What's with all this Flytraps Outdoors Stuff?

joeb004(z3/4 MN)May 26, 2006

Time to Rant!

Don't get me wrong, I've got Red Dragon, Dente, and Typical all growing outside. I've even got a Typical going on an East window sill (just to see how that goes). However, my best looking flytrap BY FAR is the Red Dragon that I grow inside one of my terrariums. Keep in mind that I have reflective one way glass on three sides of a 20 gallon long breeding tank and a combined 100W of compact fluorescent day lighting over the tank. I've also rigged up a computer fan on the inside which keeps the air moving. So the setup is pretty good IMO.

My outdoor flytaps end up looking kinda spindly (but healthy). I can only assume that is from the relatively low humidity in Minnesota afternoons (since they're all in full sun).

I think it's fine growing them outdoors, but people have gone too far in saying that is always the best way. Now I see some people posting that they will die in a terrarium...which is clearly not true if you know what you're doing.

If you live in North Carolina or a similar climate, by all means grow them outdoors. Just keep in mind that most of us don't, and outside isn't always the "best" way.

If by best you mean safest; then terrarium is clearly the best way when it's done properly. I can control the climate. I have ZERO problems with harmful insects, hail, racoons, birds, dogs, etc. Fungus might be a concern in a terrarium, but I have never lost a flytrap...and certainly haven't lost one to fungus. Pitcher plants of course are another matter, but you don't generally grow them in terrariums.

Ok...rant over! ;)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

terrariums are not the best it needs the sun. and in the winter it will need a propper dormancy wich a terareum can not provide.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

Have you tried 100W of compact fluorescent daylight bulbs on a 20gallon long set up like I have? At about 14 hours a day, you aren't far off of full sun. In fact, my terrarium red dragon has better color than the one outside!

And what makes you think you can't do dormancy in a terrarium? That is nonsense...how do you think I do it? I dare you to try and do winter dormancy outdoors in MN...now that would be a trick! LOL

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i wouldn't spend so much electricity on terraria if i can grow them fine outdoors.. maybe outdoors isn't suitable for the colder areas or drier areas of the continent. terrariums and vfts never worked for me. they always grew with malformed traps & in a weak manner. my vfts grow MUCH better outdoors than inside a terarium everytime my vfts go through dormancy, i still leave them outside. since the photo period decreases. my vfts get amount of 3 hours of photoperiod during the winters. this how they look like right now. much much vigorous than growned under lights.
sunlight cannot be compared with any lightbulb out there.

BEFORE, emerging out of dormancy:

AFTER, a few weeks after growth(present health)

My big bowl of vfts:

What catches my eye sight of the vfts' are the red hue in each of their traps. in terrariums, i can't even allow a vft flower cause' it focuses in making that flower stalk. Outdoors, i don't even have to worry, they grow fine and flower every season.

However, i do indeed can grow simple species in terraria such as droseras, and butterworts. since they only manifest growth from bright locations rather than stronger lighting compared to the vfts. i wouldn't spend electricity on a big terrarium ;) i rather conserve. oh, but i do start out my seeds in a small "germinator" using a 14 watt fan light bulb. after they germinate, i move my seedlings in a sunny windowsill. it's cool that you can grow your plants in terraria, maybe you should post pics. i wantt to see how you grow your plants. thanks in advance.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i never got these results in a terrarium.. I grew this vft bigmouth in a sunny windowsill then outside in the summers.. I NEVER got results like these.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
orquidman2004(z8 Coastal Ga.)

Hola- I keep my VFT on a bench of the GH! I am afraid of the slugs which I have seen outdoors! Even when they do not bother the PP. Luis

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

Hey Xymox, those look great. Now teach me how to do that outdoors in MN? If I can ever figure out how to post pictures, I'll post my terrarium Red Dragon vs Outdoor one. Terrarium is much better...easily. Of course we are talking massive amounts of light with my set up and high humidity plus constant breeze in the terrarium. Most people probably don't have all that. But my outdoor flytraps never look anything close to what you have there...not by a long shot.

