Pics-venus and N Ventricosa Troubles

claritamariaOctober 8, 2006


I post on the orchid boards. My carnivors are doing very poorly.

Conditions: Indoors combination of natural sun (west window and lights) grown with orchids roughly 60% humidity often more 65-75º. Nice gentle breeze blowing and grown with my orchids who are doing well

what has happened? I also have a large N Ventricosa leaves are turning yellow but not spotted like the baby but new growth on top. Lost his big cup

1) do I feed them until they get new cups? I use superthrive, have schulz's, phyton, and rooting hormone

The fly trap is rubbery, looks like a bit of algea on the top of the dirt. I have treated it with phyon but no luck...its dying and i don't know why. it has full sun with the grow lights just as the ventricosa does

medium is perlite, moss and potting soil

any info may be helpful

Thank you All


PS There are small plants 2" for the ventricosa

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drosera36(z5 Rochester NY)

When you say that the soil mix has potting soil in it, do you mean like with fertilizer? That is not good, because these plants do not like fertilizer in their soil, it burns their roots.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 10:10PM
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no fertilizer Ben

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 10:43PM
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lindaflower(7 DFW)

Yeah, ixnay on the potting soil. Just moss and perlite would do. I guess you already use distilled water for your orchids so use that for the CP's. Don't worry about the algea on top of the soil. My suggestion is to rinse and repot both in clean pots with moss and perlite. Don't shock them with fertilizer (Superthrive)or anything else because they are about to go dormant in Chicago.

Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 11:53PM
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May I add that the VFT pot looks like it needs more water? It clearly shows that the soil is dry, especially around the rim. It looks very dry.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 3:23AM
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actually the VFT is soaking wet in the middle...

Question: If the Ventricosas go dormant how do I care for them through the winter months?

also to clarify, potting soil is just a tiny bit. the mix is mainly moss and perlite

Thanks to all for the help

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 11:14AM
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Nepenthes don't go into dormancy. in some states they decrease growth due to weather. but these are tropical plants meaning that they don't require a dormancy period.

your flytrap's soil does seem to be a bit dry. you should consider using a watering tray to water it. you may leave its soil a bit moist to soaking wet. the nepenthes soil is best to leave it moist.

maybe your nepenthes is getting too much strong light. Nepenthes do best in a bright light location. you mention they also get lights?

hmm.. potting soil is a bad thing here since these type of plants do not go well with fertilizers. these people are correct, their roots do burn if fertilizers are used. what you should do is just grow these two plants under articificial lights for a while. see if they recover.

the flytrap can use a water tray below its container to keep its soil moist. just used peatmoss+perlite for these plants. be patient, this procedure may take a while in order for these little plants to kick back and recover.

so, remove the potting soil, maybe repotting your flytrap will do. into a new media of peatmoss+perlite mix. then water it with purified water ONLY.. keep its compost moist at all times.. then grow these two plants under artificial lights for 2 - 3 weeks.

when did you purchase these two plants? what was the month or date? who knows, your flytrap may be going dormant.

the nepenthes probably is getting too much strong lighting. and too much watering. nepenthes prefer their media moist and not soaking wet. the roots rot up to the leaves.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 1:47PM
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Well, I can't top what these fine people have said on the subject but I can share with you a couple stories and a few pics of my own.

When I first got my CPs it was heading into the heat of summer and I, reading they needed full sun, put them in a windowsill, where they roasted in the afternoon sun. Shortly after that incident and because I'd gotten more plants than my two little windows would hold, I bought a shop light and set them up in the basement under lights on a timer. It seems like most of my plants love the situation as most of them make bigger and more beautiful pitchers and traps than before.

About the Neps... I doubt it'll help, but when they're thriving they do recomend a monthly misting of dilluted orchid foliar food. Key word here is diluted. Again, I highly doubt that's your problem. Usually the three big things that can go wrong are light, water and soil.

(Oh yeah about water... flytraps drink like crazy. Buy some of those disposable tupperware containers and put your pot in one, keep at least half inch to 1 inch of water in it. You'll be supprised how often it'll need refilled when the plant is healthy. Let the water level fluctuate but don't let it empty. Moist is not good enough for the flytrap. The nep... well, I water mine every 3 days.)

I keep making little modifications but my set up and my plants are on my site, check em out if you like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tangled Web of Aracknight

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 7:08AM
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I like to keep things relatively simple. For Neps a good mix is (rinsed) peat, perlite, and long fibered sphagnum. I don't use S.T. or Osmocote or any other foliar feeding. This is not to say that others do not, but I would recommend an airy mix of soil that is rinsed well before use. If your Neps are new acquisitions, they may be exhibiting some adjustment shock. So give them several weeks to adjust. They like decent but don't need incredible amounts of light. They don't relish sitting in a container of water, but this species can tolerate it. They do well in planters and hanging baskets. They do not go dormant, butif you are depending upon window sill lighting alone, with the decrease innatural photoperiod, they will cease pitchering for the winter. They do not go dormant.

