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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By TexasFlyGuy
Posts:  8
Joined:  Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:04 am
#366836
This is the second year I’ve tried flytraps. They’ve never done amazing. I see pics of people with big pots full of colorful flytraps and I drool. Lots of mine have died, the rest are anything but robust.
After searching this forum, I wonder if I have mites? I’ve never seen them but plants look similar to pics I saw on here. I wonder if that’s why I haven’t had much luck. ( I did order avid on a whim but then decided to post first and ask for guidance).
My setup: I have a table with several large hydroponic pots full of 50:50 peat/ pool filter sand. I used some long fibered sphagnum to line the pots and for a cosmetic top layer. Almost Everything were brands I found recommended on this forum ( no miracle grow!) . Each pot sits in a plastic container. I use only RO water and fill each to 1.5 inches and refill when it’s almost dry Or dry.
They get 1/2 day of direct sun ( they sit on the west side of my house) although 1/2 of that is filtered through a large tree. I added a grow light to help out as a guess to whyThey did so poorly based on the lack of red trap coloration which made me think they were light deficient.
Anyway, I’m including a pic of my most successful trap so far but which, as you can see, has developed brown splotches indicating it isn’t doing well. So, could it be mites? Or something else?
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By P A U L
Location: 
Posts:  173
Joined:  Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:04 am
#366837
check the base of the plants for mealybugs. they are sesame seed sized bugs that look like... cotton? sometimes they look like tiny little cobwebs.
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By Apollyon
Location: 
Posts:  1141
Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#366840
Spider mites aren't really much of a threat where I am but I can see why you think that.
pest-identification-and-control-t6170.html

When it comes to pest control, I don't use avid so I can't testify to how it works. I use Bayer's 3-in-1 Insecticide/Miticide for all of my CPs when they get a real pest issue. That article may help you to identify if it is indeed spider mites.
I'm going to take a guess that you live in Texas, and I imagine the summer heat can be very intense. When temperatures become *too* high, it can really take its toll on VFTs. Seems people in conditions like yours use shade cloth in the summer to allow the traps the sunlight it needs without burning them out and keep them well watered. Maybe someone in a similar climate can chime in to how they do it. Filtered afternoon sun may not be enough. I keep mine in a spot where they get the entire day, but for a while I kept them on the westside like you. They certainly did color up more when they had more exposure.
By TexasFlyGuy
Posts:  8
Joined:  Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:04 am
#366854
Further information: The majority of my other plants have died back and now look like the Nubs in this picture,

Also, I don’t see evidence of mealybugs at the base of the plant. However, I think I will try spraying some bioadvanced 3-in-1 just in case, I mean I don’t think it’s going to hurt at this point.

Besides the plant in the above pictures, I have another flytrap I tried planting in pure LSM that Looks fine ( although 4 other similar ones I also tried in LSM have died back to the nubs like In the picture).
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By Panman
Location: 
Posts:  1848
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#366865
Also, the crown in the last picture seems to be a bit low. Are the others planted as deeply?
By TexasFlyGuy
Posts:  8
Joined:  Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:04 am
#366867
7 inches.
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By TexasFlyGuy
Posts:  8
Joined:  Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:04 am
#366868
And I planted them so the top of the crown was exposed. (I followed instructions I found online) They were all planted similar to the large one I originally posted with traps. It’s just that most of them died. Then after a month they erupt with these green nubs which turn into very small traps but then they discolor and die too.
By TexasFlyGuy
Posts:  8
Joined:  Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:04 am
#366967
my plan
It's getting late in the season but this is what I'm going to try next.
1- Light. Gonna try to add some more artificial light as I have a small west facing small patio that is partially shaded by a large tree and framed by my house on one side and a fence on the other. Fingers crossed.
2- Head - I'm going to Change all the pots to white, just in case heat was a factor (I did notice all the sphagnum moss I had died as well so maybe heat could play a part?) Apart from this I'm not sure what else I can do about the heat. If I use a shade cloth I'm afraid they will not get enough sun.
3- water. I usually left them sitting in about 3/4 inch of water. I figured the pots were tall at 7 inches and could handle it. Maybe not. After reading the care tips of of Matt, I'll strive for "moist but not wet". I'll mix it up with top and bottom watering. I'll try and be more judicious. I mean, it's hellu humid around here (gulf coast) so be more careful about keeping it moist.
4- I'll try some bioadvanced and/or avid to see if it helps. As like a hail mary.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
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By Panman
Location: 
Posts:  1848
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#366969
I've been scratching my head over this one since I first read it. None of it really makes sense. Looking at the first pictures, is it possible that the plants got sprayed or misted by something? It almost looks like the burn I gave a rose bush when I went too heavy on the soap trying to treat aphids. Or, do you have cats in the neighborhood that might have taken a liking to your plants? Very puzzling and I am interested to see how your changes work out. BTW, the plants will be in declining growth mode because of the shorter days, unless you bump up the hours of light that they are getting.
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By Apollyon
Location: 
Posts:  1141
Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#366978
Feel like if you put a 30-40% shade cloth in direct sun all day it'll get more light than partial sitting on the west side like that. That's more for peak summer when the temps are going above 100 and drying out pots. The reduction offers a temp drop that makes it more habitable for VFTs. It's hard to say what kind of light you're talking about without a pic but I do know traps will respond weirdly to both stress and lighting issues.
By TexasFlyGuy
Posts:  8
Joined:  Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:04 am
#367090
Here is my grow setup if anybody wants to add some suggestions. I also included a pic of the sky real estate above the plants.
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By TexasFlyGuy
Posts:  8
Joined:  Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:04 am
#383010
Update!
For any interested: After posting this, I sprayed the plants with miticide. It didn't help so I started thinking it was something else. I repotted all the plants to white pots in the dormant season and have been rewarded with really great growth this season ! Thanks to everybody for your input.
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