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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By sanguinearocks101
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#353241
Copper2 wrote:Come on people! We grow plants not dadgum scientific experiments!

Also, flytraps don’t hibernate
But what if the scientific experiments are the only excuse other than that they are the coolest plants in the world that we have to grow them? My family still mocks me about my carnivorous plant hobby :cry: ... but their just jealous that I have cooler plants than them 8-) .
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By Copper2
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Joined:  Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:02 am
#353242
Yeah, CP growing is unfortunately relegated to the “hobby” level. And we “hobbyists” then get ripped off by people charging tons of money for CPs. I also suspect that many carnivorous plants are mislabeled when it comes to their location data.

And unfortunately it would seem that most of the CP experts are just people who had a different career and let their amateur interests overwhelm them rather than CPs being their true professional career. This does make me wonder who put them in charge since they know where all the wild CP populations are but they won’t tell us even though we are as “professional” as them. Sure they’re keeping CPs safe but they get to enjoy them in the wild and I cannot. Doesn’t seem fair as we all need nature as the great botanist Hugh Iltis said.

It would be helpful if there was some sort of active role in the environment that we could notice. I.e. if they were a keystone species. Because right now we can only say they eat insects and many people could say the insect population is already going down so there is no reason to restore a plant that reduces insect populations. You and I may know this is not true but it’s a hard argument when many people either don’t care or just say they do and don’t take action.

Kinda reminds me of the polar bears- Big and impressive animals, make people donate to them but the wildlife institutes can’t do jack diddly for the polar bears since there’s no way to make the ice “unmelt.” So that money is being pocketed for other things
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By Matt
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#353243
mcgrumpers wrote:Well this is fascinating. If dormancy can be triggered simply by varying photoperiod, that could be done with grow lights (indoors). Not having to kick my VFT out for the winter would be convenient... I'm willing to try this out next winter.
Yep, dormancy can fairly easily be achieved indoors under artificial lighting if the photoperiod is reduced properly. When I've done so, I keep them on a 12 hour photoperiod through the winter months and a 16 hour photoperiod spring through fall. Temperature really isn't much of an issue, it seems. It works fine but there are still other issues with indoor growing that are always looming.

_-SphagnumFromHell-_ wrote:I think what's happening here is the plant is given conditions so rich that it's dividing like crazy. The divisions are given new strength to go on a little longer as their internal clock is newer. Once their stretched to their limit there's already more to come and the cycle continues.
That's pretty much exactly spot on! However, you can see the older divisions, like the one front-center-left of the photo, are acting like they're going dormant. If they don't get dormancy, they will eventually perish.

If given plenty of food and continuous growing conditions, I'd imagine a flytrap might be able to put out divisions for quite a while before exhausting itself. In tissue culture, I have had them grow well for many years, so it is likely possible in artificially controlled indoor growing conditions as well where lots of nutrients are provided and the resulting divisions have sufficient energy to grow well and divide again before they ultimately fatigue and die.

But as you, _-SphagnumFromHell-_, also wrote, it is so much simpler to just explain to people to let the plants go dormant once a year instead of trying to explain to them all the possible intricacies of possible ways to manipulate a Venus flytrap into surviving long term.

omnipercp15 wrote:The shorter photoperiod is what triggers the dormancy, not cooler temperatures. This could mean a plant experiences this even when we thought we weren't doing it explicitly, since every hemisphere still experiences a shorter day time period, even without colder temps. Even in the case of the plant having its own plant light but near a window, that could create some condition in which the plant detects a change in photoperiod.
That's exactly right! I've grown plants in a mostly dark garage with a single east-facing window nearby. Even on a constant photoperiod, they do pick up on the ambient light coming through the window and will grow more in the spring and die back in the fall.

omnipercp15 wrote:Because there seems to be some allowance for saying the following where everyone can agree to some extent:

1) maybe the original plant has died, and what we see are new divisions
2) maybe the original plant dies back significantly, which may represent a form of its own self-hibernation when not allowed to do so naturally, then it grows back as normal, meaning it never technically died, which is always what we think is the result of no hibernation
3) some plants grow OK out of their optimal region or care but that doesn't mean don't do optimal care for them, if you can help it

Anyway these are just some quick thoughts on the matter. It is something which will be a topic of contention for a long time.
All good points!

