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Apr 7, 2010
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Hello. I'm fairly new to plant care in general, and the carnivorous plants i recently bought and planted in a long planter box are doing pretty well in my opinion (i.e. growing new traps/flowers), but i have a few main concerns...


Let me first give some background info in case it helps:

The place i bought these plants from was basically a greenhouse, and they had all their CPs submerged in 1/4" or so of what looked like standing "swamp" water (lots of algae), and they said some of the plants were just coming out of dormancy. the plants weren't all labeled, but the varieties i know i have are: cape sundew, scarlet belle, venus flytrap, and i believe a purple pitcher plant...the far left and the middle plant (trumpet pitcher?) i'm not sure of.
Note: since i unfortunately don't presently know the exact names of all 6 plants, i'll be referring to them below by number (1-6, from left to right, as seen in the pics of the whole planter).

i planted them using 2 different varieties of sphagnum peat moss (one was dark and very finely grounded, the other was light and stringy--but made sure that neither had any fertilizers in them), mixed w/ sand (in a mixture of about 1.5:1 moss:sand), and made sure the mixture was wet (using distilled water) before i potted the plants. The plants haven't been outside yet (except for once or twice during the daytime in an attempt to get them some full, unfiltered sunlight), as it's still a little too cold at night here in Philadelphia. my plan is to wait until the daily "low" is consisently above 50 (at least), then hang them from a planter rack on my balcony. in the meantime, they've mostly been in the windowsill pictured, which admittedly doesn't get direct sunlight, but again, they seem to be growing new traps rather quickly. Oh, and there is also a streetlamp directly outside my window (see picture) that lights up our parking lot--all i know is that it's some type of flourescent bulb...probably doesn't help the plants all that much, tho maybe a little. Also note that the substrate you see in the pictures is not a good representation of the substrate i used throughout--after i was done putting the mix in and planting my CPs, i just put a very thin layer of one variety of straight peat moss across the top, mainly because i had a little bit left in the bag, and for appearance.


So, my questions are as follows, BASED ON THE PICTURES BELOW...

1) what should i do about the giant stalks/pitchers on the middle plant (plant # 4, actually in the middle-right)?...they must've been there from the previous year(s), but as you can see, they've grown so long that they're leaning down, further & further towards the ground--i personally love that they're this long and i'd really like to keep them (as long as it can't hurt the rest of the plant)...can i leave them hanging/sagging, or should i try to gradually prop them up so that they'll eventually stand more vertically on their own?

2) I've been rotating the planter 180 degrees every two days or so (basically flipping it around), thinking this will help the taller plants to grow straight up, rather than them all leaning in one direction because the sun only hits that one side. Is this a good practice, bad practice, or indifferent?

3) What should i do with individual pitchers/traps that are in each of the following conditions:
a. completely blackened (like on the VFT)?
b. somewhat brown towards the top of the pitcher (like the tips of plant # 6 & the lids on the really tall pitchers on plant #4)?
c. have holes in the pitcher, likely from bugs eating through them (like the one long pitcher on #4 that i took a closeup of)?

4) it looks like someone clipped a lot of growth off of the plants--now, i know you're supposed to clip some traps in relation to dormancy, but i just wanted to make sure... notice all the little brown "nubs" at the bottom of plants 2, 3 (especially), and 4 (can be seen in the last photo in each plant's set of pics) ...Is this normal?

5) i thought that cape sundew traps were supposed to curl upwards towards the sky... mine are all curled downwards towards the ground... Is this a problem?


Thanks in advance for any advice/input you're able to provide!!...


Here's the pics:


Pics of the whole planter...

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg





Plant # 1...

1a.jpg

1b.jpg

1c.jpg

1d.jpg

1e.jpg





Plant # 2...

2a.jpg

2b.jpg

2c.jpg





Plant # 3...

3a.jpg

3b.jpg





Plant # 4...

4a.jpg

4c.jpg

4d1.jpg

4e.jpg

4g.jpg

4h.jpg




Plant # 5...

5a.jpg

5b.jpg

5c.jpg





Plant # 6...