VFT's are more of an outdoor plant and they love the sun. They are also normally in the process of slowing down (dormancy). They do not care to be sitting in water, but also like good drainage.

It is good to topwater both the Neps and VFT's and let the water drain through them. Artificial lighting would be recommended for a VFT at a window sill.

Distilled, Reverse Osmosis, Rain, and deionize water are CP safe.

Stability of conditions and gradual acclimation are good practices with CP's, especially if one purchases them from places like Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 9:50PM
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Sorry to delay response but I wanted to try the advise. The Ventricosa is still not better after repotting. I bought them fro Hauserman's and they were potted in soil and perlite...little charcol too
I have a large and small. The small's leaves are turning black. He is under the lights with the orchids. He doesn't seem to have much of a root system. The large is losing bottom leaves but growing pitchers

and all of you were right the VFT was going to zzzzz.... I have him on the 50º ledge window. He gets some residual light from the grow area and about 3 hours natural a day... I hope this is ok
Thank you all for the advise

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 12:13PM
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The VFT needs dormancy. Don't feed the Nep, you COULD spray a 1/4 strength miracle grow on it once a month however. Also don't use potting soil, my nep is in pure long fibered Sphagnium moss. The VFT pure peat or LFS.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 8:03AM
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Does the ventricosa have any greenery left? If so, it still has life and is worthwhile trying to save. Obviously, it isn't doing well right now, but with some TLC, it has a chance to pull through. Neps, characteristically, react to a significant change its conditions and also can take several weeks to months before they recover. They are not the most forgiving plants in the world! At this point, adequate lighting, good drainage from watering, stability of conditions, and just plain waiting it out would be the best course of action. It may not make it, or it may. Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:15AM
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I have a large ventricosa with green leaves and new growth. no pitchers and I have gnats! The baby (pictured) has some green left, but spotted yellow mainly. I got them from Hausermans and they use soil, peat, perlite mixture. The baby I repotted in something lighter per the discussion and threw some charcol on top. He is blackening at the bottom (leaves). I need something to handle the gnats

Because I grow orchids I am in 60-70% humidity
The tag says direct sunlight so the big one is in the middle of the growingh rack. his leaves are almost touching the bulbs. The little one I put to the side (light reduction while he grows roots back)

Now I need those pitchers. IL commercial growers don;t seem to thrilled with pings. Hard to find. Oak Hill and Hauserman's have neither

QUESTION: what is the minimum temp for the ZZZZZ VFT? I have a garage with a bright window (west)

I would love to know if there really is a plant that eats small animals...Readily available. Yup have that too....squeak! Yuck! winter in chicago everyone wants in! The plant would not starve! Hehe

Thanks to all for this discussion!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 6:26PM
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Last Question to this board of experts. I hope you can see the VFT tag. Is this some species that is different from a regular VFT? The tag instructions seem to be quite contrary to what you are all telling me (no worries I know who to trust ha!) "Akai Ryu Dio Muscipula... if this is asian does ity go dormant? It never did catch any flys even when it was red and healthy.... My guys have to work or they kicked off the rack!

Wow so confused...light temp general culture for z5 chicago etc now that he is either sleeping or in trouble would be appreciated. He is also from Hauserman's in original medium, very wet just from my overspray of the orchids and the high humidity. I swear chemicals are easier ;-)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 6:58PM
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N. ventricosa: If this were a sundew, and had aphids, like D. capsnsis, adelae, or spatulata, I would immerse the plant in water for a couple days. But I'm not sure that a Nep, even a so-called bombproof one, would be able to handle it. Nor am I positive that drowning would work for gnats. Are they the dreaded fungus gnat larvae that do damage to roots or adult fungus gnats that are relatively harmless? Or are they some other kind of gnat altogether. Are all leaves infected? Could you snip affected ones? You may need to apply an insecticide, but again, I am out of my league in this one. I did purchase a Bayer product that killes all sorts of critters, but haven't as yet used it on my CP's.

Pings: You are having trouble finding pings? I have 30 species / hybrids of mostly Mexican butterworts. If interested, feel free to message me. I'd have even more to share next spring, but have some that I can spare now.

Sleeping VFT's can take mild frosts, but I like to keep them in the 35-40 degree range.

There are very large, adukt Neps whose pitchers can engulph smphibians. There is one famous story of one that had a baby monkey, supposedly. But for mice, a Havahart humane trap works well, as do sticky glue traps.

The 'Akai Ryu' is one of the red cultivars on the market. So it is really a play on the genetics of the common VFT, which hails from North Carolina, which also means that it is intended to go dormant.

I'm not certain as to what the last paragraph is conveying, other than concern as to whether it is struggling or going dormant. Looking at the leaves, it appears to have so-called summer leaves, which are thinner, longer, and off the ground. Winter leaves are shorter, wider, and resting on the soil media.

Sure wish I could help you with the ventricosa, but it's beyond my experience.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 7:41PM
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If you just have plain old gnats, both butterworts and sundews have the sticky leaf surface that will do a number on small, flying insects.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jimscott's plants

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:48PM
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