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Biggest VFT

Posted by CaRnIvOrOuS_fReAk 7 NJ (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 15, 05 at 9:15

What type of vft do you think grows the largest traps? I am looking for one that grows fast and has 1" big traps or larger and where to find them. Also I would like to know where would be the best place to grow vft's outdoors in full sun or indoors in lights?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Biggest VFT

Any venus flrytrap can give you one inch traps and bigger. I do not know about that cultivar called Miniscule, but the others can.

Full sun or florecent lighting. Well, I think when you place the good and the bad, florecent lighing is safer.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Thanks but I want to get the results that Jeff Dallas got with his plant. Heres a photo of his MONSTER-SIZED vft. http://cobraplant.com/2D03.gif. Do you think I can get those results indoors under lights?


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RE: Biggest VFT

Sorry, but I could not get that pic. Are you sure you have the right address?

Flytraps can get very large under a florecent light. However, I like to grow them in small terrariums so when they get too large I have to repot them outside. The largest traps up to date are two inches. The Big Vigorous and the Dingley giant can do that in the right conditions.


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RE: Biggest VFT

OK Ill talke your advice but Im sort of doubting this because how do I provide good dormancy?


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RE: Biggest VFT

Hi

The Big Mutations come quite big as is, my Typical VFT is pushing out some nice sized traps over an inch now as is my Red Dragon.
The Big Mouth I got from COOKS though creates these by default, the plant arrived with the largest trap at just under 2 inches in size, it has produced traps well over an inch but has not reproduced a trap of 2 inches since.

On cobraplant.com they told their secret to massive traps.
They said the following on their BLOG:
"HOW TO SUPER SIZE YOUR VENUS FLYTRAP

I was debating whether or not to share this secret with you, mainly because I do not want it leaking out to our competitors. You see, there is a variety of Flytraps that have unusually large traps. But, we were able to get traps just as large as those new varieties by making a single adjustment to the plants growing conditions.

Jeff and I actually discovered this secret by accident when we were finding a way to improve the presentation of our Venus Flytraps for the Farmers Market. We just happened to use decorative pea gravel as a top dressing one summer, and by summers end, we noticed something fascinating. Flytraps that had gravel on the soil were noticeably larger than Flytraps that did not.

The following summer, we did an impromptu experiment. We added gravel on top of the soil of some plants and kept others bare. Again, by the end of summer, plants that had gravel were much larger than those that did not.

What we suspected was that the gravel increased soil temperature by retaining solar heat and reducing evaporation. The few degrees of extra heat probably increased metabolism and helped plants grow bigger faster.

Now keep in mind that Venus Flytraps are small plants to begin with. An average adult trap is approximately 1 inch long. An average trap on one of them fancy large forms is no more than 1.5 inches. When we use pea gravel as a top dressing, we can get traps that are pretty darn close to that size.

What does that mean to growers such as yourself? Environment is just as important as genetics. If you are relying on genetics to get large traps, just remember that that is only part of the picture. You still need optimal growing conditions to get and maintain large traps.

So, if you are thinking about getting a large form Venus Flytrap, try using the pea gravel method with your regular Flytraps instead. Make sure the gravel is clean, and use only enough to cover the soil. By the end of summer, you may just have traps that would rival any Flytrap bred for its size.

Also, if you live in areas of the country that is really, really warm, you do not need to add gravel at all. Your warm weather will do the job for you. This method seems to work best if you live in areas that have mild summers, like here in the Pacific Northwest.

For more info on growing Venus Flytraps, visit www.cobraplant.com."

So there you go, thats their secret to producing larger traps.

Cheers

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

I live in Southern California and our summers are HOT. It was 101 yesterday. I don't see how keeping you plants hotter can increase it's size. All I think that will do is stress the plant out and make it smaller in size. But still thanks for the info. I'll try it out.


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Pea Grave

Hi Phone

Same here in utah.
But. what they are saying is that the gravel does not heat the plant, it holds the heat in when the temp cools for a longer period of time.
So when that 101 drops to a cold temp and night, the soil is kept a tad warmer by this gravel.

Cheers

Sheldon

PS: Think about the pink material they put in a roof, it keeps the house warmer at night because it stops the heat from escaping as rapidy, but during the day it does not really add to the heat, same kind of concept.
The question was how Jeff Dallas got this trap so big, well that is his answer, it is worth a try I think.


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My bad

Oops my bad, sorry I meant "Hi Phong"

Cheers

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

I do not know if that theory might be right. VFTs like cool roots not warm ones. Sometimes they thend to go in a dormant state when they get too warm.