But that's my whole point really. Outdoors alone isn't the answer, and neither is terrarium alone. You need to figure out what you can provide in both cases and see what works best. One is not clearly superior to the other in all cases. So while it's great to try outside, it's quite possible that you will get better plants indoors. My Red Dragon in the terrarium also has much much better color than the outdoor plant...lots of rain lately! :( I think I read somewhere that you can't keep a Red Dragon red in a terrarium. Anyway, I'll try and provide some "evidence" tonight.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 3:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When i deal with CPs i usually say "if it works, do it." So if your RDVFT does best in a terrerium then i say good job on keepin a vft healthy in terrerium. For me, mine are doing great outside i just wont post any pics because mine look nowhere near as awesome as xymox's because they are all young and small :p I had mine in a terrerium for a while and they didnt become unhealthy, they did grow slower and and close slower. But i didnt have and elaborate setup like joeb's either

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sorry joeb004

unfortunatly, i never been to Minnesota.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nothing is as good as natural sunlight, though, and for some reason, VFT's tend to be less forgiving than nearly every other CP in this area. Not from experience, but what I have read, the plant will slowly deteriorate over years of time, without adequate light and adequate rest.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 6:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For growing in Minnesota maybe what is needed is just
the right spot.
Maybe a south facing area in full sun sheltered from cold
winds-in fact the warmest spot near the house at night.
Test one out and see but be sure to acclimate it first or
it will get burned around the edges!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 9:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


if you are good growing your plants in terraria then that is good. if you are good at something, then keep up the good work. You can make a free account in www.photobucket.com to post pics. i really want to see more pics from different plant growers from this forum because it's nice sharing different ideas from other sources.

i have good news for you.
I just got a concert ticket to see Diary Of Dreams! WOOOOO!!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 11:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i coppied this off of a web site

If you wish to grow flytraps in a terrarium, it is best to keep the plants in pots for easy removal for their winter dormancy. Fluorescent grow light should be 6 to 10 inches above the plant and on a 12 to 14 hour photo period. Remove them in winter to a cold windowsill or outdoors. Flytraps will not survive well year round in warm, tropical terrariums

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
back2eight(South MS)

joe, the problem is that people think they can put fly traps in a terrarium and they usually don't get enough light, and they don't ever give them a winter dormancy. This is not helped by stores putting them indoors in the houseplant section. If you are giving them a winter dormancy then great, but the problem with people growing them inside is that they don't, and the plants die. People are treating these plants as tropical plants and trying to protect them from the cold, and that is why they die. I understand that when you don't live in the proper climate then you have to grow them indoors and I am glad that you found a way to do that. Like flytrapper said above, they can grow in a terrarium as long as they are getting the winter dormancy. It is not the terrarium per se that kills them, it is lack of proper growing knowledge.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 12:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

Sure, the winter dormancy is easy...the whole terrarium goes into my wine cellar! Problem solved! ;) That seems to work really well, some of these flytraps are 3 years old now. Anyway, here's some photos. Comparing the current photos was embarassing because my outdoor Red Dragons look really really bad right now...it's been too cold and too cloudy. Anyway, here is the middle end of last growing season outdoors...


Not too bad, but kinda spindly and not great color...especially for mid-late summer. Not sure why they are always so spindly for me outdoors.

Here's one of it's little divisions in the terrarium right now.


Nice color...good rosetted flytrap. Keep in mind, this is a little guy in a little pot. A big Red Dragon would get a bigger pot and be even closer to the lights. If I put one of my big Red Dragons in there, it would probably be a good 6 inches closer to the lights...at least. In any case, it's pretty clear that there isn't a light defeciency.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 7:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i saw your pics joeb004, good job. keep up the good work. maybe growing plants outdoors doesn't go well for everyone in the continent, both of your flytraps look beautiful

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 7:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

LOL...thanks for the compliment Xymox...but compared to your flytraps; mine looks like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down! It'll be interesting to see how the terrarium flytrap looks at the end of the growing season...I'll try and update everyone.


PS What happened to your thumb? Usually a black thumb refers to plant killers. LOL ;)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

cool! thanks buddy!:)

i've been growing a young flytrap inside an "egg mini terrarium" that i bought from cooks. i have been growing it inside for almost a month. i gotta admit the plant does look healthy. the mini terrarium is growing in a windowsill. the terrarium is an "egg" shaped thingy, with top covering for humidity. the plant is covered with the top all the time. 24/7 so, the plant is growing with long leaves. nice traps, but the traps are green instead of with the red hue. i still like it ,though. i fed it a small insect, the trap triggered in a slow manner. however, the plant is healthy enough/ i wantto post afew pics of the plant growing in the small egg mini terrarium. the egg mini terrarium is about 2" inchs & a half. the plant is quite young, i predict about 3 years of age. the whole kit is called "egg mini terrarium kit" it includes an egg mini terrarium, some peatmoss+perlite mix, and a young flytrap. i have to remove the top in order to get an image of the plant.

