FlytrapCare Carnivorous Plant Forums

Sponsored by FlytrapStore.com

Say hello and tell everyone a bit about yourself.

Moderator: Matt

User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  429
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#410001
Howdy, my name is Ed and I'm located in south central Alabama, USA. This is the second time having a VFT under my care. The first one, probably 30 years ago died a quick death. Well, "Gigi" took our granddaughters shopping the other day while they were spending the weekend with us. Seems the middle one, our 10-year-old jumping-bean tumbler, returned with a tiny VFT. She has researched the stew out of taking care of it, making notes and diagrams and really investing her time. Secretly I've always wanted to get a another VFT but figured they were short-lived critters...now, I see that I murdered the one we had years ago!<the sound of a funeral dirge playing softly in the background>. Anyhow, as I mentioned, my middle-granddaughter is in a tumbler and a pretty good one, too! Her cheer team won a shot to compete at a large competition in south Florida so I'm suddenly babysitting her brand new baby VFT for the next week!!! I guess this is our Great-grand-flytrap!!! :lol:
Image
Great-grand-flytrap , on Flickr

I've been tasked with repotting (if needed) and the care of the plant until her return. Basically, my intentions are:
1. - Not to kill it.
2. - To possibly repot it into a larger pot.
3. - Not to kill it.
4. - Did I mention "Not to kill it"?

I've learned so far that it appears that the two most important things are water and growing medium. Use rainwater or distilled water and to use basically a sterile growing medium consisting of perlite and peat moss. Also, it seems highly recommended to grow them in plastic containers rather than clay pots...or in well-glazed pots, due to possible leaching of minerals into the growing medium.

Anyhow, I tried to find some perlite and peat moss locally but being in a rural setting, well, somethings just aren't readily available so I ordered some soil off Amazon (before I found this spot).
It is stated as "Carnivorous Plant Soil Mix" and had good reviews...it is a 50:50 mix of sphagnum peat moss and perlite. We also got a gallon of distilled water from a dollar store.

I've been trying to keep the flytrap outside in the sunshine but we're having some cloudy/rainy weather and not a lot of sunshine so it's kind of an "in and out" routine. When inside it sits in an east-facing window where it gets a couple of hours of direct sunlight...not optimal, but better than nothing while inside. It looks like Sunday we move back into sunshine, though! Another concerning thing for me is blasted squirrels!!! We have a bunch of them around here. Do they tend to go for flytraps? :x

The flytrap came in the standard plastic tube in an (almost) 3" diameter pot. I've currently got it sitting in an old glazed pot, propped up so the 3" plastic pot is level with the top of the glazed one. Should I worry with up-potting it to a larger pot now, or let it go a while in the current pot? Also, I watched a video and these plants don't have much of a root system, do they? The video I watched stated to knock off most of the old medium and basically plant it bare-roots...it seemed to be a guy that knew what he was doing...this sound correct, rather than retaining the growing medium around the roots???

Well, that's probably more info than needed but I wanted to throw it out there for any feedback I can get.
Thanks!
Ed
Jasicorn liked this
User avatar
By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  140
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#410002
Hi Ed, your granddaughter made a great choice - welcome both of you to the savage garden world! The plant looks quite healthy, so it's off to a good start. Honestly, it looks like there are probably multiple plants in there. And all your research sounds correct to me - you're right about using plastic pots (and glazed ceramic is fine), the soil mix you ordered sounds good, and you're absolutely right about using distilled water.

I would recommend leaving the plant outside even in overcast weather - it will still get more light exposure that way than if inside, and they certainly experience cloudy days in the wild so it's not a problem. HOWEVER, it is a good idea to slowly acclimate it to being outside full time, i.e. give it a few hours outside each day, increasing the time outside slowly over a week or so. So what you're doing so far is a good start, I'd just recommend gradually increasing its outdoor time until it lives outside full time.

