I could use some advise

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MaryZ

Guest
Hello everyone.  I recently purchased a small VFT for my 7 yr old son.  I've been reading through recent posts (realizing that I have already made many mistakes).  And on top of that, the lady at the register told me that I could feed the VFT raw hamburger (thanks alot lady).  Of course we did.  I'm wondering did we already kill it, or is there still hope for a revival?  BTW, the traps that we put the hamburger in are still closed, and that was 5 days ago.
 

nepenthes gracilis

Nepenthes Specialist
Joined
Sep 7, 2001
Messages
6,341
Location
Alexandria Bay, NY Z-5a
Welcome to the forums! People these days telling consumers like us the wrong care for a plant. Well there is a chance or I should say a great possibility for survival. Feeding a VFT once with Hamburger will not neccsasarily kill it at all. It may just lead to the rotting of the trap that it was fed. Well if there are any other traps that are open on the plant place a dead or alive insect in it. That should clear up your problem. I also noticed you are in Michigan. Well I am wondering do you know a Mrs. Paula M. Myers? Welcome to the forums again!
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2001
Messages
119
Location
Western Oregon USA
Yes, welcom to the forums. After you are done with the postings on this forum you might try a web search for "venus fly trap". There are several web sights with good care instructions on them. About the hamburger, you may have gotten away with it! If the trap has not turned black by now it should open back up soon and be fine, but if it starts to turn black, nothing to worry about, just wait till the whole trap turns black then cut it off the end of the leaf and the plant will be fine, this is normal after a large meal, and by all means keep us poated on how your plant does!
 
G

Guest

Guest
hey mary

First off...WELCOME TO THE FORUMS!!!

What else have you done to the plant that you feel is a mistake?

With regards to feeding it hamburger...I would just cut off the trap ( not the whole leaf...just what closed on the hamburger)

I have a place on this site...plant care and information...there you will find basic care sheets for various plants.

If you have any other questions...Please feel free to send me a message or just leave a post in the forums..There are lots of great people ( you just met a few ) that are willing to help in any way that they can!!! :smile:
 
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MaryZ

Guest
Thanks people, for all the great info.  My son was happy to hear that his plant would probably make a comeback.  It was just so neat to watch the traps chomp down on the hamburger.  (I admit we did go a little crazy.)  I guess I'll have to cut off 3 of the 8 traps.  Other things we did wrong were put our fingers in the traps,  keep the plastic wrapping on the bottom, and spritz it with tap water.  (It's a miracle this thing is still alive.)  But it actually looks pretty good.  And no I do not Know Mrs. Meyers, sorry.
 

PlantAKiss

Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, Engl
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
10,335
Location
Richmond, Virginia/Zone 7
Hi MaryZ

Just wanted to say welcome to the forums. :) I hope your VFT survives the hamburger incident. Its a common mistake because people will tell you to feed them hamburger. And tap water is also an easy mistake. In the summer, you can put the plant outside and it will feed itself with no problem. Mine stayed full of flies! And the rain will be good for it. If its a dry spell, you can pick up distilled water at the grocery store. If you need to replace your plant (or want to try some different ones...like a Red Dragon or Dente), Phil and Jeff here at Exotic Gardens can provide nice, healthy plants and care sheets for you.

Enjoy your plant!

Suzanne
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2001
Messages
2,005
Location
United Kingdom
Hello!

Firstly, if you have used tap water I would flush out the pot with distilled to get rid of any minerals and salts, which can burn the roots. Alternatively, water from a clean, unpolluted stream or river can be used or even rainwater (be careful not to use rainwater that has run off a roof - it can pick up more VFT-unfriendly substances!). As you can seem, VFTs are very picky about water!

Also, make sure it gets lots of light e.g. on a windowsill.

Visit www.sarracenia.com/faq - the Holy Grail of VFT info!

Good luck.
 

RamPuppy

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
2,363
Location
San Antonio, Texas; USA
Hi MAryZ!

I just want to make sure you have all the info you need to grow your flytrap now, so I am going to post some basic care instruction, and info.

First off, go ahead and leave it in the pot it came in for now, maybe next year you can move it, but that one is fine for now.