First of all, any normal VFT can reach one inch and a half size traps. Those that are just a little bit larger are the ones called giants, because not only they get a little bit bigger than the others, but they also do it more often.

When it comes to dormancy, plants can pass through dormancy in terrariums without no problems. Usually, however, they do not go through dormancy for years, and that is fine. Such fact does not harm the plant at all!

Some people shorten the lighting time so that they will go dormant, but that is not needed, you are only givning yourself the trouble of placing them dormant so you can take them out again in three months.


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RE: Biggest VFT

These are the largest size you can get them mostly. About almost two inches in size.


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RE: Biggest VFT

mmmm thanx for the post Byron_1
Your stuff is always interesting to read :)
Ye I had one trap of about that size, do you have any idea why they think the pea gravel helps the plant produce larger traps?
Also with dormency, I understand you say that we dont have to let them go into dormency every year and should let the plant decide when they want to.
Would a yearly dormency not be like changing the soil mix every year, its not needed but gives the plant that little bit extra?
Just curious on your opinion.

Thanx

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

Wow your plants look beautiful. I have a few Green Dragons grown in cramp conditions just sending out enourmous traps. I wonder why my "Big Mouth" variety just can't ever turn the purple colour I see on your "Big Mouth". It somtimes hover around a somewhat dark red with a hint of purple in the center, but never the vibrant pure purple on your plants. This is how they look most of the time:

http://www2.yourecommerce.com:40000/hosting/phong%5Fnguyen/Bigmouth7.jpg

http://www2.yourecommerce.com:40000/hosting/phong%5Fnguyen/Big Mouth9.jpg

My climate is hot and dry in the summers with no rain. Any help would be appreciated.


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RE: Biggest VFT

I do not agree with the gravel theory. Sometimes you can missunderstand something. It may just be a cuinsidence or it may work for him for some environmental reason. Hard to tell.

You should change the soil every one to two years. You can check the soil buy poping it all out of the pot, I think you know the procedure, then checking it for the amount of slime and smell that it may have. If it has too much slime, and its smells bad, it is time for changing, if not, you just pop the soil back in.

Phong_N, your plant may not be a Big Mouth. It appears to be a red giant, which I do not have the name of righ now, but it grows just like the Big Mouth. It is a very nice plant though!


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RE: Biggest VFT

There are some other tips suggested to grow these plants large. One I heard was to feed every trap fat flies. Another
was to let the plant dry out as far as possible without damaging the roots then grow the plant wetter and repeat this pattern. I'm just typing what others have said so it can be true or it can be balony. I have heard that VFT's grow red stronger in colder conditions but I'm not 100% sure that this is true either. Dean Cook and a few others support this idea.

Not a "Big Mouth"? Wow!? That's 2 more VFT's I need to get: the authentic "Big Mouth" and the authentic "Dingley Giant". I got the plant from Cook's and he usually supplies me with real varieties. So this pseudo Big Mouth plant has the growth habit of "Big Mouth" but just red instead of purple traps?


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RE: Biggest VFT

Hi Byron

What I was actually wondering is if you think that a dormency period every year would give the plants a little extra boost like fresh peat mix would.

Thanx

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

Hi Phong_N,
Well, no Big Mouth actually grows purple traps. They grow red purple traps. But I have not seen them grow orange red traps or red traps like the one you have. I think you have one called Medium Red, but that is just a guess.

Also, the Big Mouth tends to grow a bit shorter spikes on the traps.

Hi Sheldon,
The theory that traps get more color in cooler environments is something I believe to be true.

I can not tell you if dormancy helps the plant get bigger or healthier, for I have never done the experiment, but my plants are looking healthy without the dormancy. Venus flytraps always get bigger when fed or foliage fertilized. It does not matter if it was dormant or not.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Ok great.
Sorry for asking so many things, but Ive read your papers and see you take the time to research and test many many things.
If I left my VFT's in my room here on the window sill and just continued foliar feeding them.
Would they then fall dorment when they chose to?, even though the heating would remain the same indoors?
If this is the case then I wont bother with the whole dormency thing.
I have not had my 1st dormency yet, so dont have any experience to go on.

Thanx alot!!

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

The important thing to do during dormancy is to keep your plant barely moist. If it takes more than tree months to start growing again, replant it in new soil. If it has no leaves, take the bulb and plant it a little higher so that some of the plant gets some sun and realize that it is time to grow.


