Blocky71

Flytrap regression?

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Blocky71    235

A few years ago I bought a medium sized wacky trap, each season after dormancy it would reappear but smaller, to the point this year that it's almost like a seedling.

I have several other clones of flytrap that have become smaller too, they're in the same position and potting mix as all the others but seem to be regressing rather than maturing?.

i am a little confused as to why a healthy, large robust plant from last year would re emerge half the size ?

it also seems to be all my favourites typically !

any ideas ? 

cheers Blocky 

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FlytrapCare    66

I've noticed this can be related to less than ideal care techniques.  If kept too wet in cooler weather or if kept in soil that is degrading, certain plants are more sensitive to these conditions and will struggle.

What are your growing conditions and techniques?

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Vampiresrus    6

I had this happen to a Cudo dionaea form I bought some years ago. It got smaller and then sat in the pot for several years alive but doing nothing. In the end it went over the Rainbow Bridge last year after repotting time.

In my opnion you can give some of the smaller forms of dionaea the greatest care ever and they just fade away. I have often wondered that some forms of flytrap rather than being perennial they are shorter living compared to other forms of dionaea. When I say shorter living I mean a couple of years. Usually by this point you may have acquired some progeny so it doesn't really matter that the parent has passed on.

If we are looking at my Cudo form as an example it took a considerable amount of time before it RIP'd. I would say 8 years. I should have booted it out and replaced it but you know how you hang on to these plants thinking they will recover!

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Blocky71    235

I have upwards of 70 clones, all kept in the same conditions, all using the same media. They're all outside all year and a clear Perspex cover used over winter to prevent frost damage and water logging. 

After dormancy the majority of my vft's are vigorously growing to a larger size than the year before as I'd expect. 

Unfortunately some don't even look like they are the same plant as last year due to the size difference. I'm talking about the new emerging plant being only about 10% the size it was before dormancy...

Everything looks healthy, just tiny.

I'd of thought a large single bulb plant that was not receiving the correct treatment would eventually rot or die back.

These " regressing" plants look perfectly fine except that the plant and bulbs have shrunk dramatically. 

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Hannahraptor    142

I've noticed this with a couple of Dionaea. 

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Blocky71    235

It's just a simple 50/50ish peat and perlite mix with pure peat top dressing.

If it was the media then I'd expect all the plants to be showing signs as I mixed up a large batch then potted all the vft's .

Same as if it was the conditions then why are the majority thriving?. 

During winter, peat remains damp but not wet, during summer I flood the trays, which is about half way up the pots, then allow the tray to dry out and then re fill.

I'm not expecting that these affected dionaea will regain anything like last years size by the end of this season... 

I've found a place fairly local to me that does shamrock moss peat bales, I'm going to get some and re pot the vft's in a fresh mix , which although I don't think Is the issue it will rule it out at least.

I have had a couple of ceph clones that died back then grew back much smaller, these died back mid season though so there was an issue that caused it, with the vft's there were no signs of any stress, entered dormancy and then re emerged like a 6mnth old plant? .

Oh and just to add, none of the plants that have ' shrunk' weremature enough to flower last year so that hasn't weakened them. I was expecting flowers this year so it's disappointing they've gone backwards...

cheers for taking the time to read/respond lads and lasses. 

Blocky

 

Edited by Blocky71
Addition

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Blocky71    235
Tropicat    72

I have had something similar. I usually keep my VFTs outside. When I noticed 1 VFT was regressing, I moved it to my windowsill. I cant say for sure why, but there it started thriving again. Maybe certain hybrids have different temperature/light/ humidity preferences? It's hard to say what made the difference. I use a peat/perlite mix. I have added more peat to the mix. I had the feeling that helped. In the windowsill the VFT is under a growing light at around 20C. humidity is 50-70%, I mist the plants there daily. So one of these factors should have had a positive influence.

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Alexis    172

Are they doing as well as you think? My collection has a lot more growth as a whole.

Another point in case you are using it - Westland peat is crap and bulked out with compost.

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Gaz    179

Kent winters are probably much milder than we get in Derbyshire but I've always found that any plants kept outside year round never grew as well as those which were at least over-wintered in the greenhouse.  With VFTs I also found that they took a while to settle down after repotting or otherwise being messed with.

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Blocky71    235

That's very true Gaz, everything does better in a greenhouse as the plants tend to come out of dormancy earlier and so have a longer season .

Hours of sunlight will also have a big effect and unfortunately my plants are cast into the shade by mid afternoon.

These are factors I have taken into consideration but can't really do much about although I am considering putting wheels on my vft table so I can wheel it round to keep it in the sun !.

Even so I'd expect a plant to remain the same size and maybe not grow so well or get any bigger rather than physically shrinking dramatically?. 

I can't remember which moss peat I ended up with, I think I still have the bag in the shed so will check but I have since read about the 'westland' thing. 

