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update on VFT?

A few weeks ago got some help in trying to keep my VFT growing? I gave it more light and it seemed to be doing good but when I planted it in the soil mixture after a week it started to look bad again so now got it in the light still but got it in water this time? I have been watching it closing and if new growth appears will be first to post? Hoping it will survive not sure what is wrong with it? but still not given up on it as of yet when it turns black then will put it to rest??
What is in your soil mixture? If there's anything that has fertilizer in it, your plant will hate it more than a giraffe with a sore throat or a millipede with athlete's foot. Also, wash your media before putting your plant in it. It might just be root shock from transplanting.
I am sad to say my vft did not make it... i pamper it for so long hoping some growth would come but it did not...
(It would have been better to continue the conversation in the original thread, rather than starting a new redundant thread..because now we have to go back and look for the old thread to see what was going on before..)

But I found the previous thread..
you first posted about the sickly VFT in early April..
my immediate thought was: When did you get the VFT? and where was it growing all of last winter?
If you have had it for awhile (since last autumn, or longer) and it spent all of last winter indoors,
then it probably died from lack of dormancy..

But if you bought it more recently (say 3 months ago or less) it might have simply been weak
from spending a long time in its "death cube" before you bought it..

So to figure out what most likely happened, we need more info:
When did you buy it?
Where did you buy it?
Where did it spend last winter?

I am sorry Scott but I am not good working with the computer I get help to post on the trade list do not know how to do it but I am trying to learn as I go... but as for the VFT you are so right I got it last year and it spend the winter indoors so it probably die lack of dormancy.. Newbie learn as I go so made big mistakes.. but wanted it to grow,hate when it die on me like its my fault hate that... thank you for the input I would of never thought of lacking dormancy...
yeah, sounds like a lack of dormancy then..
but dont feel too bad! *everyone* in this hobby has had plants die!
it happens to all of us..
but we learn from our mistakes, and move on and do it better next time! ;)

In your climate, Ohio, you cant keep CP's (specifically VFT's and all Sarracenia except S. purpurea)
outside in the winter, because its too cold..
and you cant keep any of them (including S. purpurea! ;) indoors in a heated room on a windowsill
all winter either, because its far too warm, and the plant wont go dormant at all..

So you need to find a middle ground..somewhere cooler than your indoor winter living space,
yet warmer than outdoors in the winter..
people use the fridge, a cool basement, attic, garage, etc..there are a lot of options.
as long as its 35 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit all winter, it should work..
I talk about it in more detail here:


good luck! and let us know if you try another VFT! :)
Spring is the best time to get a new plant..put it right outside this time of year,
leave it out until early November, and it will be ready for dormancy when you have a place ready for it..

Wow the fridge method was great!! I am going to try another one.. it may be next year due to the fact on a budget and so will have to wait for a bit? I am going to sit the pot and vft in the fridge. question you do not need to water it? A member is going to send me some seeds how do I care for them? If I bother you do much about caring for the VFT let me know and I will leave you along? Thanks great help for sure now I know what I did wrong?
It's no bother! any and all questions are fine here! :)

If you are going to use the fridge, I would recommending doing it the way I did on my webpage:

1. Leave it *outside* all Spring, Summer and Autumn until Late October or Early November..(until night-time temps start falling below freezing on a regular basis)

That "step 1" is, by far, the most important step for dormancy! and a step that cant be skipped..
you cant grow a plant indoors and *then* put it in the fridge..that wont work, because the plant wont be dormant! ;)
I have said it many times, and I will say it again:

Please remember that the fridge does not cause or create the dormancy!
it merely maintains the dormancy that was already created naturally outdoors..

The plant must be dormant before it goes in the fridge! which is why it needs to be grown outdoors.

2. Take the plant out of its water tray a week or so before going in the fridge, to let the media dry out slightly..
you want it just slightly damp all winter, but not soaking wet..

3. If using the fridge, I would just cut off all the leaves completely, and bag up the pot tight in an air-tight plastic bag.
because in the fridge, it will be cold enough (about 35 degrees F) that the plant will not be growing, at all..
and it will be dark..so the plant will have no need of its leaves..
and being bagged up, it wont lose moisture..(my plants stay bagged up for 5 months! they dont dry out)

You *could* in theory put it in the fridge without bagging it, leaving it in its water tray, and not cutting off any leaves..
In theory, that would allow the remaining leaves to give the plant a "head start" in the spring, since it will already have
leaves on it, rather than needing to grow new leaves..

While that could work, IMO its not really worth trying, unless you only have one or two plants..
IMO the "cut off the leaves and bag them up" method is a lot more convenient, because you dont
really need to monitor the plants at all, all winter..

I have a second section about "the fridge method" later on my webpages..
technique is the same, but I am no longer using a fridge specifically:


  • #10
Dormancy/senescence in many temperate plants is triggered by solely by photoperiod. Has anyone attempted to initiate dormancy by cutting the photoperiod on VFTs grown indoors under lights? It would require strict light control, as any light, even brief flashes during the normal dark period can confuse the plant.
  • #11
Scotty is right about the necessity for a domancy with VFTs, it's possible that was a factor but I am a little more hesitant to call that the cause. VFTs can usually go a season without a dormancy and make it ok (I have tried). Granted, lack of dormancy + death cube/garden center conditions too long + fluctuating environmental conditions is probably enough stress to knock it over the edge.
Still, I feel like further examination should be considered here- especially since you said it was doing well until you "planted it in soil" (Incidently, transplanting is very stressful on VFTs- particularly during active growth. Do this when they go dormant if possible). It sounds like a bunch of things may have contributed. I have not looked at your other thread, but here are some questions which could shed some insight (I am not necessarily posting these questions with the intent that you answer them all here but if you feel inclined, the answer could possibly give us more insight on what may have happened):

1) What kind of water did you give it and how? How much (if you used the tray method, how far up the pot was the water for instance)?
2) You said you used one part sand and one part peat. Was the peat miracle grow brand or enriched with fertilizers? What kind of sand did you use (was it coarse, fine, was it silica/blasting sand or something else)? When you say "half peat half sand" did you measure this when the peat was dry or hydrated? (hydrated is better as you get a correct ratio)
3) You said you gave them more light? How much before and after and what was the source? Did you acclimate it to the new light over time or rapidly?
4) When you said it looked good before the transplant- what did it look like? Was it growing real vigorously or did it look like it was recovering from previous stress and getting better (IE lots of new growth but not a lot of green foliage yet).
5) What kind of pot did you put it in?

Hopefully we can get you set up for next time! In the mean time, I am not sure what reading you have done but you are in luck because the best information on the planet can be found for free!!

Have you checked out the ICPS (International Carnivorous Plant Society) website? In particular the growing guides?

John Brittnacher, the guy who maintains that website, knows his stuff- he's a good guy too.

Another really good source:
Scroll down to the section on Venus Flytraps. These pages are by no means dry reads. Barry is very enthusiastic about these plants and it shows. His pages are quite entertaining. Barry Rice is awesome! Consider getting his book too if you are a book person- the pictures alone make it worth it.

Hope this helps!
  • #12
Scot will be asking you more questions when I get one VFT and do the fridge thing for sure now I believe I can do this and keep my VFT a live this time?Thanks for all the info.. this will be of great help...