Re: VFT roots, their roots actually get quite long (6-8") so it would appreciate being in a deeper pot. To minimize transplant shock, you can try and remove the "plug" of soil around the roots and then plop the whole thing in a deeper pot. Or, you can bare root it (likely discovering multiple VFT bulbs in the process) and put those in the deeper pot. This would allow you to spread them out, but it may slow down the plants' growth for a couple of weeks.

As for squirrels, yes, they have an unfortunate tendency for digging around in pots. I don't think it has anything to do with VFTs in particular but it's real disappointing when they dig up your beloved plant. Anything you can do to keep them away from the plant is a good idea once it's outside.

Good luck!
User avatar
By Shadowtski
Location: 
Posts:  4459
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#410007
Welcome Ed!
I also killed many plants in the past.
I still lose a few but not too many.
Matt, the administrator of this forum has put up some good Care and Feeding pages that cover most aspects of VFT care, including repotting.
You'll find the general care info at: WWW.FlyTrapCare.com
Repotting info is at: https://www.flytrapcare.com/potting-venus-flytraps/

Good growing,
Mike
Panman, Intheswamp, MikeB and 1 others liked this
User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  429
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#410039
Thanks for the reply! Yes, these kids amaze me...how'd they get some smart when I'm so du....well, anyhow, they're certainly smart! :D

Yes, the plant looks healthy, she picked out a good one, apparently. I was curious about which variety it is and it appears to be the noble "typical" variety. :lol:

It does look quiet crowded in there. I take it that dividing/spreading them out a bit would encourage them to grow faster? I'm a bit afraid to do "too much" modifying of plant, as in dividing it. I'll have to ponder over that idea a bit, maybe contact "the boss" and see what she thinks about it...if I was to mess up big time she might sic their attack kitten on me!!! :?

My fear of leaving it outside at it's size is of getting beaten down by rain. Are they more tough than they appear? I've got an area that would get around four hours of sunlight including some dappled light for a while...and I could possibly hide it among other things to fool the bushy-tailed rats.

I had read that deep pots are better, the roots must be fine roots that thread their way deep. It gets hot down here in south Alabama. I'm thinking of planting in a 20oz styrofoam cup and drop it down into an outer pot of some type to shade the sides. With drain holes in both pots.

For the squirrels I'm thinking mashed potatoes and gravy.
User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  429
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#410040
Thanks, Mike. Yeah, I just hope my granddaughter gets back before this one bites the bullet...at least if it goes toes'up it'll be on her dime.<g> I think it'll be ok, though. At least we know the main things to do...and not to do.

I am curious, though, should I go ahead and repot out of the small pot or let it ride for a month or so? I definitely have found a wealth of information here on the forum. Thanks to everyone that has contributed!!!!
Image
IMG_6959a (Custom) on Flickr
Image
IMG_6959a_crop on Flickr
Shadowtski wrote:Welcome Ed!
I also killed many plants in the past.
I still lose a few but not too many.
Matt, the administrator of this forum has put up some good Care and Feeding pages that cover most aspects of VFT care, including repotting.
You'll find the general care info at: WWW.FlyTrapCare.com
Repotting info is at: https://www.flytrapcare.com/potting-venus-flytraps/

Good growing,
Mike
User avatar
By Shadowtski
Location: 
Posts:  4459
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#410042
Quote
should I go ahead and repot out of the small pot or let it ride for a month or so?
EndQuote
It should be OK for a month.
It's not critical, gotta do it now, everything's gonna die, crowded.
Good growing,
Mike
Intheswamp liked this
User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  429
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#410043
One more quick question and I'll be quiet. :)

I was looking at the article about starting VFTs from seed and see that going into the second growing season the plants are pretty small. What is the probable age of the plant in the photos that I've posted?
User avatar
By thepitchergrower
Location: 
Posts:  2542
Joined:  Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:22 am
#410044
Most of them sold at stores are tissue cultured. Who knows their age...
Intheswamp liked this
User avatar
By michijake
Location: 
Posts:  140
Joined:  Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 am
#410050
Intheswamp wrote: My fear of leaving it outside at it's size is of getting beaten down by rain. Are they more tough than they appear? I've got an area that would get around four hours of sunlight including some dappled light for a while...and I could possibly hide it among other things to fool the bushy-tailed rats.

