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By Tattyjacket
Posts:  2
Joined:  Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:20 am
#415079
Hi Group,
I was given a Venus Flytrap last weekend....Here in the UK it was Fathers' Day.

Just wondering, is this normal? The traps appear to be turning black.Image
https://photos.app.goo.gl/RkKEKrMKGD8CK ... achment]

By the way, a funny story for you all. For many years I was a teacher. My school was actually a front runner in the educational use of the internet. We were given all sorts of warnings about the sorts of sites that we needed to avoid to keep our children safe. One day I did a Yahoo search for Venus Flytrap. One of the first hits was for a site called "Venus Flytrap's House of Lust."
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By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  578
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#415081
Have you researched the requirements of a VFT or of carnivorous plants in general?

Use no fertilizer or minerals...meaning no compost, no potting soil, too...nothing with nutritional value to it. Basically only sphagnum moss, sphagnum peat moss, coarse *silica* sand, perlite are the ingredients used in some combination for the grow mix. A standard mix is 50% peat moss and 50% perlite. Be sure and rinse any of this a couple of times with safe water.

Safe water... Only use rainwater, distilled water, RO water, etc.,...the water's TDS should be below 50ppm. Simple "drinking water" or "spring water" bought in jugs may or may not be safe...most of the time it isn't safe. Most people's tap/house water will kill the flytrap. As a last resort for water I *would* use water from a dehumidifier. A TDS meter is a simple gadget that sells here in the US on Amazon for US$15.00.

Keep the plant moist, not soggy. If it's really hot keep some water in it's tray (we've been running in the mid to upper 90F/33C range). Nice 75F-80F weather...no need for water in the tray. Don't let the growing medium dry out, though.

Flytraps require full sun..eventually. Windowsills usually result in failure. Do not instantly put a new trap out in full sun, though. Give it an hour in full sun for several days, then increase this time gradually over many days. A flytrap that has been inside and suddenly placed in full sun can sunburn. Gradually acclimate it back to where it came from...outside.

Too much food can kill the individual trap. Triggering the trap to "see it close" can end up in a trap that stops closing. They can only open and close *maybe* a half dozen times. A trap that stops trapping food is still producing important food for the plant through photosynthesis.

I'm not sure what is going on with your blackening leafs/traps...could have been a number of things. The good thing is that I see lots of new growth coming on. Be patient and let the plant settle in to it's new home. How large is the pot that it's in? Have you replanted it or is this the pot it came in.

Best wishes, have fun. :)
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By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  578
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#415082
Btw, Matt has some great growing information here on his website: https://www.flytrapcare.com/ From that page you can use the menu bar at the top of the page and go to the "Basics" section to get started with your "Trap Education". ;)
By Tattyjacket
Posts:  2
Joined:  Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:20 am
#415155
THANKS. Yes I did read the instructions on the website. I've started using rainwater.
I've had a flytrap before when I was a child but it got eaten by slugs.
I'm living in the UK. Summers are probably not as warm as Alabama and nights are cold ..... so worried about putting it outside.
Phil
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By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  578
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#415160
Did you ever use regular tap water? Yes, there's a difference between our climates. That doesn't change the flytraps need for good sunlight, though.

I just looked at London and Edinburgh current forecasts (opposite ends of the island). I would not be concerned with leaving the plant outside over night...it appears your temperatures are far from freezing right now. The problem that I see is that your high temperatures are in the mid-60's to low-70's (15c to 21c range) and with predominately overcast and rainy conditions. Being perpetually cold and damp/wet with cloudy conditions is a great recipe for root or crown rot and a lethargic plant...definitely not good conditions for a flytrap.

I would strongly recommend that you setup some type of indoor lighting system for the plant. A single clamp-light with a high output LED bulb (23-watt LED) with a 5000k or higher color temperature would be much better than trying to grow it on a windowsill and gray skies. A full-spectrum bulb would do good, but it would have the purplish color that some people don't care for. The 5000K and up temperatures present a "white" color and are good for vegetative growth (leaves, stalks, etc..). A basic household 23W LED bulb (roughly equivalent to a 100W incandescent bulb) with a 5000K or up temperature would work well. You can get them at a hardware store, a dollar store, grocery stores, etc.,. You need some type of basic light fixture/lamp to screw it into...the bulb needs to be directly over the plant so either a large gooseneck lamp or possibly a hanging lamp would work. Make sure it's safe and secure so it doesn't fall on the plant, or worse. It doesn't have to be fancy, just something to give some good, bright light with a good color temperature directly above the plant. Position the bulb roughly a foot above the plant and see how it works. If the flytrap seems to be doing well you might lower it another inch or two. Watch the flytrap for a while with the bulb at the one foot mark, though, to be sure it's not too hot for the flytrap.

I think that giving it more light will give it a very big boost.
Best wishes.
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