Waiting to feed them...

Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Messages
248
Location
Columbus, OH
I have searched the forum and read the appropriate posts on feeding, and I am wondering if my strategy for feeding my new VFTs (which seem to be doing well after one week near the window) is a good one. Opinions, please, and my heartfelt thanks now.

My idea is to let them catch what they can against the south window. We get the occasional fly and spider in the house, and I'm thinking it's inevitable that they'll get one a month or so, starting in May, when it will be warm and sunny most of the time.

Also, I don't want to put them outside if I can help it. There are many young 'uns around; unfortunately, these children are too big for the traps, and yet the plants will draw them like birthday cake.

My problem with this strategy is two-fold. The first issue is practical--I want them to thrive and grow, and if they only get a couple of insects each all summer I'm afraid that won't do. Also, I don't know how early this spring they will need to feed in order to grow optimally this year.

The second is emotional. They have open traps--one especially has two pretty good-sized traps, a nice pinkish-red on the inside. Frankly, it looks like it's begging to be fed, like a baby bird in fact. I'm on a diet myself, and it's bothering me to look at it gaping at the air, without a chance of food for weeks. That it resembles some kind of otherworldly nightmare that would as soon eat me if it could does not quell my paternal feelings at all.

So--given that it's early spring here, with pretty low light conditions (sunny one day this week) and quite cold, do I just let the little monsters starve for their own good until May? Or do I feed them, because they need the food now if they are going to develop later, and because it'll let me cheat on my diet by proxy?

Thanks again.

--Steve
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2002
Messages
1,338
Although your plants LOOK hungry they really don't need any food. If you decide to let them fend for themselves then that is ok. If they catch something, they will like it and maybe grow a little faster. I really don't think I would force feed them (or breast feed) based on the information I have seen on this forum previously. Just enjoy watching them... it sounds like they're happy.
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Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
63
Location
Connecticut
Hi, I`ve been raising vft`s for a couple of years now. They will take care of themselves take my word my word for it. Remember they have evolved to survive in the poorest of conditions.My plants are all windowsill grown. I woke up one morning to find 2 traps closed,it had caught a spider and a fly during the night. My plants have also gone up to a month without feeding. Last summer I put my plants outside and within minutes a curious fly met it`s doom. If you`re that worried and your traps are large enough you can go to a pet store and get meal worms or some other soft bodied insect. I will usually feed my plants 1 trap per plant about once a month. Don`t worry your plants will be fine. John
 
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I will have to agree with the other Senators from CT and FL.

The VFT's really don't have to eat to be healthy.

I equate them catching a meal to fertilizer. ( that is pretty much what it is ).

If you fertilize your house plants, they will grow faster, yes, they will be a little stronger, yes, they will be a little bigger, yes.

But if you don't fertilize, they will still grow, still be strong, still be healthy...they will still get big.

Some plants will go through their lives ( which can be over 20 years ) without catching a single bug. And many have.

I wouldn't worry about the plants, they will be fine. Just give them the time that they need to do their magic.
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The best signs that you have are the fact the plants are alive. Most people have a hard enough time getting through that.
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You are one step ahead of the game, and are being a great parent!!!

Keep up the good work :cheesy:
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2001
Messages
126
Location
Pennsylvania
Another vote for fend for themselves. I never feed mine last summer and they caught what they needed or didn't eat.

I would suggest you reconsider on putting them outside for the summer; they really will do much better outside. I understand the issue of kids and courious fingers. Have several in the neighborhood myself. First I would try to find a place that would not make them as noticible to the kids. Those that do find them try to educated them and turn them into future CP collectors. Kids can be very receptive when treated with respect.

Linda ö¿ö
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2001
Messages
2,005
Location
United Kingdom
I'm going to go for feeding them!
True that you can't starve a VFT but if you want a healthier VFT, you might as well feed them. They haven't evolved those traps for nothing. As it's spring I would feed them just one bug a month. Just catch a spider or something from outside (soft bodied) and let it loose near a trap. Something quite small would be better as it's only April.
In my experience, they don't catch anything inside and if you are never going to put them outside, you might as well catch something.
On the other hand, I would wait a couple of weeks first to let them recover from being dropped
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Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Messages
248
Location
Columbus, OH
Hmmm.

I will do as Linda suggests, as that presents the best compromise position. I won't mind showing the plants to the local feral children, and it will be an excuse to hang around outside for a while.

"Dropped"--hilarious, Alvin!
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--Steve
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2002
Messages
54
Location
Australia
I also grow my plants on a window sill. I find that a fly's natural instinct is to fly to a window and buzz around thinking it can get out. So you've put it in the best place to catch annoying flys. Doesn't matter how well you seal your house up, you are bound to get a few flys come inside the home and it will be enough for them
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