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Discussions about anything related to Venus Flytraps, cultivars and named clones

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By Berrybob
Posts:  187
Joined:  Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:42 am
I got my first vft today! It is a death cube from home depot. The leaves were halfway buried in lfsm, so I gave it a repot in a peat and sand mix. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
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By Dr GreenThumb
Posts:  445
Joined:  Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:15 pm
Congrats on the new VFT Berry! Here is an article that helped me greatly. It took me a while to dig it up :D

Steve_D wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:33 am Thanks for the compliments, everyone. Great looking plant, Tejan24! It looks in really good shape to begin the growing season. :)

My secrets? What Matt and Adam said. :)

Venus Flytrap Checklist
  • Moist, not wet (water thoroughly and then allow to dry out substantially before watering again); although some people seem to have good luck with conditions that are wetter or more constantly wet, this "moist, not wet" method is simply the way I personally prefer. Watering from the top or the bottom are both OK, so long as one rememembers that when watering from the top, there are some conditions (such as increased risk of fungal infection or rot) to avoid the growing crown (the center of the rosette) and that a turkey baster or some other method can help direct water around the plant instead of on it; and if usually watering from the bottom, it is helpful to occasionally water from the top and then discard the drain water, to leach out of the growing medium any built-up accumulation of dissolved solids (TDS). I never keep them standing in a tray of water except for sometimes when they are outside on a hot day with intense sun and perhaps some rather strong, drying wind; when I water from the bottom I will let them stand in water until the growing medium sucks up as much as it can (in 30 minutes to a few hours), then remove them from the water or remove the water from the tray.
  • Drier medium when the temperature is cool or cold, like during dormancy, to help prevent rot (hot, sunny and wet is usually OK; cold and wet is usually not OK)
  • Deep pots; Venus Flytraps' roots like to go down 8-10 inches or more, 5-6 inches at least; and well-rooted Flytraps are very robust in health and growth.
  • Don't let the sides of the pots and growing medium overheat in the sun and damage the roots; insulated polyurethane foam pots or cheap styrofoam cups work great; as an alternative, white or light-colored plastic or vitreous ceramic (vitreous means nonporous, waterproof) reflects sunlight and helps a lot; pots can also be nested one inside another or shaded somehow; small pots are more susceptible to rapid overheating in direct sunlight, so planting several plants in a larger pot (6-10 inches diameter (15-25 centimeters)) helps a lot to buffer the soil temperature
  • Sunlight, and lots of it! (but acclimate new plants gently to sunlight)
  • Pure water, as everyone knows; collected rainwater, distilled water or reverse osmosis water (test periodically with a TDS meter to make sure the RO membrane is working well)
  • Long dormancy is not necessary; 11-14 weeks (almost 3 to 3.5 months) of dormancy is plenty; keep them warmer as the fall weather becomes cold (by bringing them inside) until they signal that they want to enter dormancy by slowing their growth dramatically; if kept cool and on the dry side during dormancy (just moist) and with a more consistent temperature (or more gentle temperature variation) than they would experience when going through dormancy outside, they will often break dormancy and begin to grow again in 3-3.5 months, or can be encouraged to do so by raising the temperature of their growing environment somewhat as the days become longer and the sunlight more intense after the winter solstice. In this way, as Adam mentioned, their growing season can be lengthened by at least a few weeks on both sides of dormancy.
  • Very cold dormancy is not necessary; it doesn't have to be very cold, and it's better not to allow Venus Flytraps to freeze; this way their leaves don't die and they continue to photosynthesize all winter during dormancy and build up a nice food supply for their first burst of growth in the spring. In fact, if the leaves don't freeze they often last for a good portion of the following growing season, giving the plant a real boost. The 40s to mid 50s Fahrenheit (4-15 celsius) is cool enough, and it's OK for daytime temperatures to rise into the 60 and even 70s on up to 80 (briefly) for a few hours, so long as most or at least many of the hours of the day the temperature is cool to cold, but above freezing.
Pest Control
As Matt mentioned, it's good to have an arsenal of several pesticides. I usually have on hand a good systemic insecticide (acephate (used to be called Orthene) is what I use most), a miticide, and an antifungal. The antifungal won't be needed much if plants are not kept too wet (especially, too wet when they are also cold), and are not grown in confining spaces such as a terrarium which can concentrate fungal spores. Although a systemic insecticide, which poisons the entire plant (it doesn't harm the plant, but only the insects that eat or suck the juices from the plant) also works on spider mites, it is much more effective to use a superficial miticide as well, one that stays on the surfaces of the leaves, in combination with a systemic. Spider mites may be almost microscopic but they are astonishingly destructive and multiply almost as though by magic; really scary, so be on the lookout for them. Other common pests include scale (which love Cephalotus and Sarracenia) and aphids, and sometimes mealy bugs, thrips and others. The systemic poison usually kills them all fairly rapidly (except spider mites, which are easier to kill using a specialized miticide as well), but it's best to examine the plants regularly so that one becomes aware of any changes that might indicate an insect problem.

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By Berrybob
Posts:  187
Joined:  Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:42 am
Thanks a lot Dr GreenThumb. It's good to know that I am caring for it correctly. Those sections on dormancy will be very helpful.
Dr GreenThumb liked this
By Berrybob
Posts:  187
Joined:  Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:42 am
Just a quick update, the plant is doing great. One new trap so far and a few more on the way.
Dr GreenThumb, Matt liked this

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