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RE: Biggest VFT

My one Inch Dente Just got ahold of a smaller pill bug but its a good sized one! so far its holding on to it! heck yes!!
pill bug-0 dente vft-1


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RE: Biggest VFT

You should make your plants go dormant. Here's a link for you Sheldon on how to go about dormancy:

http://www.petflytrap.com/cgi-bin/ib312/ikonboard.cgi?s=49815458f52b48a44b2ec4535f94542b;act=ST;f=14;t=16597;st=0

I'm going to use this method except place the pots in my unheated garage instead of a fridge.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Hi Outsiders71

Well here is the confusion now, just like the few people saying "yes you can harden off VFT's and they will be fine" and the majority saying "no if you grow them under low humidity they will be weak, sickly and be deformed"
Everyone says "yes you must allow then dormency every year or they will not grow as strongly" of these people the like of Peter D' Amato and Jacob Farin are just a few.
Byron_1 I must say is really clued up, I was very impressed on what he said when I read his paper on VFT's.
He says that he has many VFT's that have gone without dormency for a number of years, and I must admit his plants look beutiful.
So now its once again been stuck in a situation like the humidity one, what to do.

I was going to put them oudoors when winter hits as it gets plenty cold here, if its a very cold winter I have plenty of pine needles for mulsh.
I have seen pictures of Cobraplants VFT's during winter, the soil is literally frozen like one big ice block, that very pot in summer starts growth and is fine.

Anyone else have any imput on this?

Cheers

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

Try dormancy with a new VFT for the first few years of its life like for instance, just for the first 4 or 5 years of its life let it go into dormancey then let it grow. Maybe it could let the plant grow nice and strong. But i dont know much yet but its just an idea.


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RE: Biggest VFT

This is How my vft bigmouth looks like at its present health. the picture was taken on July 18, 2005. It also produces purple traps, but the picture was taken outside, so they appear purplish red.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
I also personally agree with the theory of growing your plant in a cooler environment producing darker traps. Sometimes some plants grow light pinkish coloured traps in full sun during summer months. but their traps turn to blood red around autumn, before they hit their dormancy period. but the venus' flytrap does need it's dormant period in order for it to survive. or atleast giving it some clues. i place my plant inside a ziplock bag and place it in the fridge for atleast 3 months and i face no problems doing such.


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By The Way

i also personally agree with the theory of making your plants' roots warmer will make it weaker in growth. sometimes that causes the plant to grow malformed leaves and traps. That also decreases its growth. it has happened to me when i used to give too much sunlight..Not sure if the Pea Gravel Idea would make the plant larger. as mentioned, maybe Jeff is fortunate to perform this method of growing his plant.(the link didn't work to see it) the largest traps my plant has made were 1" inch and 11 centimeters.. ALMOST 2 inches in length.. i am still hoping that it makes 2 inch traps one day.. therefore i've only been growing my Vft bigmouth plant for one year..it is true that typical type vfts make huge traps like those in the giant forms, but care must be present.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Hi Byron,
Were those plant you posted grown indoors or outdoors? I was wondering because now I want to have the same results as yours. Also, I learned that outdoor growing is hard my baby vft got attacked by birds.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Hi guys, thanx for the great pics and advice.

Well I live in Utah which gets quite cold, so I will be most likely mulshing my plants well with pine needles (we got pine trees and masses of fallen needles all around) and then I intend to set the mulshed pots outside during winter..
The nice thing about the pot I have my pitcher plants in outside is that it is one of those insulated fiberglass pots that keep the soil warm during cold and cool during heat, so I think I will just mulsh the surface well with pine needles as well.

Cheers

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

Hi, to answer some of the questions, when a VFT goes dormant, you have to let it go dormant. Some plants can be domant receiving the same amount of water and do not die as long as they are growing in full sun. Some do not take this and still rot.

To play it safe, when you have a plant going dormant, you reduce the water to keep the soil barely moist until the plant comes back. You reduce the amount of sunlight to about three hours a day (better done on a windosill) until you see some growth. Once it starts growing again you place some more water to keep the plant moist, but do not go up to the water tray underneat the the plant until you see the plant growing well.

If a plant does not want to go dormant, it does not need to. What I am trying to say is that you do not have to forct the dormancy. If your plant is under florecent lighting it will probably grow without dormancy for many years, and that will be just fine.

The plant you see on my picture is growing outside, and it went dormant this winter. Is it that size because it went dormant? I can not tell you if that is true. I have others as big that did not go dormant this winter.


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RE: Biggest VFT

I guess the question is then do you have the indoor setup it needs to grow well? I grow all of my plants outside so I'm making my plants go dormant (it's more natural anyways). Growing the plants indoors all winter for me would be dull. I like to feed these plants and watch them feed or catch stuff. I'm not going to be able to find bugs outside during the winter time. Also I want my plants to be strong, I don't want them to be weak. Growing them under artificial lighting for 3-4 months will result with weaker growth.


