Help with my carnivorous plants

toniskidsDecember 18, 2013

This summer i bought my first carnivorous plants: a nephenta, a sarracenia and a fly trap. And i love them to pieces, but they are not doing great... Please help me keep my babies healthy and happy!

The fly trap caught bugs by itself for about a month. I had in in a kitchen window where i realise now there might not be enough light. So the traps it came with died, and the new growth has very tiny, unformed traps and fat leaves. I read in a post it might be lack of light, and also it might want to go dormant. I put it in my basement, it is a raised basement with lots of light, on a window facing east, the temperature in the basement is about 55 fahrenheit. I have always watered it from the top, but its little pot is placed in a slightly bigger ceramic pot and i make sure it has some standing water on the bottom. Is what i am doing right?

The nephenta has grown like crazy, it has new shoots, but the pitchers have almost all died... It has grown a couple of new ones but they are very tiny and a couple already died off. The plant is left with one tony live pitcher. I have plugges a humidifier close to it, and i am waiting to see if that does it. Any other suggestions?

The sarracenia came full of pretty but somewhat dry pitchers. Not dead, but sort of papery was fine for a while, then the pitchers started going brown and dying off. It has new growth, three new leaves that are smaller than the previous ones, have no red coloration at all, and have started browning at the tops. A fourth new leaf is coming out now. I have not taken any steps yet to allow it to go dormant, what should i do about it?

Thanks for reading about my woes, please help me out, i adore these plants and even if i cannot grow them outside because Chicago gets very, very chilli in winter, i want to do all i can to keep these plants happy and healthy.

PS: i have been watering only with distilled water or dehumidifier water. Initially dehumidifier, but our basement dehumidifer died o. Us so not it is distilled water only. I have not used any fertilizers, i have not repotted the plants, and when i do, because the nephenta is getingout of control big, i will do so with soil mix provided by the grower that sold me the plants.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The flytrap and Sarracenia are outdoor plants, not houseplants. They DO need dormancy in winter. at least 3 months at a temp just above freezing. What garden zone are you in?

The Nepenthes CAN be grown indoors all year in a bright, indirect sun window.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with tommyr above. Your sarracenia and Venus flytrap need dormancy. This is my first year with growing carnivorous plants too. I have all of my flytraps and sarracenia in the fridge right now. I pruned all dead growth and washed the roots clean of sediment, then I wrapped the roots in a wet, long fibered sphagnum/paper towel covering to keep them moist through the winter. Once they're trimmed and wrapped I put them in ziplock baggies with some sulfur based fungicide to keep mold from growing and now I wait. Unfortunately, if both your sarr and flytrap are as bad as you are describing they may not have enought stored energy to survive dormancy. Sarracenia and flytraps spend all summer storing energy in a type of bulb called a rhizome. Your plants sound very light deprived so they may not have enough energy to last all winter. If you do get them to make it through the winter immediately get though outside. Sarrs and flytraps love sunlight, the more they get the better.

Your nepenthes is most likely fine. I have two, a N. Miranda and an N. Ventrata, they pitchered profusely in the summer but I'm the winter they don't receive enough light to produce strong pitchers. Most of the time light from a window isn't enough to induce pitchering in the winter. If you wver wanted to try, you could invest in some artificial lights to boost the sunlight they already recieve. I suggest searching the Internet for a good look at some peoples nepenthes setups. There are some really amazing ones out there.

Also I hate to sound rude and I don't mean this in a condescending way, but sometimes a little research goes a long way. I figure that the seller who sold you your plants didn't tell you how to grow them properly, however that is no excuse as doing a little research would be extremely easy and take very little time. I hope my reply could help a little bit.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, i did not know exactly what i was getting myself into when i bought the plants but i do like a little challenge so if i can get the sarracenia and the flytrap through the winter i would be really happy. I am in zone 5, chicago, so growing them outside is not exactly an option.

The artificial light is a great idea, heck, i feel light deprived in the winter time myself! Morpheus119, i do not want to sound like a lazy slob but if you have some good resources for that and care to share i would really appreciate that.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You shouldn't have to worry about growing your sarr and flytrap outside until spring. Your zone will only affect them in the winter. Unfortunately I am very limited as to what I can say referencing other forums and websites because of a spam filter so I can't really help you a lot on the research. However a basic search of carnivorus plant forums can lead you to a few really nice forums that have very experienced growers showing their setups and offering advice.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks much Morpheus119, i have a break coming up and i will do some research.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Will do some research during my christmas break. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:33AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Dang whitefly infestation on pitcher plants
Hello dearies, I was wondering if anyone had a good...
Mold... *Sigh*
Well, I screwed up. I didn't cover up the plants dormant...
Can dead sphagnum turn into live sphagnum?
I'm noticing some green patches in my LFS. Is it live...
Sarracenia Barba brown tips
I bought a Sarracenia Barba earlier this year and it...
My huge pitcher from propagation (N. ventrata)
Hi I'm new in this forum and I want to show you my...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™