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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By insistentlyperturbed
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:56 pm
#440459
I have been taking care of a new Venus flytrap plant for two months now and it’s looked amazing, with green leaves, constant new growth, thriving - I mean it looks like the pictures show you, you know? I’d really been trying to keep it well - I was reading articles and doing my research and everything. I’ve never taken care of a VFT before and it was really a huge thing for me so I was really proud of how things were going.
I checked on it yesterday and it looked perfectly fine. Then I came home this afternoon to this.
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It looks nicer in the photo but it’s all shrivelled irl. It’s limp, some leaves out-of-the-blue turning black and yellow and crisp and rotting - I plucked those off, I hear those stress the plant (was I wrong to do that?). it felt moist to the touch, as if water was literally leaving the leaves - like how they explain plants dying in biology class, Their cells can’t hold the moisture anymore.
Anyways, it was heartbreaking because I never expected such a strange development to happen - it was so sudden. All I can think is that today it was a super hot day and I think that might have been why - I was keeping it inside on a south-facing windowsill, but it looked pretty hot. I also didn’t water it this morning. I should have placed it somewhere a tiny bit more shaded today since it was so hot, sadly I forgot.
Anyone know why this might have happened? And, hopefully, rescue tips? I just don’t get how this could have happened all of a sudden. It feels so wrong, I guess that sounds dumb. I would really appreciate help, I have kind of gotten attached to this guy.
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By andynorth
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Posts:  1152
Joined:  Fri May 12, 2023 9:08 pm
#440462
Exactly how hot is it? It might not be from excessive heat, just too much of it without being acclimated. Sitting on a windowsill does not really get it acclimated properly. You want to introduce to direct sunlight slowly, starting out with filtered, indirect sunlight and then gradually increasing the time every couple days or so. I am by far no expert at this and I am also just learning but those are a couple of the things I have picked up on. I gave my son a nice North America Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia) back in the spring. The first time he put it in direct sun it wilted and hunched over due to not acclimating it. Did not matter as he failed to water it so that one is history.

I am thinking you might want to get this one in to a baggy and water it well and get it out of direct sunlight to see if you can save it but wait until one of the more experienced users chime in before going that route.
By insistentlyperturbed
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:56 pm
#440466
Thank you so much for your advice! I’m doing that asap - I’m sorry to hear about the pitcher plant, hopefully that doesn’t happen to mine. You are still on this forum though so I am guessing you and your son have had much better success with the others! I had it in that windowsill for a while now, I don’t think anything has changed other than temperature - maybe because I didn’t water it yesterday and the small pots lose water quickly. Was planning on watering it this morning but I forgot :/
It was pretty hot, maybe because it was a room that was more insulated, that caused the heat? It confused me a lot actually. At first I thought it was because I’d somehow overwatered it enough for the leaves to become super soggy overnight? I mean the leaves were super gross and moist. (I am trying to figure out why by looking at diagrams of flaccid plant cells, it doesn’t make sense) But then I saw the soil, and it was so dry it was practically just a crust. So now I will try what you suggested and hopefully it recovers.
By insistentlyperturbed
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:56 pm
#440467
one other thing that might have been a warning sign was the plant was not red. I assumed because there wasn’t enough light though. I guess I should have been more careful in acclimating it to the light first?
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By andynorth
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Posts:  1152
Joined:  Fri May 12, 2023 9:08 pm
#440469
Take my advice lightly as like I said, I am also new. I am going off of what others have said and also things I have learned thus far. There are way more advanced users here that will chime in and put in their 2 cents. Most with more knowledge than I have but I am working on it. :D :D
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By MikeB
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Posts:  1829
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#440482
insistentlyperturbed wrote: Mon Oct 02, 2023 11:48 pm It was pretty hot, maybe because it was a room that was more insulated, that caused the heat?
[ snip ]
But then I saw the soil, and it was so dry it was practically just a crust. So now I will try what you suggested and hopefully it recovers.
That's it. Lack of water, plus the hot room, knocked your plant for a loop. andynorth's recommendations are the way to go. With a little luck, your plant will recover.

Venus flytraps can be very resilient when given half a chance. My sister forgot to water her big pot of flytraps for 3 or 4 weeks this summer. She called me in a panic, and I went to her house to check them out. I found a very dry pot with just a few green nubs poking through the soil. I took the pot home to see what I could salvage. When I unpotted it, I found 30 divisions. I put them in a 12-inch / 30-centimeter pot, gave them a thorough soaking, and put the pot in a shaded location. 4 weeks later, they look like this:
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The plants are sitting outside, getting 4 hours of morning sun every day. I expect that pot to be a "forest of flytraps" come next spring.