your plants don't look in a bad shape. to me they look really nice. my red dragon was knocked down offthe windowsill into the floor(my room is in the second floor, we have a two story house) so the plant fell into the floor and it died on me. i haven't growned a red dragon ever since, i just have dente, typical, bigmouth flytraps and red-long fingers and a sawtooth.

oh the thumb...
Lol, oh that was black nail polish. or atleast i don't remember smashing it on accident. :)

another reason why flytraps grow well in CA because it's a coast area, near the beach. in the carolina's flytraps live in the swampy bogs. when you think about it, it reflects the coast lines. southern CA has humidity during the mornings. it's get warmer during the mid day and nights. the nights are about 64 degrees or sometimes above during summers.(it depends)

if i lived in Minnesota, i would also grow flytraps in terrariums since it's usually cold.
same thing if i lived in northern states like colorado.

Or dryer states like texas, arizona or neveda. can't wait to see your plant's in the end of the growing season. do you have more plants that you grow in your terrarium besides red dragon? i like its coloration, though.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 8:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

Ah yes...good ol CA. Was born in Ventura myself, grew up in San Diego. I wasn't into CPs back then.

Plants in a terrarium, where to start? Lets see, I've got probably 5 species of pings, 3 species of drosera, 2 species pygmy drosera, 5 species of nepenthes, cephalotus, some flytraps, heliamphora ionantha, and am trying some rainbow plants from seed. Rainbow plants look like a failure on the first attempt, but I've still got some seeds left. Email me if you're interested in a trade or the specific species that I have. I'm also trying my hand at Voodoo Lillies/Amorphophallus this year. I've also been playing around with some very cool cacti and succulents.

Hey, I clicked on your profile. You're into horror huh? You MUST check out "Cemetary Man"!!! It's finally being released in the US on DVD. I bought a region free DVD player a few years back just so I could order this from Amazon France along with the French copy of Orson Welles "The Trial". I'm a huge horror buff myself.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cemetary Man at Amazon.Com

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 9:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well it is true that we all can't grow outdoors all year. I'm lucky enough to live in the southern part of the US where they are found naturally anyway. I think joeb004 should post blueprints of his setup. Everdently his design yeids great results! I've recently put together a terrarium for my tropicals and I could use all the help I can get!

Here is a link that might be useful: Backyard Bogs (The Natural Alternative)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i would be interested in getting some voodoo lillys, my place can use some rotting smell. muahaha. it will match nicely the "scene ov taste"

i never tried rainbow plants before, are they easy to germinate? probably.

yup you bet, i love horror movies, specially those retro 80s horror(and some cheesy old horror as well)

have you seen "Ichi the killer"? it's a sweet gorey movie, one of the best ones most likely. Hell raiser part 1 is far out one of my fave horror movies. so many many.. i have a list of old horror movies. cemetary man was a classic, i only saw it once when i was a child. the original 1973 exorcist was my also my fave, i used to watch it by my self when i was 5 years old with the lights off when i was home alone, it was just one of my childhood hobbies. along with messing around with insects(god bless them)

it's glad to know that there's also horror fans in here too. :D see ya. i will have probably some seeds soon, not sure when but i will inform everyone in the forum when i harvest seeds from my plants.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Now teach me how to do that outdoors in MN?"

I can tell you how to do it in even harsher conditions. It's taken me several years and several lost plants to weather both hot and dry and freezing, mold, birds, squirrels etc to figure out my current method. I've dabbled for decades with how best to grow these plants in the conditions I have. As far as my plants go I WISH I had the humidity you have in MN. You want conditions ill suited for CPs. Try East Central Iowa. It's hot, dry and very windy. The conbination is a real killer for any CP. And yet I grow mine outside very successfully. My VFTs will have 17+ flower stalks this year, most have two stalks. Now, all mine are typicals except the two very small yearling Big mouth VFTs (yes Xymox you inspired me with those amazingly beautiful plants). So they aren't as large nor as beautiful as those grown by Xymox. But they do very well.