Cheers blocky

 

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Tropicat    72

At first I thought the plant doesnt have enough energy to grow to size, so maybe I should be feeding it more flies. On most VFTs that makes it grow bigger but on certain ones it didn't help. Im wondering, could it be the sunlight/temperature or maybe sudden change in weather?

Edited by Tropicat

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Alexis    172

It's just not warm enough for them. Some will flourish (there are VFTs in the New Forest), some will just survive and others will decline and die In afraid.

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Gaz    179
4 hours ago, Blocky71 said:

Even so I'd expect a plant to remain the same size and maybe not grow so well or get any bigger rather than physically shrinking dramatically?.

Alexis idea about temperatures sounds likely and you certainly have some plants which are declining.  Perhaps keeping them frost free with the winter Perspex cover just isn't enough, is it possible to take some of the more seriously declined plants and over-winter them indoors this year to see how they compare to those still left outside?

Good luck with it Blocky, it's very disappointing when treasured plants fail to thrive...hope for a good outcome.

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Blocky71    235

Thanks for all your ideas and views folk....

I couldn't find the empty compost bag but I have a nagging feeling it may of been westlands as their packaging looks familiar.

I have now started the unenviable task of repotting everything, this time using a 3:1 shamrock and perlite ratio. It's going to take a few days to get through them all as some plants are splitting from what looks like one plant into several smaller ones...

I'll take on board all the other possibilities too but obviously a decent media is as good a starting point as any!. 

If there's no improvement then I'll scale down my vft's to the ones that do better in my environment.

cheers blocky

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Stu    85
10 hours ago, Blocky71 said:

It's going to take a few days to get through them all as some plants are splitting from what looks like one plant into several smaller ones...

Good luck Chris!

The breaking down into many small plantlets is, from my personal observations; further evidence towards poor media. I've always assumed it to be a natural survival technique.

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Blocky71    235

Thate a good call Stu, as said some of the vft's are doing really nicely and have remained pretty much as one large bulb .

I guess each clone is different and has its own tolerance levels as they were all in the same media...

Anyway, round 3 of reporting commencing shortly ! . 

Cheers Stu, hope you're having a successful season down on the coast mate ! 

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Hannahraptor    142

Fingers crossed they settle down. Good luck with the repotting!

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Blocky71    235

Cheers Hannah

Its a laborious task but it's getting me lots of divisions at least , the plants I've done ( around 70 this far ) look aesthetically better immediately.

Fingers crossed the beasts reward me with a healthy growth spurt over the coming weeks...

I was surprised how tough the top layer of moss on some of the pots was, I was having to actually tear through it to retrieve the vft's. Some almost seemed to have been strangled by it, only allowing any new growth through the tiny remaining hole the original plant was maintaining. It must have felt like having a belt that was too tight taken off to the plant. I'm sure I heard a couple of them let out a sigh of relief!.

I reckon I've got about another days repotting to complete the vft collection but that will have to wait till Friday now... 

I bit the bullet and did all my ceph's also, they wern't looking their best after winter and haven't burst back into life as usual so they got a bit of a shake up lol. 

Then I guess it's onto the sarras, none of which are showing any distress but the thought of them sitting in poor media is eating away at my conscience. 

I know it's probably the wrong time to be doing them but I need to downsize and find new homes for Some plants anyhow 

I was a wee bit overzealous in my early days of collecting, I no longer feel the need to have a certain plant just because I don't own one. By next season I want to be keeping more selective plants that really do it for me. 

All the best 

blocky

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Stu    85
10 hours ago, Blocky71 said:

Cheers Stu, hope you're having a successful season down on the coast mate ! 

I was a wee bit overzealous in my early days of collecting, I no longer feel the need to have a certain plant just because I don't own one. By next season I want to be keeping more selective plants that really do it for me.

Yeah, these extended sunny spells are giving me lots of very deep colours on all of the Sarra collection. Keeping up with the water demand is another matter though!

The overzealous collecting happens to most of us mate - it's part of the hobby. Once you reach a collection size that outgrows your space and/or time needed to tend it, you start to whittle out ones that aren't as important anymore so you can focus on things you really appreciate. :smile:

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Manekineko    15

In my opinion, you should grow your vft in bigger pots. They need place for roots and your growing conditions would be more stable in a bigger pot. You should also avoid black pots to keep the roots cool in summer.

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Karsty    12

Hi Blocky,

I agree with Manekineko. VFTs always seem to have long roots, so the deeper the pot the better, and if the overall volume is large that helps steady the soil temperature, which they apparently do not like too hot, and also it will protect from cold in the winter. Ever considered several together in large pots? Or using long toms of some sort?

How do you set the perspex over them in the winter? Depending on how you do it, it could cause sudden very high temperatures with sun on them, which I can't imagine would do them much good. Their best winter protection would really be in the ground in a bog garden in a sheltered spot, or somehow emulating that.

Keep us posted!

Karsty

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manders    590

VFT's grow in much warmer climates than the UK.  I keep mine outside but i know theyd do much better in the greenhouse.

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