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    Our Venus Fly Traps

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    Joy
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    Post by Joy on Fri 30 Oct 2009, 1:32 pm

    Our Venus Fly Trap, AKA Fang, grew like wildfire during the winter of 2008. This is the time when it should be showing signs of dormancy. Do think the growers artificially alter the plants' dormancy period to suit the time of the year they are sent for sale. When we bought ours, late winter early spring, 2007, it looked as though it had been growing for some months & it just kept on growing. Finally, it stopped & started to shrink in size, growing no more traps, during the early summer of 2008/9.

    This concerned us as we didn't want to lose our Fang. :cry: Did a little research on the pros & cons of using the refrigerator's vegetable crisper for artificial dormancy. Most of the stuff on the net concerned using this method for regions which had freezing winters. Ours is just the opposite as we don't even have frosts & the normal nighttime absolute minimum would be about 10C (50F). Maximum would be between 16C-20C (60sF-70sF). Most of the sites I found were way too complex with their instructions, which put me off from even attempting to do it. THEN I found a great site which had down-to-earth simple advice. All you needed to do with this method was to scoop the plant & its rhizomes out of the pot with a handful of the potting medium. In our case, this was very damp, peat moss. Found that the plant was, actually, two plants. Then you place them into freezer or sandwich bags, tied the tops, leaving space in the bag between the tie & the plant. I used two freezer bags for each plant as they aren't very thick. We have two crispers in our refrigerator with one being able to be temperature controlled. This I set to vegetable function, as we did not want to freeze the poor things & they were popped in, & forgotten, for two & half months. Did check that they weren't freezing, when I remembered. :oops:

    This is how they looked when I brought them out of the crisper, & potted them, at the end of winter. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they looked the same as they did when they went into the crisper. This is a pic of them potted using the soil that they were in during their spell in the crisper.

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    Post by Joy on Fri 30 Oct 2009, 1:39 pm

    Here are images of when they were growing during the autumn/winter of last year.

    There is the husk of a fly in one of the open traps.



    Beginning of winter.

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    Post by Joy on Fri 30 Oct 2009, 1:41 pm

    A couple of weeks later, I decided to put them into bigger pots as the pots they were in could dry out too easily. Felt they needed some new potting medium, as well. This was not going to be easy as peat moss is notoriously difficult to hydrate thoroughly, so felt I should experiment with mixing it with live sphagnum moss. Did a, roughly, 50/50 mix & could not believe just how much easier, it was, to hydrate. :cheers: This was a huge relief & as these plants will grow in sphagnum moss, did feel it was a risk worth taking.

    A pic of the two tiny plants in their new homes. Should still be slowly awakening from their forced dormancy.

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    Post by Joy on Fri 30 Oct 2009, 1:42 pm

    Just under a month later there appears to be a bit of an awakening. Have now put some sphagnum moss mulch on the surface of their potting medium. Helps to keep them moist.

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    Post by Joy on Fri 30 Oct 2009, 1:43 pm

    Twelve days later. Looks to have been a bit of a growth spurt. There are some more traps & a flower stem growing on one of the plants & they look to be the same size now.

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    Post by Joy on Fri 30 Oct 2009, 1:45 pm

    Venus Fly Traps, in common with other carnivorous plants, cannot tolerate tap water treated with chlorine &/or with fluoride. If your tap water is treated only with chlorine, let it stand in an open container to allow the chlorine to escape, for at least 24hrs, preferably longer, before using. This does not work if there is also fluoride in it, as it will not evaporate from the water. We use rainwater for ours. Have read, somewhere, that rainwater in the US is too acidic for them. Don't know how they would survive in their natural habitat of North & South Carolina if this were the case.

    The salts in treated water are detrimental to these plants' health & survival. If you can't collect rainwater then distilled/deionised water can be used. They tolerate "over" watering as they can live under water for a while & should be kept moist at all times. Peat moss is impossible to rehydrate if it dries out. :roll:

    What they really do need then, is to have a dormant period, which is why I shall continue to give them "time out" in our refrigerator crisper each winter. Too many people think their plant has died & chuck them, when, in fact, they have just gone into dormancy. They are, apparently, slow growers.

    This is a wonderful & interesting plant to keep on a patio, verandah or in a courtyard. If kept inside don't forget that insect sprays are very harmful for them, as are the flies or insects that have been sprayed. Some people give their VFTs a piece of minced meat but it isn't necesary, I believe, & may actually harm the plant due to the fact that there could be, heaven forbid, some preservatives in the meat. :x Insects that are too large for the traps are, also, not good for it. So, all in all, they are best left to their own devices, apart from watering them frequently. Can't say this often enough ~ keep them wet!!!! Mine are watered daily & if we go away for a short time, they are placed in buckets with dechlorinated, or rain, water, up to the level of the potting medium. Ours are in water saver pots which have a hole on the side down near the bottom of the pot & this lets the water, in which they are standing, in to keep them moist.
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    Post by Joy on Mon 23 Nov 2009, 3:49 pm

    Our Venus Fly Traps have grown a flower each. Thought I would leave them to grow so I could see what they look like. Normally, I would cut them off as flowers, apparently, divert growing energy from the traps to the flowers. Don't need the seed. One of the flowers opened today & it is a single one. The other plant has, what looks like, a double. Shall remove the open one tomorrow as I would like the plant to start growing bigger traps. The ones they have at the moment are very small. Might catch a teeny-weeny mosquito.

    Here is an image of the buds on the other VFT, yet to open.



    The flower which opened today. The flower is 2cms across when fully opened.



