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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By bigred
Posts:  201
Joined:  Sun May 22, 2011 1:13 am
#417935
Weird one, so I had my plants in rain many times in Florida, usually more on the patio. I put them directly in the grass under open sky. They really got hit hard and a lot of the leaves had brown bruising spots after and most of the traps just opened up 90 degrees like they were completely exhausted out. None of the plants ever grew a normal trap after that. The ones in progress just deformed (see upper left). The very small buds of new leaves mostly turned black and died off.

So I'm left with these plants that are a month after heavy rain. See picture. Still very green for whats there but nothing new growing. I flipped the pot upside down to drain the excess water when the heavy rain happened and have let it dry out almost all the way (Same I've been doing for months), so they were never in a puddle of water. I still collect rain water and keep all the soil damp but not soaked. Any ideas here? Happened to anyone else? One of the plants already died that I removed. I fear the hard rain may have hit directly on the rhizome and split all the leaves and it just got too much damage.
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By jetfire245
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Posts:  160
Joined:  Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:03 pm
#417938
The plant looks fine. The rain did not destroy it 😂.

These things live fine in nature where they face plenty of "hard rain". It'd be pretty ironic if all it needed to die was high velocity water.

This can be an issue for seedlings but for plants this size its completely fine.

I live in Florida as well and just had those past two days of hard rain with no ill effects on my collection other than one of my plants being unhappy about its water situation.

You mentioned there's no new growth but I'm seeing new growth in the photo.

That being said. That's a lot of plants in a confined space. They could probably use a repot.

How would you like me telling you to grow in a shoebox? Not so easy.
Last edited by jetfire245 on Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By bigred
Posts:  201
Joined:  Sun May 22, 2011 1:13 am
#417941
All the new growth is discolored not sure what you are thinking is new growth. The plant on the right had a tiny leaf in there grow to about .25" out of rhizome and blacken and die already if you look. That's what is weird, it looks healthy, but the smallest of growth turns black and dies. There isn't a single new trap or leaf in a month and all the growth dies immediately. The top plant with "growth" just has leftover leaves that were growing before heavy rain and stopped.

Within 12 hours after that rain all the traps just split open backwards so I'm not sure how you have no damage. Here is an older reference what it looked like before the rain. These were baby plants that I fed from .25" traps to 2" in 3 months. No spacing issues or anything. They seem to be just fine about space, light, water etc.
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By ChefDean
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Posts:  6719
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#417946
Jet fire is correct, it wasn't the rain. If a heavy rain was detrimental to these plants, they would have died out long ago.
Their native range experiences a tropical cyclone every other year on average, with an actual hurricane hitting approximately every 3.25 years. Were they that sensitive to hard rain, they would never have survived to evolve to what they are now.
Looking at your picture, there is new growth on the plant in the upper left, the one at the bottom has signs that may indicate a pest, and I see on the one on the right something that looks like a shed aphid skin (could be a sphagnum particle that has splashed up). However, all of them appear to be planted too deep, which can choke out new growth, resulting in the new leaves dying as you're describing.
But the thing that puzzles me most is that you say you have to upend the pot to empty the accumulated water. No drainage holes? They're slowly drowning. If you're not 100% aware of every time water gets into the pot, you might experience some stagnation, even periods of anaerobic conditions, which could cause issues that may also result in what you're describing.
Bottom line, heavy rain may be able to cause some damage to existing leaves, but it wouldn't split a rhizome, and the effects wouldn't stick around to continually affect newly forming leaves. Look for another cause or causes.
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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  756
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#417960
As Chef pointed out, the non-draining pot could be an issue. Traps love moist conditions but I've found, in my short time raising flytraps, that they absolutely do not do well when soggy for very long at all. The problem with turning the pot over to empty water out of it is that it is not a good draining...I can pour the bulk of the water out but I won't sit there for a few hours letting it drain as it should. Also, if the pot filled with water and then the sun came out the temperature could have approached a dangerous level for the plants...here in hot and humid south Alabama I've seen some small rescue traps suffer from this early on in my "Flytrap 101" course (I'm hoping to move up to "Flytrap 102" in a few years! :D ). Having drain holes in the bottom seems to be very important.

Something else that passed through my feeble mind is what you said about setting the pots directly in the grass...has your grass been amended with herbicides or fertilizer by a landscaping company or by you? Could treated rain-splash have polluted their growing mix?