6a.jpg

6b.jpg

6c.jpg



Thanks again!! :)
 

thez_yo

instigator
Joined
Sep 12, 2009
Messages
5,529
Location
Virginia, USA
Question1: you can cut them off because the new ones growing in (the green things growing straight up on the plant) will be even taller than those. And yes, they are from last year.

All other questions: don't worry about it, and just make sure you keep the "soil" you're using moist at all times, and preferably keep water standing in the bottom/saucer part of that planter at all times. Your plants look pretty fine actually.

Make sure your planter is getting at least 6-7 (Absolutely the least!) amount of direct sunshine every day. Turning it is probably a good idea every now and then since you have it on a window sill, if you can't put this planter outside. Since they're temperate except for the cape sundew, which can go down to freezing and grow back from the roots, they should actually be outside for the temps and sunlight assuming the nursery had them growing outside all winter long. If the nursery had them growing inside, keep them inside until May/June so you don't give them a shock with the cold if you live somewhere like the Indiana or further North in the US (though it looks like things are already green/growing outside from your photos). Where are you from so we can give you proper advice on when to put these outside?

Also, nice find! Looks like 1-6 is 1. Sarracenia purpurea, 2. Sarracenia Scarlett Belle, 3. Drosera capensis, 4. Sarracenia Dana's Delight, 5. Venus Flytrap, 6. Sarracenia purpurea with a small Drosera Capensis with it.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
2
...Where are you from so we can give you proper advice on when to put these outside?...

Sorry, it was kinda buried in the middle of my (very long) post :) ...I live just outside of Philadelphia.
Also: forgot to mention that I plugged the holes in the bottom of the planter before i put the substrate in... so yes, they're always in standing distilled water right now (and will be getting some rain water when i put them outside).
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
4,641
Location
Far Away NY
So, my questions are as follows, BASED ON THE PICTURES BELOW...

1) what should i do about the giant stalks/pitchers on the middle plant (plant # 4, actually in the middle-right)?...they must've been there from the previous year(s), but as you can see, they've grown so long that they're leaning down, further & further towards the ground--i personally love that they're this long and i'd really like to keep them (as long as it can't hurt the rest of the plant)...can i leave them hanging/sagging, or should i try to gradually prop them up so that they'll eventually stand more vertically on their own?

2) I've been rotating the planter 180 degrees every two days or so (basically flipping it around), thinking this will help the taller plants to grow straight up, rather than them all leaning in one direction because the sun only hits that one side. Is this a good practice, bad practice, or indifferent?

3) What should i do with individual pitchers/traps that are in each of the following conditions:
a. completely blackened (like on the VFT)?
b. somewhat brown towards the top of the pitcher (like the tips of plant # 6 & the lids on the really tall pitchers on plant #4)?
c. have holes in the pitcher, likely from bugs eating through them (like the one long pitcher on #4 that i took a closeup of)?

4) it looks like someone clipped a lot of growth off of the plants--now, i know you're supposed to clip some traps in relation to dormancy, but i just wanted to make sure... notice all the little brown "nubs" at the bottom of plants 2, 3 (especially), and 4 (can be seen in the last photo in each plant's set of pics) ...Is this normal?

5) i thought that cape sundew traps were supposed to curl upwards towards the sky... mine are all curled downwards towards the ground... Is this a problem?


Thanks in advance for any advice/input you're able to provide!!...

1. Leave them be unless they are brown and dead in which case you can clip them off.

2. Rotating is fine.

3. Black/brown you can clip off regardless of which plant. The tall pitcher types will usually go brown at the top first, particularly at the end of the grow season.

4. Last seasons and previous seasons growth is usuall trimmed off so yes there will be alot of clipped 'nubs' on the pitcher plants.

and Finally 5.. which is caused by insufficient light. In fact all your plants are showing severe signs of insufficient light. It is notoriously difficult to grow Sarracenia in particular indoors as they come from areas that receive full blazing sun for most of the day. They are difficult to light overhead with artificial lights because of the upright narrow shape of many of them. They do best outdoors or in a greenhouse where they will receive lots of sun from all angles as the sun rises and sets.
 

jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
Joined
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Location
Western New York
If it were me, I would take them all outside, except for D. capensis, which grows just fine at sunny window sills or under artificial lighting.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
2,968
Location
Western New York, USA
Hey bleed,
welcome to the forum! :)
sounds like you you are doing things very well so far!