    Last edited by Joybells on Mon 23 Nov 2009, 3:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Post by Joy on Mon 23 Nov 2009, 3:51 pm

    Still opening.



    Still opening & fully open.

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    Dawn

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    Post by Dawn on Thu 10 Dec 2009, 6:07 pm

    I loved reading this . I never knew that they flowered. I had one years ago and of course it died, as I do not have it any more. I always walk away from them in the shop as I never really knew how to grow them.

    I have seen them growing in the side of a ravine, we were on a hike years ago. Please note "years ago" . I was in trouble with everyone as I lagged behind looking for more. I was fascinated by them, I eventually found three.
    Thanks Joy! that was most interesting.
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    Post by Joy on Thu 10 Dec 2009, 8:35 pm

    Thanks Dawn. My two seem to have stopped growing. Do hope this is caused by the flowers, as they may start to do a bit of growing, again, now that they have been cut off. It bothers me that they are still tiny. It may be, that it will take a bit of time to get them back into a normal cycle after 18mths of frantic growth, followed by a year's dormancy to recover from it. Shall put them back into the refrigerator's crisper next June, regardless, to try & establish a normal "routine" for them.
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    Post by Joy on Fri 07 May 2010, 11:23 am

    Well, I tossed one of the poor little Venus Fly Traps as I wanted to use its pot for something else bur have noticed that the other one hasn't entirely disappeared. Took a pic of it this morning & cropped it, so that the traps are a wee bit more noticable. Only just though. :D

    If you look hard you might just see them. :whistle:

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    Post by Joy on Sat 08 May 2010, 2:49 pm

    Caught a bug off Tyler, so when I saw a large display of Venus Fly Traps at our favourite plant retailer, how could I resist. :whistle: Bought two of these healthy looking plants. :D Shall have to ask Tyler if I can repot them into larger pots.

    :)
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    Post by Joy on Thu 13 May 2010, 3:52 pm

    Potted these two today. They look so small in their new pots. They are in a mix of peat moss & sphagnum moss, thoroughly wetted with rainwater. At least one of the traps managed to get some of the mix in its trap, no matter how careful I was, & is closed tight with dirt hanging out. Others are closed, too, but they don't have the dirt mix in their traps. Maybe something to eat came their way. It will be winter in a few weeks so I just hope they will be ok for that. Trouble is our winters aren't all that cold.

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    Post by Guest on Thu 13 May 2010, 10:27 pm

    remember they dont absolutely have to go dormant. most of the greenhouse,nurserys usually skip a dormancy to make them bigger but the next year after they most def need one =]

    and they always look smaller when you repot D:
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    Post by Joy on Fri 14 May 2010, 8:42 am

    The plant nurseries here, especially large ones like Collectors' Corner (Paradisia Plants) who sell all over the world, never seem to let their VFT go into dormancy. I found that out with my last one which is now the teeny tiny plant. It, finally became smaller & smaller, then seemed to go dormant in the middle of our summer, 18mths ago!! :mad: Still, it does seem to be alive & did have THAT dratted flower!!! :angry: :lol:

    Repotted VFTs do always look smaller, don't they?? :lol:
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    Post by Guest on Fri 14 May 2010, 11:05 pm

    yeah its not the fact that VFT are big its the fact that when they grow together they look big lol.
    heh yeah thats what i was thinking too.
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    Post by Joy on Sat 15 May 2010, 9:52 am

    The shelf the Venus Fly Traps were sitting on, collapsed, yesterday. Luckily, they & the hoya "Royal Hawaiian" with them, didn't suffer any damage. :cool: It was the poor plant they fell on that suffered the most. :apgn:
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    Post by Dawn on Mon 17 May 2010, 5:33 pm

    Oh dear Joy what bad luck that can be so irritating . Hope it didn't damage it too much.
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    Post by Joy on Mon 17 May 2010, 5:41 pm

    Thanks Dawn, but it wasn't far for them to drop & the plant underneath cushioned their fall. They seem none the worse for it. :excited:

    It is was an old computer desk with shelves & wasn't meant to be out in the rain, etc. The shelving just, sort of "melted" at the frame edges. :whistle:
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    Post by Guest on Tue 18 May 2010, 2:49 pm

    =[ poor plant underneath them.
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    Post by Joy on Tue 18 May 2010, 3:06 pm

    :lol: Yes, it did sacrifice itself in saving the other plants. :( Well, not entirely, only half of it was broken, the rest is ok. :good:
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    Post by Guest on Wed 19 May 2010, 1:30 am

    Joybells wrote::lol: Yes, it did sacrifice itself in saving the other plants. :( Well, not entirely, only half of it was broken, the rest is ok. :good:

    well on the brightside you still got the other plants and half of the one it should grow back and thrive once again.
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    Post by Joy on Wed 19 May 2010, 7:40 am

    True Tyler. It is a New Guinea Orange impatiens which I thought was an annual BUT it just keeps on flowering. Have two more of 'em. :whistle:
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    Post by Guest on Wed 19 May 2010, 8:55 am

    Joybells wrote:True Tyler. It is a New Guinea Orange impatiens which I thought was an annual BUT it just keeps on flowering. Have two more of 'em. :whistle:
    hehe :D yay for more =] on the 1st of june ima going to get a premo "Big Jaws"
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    Post by Joy on Wed 19 May 2010, 9:38 am

    Great stuff, Tyler. :cheers: Like the sound of its name. :cool2: Aaaaaaaaaah, but will it eat cockroaches??? :lol:

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