I haven't gone looking for it, but somewhere on this forum (I think?) many years ago now, my former business partner Steve Doonan (formerly a store) did a pretty good experiment of trying to grow Venus flytraps without a dormancy for quite a while just to get them larger quicker. And it wasn't just a single specimen but many many flytraps that I had sent him out of tissue culture. The results were consistent with what I've seen. While skipping dormancy didn't kill most of the plants, particularly none of the larger ones that had some reserves in their rhizomes, it did set them back quite a bit compared to their counterparts that were provided a normal dormancy period.

I would imagine a large plant like that big SD Kronos Jagasian is experimenting with, would last quite a while before exhausting itself. In particular, if it is fed regularly to allow it to recoup a lot of the energy it expends when continuously dividing, it might be the case that the plant could go quite a number of years continually making divisions before it would peter out. It could possibly go indefinitely with some "rebuilding" years with lots and lots of small divisions. I've never attempted such a thing so I can only speculate. But then it wouldn't technically be the same plant that would be growing. Though genetically identical, the divisions would be smaller and "newer" plants than the parent plant from which they originated.
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By sanguinearocks101
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#353245
Some carnivorous plants are the only place where certain species live, for example, a species of bat lives in Nepenthes hemsleyana and nowhere else, same for ants and Nepenthes bicalcarata, Nepenthes ampullaria and a species of frog and countless other animals and plants. Most people are too absorbed into their phones and the media to give any of the countless species humans are killing a second glance.
Last edited by sanguinearocks101 on Mon May 04, 2020 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Benny
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#353249
I found this video, ignore the whole "plant booster" part. Look at how his plants look (in june) after this "short photoperiod".
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k7kVFBAtbIo

In all honesty, even if this was successful, I still would let my plants to go dormant in winter. No reason to burn electricity just to keep the plant green.
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By MikeB
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#353253
A little background info on this subject: the Venus flytrap is native to the area around Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. Winters there are cool, on average down around 35 F / 2 C at night and maybe 50 F / 10 C on a warm day. Every 2 or 3 years, there is light snow (that usually melts the next day).

I live just 40 miles / 65 kilometers west of the flytrap's range, so I'm well acquainted with these weather conditions. We never, ever, have warm winters. There will be crazy spikes where the daytime temperature jumps up to 70 F / 21 C, but that disappears in a day or two. Even where flytraps have naturalized in the Florida panhandle, it's still cool in the winter (go to Google and do a search on "climate Pensacola Florida").

These are the winter conditions that Venus flytraps have come to expect: cool temperatures and shorter photoperiods for 3-4 months. With all of the variety in the flytrap's genome, it's only natural to assume that some plants will be more tolerant of warmer winters (like Jagasian's SD Kronos). In the past, the flytrap's range used to straggle down the coast of South Carolina almost to the Savannah River. Those plants would have been adapted for mild winters, but even there, it still cools down.

In the end: you might get lucky and find some flytraps that tolerate warm winters. However, you can't make a blanket statement that "flytrap dormancy is NOT necessary". Most flytraps aren't geared for that, and I think you're much better off giving your plants a cool rest period for their long-term survival.
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By MikeB
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#353254
@Jagasian: Do any of your non-dormancy SD Kronos plants bloom in the spring?
By ChefDean
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#353367
Jagasian wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 11:17 pmThe original division may have died, I can’t tell because each new division creates more divisions.
You claim that dormancy isn't necessary, but then say you don't even know if the original plant is still alive. Do you know if any of the existing plants are more than 9 to 12 months old? Or are they all recent divisions?
Jagasian wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 11:17 pmEvery year I post here about skipping dormancy and everyone tells me the plant is going to die over the next year.
You're not the only one. But every other person who claimed it year after year stopped after their VFT died within a few years, while others had plants that thrived for a decade or more because they let millions of years of nature continue to run its course.
Jagasian wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 11:17 pmMaybe 2.5 years isn’t enough and it will die this year? Or maybe it will keep making new divisions and continue to thrive year after year.
Not enough time, and maybe it will sign off this year. Or maybe you're mistaking new divisions every year for thriving. If the mother plant dies every year (you already admitted you don't know), that's not thriving. It's putting its last ditch energy from being artificially fed with blood worms into dividing to try and survive.
Jagasian wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 11:17 pmHow many years do I have to do this until people admit that dormancy is not required?
A lot more than 2.5 with just a single plant.
In the 70's, scientists, using 14 years of data gathered from around the world, predicted an ice age would happen within the next decade. Then, in the late 90's, based on 20 years of data, and the lack of an ice sheet covering most of the Northern Hemisphere, the same scientists predicted global warming would have the polar ice caps melted and much of the land would be underwater within the next 50 years. Today, since nothing the computer models predicted is currently happening or ever happened, scientists are now just labeling it as climate change without even trying to be specific as to what may happen.
Can you imagine what kind of panic would be caused by scientists claiming one sort of global catastrophe or another every 2.5 years?