Just some thoughts...
Best wishes.
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By ChefDean
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Posts:  6719
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#417972
Intheswamp wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pmSomething else that passed through my feeble mind is what you said about setting the pots directly in the grass...has your grass been amended with herbicides or fertilizer by a landscaping company or by you? Could treated rain-splash have polluted their growing mix?
Nice catch for such a "feeble mind". I thought about that, but dismissed it because of the apparent lack of drainage holes to allow it to percolate up from underneath. I didn't think of the splash up possibility, but it could definitely be a factor.
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By davinstewart
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Posts:  240
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
#418136
That's immediately where my mind went as well. Some contamination runoff that got into the pots. The plants seem like they been poisoned to my eyes and are likely goners. If I were you, I'd do a complete soil change, rinse the plants well with pure water, and put them in a well draining pot. They may recover once the offending chemicals leech out of their system.
ChefDean wrote:
Intheswamp wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pmSomething else that passed through my feeble mind is what you said about setting the pots directly in the grass...has your grass been amended with herbicides or fertilizer by a landscaping company or by you? Could treated rain-splash have polluted their growing mix?
Nice catch for such a "feeble mind". I thought about that, but dismissed it because of the apparent lack of drainage holes to allow it to percolate up from underneath. I didn't think of the splash up possibility, but it could definitely be a factor.
By jetfire245
Location: 
Posts:  160
Joined:  Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:03 pm
#418145
davinstewart wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 12:47 am That's immediately where my mind went as well. Some contamination runoff that got into the pots. The plants seem like they been poisoned to my eyes and are likely goners. If I were you, I'd do a complete soil change, rinse the plants well with pure water, and put them in a well draining pot. They may recover once the offending chemicals leech out of their system.
ChefDean wrote:
Intheswamp wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pmSomething else that passed through my feeble mind is what you said about setting the pots directly in the grass...has your grass been amended with herbicides or fertilizer by a landscaping company or by you? Could treated rain-splash have polluted their growing mix?
Nice catch for such a "feeble mind". I thought about that, but dismissed it because of the apparent lack of drainage holes to allow it to percolate up from underneath. I didn't think of the splash up possibility, but it could definitely be a factor.
The plants were last reported in decent condition. No reason to assume they're "goners".

Though a repot could be a way to eliminate questions...
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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  756
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#418150
I don't think they're goners, either, but they look pale to me...more pale than the earlier photo shows them as being which makes me think that "something" is going on. The OP said that one of the smaller plants had already died and had been removed and that new growth is almost non-existent with some it (the new growth) quickly blackening and dying. :?:

I agree that repotting with fresh grow-mix would remove some questions. But, I also think insuring that the pot drains well, that the media doesn't dry out, and maybe a bit of shade in the hottest part of the day would help. I'm still curious about the lawn maintenance and whether any chemicals are/were used on it recently.
By bigred
Posts:  201
Joined:  Sun May 22, 2011 1:13 am
#418293
I will update when something happens. Nothing has really changed at the moment. The mouths that exist got deeper red, so they are still alive. It looks like one plant has budded a couple leaves but we will see where they go. I'll try a repot for sure. I don't fertilize the grass that much so splashing hitting the ground and then coming up 6" to get in the pot would be interesting if it really happened.

I wish I would have had a pic 1 day after the rain, every single mouth just looked completely split backwards like the rain just pulled them open so far that they bent backwards and were permanently damaged. I've had them on the porch where they get some lighter rain (not direct open air), and yea it can trigger traps and they are fine. I get it's natural, but nobody every had rain that heavy that it immediately "blew back" every single trap permanently?
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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  756
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#418314
Well, you might have gotten a "dirty" rain...something in the atmosphere (smoke or gas of some type) got caught in the rain coming down. I had a rain a while back that went from my normal 1-2ppm TDS to something like 15ppm...15ppm is still "good" but deviating from my normal measurement I decided to toss the water that I collected. Since then It's been back in the 1-2ppm range, as normal.
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By Apollyon
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Posts:  1654
Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#418319
Yeah I'm gonna second a repot for the reasons listed above as well as water toxicity. Splash back may be a factor but if you're watering it with collected water theres 100% chance that the soil is getting more toxic Rainwater isnt 0ppm running off shingles and theres nowhere for tgat stuff to go in your pot. Tbh, the heavy rain flooding the pot is probably what has been keeping it in the game. They dont do bog style but they won't die if theyre flooded for a day or two. I almost killed 200 though with toxic collected water. Id get a pot with drain hole 100%
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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  756
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#418320
bigred wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 7:43 pm <snip>... I don't fertilize the grass that much so splashing hitting the ground and then coming up 6" to get in the pot would be interesting if it really happened.
<snip>
Davis Instruments, a producer of medium-level personal weather stations suggests 4' minimum for it's rain buckets. The minimum height of other manufacturers is usually 2 feet. This is due to wind factors but also *splatter* factors, especially for the 2' recommendations. Have you ever left a white 5-gallon bucket sitting in a garden on bare soil or other particulate (compost, leaf litter, etc) and find the outside of the bucket covered in dirt and debris that splattered onto it after a heavy rain? The bucket is well over 6" tall. And, it's noted that it doesn't take much fertilizer or weed-killer to affect carnivorous plants. Not saying that's what happened in your case, but rainwater splashes much higher than six inches.
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