Note: since i unfortunately don't presently know the exact names of all 6 plants, i'll be referring to them below by number (1-6, from left to right, as seen in the pics of the whole planter).

1. Hard to tell exactly..probably some variety of Sarracenia ×catesbaei (which is S. flava crossed with S. purpurea) could be some other Sarr species in the mix too..
you will never know its exact "varierty name" if it even has one at all..so its best to label it a "mixed hybrid"

2. Thats a Sarracenia x wrigleyana (S. psittacina crossed with S. leucophylla)

3. Drosera capensis

4. Hard to tell at this stage..you need some new pitchers before a better ID can be made..
but its probably a S. leucophylla 'Red'..most likely 'Dana's Delight'
but again, you can never be certain, if it didnt come with a label when you bought it.

5. Dionaea muscipula

6. Another "mixed hybrid" of unknown parentage..definately some S. purpurea in the mix,
and maybe some S. flava again..but its impossible to know for sure..

when in doubt, you shouldnt label a plant with a specific name, if you arent absolutely sure..
just label it a "mixed hybrid"..

Its a nice collection! :)

as it's still a little too cold at night here in Philadelphia. my plan is to wait until the daily "low" is consisently above 50 (at least), then hang them from a planter rack on my balcony.

you dont need to wait for 50 degrees!
anything above 32 degrees, day or night, they should be outside..

when I put my plants outside in early spring, I only bring them in (to the garage for the night) is there is going to be a heavy frost overnight, or an overnight low in the 20's is forecast...if the forecast is 32 degrees or warmer, they stay outside! they can handle that just fine..even if they get a light frost, or it hits 30 degrees..thats still fine..and getting the direct sun is more important than staying warm..there is no need to "protect" them from temps between 32 and 50..keep them outside 24/7 if its above freezing! ;)

Oh, and there is also a streetlamp directly outside my window (see picture) that lights up our parking lot--all i know is that it's some type of flourescent bulb...probably doesn't help the plants all that much, tho maybe a little.

to the plants, the streetlamp doesnt even exist! ;)
we, as humans, can adjust our eyesight..to us, full sun during the day, and streetlights at night, doesnt look significantly different..we might guess the streetlamp at night is "half" as bright as the sun during the day..or maybe 25% as bright...but thats only because our pupils contract in the sunlight, and open wide at night..in reality, the streetlamp, at the plant's location, is probably about a thousand times dimmer than the the sun! to the plants, there is really no difference between the streetlight and pure darkness..the street light does absolutely nothing for them..

So, my questions are as follows, BASED ON THE PICTURES BELOW...

1) what should i do about the giant stalks/pitchers on the middle plant (plant # 4, actually in the middle-right)?...they must've been there from the previous year(s),

yes, thats an old pitcher from last season..
you can leave it, or cut it off..makes little difference either way..
personally I would just snip it off completely..some say you should leave anything that is not brown, as it helps the plant photosynthesize..which has some merit..
but its really up to you..IMO the plant would be fine if you cut it off, because lots of new pitchers are already coming up..its really just a matter of personal aesthetic taste..

2) I've been rotating the planter 180 degrees every two days or so (basically flipping it around), thinking this will help the taller plants to grow straight up, rather than them all leaning in one direction because the sun only hits that one side. Is this a good practice, bad practice, or indifferent?

you should stop rotating, and get them outside in the full sunlight! as long as its above freezing.

3) What should i do with individual pitchers/traps that are in each of the following conditions:
a. completely blackened (like on the VFT)?
b. somewhat brown towards the top of the pitcher (like the tips of plant # 6 & the lids on the really tall pitchers on plant #4)?
c. have holes in the pitcher, likely from bugs eating through them (like the one long pitcher on #4 that i took a closeup of)?

completely black, just cut it off..
brown pitcher..you can snip off the whole pitcher, or just the brown bits, leaving any un-brown parts.
holes in the pitcher? as long as the pitcher is fairly new and green, I would leave it alone.

