carnivorousplantsSeptember 15, 2007


My venus flytrap, which I bought at wal-mart about 5 weeks ago, seems to be heading into dormancy.I have read that neglected flytraps from hardware stores don't have an idea what season it is. Probaly from low light conditions.

Anyway, lots of it's leaves are turning black and the plant has completly stopped growing.I am sure it is dormancy because it was doing fine before and I have slightly cut down the light.(Brought them inside because of wind).

Anybody have any simple methods?



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Hello carnivorousplants,

Right now getting the plant a stable environment would be best. If the plants are getting a long enough day they should not go dormant. Try placing them in a window where they get all day sun and placing a supplemental compact florescent bulb in a table lamp or a 40 watt twin tube shop light fixture over it for 16 hours a day. Make sure the light is about 4 inches from the plant so it gets window light and artificial light at the same time. It is only a couple months till you will need to begin the dormancy cycle anyway, worst case scenario is you have a flytrap in dormancy for a longer period and just bring it out in February as normal.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:59PM
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It may not be going dormant, but may just be adjusting to change in conditions. As suggested above, get it into stable conditions first and then worry about providing a dormancy.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 2:16PM
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I did as you said and once it was in stable conditions, I unpotted the plant, wrapped some moss around it's roots, then put it in a baggie in the refridgerator.Now, since it is getting close to winter, I don't know if I should put them in the refridgerator like the fly trap of should I put them outside.And since it getting colder here, will my other plants be showing any signs of dormancy?
And I know plants have different amounts of dormancy, and since I have alot of different plants, I don't know if I should take some out of dormancy earlier or later than other plants.I have never put plants into dormancy, I don't know how to do it.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 10:01AM
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Hmmm. Only place it in the fridge if you are sure it is dormant. If you had the plant under 16 hours of florescent light and window light at the same time, it likely was not dormant as petiolaris advised. I had the same situation with a repotted Sarracenia recently... it slowed ddown and stopped growing for a couple of weeks until it acclimated and now it is growing again. If the Flytrap is not really dormant, it might die in the fridge with no light. I did not know you were going to place it in the fridge. Just leave it in the window and let nature take its course. If the plant wants to go dormant, it will... if not, it won't.

When the days get shorter in fall, your plants will all slow down in growth and the North American ones will produce hormones to protect them from cold. In November, you can lessen the hours by one per week on your florescent lights until your down from 12 hours a week at the start of November to 8 hours a week at the end of November, Once the first frosts hit outside, place the plants in the fridge if that is the way you are going to do dormancy. When February comes, take them out of the fridge and place them back in the window. Put florescent lights on for 8 hours a day over them and ramp it up to 12 hours over the next four weeks, reversing what you did for November. After that you can increase the florescent light to 16 hours a day for the rest of the growing season and lower it to 12 hours at the start of November again as you get ready to place the plants in dormancy again.

The Flytrap should be ok if you get it out of the fridge now and back in it regular spot... they can survive shipping and dark for a few days and cold of 40 degrees will not harm it even if it is not dormant. Just be patient with it and wait till November to actually put it in the fridge.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:24AM
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Good information in the above posts.

I think your plant is just really confused as to what is going on - moved outside, inside, removed from pot, put in fridge, etc. I think if you give it stable growing conditions with ample light, it will settle down and resume growing. Then you can bring it into dormancy around November as suggested above. Here's a link to the ICPS FAQ on dormancy tricks for flytraps:

I use the chilly window method for dormancy, and my flytraps have been thriving for years that way. But I'm in a cold climate where January nights regularly dip below zero degrees F, and -30F is usually the coldest night of the winter. So there's a good draft from the basement window that keeps the plants chilled. Also, we only have 7 hours of sunshine in December (vs. 17 hours in June), so there are strong light cues for winter dormancy. (Our basement windows are above ground level, so the plants receive some direct sunshine.) I don't know what kind of climate you have, so this might or might not work for you.

I brought my flytraps inside yesterday because I'm tired of covering them up when frost threatens (27F last night). In the chilling fall weather they have pretty much gone dormant (lots of mature traps, but few new traps forming). The basement is still pretty warm this time of year, so if they want to resume growing for awhile that's okay, they will go back to sleep when the days get shorter and the winter drafts chill them into hibernation.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 4:09PM
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