to sit in the water as long as the water level remains well below the rhizome of the plant (rhizome = white bit under the soil that the leaves grow from). I let the water in the tray dry up before I add more water, but I am careful to never let the soil dry out. As you are in the northern hemisphere, your plant may be slow to respond due to Winter dormancy, it is not uncommon for a trap to miss it's intended prey - your closed traps should reopen in a week or so. They only have a limited number of cycles before they will no longer respond - so try not to tease them!

When selecting new plants from the store I consider several things - general health, overall size, color of traps, shape of traps, form of plant and also how many plants or divisions are possible - some pots will have more than one plant in them so count the points of new growth, if all the leaves are growing out from only one point, you have one plant. If the leaves are growing from 3 distinct points - you have 3 plants or 3 possible divisions.
By Angelnstuff
Posts:  4
Joined:  Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:23 am
#3176
I put the plant in a south facing window that gets a good amount of sunlight. Right now I've still got it in the case, but I've got the lid cracked open, so I'll open it a little more each day until hes (yup its a him now) out of the case. All the traps were open when i checked on it this afternoon, Including the one that was closed when we got him. theres also some leaves that look like they have tiny traps on the ends, im, looking forward to those opening too :D If the traps opened the next day does this mean that its not dormant? Will it hurt the plant if it doesn't go dormant this winter? should i do something to let it go dormant or should i just keep it warm until spring?
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By linton
Location: 
Posts:  940
Joined:  Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:29 am
#3177
It's hard to say if your plant is dormant or not - at the moment, I'm guessing not. Usually dormancy is triggered by both a sustained drop in temperature and reduced photoperiod (day length). The appearance of a dormant plant is usually not very pretty, most leaves and traps will blacken and die off and new growth almost stops, only to resume in the Spring. If your plant has been grown from tissue culture and / or in greenhouse conditions (which is very likely for a commercially propagated plant) it may not have received the triggers that are required for dormancy to occur. Since you are about half way through the natural dormancy period already, you should be fine to skip dormancy this year but make sure that you give your plant a rest next Winter - plants that are not allowed experience dormancy will get weak, deteriorate and eventually die. Venus Fly Traps must have a period of dormancy to survive long term.
By Angelnstuff
Posts:  4
Joined:  Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:23 am
#5033
Hi again! Just figured I'd come back and post a little update on Chomps ( My boyfriend named him! :P ) And of course a lot more questions ;) Hes doing really well, thanks of course to all the advice from this site! We took him out of the case he came in, and put him in a little glass dish, that used to have a candle in it.. Its a little too big for his little 2 inch pot, i was wondering could i put some of those glass stones in the bottom of the pot to help raise him up some? It would also help keep the soil moist so i don't have to water as much, Ive been trying to keep 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the glass. Also do you think the little two inch pot he came in is big enough? He currently has 9 traps, 2 of them are huge and 2 are dying.. i know your supposed to remove the black traps But I'm not sure if its better to cut them off as soon as they start to turn off colored, or should you wait for them to completely die off? Also, hes caught a few flies (I'm so proud :D ) It took quite awhile for the traps to re open.. and when they did, if course theres little smashed fly bodies left in the traps.. am i supposed to remove these? if so how can i do it without tickling the traps? I noticed today he has 3 new shoots coming in the middle, the smaller two i can tell are new traps, but one is taller than all the other traps and has a little ball on the end, is this a flower? should i cut it off? how far down should i cut it?
Sorry for all the questions.. I was only going to ask about putting the stones in his dish, but once i got on here i keep thinking of more questions :roll: Next time i post I'll try to post a picture of him :D
By Adam
Location: 
Posts:  2892
Joined:  Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:39 am
#5037
First of all, congratulations on taking such good care of your plant so far!

The more questions you have the better! We love to help people out.

1. Great that he's out of the case. You would not want him to rot..
2. I use an old yogurt container and cut it down to size with scissors to make a nice water catch tray. If you do want to put stones in there to elevate him, make sure it's not something from the yard. They may have some minerals that can dissolve and choke the roots of your plant. Marbles would be better - glass has no soluble minerals in it.
3. The little pot should be fine for his first year in your home. Wait till next spring to move him to a new pot.
4. You can snip the dead trap as soon as you see any black on it. But it doesn't hurt to just leave them there either. It's mostly so that it looks nice to us that we trim them!
5. Don't worry about removing the dead flies once they have been digested. Rain will rinse them out without closing the traps! It's amazing how that happens. If you try to spray water, they will close. Rain does it in some way that's magical I guess. If it's not raining, don't worry. The shells of the insects won't have any bad effects on the plant.
6. Yes, that is probably a flower. You should cut it off as far down as possible without damaging any other leaves. Now put that little flower bit into a zip lock bag with distilled water. Put that in a very bright place that's not in direct sunlight. In a couple of months you will have baby venus flytraps!

Please post more! And thanks for the update! We all can't wait to see the pictures!
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