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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By VintagePC
Posts:  26
Joined:  Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:25 pm
Hi everyone!

Decided to try my hand at growing from seed a little over a year and a half ago. VFTs are looking pretty good, but I'm a little worried about one of them - and hoping to just get a second pair of eyes on what might be going on.

Background info:
- Yes, using distilled water, doing my best to keep damp but not in standing water
- Growing in sphagnum moss
- Feed them every 1-2 weeks (morsel of rehydrated freeze-dried bloodworms) assuming they haven't caught anything. I've found the odd spider carcass and I keep 'em near the bananas because I figure the fruit flies that occasionally show up might do something other than be an annoyance.
- Using artificial LED grow light (wide spectrum, has IR, red, blue, white and UV LEDs). Not much choice here, I have no outdoor space and no windowsills with direct light; it's essentially a basement apartment with the windows shaded by the balcony of the unit above. They've been doing very well so I don't think that's the issue. Light is on from about 7AM to 10PM since it's summer. Will shorten going into the fall and put them on a cooler windowsill for dormancy come winter.
- Had a fungus gnat issue at one point, used one of those yellow sticky traps to great effect. Regularly trim fully blackened traps, use neem oil as necessary on the rare occasion I see any mold.

As you can see, they're looking pretty good. Yes, I know I need to repot 'em soon. I slipped 'em into some larger pots a few months ago and they've already started to outgrow them. Need to get some deeper pots for the big guys and move the smaller ones up in size...
IMG_0001.JPG (2.05 MiB) Viewed 1230 times
Anyway, this is the one I'm a little worried about:
IMG_0003.JPG (1.82 MiB) Viewed 1230 times
The new growth seems to turn black at the tips. I know this is commonly over-watering and it's possible it was a bit too wet a few weeks ago but it's been on the drier side the last few so I'd have expected it to recover by now - but as you can see one of the newer traps has a tip starting to turn black again.

Not sure if related, but this particular plant also behaved a little weirdly when I re-potted it last - You can see in the first photo it has two growth rings - after re-potting it appeared to have abandoned the old one and just started growing from a new location further down the root. I found out when new traps started poking out of the bedding instead of the center of the growth. There's been no new traps out of the old center since then- it's just kept the existing traps green but they don't function as traps anymore.

Probably being paranoid but figured better to post a few pics and have the plant be just doing something normal than not asking and having it be something I could have prevented/corrected.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: Bonus points if you can ID them and tell me what cultivars I got in my mixed seed packet :)
User avatar
By sanguinearocks101
Posts:  1657
Joined:  Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:56 am
First off, those vfts look GREAT! Was it really only a year and a half since you plants them? About the growth point switching when you repotted it, did it flower before you repotted it? There is some controversy if vfts after flowering create a division that replaces the mother plant. If not then it might have been due to a large amount of stress maybe? Here is the link to the debate to attempt to prevent further debatingpost358222.html#p358222. The black tips thing is happening to one of my vfts too. Seed grown plants are never existing cultivars because seeds are not genetically identical to the male or female parent. While cultivars have to be genetically identical. For example, a D. muscipula “Green Dragon” must have the same genetics as the original D. muscipula “Green Dragon” to be D. muscipula “Green Dragon”.
By VintagePC
Posts:  26
Joined:  Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:25 pm
Yes - I started the seeds Feb. 2019, they took a little while to get going but once they did.. they took off. This guide has been my bible, I can vouch for it with my photos :-)

They have not tried to flower yet, I expect that will happen after the upcoming winter dormancy now that they've gotten good sized roots and been able to hardy up some. (I do know it's often better to cut the stalk - and that the cut stalk can sometimes grow a new plant if treated like a leaf pulling - done that once or twice before with VFTs)

Reassuring to hear they do look good - it's very easy to read too much into plants sometimes and then try to over-baby them or get in a rabbit hole of "what could it be". (crown rot... mites... overwatering... fungus... etc) and unless you've seen the issues first hand before it can be hard to tell what might be wrong.

Good point on the cultivars, I guess I used the wrong term. I am mostly curious as to what cultivar traits (if that is a better phrase) they might be exhibiting in regards to leaf shape, colorings, etc.
By VintagePC
Posts:  26
Joined:  Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:25 pm
You mentioned stress - perhaps that is it. I was careful during the transplant but perhaps the root got a little damaged and it is still recovering from that. I did have a very careful peek just below the surface and there does still seem to be a reasonably good sized "bulb" in that old area, that's just not putting up any new traps. Could be it threw up a few traps from the new area to get more light and is now "regrouping" and spending energy re-establishing roots.

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