If/when your plant recovers, please repot it in late winter / early spring. The pot that it's in right now is too small and doesn't hold much water. A larger pot will provide more "buffer" plus give the plant room to grow. If you can't find anything suitable, then a large, white styrofoam cup with holes poked in the sides at the base makes a decent pot.
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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3064
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#440499
MikeB wrote: If/when your plant recovers, please repot it in late winter / early spring. The pot that it's in right now is too small and doesn't hold much water. A larger pot will provide more "buffer" plus give the plant room to grow. If you can't find anything suitable, then a large, white styrofoam cup with holes poked in the sides at the base makes a decent pot.
Man, those styrofoam cups work so good!!! When MikeB said "with holes poked in the sides at the base" that is the correct way...you can put holes in the very bottom but when you sit the cup down on the flat bottom of water tray then those holes in the bottom will mostly be sealed. So, be sure the holes are *in the sides, right above the bottom*. ;) The cups last (if handled properly) longer than the grow mix does. And, if you find a nice decorative plastic pot that you like you can drop the styrofoam cup down into it for "aesthetics". :) Some people poke a few holes up a little bit higher, too, for added oxygen/drainage...I've got one like that that seems to be working well (of course the squirrels modified that one for me!!!! :x ). Btw...got squirrels???...that's a *whole'nuther" topic!!! :o
By insistentlyperturbed
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:56 pm
#440562
Thanks guys for all the help and support. I started with what andynorth suggested and I think the plant is perking up so far, hopefully on the way to recovery! I’m happy it worked. :)
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A few of the leaves look like they can survive. The others seem kind of doomed. but it is leaps better than a few days ago, so thank you all!!
I will definitely repot in the spring, perhaps with the styrofoam cup. I bought some soil from Amazon a while ago but never got around to doing it - it was this brand, should I have gone with another one? I hear VFTs are very picky with their soil.
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Also after this, I started looking more carefully at it, I think it’s super light starved? The Sarracenia website mentioned that long and skinny leaves in autumn are a sign of light starvation? Also, it is floppy and pale and sad looking, the new growths aren’t red either. I assumed a sunny window would be enough light but obviously some rays are filtered out. In this case should I move it outside now? I feel like trying to acclimate it while it recovers from the damage could be too stressful. But I want it to have good growing conditions. The squirrels Intheswamp mentioned sound like a pain to deal with, i bet you guys have to install cages and everything to keep them out, haha.
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By insistentlyperturbed
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:56 pm
#443134
Hi! It’s two months later, I didn’t check the forums 😅 thanks for all your help, it really turned my plant around! Here’s how the flytrap looks - after some weeks of frantically trying to find a good environment i bought an artificial grow light and acclimated it. It’s improving I think! Completely thanks to you guys.
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I’m a little scared to start dormancy but I should be doing it soon. If all goes well, it’ll be an even stronger plant come spring.
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By insistentlyperturbed
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:56 pm
#444823
Hi, happy New Year! That's great to hear. It's been kept inside so far, I live in Canada so I assumed there would be subzero temperatures this winter (but then El Nino came along and everything got a lot warmer). So I guess I could move it outside or maybe to my garage? I don't know if I need to slowly reduce temperatures or something...
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By andynorth
Location: 
Posts:  1152
Joined:  Fri May 12, 2023 9:08 pm
#444826
This is just my 2 pennies worth. If it were me, I would put it in the garage and monitor it but do not "over monitor" if you know what I mean. Keeping in mind that the current traps will most likely turn black and shrivel up on you. That is OK. Come spring time, cut off anything that is not green and get it outside but be sure if you have strong sun in the spring to introduce to the sun slowly. You should have a happy thriving plant then and alas, you will be on your way to this awesome hobby.
By insistentlyperturbed
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:56 pm
#445134
Sounds like a surprisingly easy plan. Thanks for all the help! I'll get around to putting the flytrap in the garage in the next week or so, then. According to this website's guide it says I should put it near a window but we don't have any windows in the garage...is that ok? I heard they photosynthesize during dormancy so should they have light? Should I gradually adjust it to a lack of light/heat? Or is it okay to just put them there cold? Sorry for all the questions.
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By andynorth
Location: 
Posts:  1152
Joined:  Fri May 12, 2023 9:08 pm
#445135
I have been told both ways. I just have mine in the garage with no light. Someone will likely chime in but from what I have learned, they will be fine in the dark. Window sill light is not as good as one might think. I would try to acclimate them but you will be surprised at how quick Spring creeps up on us. I will not see the sun for several months but plan to start getting them moved out in late March and early April. They will take longer to get to there good color but that is how it goes in the PNW.

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