To get proof of your theory, you'd need to get at least 2 plants of each cultivar, preferably clones of the same plant. 1 would stay inside, 1 would stay outside. The inside plant would receive regular artificial feedings of blood worms, the outside would catch it's own food. The inside would not see much variation of temperature or lighting, while the outside would experience all that nature has prepared it for. Allow the outside plants to go dormant, while forcing the inside plants to skip dormancy. Maybe get 4 plants to get more detailed results. 2 inside, 2 outside, 1 inside and 1 outside get artificially fed blood worms, while 1 inside and 1 outside find their own bugs. The only thing you would need to do to the outside plants would be to make sure they have sufficient water. You decide if you're going to let them all flower, or cut the stalks. All or none.
Monitor them for several years, comparing growth, divisions, note if/when the original plant disappeared. Note if one plant dies completely, potential cause, whether it was inside or outside, and remove its twin from the experiment.
Then, once every cultivar has only one plant left, summarize the experiment by letting us know your findings.
You'll probably find some variations due to the different genetics between cultivars, SD Kronos may be a tough little bugger, but you'll likely find the vast majority of plants inside will have died off much sooner than the outside ones.
Once you have findings gained from actual scientific method, not opinion, get back to us.
We'll wait.
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By Artchic528
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#353376
I'm with Matt on this one. He's been successfully growing flytraps for years so I think he knows his stuff. Flytraps evolved in an area that has 4 distinct seasons, thus evolved to cope with said seasons. Anyone who has ever grown a plant knows to immitate their natural environment as much as possible to allow them the most potential to thrive. This includes seasons. I've grown my plants outside year round and still have the original plants I bought (not a new division) for 3-4 years now. Sure, they've divided, but I still have the original division itself. If anything, Jagaison's plants prove that dormancy is required as his divisions die off shortly after dividing themselves. But alas, to each their own. If that's how Jagaison wants to grow their plants, then who am I to suggest otherwise?
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By ChefDean
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#353379
Artchic528 wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:14 pmIf that's how Jagaison wants to grow their plants, then who am I to suggest otherwise?
Probably the best point made. One we all missed, but should have been foremost on our minds.
Thank you Artchic.
By Copper2
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#353381
You guys are also forgetting something. As flytraps are monocarpic bulbs the mother plant actually die after flowering and an offset is produced from the base of the mother bulb which is the “division” that replaces the mother plant. So this idea that the mother plant lives a long time is foolhardy so it’s not surprising that as Jagasian’s plant divides and the mother plant dies
By Benny
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#353386
Don't they live through flowering? I thought they did, just were weakened. :?
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By salty
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#353388
Copper2 wrote:You guys are also forgetting something. As flytraps are monocarpic bulbs the mother plant actually die after flowering and an offset is produced from the base of the mother bulb which is the “division” that replaces the mother plant. So this idea that the mother plant lives a long time is foolhardy so it’s not surprising that as Jagasian’s plant divides and the mother plant dies
I don’t believe they are monocarpic. Can you show research that says that? I’d be interested to read that.
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By Artchic528
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#353391
ChefDean wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:42 pm
Artchic528 wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:14 pmIf that's how Jagaison wants to grow their plants, then who am I to suggest otherwise?
Probably the best point made. One we all missed, but should have been foremost on our minds.
Thank you Artchic.
You're welcome. :D
Copper2 wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 8:00 pm You guys are also forgetting something. As flytraps are monocarpic bulbs the mother plant actually die after flowering and an offset is produced from the base of the mother bulb which is the “division” that replaces the mother plant. So this idea that the mother plant lives a long time is foolhardy so it’s not surprising that as Jagasian’s plant divides and the mother plant dies
There is absolutely 0 definitive evidence to support the idea that Flytraps are monocarpic. If anything, this is a falsehood propagated from people buying already sick and dying plants and allowing them to flower, thus killing them off as they put what little energy they do have into flowering and can't survive the process.

From my experience alone, my mother plants are still alive and have produced flower stems for several years in a row. Granted I cut them off when they are a few inches tall to keep the plant from expending most of it's energy into the flowering process and thus allow it to focus solely on making traps and catching prey.
Last edited by Artchic528 on Tue May 05, 2020 9:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By Benny
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#353392
Same. Mine flowered in February and are still fine.
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