I had read that deep pots are better, the roots must be fine roots that thread their way deep. It gets hot down here in south Alabama. I'm thinking of planting in a 20oz styrofoam cup and drop it down into an outer pot of some type to shade the sides. With drain holes in both pots.
Don't worry about the rain, they are definitely tougher than they look and won't be damaged by it. I also wouldn't bother shading it with the styrofoam - they LOVE sunlight and it would be really hard to give them too much. While I'm not familiar with south Alabama, the only part of the US I've heard is too hot for them is the Southwest (Arizona especially), and that's because of the combination of 100 degree + temps with dry air. I expect the plant would be thrilled by the heat in south Alabama. For reference, they've been naturalized in parts of the Florida panhandle where they grow with full sun exposure all day long.

And as for age, this is probably not a seed-grown plant so it is really hard to tell age, or even what that would mean (a one year old tissue cultured plant might be bigger than a one year old rhizome division, which itself will be much bigger than a one year old seed-grown plant).

Good luck and enjoy!
Intheswamp liked this
User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  429
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#410058
Thanks for the feedback everybody!

michijake, the styrofoam would be the cup I plant in which I would set down into a heavier pot. I'm thinking of keeping the roots maybe a couple of degrees cooler by having a little shade for the sides of the styrofoam cup. The foliage itself would be under direct sun. Does that make sense? Sometimes my wording gets kind of mangled up. What I've see is that the radiation from the sun will be more direct on down into Florida than it is here in south Alabama, but they get the cross-peninsula winds and sea breezes. We get becalmed...high heat and humidity.<groan> It's gonna be a learning experience for us, that's for sure! :) The more I study it the more I figure I've gotta get a VFT for myself...that way me and my granddaughter can compare notes! (Plus, I'm kinda getting into it!<grin>)

It's good to hear that they're tough, I'll let it live in the wild and that will work good for my granddaughter (and me!). I'm leaving the flytrap outside tonight. No rain expected, but will give it some good hardening off time outside. It seems to be handling the sun fine. I'm just worried about the little pot of peat drying out too much later this summer. It seems to be keeping moist, though, at the moment. I've got a moisture meter I'm checking it with. If it needs watering tomorrow I'll figure on an every two-day watering for now. I'd like to get it in a larger pot to have more moisture-reserve for it. I may go ahead move it to a larger pot tomorrow just for that reason.



michijake wrote:
Intheswamp wrote: My fear of leaving it outside at it's size is of getting beaten down by rain. Are they more tough than they appear? I've got an area that would get around four hours of sunlight including some dappled light for a while...and I could possibly hide it among other things to fool the bushy-tailed rats.

I had read that deep pots are better, the roots must be fine roots that thread their way deep. It gets hot down here in south Alabama. I'm thinking of planting in a 20oz styrofoam cup and drop it down into an outer pot of some type to shade the sides. With drain holes in both pots.
Don't worry about the rain, they are definitely tougher than they look and won't be damaged by it. I also wouldn't bother shading it with the styrofoam - they LOVE sunlight and it would be really hard to give them too much. While I'm not familiar with south Alabama, the only part of the US I've heard is too hot for them is the Southwest (Arizona especially), and that's because of the combination of 100 degree + temps with dry air. I expect the plant would be thrilled by the heat in south Alabama. For reference, they've been naturalized in parts of the Florida panhandle where they grow with full sun exposure all day long.

And as for age, this is probably not a seed-grown plant so it is really hard to tell age, or even what that would mean (a one year old tissue cultured plant might be bigger than a one year old rhizome division, which itself will be much bigger than a one year old seed-grown plant).

