How can I revive a totally dead venus fly trap?

keganJune 7, 2009

A friend of mine gave me a fly trap (in what appears to be a cylindrical terrarium) in March and it slowly stopped growing traps (the stems would grow up high and sprout leaves - as if about to grow traps - then die) and turned black. I have dug it out of the soil carefully and put it in a ziploc bag to see whether the roots etc looked strong enough to grow back, and I'm going to give it a shot.

Does anyone know how to revive a totally dead fly trap - one too dead to get nutrients through insects?

I have read that I should use distilled water, a larger pot and a mixture of peat and sand for soil. Is this correct and will it be enough?

Thank you.

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If it was growing long stems and dieing, it sounds like it was lacking light. Another factor I would like to know is, what were you watering it? And how much?

Some growers use a mixture of 1 part sphagnum peat moss and one part sand, silic sand being the prefered sand. Others use regular sand but you have to wash it 1st. Watering it with distilled water is the best water for carnivorous plants, it has no minerals and chlorine that will kill your plants.

Putting it in a Ziploc bag definitely would kill your VFT if its still alive. Now that you dug it out, what color is the bulb? A healthy bulb is white & crispy with green tipped sprout of new leaves on top. But if it looks kinda brownish and mushy. ItÂs dead.

Check the post: Kids VFT dying- not sure how to revive it, posted by "karendee" on Sun, May 17, 09 at 11:59. There are instructions how to grow VFT that can help you.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:09PM
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Thanks for the quick, informative reply.
I don't know that it's any more dead than it was before I dug it out(and then placed it in a ziploc bag) this morning, but I really don't know anything about plants, so maybe there is no hope of reviving it.

I was probably giving it 1/2 cup of tap water every couple of days and it was just outside a window with little sunlight.
The whole plant is a mushy brown color, but there is a distinctly white growth among the roots. I'm guessing that's the bulb. It's looking fairly good by comparison to the rest of the plant, but it's hardly crisp.

I can take some pictures if that would help.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 12:37AM
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If it's truly dead. it will not come back to life. Tap water would also kill it. I would cut off all dead material and replant in long fibered sphagnum / orchid moss and place under artificial lighting to see if there is any life in it at all. Buy distilled water and water it through the top, but don't let it stand in water. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 11:00AM
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Is this being grown inside? These are not indoor plants regardless of who tells you different. NO TAP WATER either. No need to feed it also.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 5:57PM
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It's been grown mostly indoors with tap water.
Should I replant the bulb by itself? All of the plant is brown and appears dead besides a few stems connected to the bulb.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 7:46PM
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Chuck it out and get a new one. Rain or distilled water only and get it OUTSIDE in full Sun.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 12:17PM
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It certainly appears to be completely dead. The white color almost looks like the mold that appears on some of my pots when dead things start showing up. There's a *chance* that you could put the bulb in another pot and after 2-3 months it'd come back, but the chance is somewhat low. You are probably better off starting anew.

Fortunately Flytraps -- at least the average types and not rare varieties like B52 or Gold Strike -- are somewhat easy to get. I know that one has sentimental value to you, but in all likelyhood it's a goner.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 12:43PM
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thanks again for all the replies.
I'll probably buy a new one and new soil, distilled water, etc., then plant the old, dying bulb in what's left of the soil as a sort of experiment.
However, I don't think anywhere where I live sells flytraps. (It's a somewhat small town - what I get I usually get in a walmart garden section) Are they easily grown from seeds? any idea where I can get high-quality seeds, soil, etc online for a relatively low price?

any related information is appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 2:10PM
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There are a number of good online CP seller. Sarracenia Northwest, Cooks, California Carnivors. Prices are reasonable. Get a plant or 2. I have no seed starting experience with them but know they take a long time to get to adult I believe (corrections welcomed!)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:45PM
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From what I've read on CP seed sites/blogs, Fly Traps are extremely difficult to maintain for more than a few months, even with meticulous care. Is growing them from the seed pretty much impossible for a beginner?
Would I see a plant growing, even a very tiny one, within a year or so?
Could I get a link to a reasonably high-quality seed kit type of thing? I really don't know what to look for and I hear some of the sites can be misleading.

Again, thanks.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:59PM
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Not impossible, just very slow. In fact, they'll pretty much take care of themselves if you have a cool wet winter. Expect 1 inch plants in 2 or 3 years. You'll probably lose a few but after they grow larger they will become very easy to grow.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 10:18PM
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I've decided that I'll order the most easily maintained carnivorous plant I can find from California Carnivores. Do you guys know of anything in the $8-20 range (not including shipping, potting, etc.) that will last a while and won't need a whole lot of sunlight? Something I can kind of just leave on a desk and water?
I've looked through almost all of the website and I've liked all the plants I've seen. The thing is, I can't seem to find any information on plant maintenance beyond "THIS PLANT IS EASY TO GROW" or "ALTHOUGH THIS PLANT CAN BE A CHALLENGE," etc.

Again, thanks for all of the help.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Adelae is a sundew that will do okay in lower sunlight. How far away is the desk from a window?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 3:01PM
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I agree with Alcran, Adelae grows like a weed! You'll have lots of them from one plant in NO time!

2 small plants gave me this by the end of last year:

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:05PM
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People that keep their VFT alive only for a few months are people that are doing everything wrong. The mistake people would do is plant them in generic potting soil, watering it with drinking water if not tap water, placing them in a low lit room because the store places them in a poorly lit area of the store, high humidity in the infamous cubes-of-death (making them prone to rot or fungus and easily shock when exposed to a drier environment). And the biggest mistake is people insist growing them through their dormancy. The reason is because of ill advice of a honest store clerk, a dumb book that explains how to grow house plants (one book stating to mix peat moss with regular potting soil), or simply people donÂt know

I have my VFT for over 7 years, I basically forget about them. Just making sure that they have their soil moist with distilled water. I even let them flower and I donÂt worry about that!

There was a time when 1st tried to grow VFT and other CP, I made the same mistakes. Growing them in a airtight terrarium under low lights and they would die. Becoming stringy and rot away.

Then I got Peter DÂAmatoÂs book The Savage Garden. I was surprised that he grew some plants, even neps in windsills. I did experiments of my own and now I have my VFT, growing in my room with less then 15% humidity. Along with my pygmy sundews, capensis, binata, a couple of Mexican hybrid pings, highland neps like truncata, ventrata, alata, ventricosa, & one lowland N. rafflesiana giant form (one of my experiments, the typical rafflesiana canÂt tolerate low humidy!)

VFT are easy to grow. TheyÂre are not hard at all. Just don't stop. Remember, we all went through this learning phase. I was the bane of the poor VFT myself!

These are other plants I find easy.

D. binata, capensis, I donÂt know to include pygmy sundews but the easiest are hydrids of D. occidentalis x omissa.
Nepenthes x ventrata, & N. sanguinea

I think you can ask for the "windsill specials", Peter DÂAmato is the owner of California Carnivores and IÂm sure he can advice which ones are the best.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 10:35PM
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Not sure why everyone is saying tap water kills a VFT. I had mine for over 2 years on only tap water. Vinnie passed away only after moving and I set the pot on the dashboard of the moving truck in a 99+ temp day and forgot him there for a few hours.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Most tap water has a high TDS (Total Desolved Solids) as well as other chemicals which kill CPs. Maybe yours has low TDS.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:26PM
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