How do I manage you ask? I do it as simply as I can. Over the years I decided the best if not the most attractive method was to wrap my CP pot. I got some 2 inch garden mesh (the green wire mesh to keep rabbits out of your garden). I wraped it around my CP pot about 24 inches high and then covered it with 3 mil plastic leaving the top open so excess heat can escape. The wire structure gives enough support that it's withstood 50 mile per hour winds, the plastic keeps the humidity up while letting a ton of light in. as I said it's not pretty but my plants love it. As far as wintering over, I just leave them outside until we start getting killing frosts at which time they go into an unheated mud room for the winter. It's worked very well for several years now and all my plants have grown to the point that I will have to get another pot or two next year.

BTW MY CP pot has:
12-15 mature VFTs and 5-10 yearlings/seedlings( I started with 3 maure plants 5 years ago)
9 S. leucophylla 'Tarnok' ( I started with 1, 4 years ago)
8 S. X Judith Hindle ( I started with 1, 4 years ago)
11 D. Filiformis ( I started with seed 2 years ago)
more D. rotundifolia than I care to count. They are a weed in my pot.

This year all my plants are blooming. So I think they like the set up I currently have.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 9:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Joe.

Just for a different solution used by many growers, how about a greenhouse?

If you can invest in such a fancy terrarium setup, I'm sure you can afford a small one. This would erradicate freezing winds, any form of precipitation, any local creatures and extend your growing season. It would also give you a reason to buy loads more CPs to fill it up :)



    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

Hey Clay, as an FYI, your average afternoon humidities are slighly higher than mine in MN; not lower. I don't know where you live exactly, but I compared Des Moines to Minneapolis on some Weather Site. You also get a longer growing season that I do being north of Minneapolis.

I hear what you're saying, I grow lots of my CPs outside (as I mentioned). I have my own little tricks too. However, my results aren't any better (and perhaps even slighly worse) than those grown in some of my terrariums.

And it is without a doubt, much more hassle to keep these plants outside. Time is one thing that I do not have in abundance. My terrarium plants get attention on Wed and Sunday. My outdoor plants need some attention every day. Then there are the things I mentioned before...coons, hail, excessive elements, squirrels, etc. None of that indoors.

If you can get the lighting right, and I think I'm pretty close, there is no doubt you can give these plants much closer to their ideal conditions in a terrarium if you live in MN or IA.

Hi Kyle...yeah, I was in the UK this winter...(went to see my beloved Newcastle United beat Arsenal at St. James Park). You guys have greenhouses everywhere!!! The problems for me right now are space and sunlight. I live in a fairly wooded location. Great scenery, but not much light getting into the yard. Buy you're right, I've been kicking around the idea of a greenhouse for a while.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 7:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hehe yeah greenhouses are very popular round here. You could always pick a spot then just prune the trees closest to it into a hedge. That way you get sunlight above it and it would serve as a wind-barrier to make the area warmer.

There's always a way.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 1:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

wow those pics look great, whats ur photobucket page id like to see some more of your plants by the way any tips ive got 3 red dragon VFT's growing outside in southwestern va. there sitting in about 2-3" of water (pan w/ water then plastic containers w/ the soil in in it w/ the vfts), they get about 12 hours of sun and they have a pretty nice red tent to them(hole leaf not just inside of trap in some cases) ive got one flowering but i cut the other 2 back because i listened to people who said it would sevearly weaken them. I'm really new to carniveris plants(well plants in general im 15 and hate helping mom in the garden)...so yea any tips would be much appricieated

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i just looked at the photobucket thing, dono if you can let ppl look at ur pics or not so just disregard that if you cant

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


i have to put the settings as 'public' however, the last time i did, some of my pics were erased by some one.. i guess i can make another account for plants only because i have that account and i have pics of me, which i hate ahahaha. sorry i hate pictures.. anyway, sure i guess i can make another account for plants only. i was thinking of making one anyway.. you can find it here:


    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


i have to put the settings as 'public' however, the last time i did, some of my pics were erased by some one.. i guess i can make another account for plants only because i have that account and i have pics of me, which i hate ahahaha. sorry i hate pictures.. anyway, sure i guess i can make another account for plants only. i was thinking of making one anyway.. you can find it here:


