VFT Care

bomber095(z5b MA)September 26, 2005

My girlfriend and I recently bought a venus fly trap from Walmart (I know, I know :-P) and it needs to be repotted. I have heard conflicting opinions on the medium I should transplant into. Some say regular potting soil is fine, while others says that you should use a potting mix formulated for African violets. Anyone have any advice?

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Vertigo6911(Holland USDA 8a)

do not, let me just repeat that; DO NOT! use regular potting soil.
VFT needs nutrient deficient medium and the nutrients in regular soil will surely kill them off slowly.

the medium to use is a mix of 3/1 peat/sand.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 2:22PM
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necro1234(z6 UT)

Hi agreed
When you next see those people who offered you that advise please smack them upside the head.
There are many mixes, but the major thing is that you want NO normal soil and you WANT sphagnum peat moss.
An ideal and easy mix is to do as follows:
Buy the following:
Perlite
Dried Sphagnum Moss
Sphagnum Peat Moss
(would suggest you look for CANADIAN SPHAGNUM PEAT and SPHAGNUM MOSS)
Next get your pot.
Soak some of the dried sphagnum moss in water to rehydrate it.
Take some of this and put it at the bottom of your pot so it will cover the drainige holes (it stops soil mix escaping)
Next make a mix of 50% Perlite and 50% Sphagnum Peat Moss (Peat moss is broken down Sphagnum moss and is a dark brown in colour)
Fill the pot with this mix and give it a good soaking with PURE WATER.
Pure water is RAIN, DISTILLED or REVERSE OSMOSIS water, extended use of tap water can really harm the plants because of the high mineral count.
Ok, once done, make a hole in the soil using a pen or something,
Lay the roots of the VFT over the hole and GENTERLY push them in
Once its in carefully pack the soil around the roots.
You are all done.

Now, no feeding it meat or any other weird things, only insects.
No potting soil or hard water (tap water)
LOTS of light, they love full sun or you can use fluoresent bulbs, I suggest atleast 20watt fluoresent but advise 40watt.
In the wild VFTs do go dorment, long time and expert growers such as Byron_1 have grown these plants without dormency using terrarium setups with artificial lighting.
If you are in a cold climate (in winter) you could put your plant in an unheated room such as a garage, temps for dormency that would be fine are from 30-50 F roughly.
Dormency starts at about Halloween and ends by the latest at Valentines day.
You will note growth will slow down and stop.
Leaves may start turning black and lower leaves will grow for the winter period.
Once the plant decides to go dorment you will them decrease your watering to just bearly keep the soil moist.
When dormency is over you will note new growth from the plant, then start full watering again.
VFTs like constantly moist soil in their growing season.
Place the pot in a water tray and water overhead, allow the tray to fill up from the drainige.
Leave it untill the tray has evaporated and then rewater.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Sheldon

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 4:39PM
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bomber095(z5b MA)

Thanks Sheldon, I will go to HD tomorrow to see what I can find. I will pick up some distilled water at Walmart. What about occassional misting of the traps? Distilled water as well?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 3:21PM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

not to much misting it will cause bacteral growth.. n u will know by a funk permiting fom the plant. And traps dont mind it...they get rained on i tried an experiment stream of water on the plants... traps didnt close.. they know the difrnet.. they are smart like that!

Lol

Cheers

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 7:38PM
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necro1234(z6 UT)

Hi

Well once you harden off your plants you your climate there should be no need to mist them, it wont hurt though.
If you do then be sure to use pure water as the minerals would be left on the leaves and could cause leaf burn.
To harden the plant off do the following.
You normally get them in a cup with a clear dome.
Pot your plant and get a clear dome such as the bottom half of a 2 litre coke bottle.
Place it over the pot to keep the humidity high.
Leave it like this for 3-4 days.
Then raise one side of the dome by 1 inch for 3 to 4 days.
Then raise 2 sides by 1 inch for 3 to 4 days.
Then all four sides for 3 to 4 days.
Then remove the dome.

Your plant should now have adapted to the humidity you have it under indoors (dont ever put the plant outdoors with a dome on, it will cook itself in the sun)
We need to harden it off because they are used to the high humidity from the dome that is over them, suddenly removing it will shock them and most likely kill them.
If the plant starts to wilt a little then give it a misting, I have about 30-40% indoor humidity with mine and they never gave any problems from adapting to the humidity after hardening off.
You will notice the leaves get a darker colour and get sterdy and toughen up when not under constant high moisture.

Cheers

Sheldon

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 10:33PM
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joel_grower

hi I have a vft that my aunt just got me. I found out that it needs a dormancy period from october to february.so mine stays sealed in a container in the fridge during the day then at about 7:00 I take it out of the fridge and tke off the container lid. next, I open my window and set it on the window sill under a flouresant light.I keep the light on for only two and a half hours. I let the plant get cold fresh air all night and put it back in the fridge the next morning.I have just started this cycle and am hoping that it will get my vft through dormancy. Is this a proper meathod.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 10:03PM
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petiolaris(Neutral)

I can make it simpler for you. My first season with VFT's and dormancy ended up with them being in the butter keeper of the fridge, uncovered, as is, in their 2" pots. Air circulation would be a good thing. Just leave them in there and water only when the soil surface dries out.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 7:41PM
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