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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By Propag8
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Posts:  289
Joined:  Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:43 pm
#357043
Hi guys this is my first post so forgive me if this has been addressed before. I live in UK and have set up a small grow space in what is essentially a concrete shed with no windows as I have very limited space and indoors is taken up by orchids. My question is when my vft enter dormancy which I'm assuming they will do naturally in the unheated shed (please correct me if im wrong) what are lighting requirements time wise. How much light per day in hours would you recommend and should this be reduced gradually. I'm using a 300w cfl bulb 6500k about 4 inches away. I havent measured temperatures in the shed but im guessing they are only a couple of degrees above external temps if that. Thanks in advance im new to vft growing I'm currently propagating some b52 plants (well attempting anyway). I put them in full sun at every opportunity ( the mother plants not leaf pullings) but come on it's Britain lol. :)
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By Panman
Posts:  280
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#357047
I would use the amount of time the sun is actually in the sky as your guide. If you are under 12 hours of light you might gradually cut back to 6. I grow mine outside so I just let mother nature handle it.
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By Propag8
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#357054
Thanks i thought about this but was thinking maybe in their native natural habitat in the winter season the days may be a bit longer than here in UK and I could optimise their bulb development by mimicking this. I don't know a lot about the weather characteristics in that part of the United States but I suppose if temperatures are similar to UK the light cycle must be too. I'm hoping to convince my Mrs to let me take up our only garden space with a greenhouse to simplify everything but it's proving difficult lol. I know its obviouslyì not that important to be super accurate but if im paying running costs of growing indoors i wanna squeeze as much growth as possible but still try and keep close to natural cycles I want a healthy plant. Also I know I'm rambling on but is it temperature alone that triggers dormancy or is it light also in other words could lights be run for 12 hours in low temperatures or would this disturb the Dormancy? as i understand it the vft is far from asleep during dormancy and alot of unseen development is going on below the soil level even if leaves die back and requires good lighting for this am I wasting my time trying to maximise this.
By mcgrumpers
Posts:  235
Joined:  Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 am
#357080
I believe VFTs are native North Carolina: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/wilmington-nc

According to that link, daylight hours range from 10 to 14.5.

It's possible to place VFTs in a refrigerator for winter dormancy so they seem to be able to survive without any light while asleep. Perhaps this suggests that the exact amount of light you give them during dormancy doesn't matter that much? (I'm far from an expert so take this with a grain of salt)
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By Propag8
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Posts:  289
Joined:  Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:43 pm
#357081
Wow that's pretty interesting the daylight hours seem pretty long in comparison to the UK. Your right I hadn't even thought about plants surviving with little to no light during dormancy seems like it would be a waste of money to run lights any longer than a few hours then if that. Thanks
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By Panman
Posts:  280
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#357102
I agree. Mine spend the winter buried under a pile of leaves so I am pretty sure that not much light gets to them.
By tommyr
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Joined:  Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:38 am
#357360
I've been using the fridge dormancy method for over 12 years now and it works great. No problems at all.
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By Propag8
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Joined:  Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:43 pm
#357363
Tommy I think my plants should go into dormancy naturally as I live in Wales UK it gets pretty cold during winter and they are in an unheated shed. Just didn't know how much light to give. As you said if it worked for you in the fridge for that long I don't think I need to be concerned much over lighting although I will provide some.
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By Matt
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#357399
Propag8 wrote:As you said if it worked for you in the fridge for that long I don't think I need to be concerned much over lighting although I will provide some.
If the temperature is a steady 35-38°F (2-4°C) like a fridge that never changes, then it is OK to leave them in the dark for an extended period of time. However, if there is a chance that the temperature can rise and there's any ambient light, flytraps will try to grow even in dormancy. When growing without any light to fuel their growth, they run the risk of exerting themselves to the point they become very weak and can die from disease.

Ideally, temperatures are fairly mild (not colder than 50F or 10C or so) and Venus flytraps get full sunshine all during dormancy. Then they actually put on some decent growth below the ground and come out of dormancy much larger in the spring.
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By Propag8
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Posts:  289
Joined:  Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:43 pm
#357406
Ah thanks for clearing that up Matt. I will definitely have fluctuations in temp unlike a fridge and not ideal temps as it will definitely be below 10 degrees centigrade here in winter so from what you say light will be important. From what ive heard from local growers they can survive freezing temps if shielded from frost hope thats true or they are done for. :|
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By Matt
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Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#357409
Propag8 wrote:From what ive heard from local growers they can survive freezing temps if shielded from frost hope thats true or they are done for.
It seems to happen about once a year that our heaters don't kick on during a very cold spell and our plants freeze solid. They can stand being frozen just fine. Also, we often leave them outside in the fall until the first frost. Frost damages the leaves a little bit, but certainly won't kill them.

The only flytraps I've ever lost in our climate were ones I left outside in small pots. The small pots were very wet (we have wet winters here) and continuously froze and thawed throughout the winter. The flytraps didn't like that! But they can easily take the occasional freeze or frost without any problems.
By Propag8
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Posts:  289
Joined:  Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:43 pm
#357417
That's a big relief pretty impressive they can survive being frozen solid too. Thanks for taking the time to answer that for me. :) also I noticed on the fly trap store you can't ship plants out of the US is that a permanent deal or due to other reasons? Would love to purchase some of your cultivars if for one you can ship them and two they would survive. Purple ambush is especially on my hunting list.
By Propag8
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Posts:  289
Joined:  Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:43 pm
#357436
I already found my answer to the shipping question in the fly trap store chat section. It's a shame legalities get in the way I'm sure you would have a lot of customers for live plants overseas but I understand the complexity of it. There is a vft grower/nursery here in UK selling I think maybe 3 clones of your cultivars (Triffid nurseries) frustratingly not the ones on the top of my list but fts cultivars all the same. :D
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By Matt
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#357502
Propag8 wrote:There is a vft grower/nursery here in UK selling I think maybe 3 clones of your cultivars (Triffid nurseries) frustratingly not the ones on the top of my list but fts cultivars all the same.
Glad to see that our cultivars are making their trip around the world!!
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