    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 1:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

you're my hero.. :p

Nice looking plants ... again.. :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ok, i never said that flytraps cannot grow in terrariums, i just said that they grow more vigorously outdoors. i have been growing two young flytraps in two different terrariums. one in the 'egg mini terrarium' that i bought from dean cook. the small egg terrarium is about 2" inches and a half in height. the kit brought an egg mini terrarium, some peatmoss+perlite and a young flytrap. the price was $1.29(not bad huh? what a deal)

so.. i have been growing the plant in a bright indirect area.(not full sun) in my room's windowsill. how i grow the plant was very simple, the egg mini terrarium is remained shut so humidity can be achieved by the dome. i have to admit, the plant does fairly nice, however, everytime i feed it , the traps closes in a slow manner rather than a fast motion than the plants that i grow outside. i am assumin that plants that are growned outside in full sun aquire more photoperiod & more energy from brighter/sunnier locations. not only that, the plant that i am growing in this egg mini terrarium does not that strong red hue inside the traps. they remain green, only one trap managed to reach a pinkish hue in one trap. Not only that, the plants i grow outside may grow tall leaves, but they are intact, the plant that i grow in the egg mini terrarium has floppy leaves; they are long and they wabble a little when i move the plant without its dome, the leaves are not intact like the plants' leaves that i grow outside. here's two pics of the plant inside the egg mini terrarium that i have been growing over 2 months now:
(this is how i always grow this plant, i keep the terrarium shut at all times, except when i water it, then i close it again)

Here's how it looks like without the dome:

Ok, this is another mini terrarium i made with a peanut butter/jelly jar. the jar was cleaned well. after that, i scattered some perlite on the bottom for drainage. then added a layer of peatmoss+perlite mix, then some live moss on top of the peatmoss for top dressing. after that, i planted a young flytrap(say about 3 years old) then.. i watered it. after that, i sealed the jar with a plastic wrap using a rubber band. the plant has been growing nicely, nice reddish traps, and it has been growing in there for almost a month. i am assumin THIS one gets red traps is due because i grow it in a different bright window. it gets BRIGHT light only, not full hot sun like my other windowsill plants. i only have watered this plant once. the sealed plastic wrap keeps the humidity very high since i only made 3 small ventilation holes on the top.
here's how the whole terrarium jar looks like:
( i apologize for the dark results but you get the idea)
But here's a better pic of the plant inside the terrarium jar:

Note: this plant's traps are reddishs since it gets brighter light than the one from the egg mini terrarium. it has a bit more room as well. the humidity plastic wrap helps it maintain the humidity high and helps the soil staying moist, even the live moss is growing nicely in there. i still do manage to get moss grow on top of my cps outside still. :D

Like joe said, flytraps may grow fine inside terrariums as long as you know what you are doing. it took some time for me to figure out what to do & how to grow flytraps inside terrariums without any artificial lighting. i DO NOT use any type of artificial lighting method to grow these two plants in their terrarium(too much electricity), they grow in a bright/semi sunny window with their domes shut at all times. these two terrarium plants get about..4 hours of bright light(not full sun)

However, i still find more attractive the plants that are growned outdoors..

hope you guys enjoy the pics :) well this is the method i use to grow flytraps inside terrariums. i am not sure if i could ever grow a larger plant inside a bigger jar, but i can always attempt to try.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sorry in the last sentence, i mistyped this last phrace:

"here's two pics of the plant inside the egg mini terrarium that i have been growing over 2 months now"

i mistyped " over 2 months" the plant has only been growing in the egg mini terrarium for only 1 month and few days now.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sorry i keep reposting..

this is another picture that i just took of the jar terrarium(the second mini terrarium above)despite the plant can bearly be seen, due to the high humidity inside the enclosed little jar that is growing. i finally were able to get a more descent pic of it.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 7:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey joeb004,

Although the discussion is old hope you see my post.

When you said that your VFT look kind of spindly, did you mean like these? (my plants)

First two are 'Akai Ryu', the next plants are 'typical', 'gint From', and 'Dentate.

As you can see the plants are starting to produce their "summer leaves", these are usually long and spindly, not short like the "spring leaves". Supposedly this allows the plants that are overgrown with grass to have their traps up high and not hidden from view.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 1:01AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Who has Sarracenia oreophylla?
I have a great clone of S. oreophylla and want to produce...
Horrible Experience with Mail Order
I ordered two plants from someone with a great website....
Artificial lighting for Sarracenia?
I lived in Zone 10 (San Francisco) and moved from a...
Nelenthes 5 basal shoots on 1 plant!
My newish nepenthes, not sure what kind since it was...
Miracle Gro
:/ sigh Miracle Gro..... so it seems that this stuff...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™