Place the pot in a saucer, and put a tiny bit of water in the saucer, if in doors, I think about 1/10th of the pot should be covered, i.e. 9/10ths above water. The water should be distilled, or Reverse Osmosis, otherwise PURE. No tap water, Chlorine may seep out, minerals DONT. Tap water is death in large amounts. As far as you misting it with tap, it will probably be fine... just pretend it never happened. (Softened water has salt in it, and salt is instant death to carnivores!) (Well.. not instant... but pretty quick) media should be damp to the touch, not soggy... soggy media means rotting roots. The day the saucer goes dry, is the day you add more water.

OK... on with the show...

sunlight should be bright, and filtered, where you live, a southern facing window would be ideal, in the summer, it will do fine outside I think.

OK, feeding...

I am actually amazed that the flytrap didn't open back up when you put the hamburger meat in... you see, there are three little trigger hairs on each lobe of the trap... when disturbed, the trap closes... but in nature, a raindrop could cause it to close, so flytraps have to sense continued struggle of their prey, i.e. it has to be alive, for it to continue closing tightly around the insect... did you massage the traps after putting the meat in? Sorry NG, but I disaggree, live insects only for beginners... she has a son, so I am sure if she doesn't like picking up creepy crawlies, he wont! As I said, live food keeps the trap interested and moves it towards digestion... not only that, if you have used any form of pesticide, and that insect is dead because of it, then that pesticide is going into your plant.

I reccomend not feeding it at all, as it does not need it. It will catch what it needs later in the summer. (I know it's not fun! but it's better for the plant!)

Traps are good for up to three or four closures... every subsequent closure, the hinge of the trap grows it back open, and the added tissue makes it slower and slower...

hmm... I am sure I am forgetting a ton of stuff... but I hope what I have said is helpfull and informative...

Oh... and don't feel bad, if some one pops in here, and tells me they have never lost a flytrap, especially their first one, 9 times out of 10 they are a liar! I have killed far more than my fair share!

Besides, your son learned something from it, and while I may draw a bit of criticism, I think the experience far outweighed any negative side effects, even it the plant dies, your child LEARNED something, and that is terribly important!
 
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MaryZ

Guest
Thanks, Ram and everyone else

I have another question.  My VFT came in a little clear plastic terranium.  I took the lid off because I have it in a window sill that gets a lot of light and I mist it with distilled water to maintain a little humidity.  Is that enough though?  Should I cover it part of the time?  Also, there are no holes at the bottom for drainage.  Is that OK or should I replant?  I look forward to all your replies.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2001
Messages
2,005
Location
United Kingdom
Where abouts do you live Mary? Unless you live in a dry arid climate, the terrarium is completely unnecessary. VFTs like things to be quite humid but nothing over the top. A misting every so often would be fine.
Do you mean there are no holes at the bottom of the pot? Are you watering from the top or in a saucer full of water?
 
M

MaryZ

Guest
I live in Michigan.  The winter months, with heat on and all, can get dry in the house.  

I meant there were no holes in the bottom.  When and how often is enough water.  I know it shouldn't get soggy, right?
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2001
Messages
119
Location
Western Oregon USA
Hi Mary, I guess that we are having a little trouble with understanding how your plant is set up, is it in a pot in the terrarium or planted in soil directly in to the terrarium? If it is in a pot, is it the pot that does not have holes in it or the terrarium that does not have holes? how big is the terrarium? Sorry about all the questions but we need the info to help you. Thanks.
 
M

MaryZ

Guest
My VFT is planted directly in a small clear plastic cube (a little bigger than a computer speaker).   The top is removable.  The soil looks like it is mostly moss.  I'm worried about over watering because there is no where for the excess water to escape to.  Now can you picture it?   I bought it at a hardware store for &#368... so its nothing special.  Should I transfer it to a bigger container? Will that help it grow faster?  I've never had much of a green thumb (as you can probably tell) but I just moved into a new house and I'm trying to keep all my plants alive.  Another plant I'm trying to grow is an indoor palm tree.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2001
Messages
119
Location
Western Oregon USA
Hi Mary, thank you for the discription. I personally would put it in the biggest pot that will fit into its little box, plant it in 50/50 peat, sand mix then put the whole thing back in the box with just a little water in the bottom, about 1/8 inch. The box will help keep the humidity up around the plant but to keep it from getting too humid you should keep the lid off the box or at least tipped to one side. That would be my plan of action, but again, tap the collective mind of the forum, some one else may have had better luck with the moss than I have. Happy growing!
 
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