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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By samo
Posts:  7
Joined:  Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:39 pm
#377876
Hi everyone

I have a venus fly trap that was doing very well last year. At the end of the season I cut it back and put it in the bottom of the fridge for 3 months and when I bought it out it initially started doing well, it even started growing a flower stalk (which I cut off).

However all the baby traps withered and the "stalks" broadened so it obviously wasn't getting enough light. I live in England, around London and I guess there's not enough sunshine at this time of the year!

It looks to me like it's it's dying.

I've now put it under a Garland Grow Light garden (https://www.robertdyas.co.uk/garland-gr ... gL2NPD_BwE) with the light on for probably 12 hours a day but it do you think this it has any chance of recovery or is it now too far gone?

Thanks
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By ChefDean
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Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#377882
Green=life, so there is a chance. However, what were the growing conditions last year when it did very well vs the conditions this year where it started off well, then declined? What changed? If nothing, do you normally keep it outside or on a windowsill?
Under the grow light it should do OK, but if I may make one suggestion. It doesn't look too bad, but maybe push the top 1/4ish inch (1/2ish cm) of moss away from the plant. That may help it "breathe" a little and let the new growth emerge easier.
By samo
Posts:  7
Joined:  Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:39 pm
#377886
Thanks for the reply.

Last year when I got the plant (maybe during May? I don't exactly remember) it was quite well established and we had a very hot and bright summer last year - and lots of flies! , so that probably explained why it did so well.

I normally keep it on a windowsill, but on very sunny days I took it outside to "feed" itself. It normally managed at least one fly or maybe more a week..

I'll move the moss back a bit and persevere to see what happens.

Thanks
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By ChefDean
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#377887
A windowsill does not provide enough light for a VFT. It can be on a windowsill and receive 12 hours of light every day, but that light is filtered through the glass and not as beneficial. For the first year, a sunny windowsill will provide enough light for the plant to survive, but not make preparations for dormancy; it won't put much into the rhizome. After dormancy, the energy in the rhizome will spur new growth to get new leaves out for photosynthesis, which, with unfiltered light, will allow some of that energy production to be put towards new leaves for more photosynthesis, and some to fatten up the rhizome for next years dormancy. On a windowsill, it simply cannot produce enough energy to make new leaves and enrich the rhizome, so it's pulling more energy from the rhizome to produce leaves that can't photosynthesize enough light to replace that energy. As a result, the whole plant declines and eventually dies. Bright, indirect sunlight outdoors is better than inside on a sunny windowsill.
I'm not versed on grow lights, but you could probably leave the plant under yours until is starts to recover, then I would suggest you move it outside to a place that gets good, direct morning sunlight and shade in the afternoon. It will do much better.
I'm not sure what UK weather is doing, but as long as it stays above 0°C, leave it outside. If it is forecasted to drop below 0°C, then I'd bring it in for the night. Then leave it outside until the first frost and then look for a good place for dormancy.
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By samo
Posts:  7
Joined:  Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:39 pm
#377891
Thanks ChefDean

Interesting, I didn't think VFTs could regularly take temperatures that low.

Unfortunately here in London we don't often get direct morning sunlight except for the height of summer or exceptional weather.. more often than not it's overcast - there's a reason that us Brits talk about the weather all the time and always have an umbrella to hand :lol:

As I say, I'll give it a couple of weeks under the grow light then see what the weather's doing
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By ChefDean
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#377895
samo wrote:Interesting, I didn't think VFTs could regularly take temperatures that low.
In the wild, they regularly see temps in that get below freezing, even to -5C or less. However, they have the benefit of insulation from the ground to protect their rhizome. The tops may freeze and die, but the rhizome that has been fattened up with unfiltered light can grow new leaves in the Spring. In a pot, I wouldn't suggest letting them get below freezing at night. Once is fine, but successive freeze/thaw cycles will kill the rhizome.
samo wrote:Unfortunately here in London we don't often get direct morning sunlight except for the height of summer or exceptional weather.. more often than not it's overcast
Even light received outside on a cloudy day is better than a sunny windowsill. Glass filters certain aspects of visible light enough that the plant cannot photosynthesize light properly. Clouds do too, but not like glass.
I would say that , once you see new growth, and your temps are staying above freezing, put it outside and let it be until fall. Tennessee is definitely different than London, but mine take off after dormancy once the temps hit the 50'sF.
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By Matt
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#377914
I didn't read through all the posts above (kind of in a rush), so sorry if this is a repeat!! But I'd highly recommend a repot. Between the carpet moss and the likely condensed soil, the plant is struggling. A repot into fresh media will help it perk up and be ready to grow well for the next year.
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By ChefDean
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#377919
Matt wrote:I didn't read through all the posts above (kind of in a rush), so sorry if this is a repeat!! But I'd highly recommend a repot. Between the carpet moss and the likely condensed soil, the plant is struggling. A repot into fresh media will help it perk up and be ready to grow well for the next year.
That hadn't been suggested yet. I had thought of that, and I know they're tough, but I wasn't sure if it could deal with the stress of a repot while in such a state.
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By Matt
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#377931
ChefDean wrote:That hadn't been suggested yet. I had thought of that, and I know they're tough, but I wasn't sure if it could deal with the stress of a repot while in such a state.
Oh yeah, flytraps usually perk right up after a repot, regardless of their condition at the time!
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By ChefDean
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#377935
Matt wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:09 pmOh yeah, flytraps usually perk right up after a repot, regardless of their condition at the time!
I learn something new every day. Thanks Matt!
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By Panman
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Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#377936
That's good to know. I won't be so hesitant to repot them in the future. Last summer I let some struggle along because I was afraid of adding more stress (they had a very difficult spring, you understand, and they were not happy with me in the least.)
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By Matt
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#377939
Yeah, a repot of a Sarracenia, particularly when you divide it, can set it back quite a while. But flytraps bounce right back, especially when potted in long-fiber sphagnum. They almost show zero signs of stress from a repot in that stuff. In peat, it does seem to take them a few days or a week or so to settle back into growing well again though.
By steve booth
Posts:  911
Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#378067
Hi Samo
I grow most of my VFTs outside in, in-ground bogs in the UK so the mass is larger than a pot. They do survive the UK winters OK, although they are obviously slower to get going in spring than greenhouse plants. Mine are all uncovered and have been down to -15C before so they can withstand the cold, It's normally freeze and thaw cycles in pots, or desiccating winds that does for them in pots.
Cheers
Steve

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