4) it looks like someone clipped a lot of growth off of the plants--now, i know you're supposed to clip some traps in relation to dormancy, but i just wanted to make sure... notice all the little brown "nubs" at the bottom of plants 2, 3 (especially), and 4 (can be seen in the last photo in each plant's set of pics) ...Is this normal?

you *can* snip off all the pitchers for dormancy..but you dont have to..
some say its better to leave on the pitchers through the winter, as it gives the plants a jump-start in the spring..personally I snip off all the pitchers and leaves for dormancy, only because I have to use "the fridge method" and wrap the pots in plastic..with that method, leaving all the pitchers on isnt practical...ideally, if I could leave my plants outside all winter, I wouldnt snip off the pitchers..but I dont have that option, because my winters are too cold..
(see my webpage, link in my signature, for details on how I handle dormancy)

but yes, having those old brown stubs is "normal"..its just the remains of old pitchers that have been cut off..the stubs eventually turn brown and die..you can just ignore them.

5) i thought that cape sundew traps were supposed to curl upwards towards the sky... mine are all curled downwards towards the ground... Is this a problem?

I would say curling in either direction is normal..
the older leaves tend to curl down..newer leaves tend to curl up..
either way is fine! your capensis looks good to me..

Scot
 

Timmy

BANNED
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
230
If you are a newbie, then I reccomend you clip all of the flower stalks. It drains energy from the mother and the divisions to the flower stalks. You can divide your plants if you wish, but you obviously have more than you think. Good luck!
 

GrowinOld

Not Growing Up!
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
932
Location
ARTificial Bog in da' Middle of da' USA
My best advice is for you to first look on the forum under growing each of these plants, and also perhaps get a few books out of the library (or buy one) about how to grow them.
This forum and the net itself has a world of information and it will give you a better foundation of understanding than asking people individual questions about each little concern you are running into. (Okay, a little advice about cutting off old leaves and such is good to get opinions on.)
For one, as a "newbie" you aren't going to know who here knows what they are talking about and who here only "thinks" they know what they are talking about! :headwall: [Some of the advice you are getting is from other newbies who just heard it from someone else a week before! :crazy: You don't know who is "seasoned" and who is not!] It has actually gotten to the point around here of being funny, if not ludicrous! :-))
This is NOT a good way to learn about something, if indeed you are actually wanting to learn!

Second of all, reading the "how to grow..." will give you a more rounded understanding of the real needs of your plants, which will greatly increase your chance of success. (If you have already read those sections and information, you wouldn't be having the questions you are asking.)

I am not saying you shouldn't get opinions here, but it is a poor way to try to learn everything you need to know about growing CP's. The info Tony and Scotty are giving you is correct, and is very basic info that you NEED if you expect to grow them. All the "how to" sections will give you the basic info, and help you get a firm understanding of what you NEED to care for them.
If you don't have the time to read up on them, you certainly won't have the time to care for them correctly.

Well, that is my advice for what you should do first.
It may not be an exciting bit of advice, but it will increase your likelihood of success :water:
a lot more than whether to hack off a dead leaf or not.

Good luck.

(I apologize if I have a rough attitude, but so many people are coming here repeatedly asking the same questions (over and over), about things that someone already took the time to answer and prepare into a "ready to read and learn" format! The information (and more!) is sitting here already, just waiting for someone to bother to read it!) [Look on the forum categories, look on the net, get a book to read while in the john. The learning can be as rewarding as the growing!]
And at least you don't have to worry about it being accurate or not!
Again, good luck.
 

Chris_Himself

Nep'tard
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
308
Location
San Jose, CA
Put the whole darn box outside in the sunniest location you can find. The D. Capensis likes a little less sun, but I grow mine outside. Sarrcenia see 8+ hours of sunlight in the wild and can make decent growth with 6.

More light is better, they literally need to be treated like tomato plants.

Also I think it should be said that you should only water with distilled water.

Otherwise, you actually have a very nice selection of plants and I love the planter!
 
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