Good luck and enjoy!
By davinstewart
Location: 
Posts:  180
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
#410075
Here's the elevator pitch I use to grow award winning venus flytraps ...
  • Repot it in 1 sphagnum moss : 1 perlite in a pot at least 5 inches deep. The bigger the pot, the better it is for the plant and the less maintenance it will require. Seriously, you can't go too big here. If sphagnum moss is too expensive then use peat moss instead. It'll work almost as well although the plants will be a little smaller.
  • Keep the soil moist but not sodden. Never let the soil get bone dry.
  • Give it at least 5 hours of direct sun a day or the artificial equivalent.
  • In the summer, try to keep the temps below 85F. Shadecloth during heat waves can be handy.
  • In the winter, they'll go dormant and you should keep them cold but above ~10F.
  • Don't worry about feeding them. They can catch their own. If you do want to feed them then using live insects about 1/4 the size of the trap is best.
  • Don't worry about the humidity too much unless you're in a very arid climate.
  • Don't worry about water quality too much unless you've got hard water then try to use rain water or distilled water.
Hope that helps!
Jasicorn, Intheswamp liked this
User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  429
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#410145
Thanks for the reply, davinstewart! Great list of tips!!!

The potting has me wondering. I think I've got the physical and material side of the potting figured out, but am wondering about shading for the sides of the pot. The sun can get pretty tough down here though we're not a desert climate. So, I'm seriously considering double-potting to shade the sides of the pots from direct solar gain...there will be plenty of ambient heat during the summer. We hit 88F yesterday and reaching into the low-90's in the first part of the coming week.

I'm looking for some 6" pots that will work for this. I had mentioned my interest in getting a flytrap for myself to tinker with (in addition to my granddaughter's :) ) and lo' and behold my wife walks in with a tiny little rascal yesterday! So, now I'm looking for two setups. I've got something on hand that will work for me...an old, stained outer pot, but my granddaughter's taste might be a little more refined than mine.<grin> Thankfully I ordered four quarts of the 1:1 perlite/sphagnum peat moss mix so I should have enough for re-potting these two plants. They're both outside and there was a good 0.25" rain this morning. I've been using distilled water but I had a large ice cooler opened hoping to catch some of the rainwater.

These flytraps multiply fast, don't they! :lol:
User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  429
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#410146
How clean does the rainwater need to be? I just went out and looked in the open cooler and it had collected about 1/2 gallon of water. I could see small debris particles in the water along with a small fly/mosquito carcass. The debris most likely came from mostly the surrounding water oaks, and possibly crepe myrtles, and maybe from a more distant pecan tree. It's not a lot of debris but shows up well against the white floor of the cooler. I figure that the plants themselves collect this debris as well while they're outside so...am I just sweating the small stuff and shouldn't worry about these specks. I'm thinking that if I store the rainwater in some clean plastic milk jugs they will decompose overtime but it should be a really small amount. Maybe just filter the water through a piece of cotton cloth as I pour it into the jugs? Am I over thinking this?
User avatar
By Panman
Location: 
Posts:  4034
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#410147
Flytraps are a gateway drug. The next thing you know you will be lurking around strange community forums and searching nurseries for plants to feed your habit. :D

Don't worry about the debris. If it bothers you, you can run it through a coffee filter or t-shirt to get most of it out.
Intheswamp liked this
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 10
Sandtastik Play Sand

Ok, I'm a bit confused now. I was thinking that[…]

No pitchers again

Thanks, since I’ve moved it back outside ear[…]

Best scarification method

In general, either use sandpaper to sand off par[…]

Summer heatwave color

Gorgeous orchid cactus! I’ve only got one […]

I wish I had that problem. Your flytraps have done[…]

Excess tubers

FB need not be that terrifying should you ever go […]

A Spate of Spats

!. Sundews69 - Thanks! !!. Camden M- You! !!!. Gar[…]

Personal Memes

I can’t help but keep vandalizing this one p[…]

Support the community - Shop at FlytrapStore.com!