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Venus Fly Trap


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#1 Jordan9682 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2013 - 09:11 PM

This might be a tad off topic.
I recently got a venus fly trap. I fed it a fly today and it looks like there's already another trap starting to open. I've read they only need a few bugs a month.. Can it be over fed??
I would have thought every time it opens that means it wants food. Got any ideas?

Thanks in advance
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#2 scotsman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2013 - 09:37 PM

Jordan, I have been growing Venus Fly Traps and Sarracenia (Pitcher Plants) for 20 years,

I have a webpage about them here:

 

http://1stclass.myla...scottychaos/CP/

 

Technically it is not possible to "over feed" a VFT, but its also not a great idea to "feed" a trap every time it opens..

it wont really harm the plant, but it *will* cause an individual trap to "stop working" before its time..

 

Each individual "trap" can only open and close around 4 or 5 times before it will no longer close at all..

the old traps that can no longer close are still "good" for the plant because they provide photosynthesis,

but they can no longer catch or digest bugs..(its also not good to "trigger" the trap with no bug in it..once

in awhile to "show it off" to friends is ok! ;) but dont do it too often..)

 

new traps should always be appearing though that can catch more bugs..

one individual plant doesn't really need any more than one bug a month..

and technically they can survive just fine without catching any at all..

(being plants, they do still photosynthesize) the bugs do provide extra nutrients though, which

is why they evolved to catch bugs in the first place.

 

Its really best to just let a VFT catch its own food, and they hunt well on their own! ;)

grow it outside Spring, Summer and Autumn.

(they should never be grown indoors, ever..indoors is very bad for them, they are not houseplants.)

They need to be grown outdoors because they need full direct sunlight, and they need to go dormant for

the winter, which cant happen naturally indoors..a VFT grown indoors will die in a year or two..(or less)..

While a VFT grown outdoors can live for decades..if it is given a good conditions and a proper winter dormancy every winter.

 

A healthy and happy VFT needs four things:

 

1. Outdoors in full direct sun Spring, Summer and Fall.

2. proper growing medium (peat or sphagnum moss usually, but other things work too)

3. Sitting in a tray of rain water, distilled water, or reverse-osmosis water only..no tap water!

4. A proper winter dormancy each winter.

 

Because of where you live, like me, you cant keep them outdoors in the winter though! ;)

dormancy is whole other thing..I talk about it a lot on my webpage..

but its not too hard once you understand what you have to do..

 

Some of my Venus Fly Traps:

CP-1996-01.jpg

 

Some of my pitcher plants:

CP2008-079.jpg

 

(Sarracenia (north American Pitcher Plants) and Venus Fly Traps require the exact same care and conditions,

so they are easy to grow together..)

 

any other questions, ask away! :)

Scot


Edited by scotsman, May 13, 2013 - 09:54 PM.

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#3 Jordan9682 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2013 - 09:52 PM

Suppose I can keep it happy and healthy for a few years,
How much/ if any, does it grow?
Will it produce seeds?
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#4 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2013 - 10:17 PM

Scot, That is a very interesting read, I only got thru page 2 but will read on later. Thanks for sharing!!

 

Jordan, I highly advise you to visit his page and be enlightened on these plants. :thumbs:


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#5 Jordan9682 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2013 - 10:45 PM

Yes, I did read it. Very good informational read!

#6 Moosetales OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2013 - 11:21 PM

My wife always pokes fun at us "tractor guys" as if all we know is tractors. I showed her this post and Scotsman's response and I think we just scored some points with my wife....that is to say she now believes we are more than just about motors and oil.


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#7 scotsman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2013 - 12:04 PM

Suppose I can keep it happy and healthy for a few years,
How much/ if any, does it grow?
Will it produce seeds?

 

An individual VFT plant will form a "rosette" that can be 4" to 6" across..

the whole plant is composed of several leaves, each with a trap at the end..

an individual leaf and trap might only live a month or two before it turns brown and dies off,

(they can then be cut off) but new younger leaves are continuously forming from the center to replace

the ones that die off..

here are a few pics (that I just found on-line) that show one single "typical" size plant:

 

Venus-fly-trap-plant.jpg

 

514or92-8OL.jpg

 

Yes, they do flower in the spring, and will make seeds!

VFT flowers:

Dionaea_musicpula_Copyright_Rostislav_Si

 

but growing VFTs from seed is a very underwhelming experience..I don't recommend it! ;)

the problem is that they take 5 to 7 years to reach mature size..

In the first year, they look like this:

i-xCprvTc.jpg

 

In the 2nd year they look like this:

i-xCprvTc.jpg

 

In the 3rd year they are only slightly larger..

and keeping VFT seedlings alive is much more challenging than with an adult plant..

its just so much easier to buy adult full-size plants, and don't bother with seeds at all..

All VFT's you see for sale in stores are propagated with tissue culture, which means

they can be produced in larger numbers, cheaply, and the temptation to poach them from the wild

is greatly diminished..which is a good thing..(they are native to only a very small range in North Carolina,

and are endangered in the wild)

 

I just cut off all the VFT flower stalks as soon as they appear, and I dont even let the flowers open..

since I dont care about seeds, cutting off the flower stalks preserves energy for more trap production..

 

Scot


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#8 scotsman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2013 - 12:35 PM

My wife always pokes fun at us "tractor guys" as if all we know is tractors. I showed her this post and Scotsman's response and I think we just scored some points with my wife....that is to say she now believes we are more than just about motors and oil.

Glad to help! :)

my wife thinks I have *too many* hobbies! ;)

tractors is just of my "weird" hobbies to her! ;)

 

Scot


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#9 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2013 - 12:51 PM

Do you raise your own flies,too? Have you tried a horse fly(burp!)?


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#10 Moosetales OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2013 - 01:45 PM

Some of my Venus Fly Traps:

CP-1996-01.jpg

 

 

That's really cool that one of your "traps" has a fly silhouetted in the pic above.


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#11 HydroHarold OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2013 - 09:41 PM

I raise canna plants and have been looking for "something different", so I read the whole article on VFT's.  I might just give that a try since I winter the cannas exactly the way those bug eaters need to be wintered.  I got right to the end of the last page, clicked on something and "POW" I'm looking right at an EMD FT A-B-A lashup and the word "ALCO"...  After I read all of that RR stuff I think I forgot most of the botanicals, but I'll be back!:D



#12 scotsman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2013 - 08:02 PM

I raise canna plants and have been looking for "something different", so I read the whole article on VFT's.  I might just give that a try since I winter the cannas exactly the way those bug eaters need to be wintered.  I got right to the end of the last page, clicked on something and "POW" I'm looking right at an EMD FT A-B-A lashup and the word "ALCO"...  After I read all of that RR stuff I think I forgot most of the botanicals, but I'll be back! :D

 

Thanks Harold,

glad you are enjoying the carnivorous plant *and* railroad pages! :)

(and wow, you recognized they were FT's! well done!) :beerchug:

Scot


Edited by scotsman, May 17, 2013 - 08:05 PM.





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