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By alienplantz
Posts:  3
Joined:  Mon Jun 24, 2024 5:13 pm
Hi all! First time VFT owner. I've read a bunch of the care guides but am not sure if I am somehow killing my plant or if this is normal! :(

Plant was bought from Trader Joe's about 3 weeks ago, repotted around a little less than 2 weeks ago. It was looking okay, some traps browning and dying but others looked fine but within the last few days ALL of them started to turn black. No clue if this is normal shock or not, please help!

Plant info:
- pot is ~5 inches tall, soil level is at 4.5 inches
- pot is hard light colored plastic
- watering with distilled water, trying to keep soil damp at all times. Watering from the top.
- using premixed venus fly trap soil mix
- plant is outside with ~4 hours of direct sunlight

I think it might be plant shock since I put it outside immediately after repotting. I also realize the pot is smaller than recommended and not sure if I should repot it already.

Should I leave the plant be, or change something about its care? Thanks so much!
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PXL_20240624_172744939.jpg (1.87 MiB) Viewed 331 times
User avatar
By Panman
Posts:  6691
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
Welcome to the forum. I have a couple of thoughts. First off, generally speaking the flytraps that you buy at a big box store like Trader Joes are already in decline. Additionally, they are massed produced via tissue culture and don't transplant well. So, specifics for your plant
  1. The pot that you have it in will be fine. If you do put it in a tray, just manage the water level appropriately.
  2. The plant seems to be planted a bit low in the soil. The point where the new leaves come off of the rhizome should be just below the soil surface.
  3. The brand of soil you used has mixed reviews, and it looks to me like the problem might be the soil. The only way to know for sure is to test the soil, or the water that flows through it for calcium and magnesium.
If it was my plant, I would raise it in the soil to the appropriate level, cut off any black parts, and put it in a plastic bag indoors with indirect light. If it recovers and starts producing new leaves, you can start acclimating it to outdoors again.
By alienplantz
Posts:  3
Joined:  Mon Jun 24, 2024 5:13 pm
Thank you so much! Did not know that about the soil level. I'll do what you say and cross my fingers!! If it doesn't make it I'll mix my own soil next time too.

Any reason for the plastic bag? I remember reading that they don't like terrariums. Is this for humidity?
User avatar
By Panman
Posts:  6691
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
About terrariums, it isn't really the humidity that is the problem but that most terrariums do not have any way to drain them. The soil becomes waterlogged and the plants drown. At the same time, a terrarium isn't necessary as they do not need increased humidity.

As far as using the plastic bag, I like to increase humidity when I am trying to get a plant to recover. It isn't necessary when the plant is healthy and has good roots.

If it doesn't make it, and you try again, I recommend not getting one of the mass produced flytraps. You should be able to find some reputable growers on here or other sites to buy one from. You can reach out to me at that time, and I'll let you know if I have any available.
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