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RE: Biggest VFT

I have the right set up to make my plants grow great. I do not think that weak growth has anything to do with inside or outside. It has to do with the florecent lighting you chose as well as the humidity, temperature and the health of the environment. Flytraps under florecent lighing tend to get sick sometimes because many things can happen in a terrarium without fresh circulation of air. My problem is always with orange mites. I can not usually see them, but they get on the plants and feed on them, making them weak. So I spray from time to time with a mixture of soap water and neem oil. I am also trying with hot peper extract which could be better.


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RE: Biggest VFT

"It has to do with the florecent lighting you chose as well as the humidity, temperature and the health of the environment"

Hi Byron

Well from my experiences with growing VFT's the humidity thing does not seem to be a major issue as long as you adapt them to the climate.
What kind of florecent lighting have you found to be best?
I simply read up on a few reviews of bulbs and went with the verilux 40watt 48" tubes, so far it seems to be a great bulb as the plants seem to love the light from the 2 tubes.
What in your opinion is the key things to look for in a tube?

Thanx again

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

Moisture is an important factor! too much of it and you get traps that die before they form. You also get fungy problems.

When it comes to lighting I have found that "grow light" tubes are the worst. The light sticks from walmart are the ones that I use. They are next to the grow light sticks. Also, the florecent tubes from GE that are about 46 1/2 inches are good too. The only problem with those is if you get the plants to close to them, the plants grow too colorful and then the growth slows down and the plant gets smaller.

I have not experimanted much with lighting. Since what I have seems to work well. But I know that different lighing can cause different growth within plants.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Funny you say that, the guys at Cobraplant say the same thing.
They dont beleive in "grow lights" and advise that people get the common white tubes like the ones you descrive at WalMart.

Thanx again for the info

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

Well Now i know whats killing my VFT's And ive noticed Dente's seem a bit more hardy than Red Dragon or common, has any one noticed that to? My VFT send out nice New leaves and the Traps allways die befor they even start to fold out. *sigh* If i had ignored this i would have totaly just ben Skrewed!!! thanks! and Would you sugest leaving the plants outside or inside? Cause im half tempted to just move all my plants downstairs and get a Bunch OF lights and shindigs. Cause If Flourescent lights Give the plants color is the main reason im putting them outside. Any sujestions. Would they be small outside with sun? or what?


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RE: Biggest VFT

Well mine are hardend off (so now high humidity, indoors they get between 30-40% humidity)
I use 2x40 watt 48" Verilux bulbs on a windowsill that gets shaded light from outside, they all seem very happy.
If you adapted them to full sunlight Im sure they would be fine as well.
Main thing is I found that the plants are honestly growing far better in the fresh air under normal humidity than in a sealed tank.
I did not have them in a terrarium long enough to have any negative effects of high humidity other than soft leaves.
But if you have VFT's or any CP's under high humidity in a terratium (things like Drosera's as well) then you can attempt to harden them off like Ive posted so many times.
If you dont rush it and let them adapt you should see good growth from them and you should also notice that the leaves firm up a lot more.

Cheers

Sheldon


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Doh some corrections

Ok I meant "(so NO high humidity, indoors they get between 30-40% humidity)
Also I have heard from many well known growers that VFT's grow very well and to a very good size outdoors in full sun (remember to adapt them to full sun!!!!).
My plants are grown with fluorescent bulbs only and they are of a fair size, my Big Mouths have traps roughly of 1.5" and my Red Dragon is at about 1.2" while my Typical is at 1"
My Dente died back a little after I split its bulb but is shooting out more traps.
I just find it easier to keep an eye on them in my office than outside.
I also find it easier to monitor their watering indoors here with temps now going over 108 F.
So you could do either, I picked up the Hydrofarm 48" light fixture with 2 X 48" Verilux bulbs online from amazon with free shipping for less than $50.00.
So far I have been very pleased with the results.
I use a timer switch that my wife got from RadioShack to turn the light on and off every day as well.

Hope this helps!!

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

AkHeadbanger, In my opinion, i would grow my plants outdoors now that is summer months, dionaea thrive well outside in full sun outdoors. make suret o water it everyday , doesn't matter if you make the pot get a little flooded, dionaea enjoy very wet or flooded soil during the summer months. the reason why your plants' leaves fail to form their traps completely is probably due to too much sunlight. If your plants recieve too much sunlight , they can suffer as well. extreme heat can damage its leaves and make its growth weaker. this is due to too much moisture in the air. In order to avoid my plants from growing malformed leaves is giving them 4 hours of full sunlight(if i give them more full sunlight, they will result a samaged growth.), then after that, i place them in a Indirect light Area(shaded light area, that still gives my plants bright indirect light but not full sunlight) the reason i do this is because i have lost plenty of Vfts by giving it too much sunlight during summer months. because the air is dry and the heat creates too much moisture on the compost; which is not good for vfts.. So, AkHeadbanger, what you can do is simply give your vfts some mourning sunlight, let's say.. from 9 AM until 1 PM.. then place them in a shaded area that has bright indirect light.. they might recover from their suffering. just give it a try..Make sure to water them every day as well.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Well Giving them Morning light is almost impossibly for me cause my porch faces West, meaning i can only get evening light. I would say it gets about 4-5 hours of sun light, so i dont know what the problem is ive never really timed it.


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RE: Biggest VFT

I guess what you can do is allowing them to have atleast 4 hours of evening lighting. then place them in a shaded spot. Otherwise, you can grow them under flourecent light bulbs(or tubes) or if you have a sunny window sill, try that instead. i grow some of my plants in my windowsill.. and i just cannot admit that they grow way better in the windowsill than outside. Just try to time how long you will allow your plants to face sunlight. because evening sun is more harsh than mourning sun. But if i were in your situation, i would grow them in a bright/sunny windowsill, or under flourecent tubes for the moment until late fall.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Hi Xymox

I dont know what your experience is with this, but I have heard from many CP nurseries and growers that once adapted the VFT plants grow fine in full sun all day long (the kind of conditions that the pitchers enjoy).
I dont know if this is true though, has anyone left their flytraps out in full sun during the day (leaving the plants to their own devices so to speak)?

Thanx

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

My collection gets full sun from sun up till about 6 or so. All are growing nicely. It does stay a bit more humid here then CA.

I do have to say that the handful that I bought that had red mouths, are now just barely off green.... so maybe full sun does have something to do with the "redness".


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RE: Biggest VFT

Yes, i know what are refering, Sheldon, and it's true.. Most nurseries grow Cps in full sun all day. It also depends on the region you live in. I live in Los Angeles.. Some of my Vfts that are growned outside at the moment have "greenish/pink", most of them, just green traps instead of red, this always happens when they grow outdoors in summer. it's probably the high temps, or probably the high moisture in the soil. I noticed that when a plant's trap is mechinally triggered with an empty catch, After the trap re-opens, the trap's colouration decreases. I guess it's just me, but i rather grow vfts from 10:00 AM sunlight until 3:00 PM.. My afternoons are very warm and dry.. When it's 3:00 PM, I either tell my brother, or sometimes when i can, i place my plants under the bright shade. I guess bright shade also helps their growth, too, plus they recieve a bit more cool air circulation by doing such. I used to leave my Vfts outside in full sun ALL day.. they suffered from high temps.. they also failed to attempt to form leaves or correctly formed traps.. they used to burn on the tip of their leaves, the traps wouldn't even form the little "eyelashes" on their traps either, even their growth would decrease due to high temps and dry air. So i started doing this; just giving them sunlight from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. That's my growing method(everyone has a different method).. They turned out nicely afterwards. So they totally recieve 6 hours of sunlight. They would form nice developed traps and their leaves would remain green instead of turning yellow to burnt brown. i had troubles growing CPs 2 years ago.. Not anymore..


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RE: Biggest VFT

Good to hear

Thanx for letting me know!!

Cheers

Sheldon


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RE: Biggest VFT

i live in Australia(Sydney), and i'm not sure how to put my VFT into Dormancy. Any help?


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RE: Biggest VFT

Ok, lots of people will tell you different versions of basically the same thing. Here's what I've been told most often. Place the fly trap, pot, soil, all of it... in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly Delights


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RE: Biggest VFT

Sydney winters usually get cold enough for flytraps to go dormant naturally without the need for fridges/ artificially decreasing photoperiod etc. It's not a particularly long nor cold dormancy but it's sufficient to keep the plants healthy in the long term. You might want to contact the Australasian Carnivorous Plant Society (formerly CPSNSW) who are predominantly Sydney-centric and should be able to provide you with good cultural advice for your location - www.auscps.com.

Note: There is also a South Australian group with a similar name (the Australian Carnivorous Plant Society) so take care not to confuse the two. Unlike the USA, there is no truly nationally encompassing carnivorous plant society in Australia. Ignore all the grandiose names, check out your local/state CP society if you want good quality, relevant support for the hobby.


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RE: Biggest VFT

Thanks 4 the help!


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