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Tray Method - ideal level?


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#1 Guest_flycatcher_*

 
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Posted 07 August 2009 - 08:26 AM

Hi,

I've got a Drosera Capensis, VFT, Sara Leuco and soon to be Grandiflora growing outside using the tray method.
I have heard from people over the past few months that too much water can either be a good or a bad thing.
They are all in 4 inch pots and the usual recommendation is 2-4 cms of water. Is this too much for the size of the pot?
Or would you use the full 4 cms if you had bigger pots, say 6-8 inches?

Reason is that one of my VFT's has recently started getting this brown sheen over it's leaves. The very small traps that are growing slowly out of the middle have black tips and rarely mature properly and I didn't know if it was rotting because of having too much water (I currently have 3-4 cms)

Would appreciate your help! Thanks

#2 LJ

 
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Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:52 AM

Instead of looking at exactly how much water is in the tray I'd say its best to keep an eye on how wet the compost looks - most of us go with somewhere between damp and wet, but not sopping wet. My trays are more often dry that wet and I only put some water back in them when it looks like the surface of the compost is starting to dry up. I hope that helps a bit.

Have you got the correct conditions for your vft - correct water, compost, plenty of sun?? A pic might help. I've had vfts with conditions like yours but they normally recover after a while.

Heather

#3 Guest_flycatcher_*

 
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Posted 07 August 2009 - 18:01 PM

Hi Heather,

I've included various shots of my plants to give you an idea what I meant - Only a beginner, so would appreciate any comments you have:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Thanks

#4 LJ

 
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Posted 07 August 2009 - 19:13 PM

How long have you had the vft? Have you potted it up yourself or did you buy it potted? What soil mix? Looks a bit sunburnt with the colouring but thats not a problem. It does look very wet though and there's quite a bit of water in the tray, I'd let them dray out a bit next time before you put any more water in the tray.

The soil mix looks rather dark too, though brands of peat do vary a bit. If its a new plant then it might just need time to settle in, I would cut back on the watering through, just water when they start to dry out and then just give them anough so the soil gets sufficiently wet again. No need to keep them standing in water once the compost is wet again. Obviously on a hot day it might be wise to account for the weather and give them a bit extra...

Heather

#5 Guest_flycatcher_*

 
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Posted 07 August 2009 - 19:30 PM

I bought it potted from a garden centre (I know they can have a bit of a reputation for some cruddies but the other one I got looks good) so not sure of the soil mix. I'll cut back on the watering though - thanks for that. Will the other plants not mind that either?

#6 mantrid

 
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Posted 07 August 2009 - 20:02 PM

The VFT in the picture is showing a typical reaction to strong sunlight. To confirm this if the trap that is laying flat on its side against the peat has been like that for some time, then if you look underneath it, it should be green where the sun hasnt got to it. This redenning is not a problem as the tissue is alive and making pigments. You should only worry if the red turns brown and dry, indicating that the tissue had died.

On the subject of watering, VFTs are a bit like people. When its baking hot and sunny being in the water is pleasant, but when its cold and grey its not so enjoyable. So regarding VFTs when its sunny I keep a few cms of water in the tray but as soon as it gets colder and wetter I let the trays dry out or empty them and just keep the peat damp. This works for me as I have never had a case of roots rotting with VFTs yet.

Also looking at your pics again, I think the water level in the trays is too deep for the shallow pots you have. I would lower it to half that level.

Edited by mantrid, 07 August 2009 - 20:06 PM.


#7 LJ

 
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Posted 07 August 2009 - 20:05 PM

If it doesnt improve in a month or so it might be worth repotting it into a fresh sphagnum peat/perlite mix, garden centres are well known for mistreating cps and have probably not been using the correct water etc so minerals/salts could build up in the soil which the vft wont appreciate.

All my cps get the same treatment as far as watering goes, just water when they need it rather than constantly, many people are of the same thinking these days though some do stand in water all summer without any issues. Personally I worry about rot too much to do that!

Good luck with them, hope the vft gets back to its full vigor soon.

Heather

#8 Guest_flycatcher_*

 
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Posted 08 August 2009 - 16:41 PM

Thanks Heather - I was thinking about repotting all of them (bar the Drosera) next year anyway before they start growing in the spring, just using one of Hampshire's or Little Shop's ready mixed compost. I'll probably leave the Drosera as that looks fine and I'll bring it in during the winter as it doesn't need dormancy. Although I've heard chopping all the leaves right to the bottom makes them grow back better in the spring.

#9 Mags

 
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Posted 09 August 2009 - 11:52 AM

The VFT in the picture is showing a typical reaction to strong sunlight.


Good point. Just keep an eye on the plant.

If it was kept indoors in the garden centre where you bought it, sunlight was probably non-existant :tu:

#10 Tommyr

 
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Posted 17 August 2009 - 02:12 AM

I keep everything in trays and the water level is always BELOW the rhizomes. You can't fail that way. For me 1/2" to 1" is the limit. You DO have to keep a closer look on them for levels but that's o.k. with me!

#11 Muppettmaster

 
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Posted 03 August 2010 - 07:57 AM

I popped into a garden centre over the weekend and there was a tray with about 30 weak, spindley fly traps that had given up producing traps. They were in a small side room with little light and no water - very sad

I was tempted to try to save them but the Garden Centre still wanted £4.99 for each one !!!

I think most garden centre fly traps need a bit of time to recover and get going again, i'm sure yours will be fine with all the TLC its going to get. :JC_cupidgirl:

#12 Hayden

 
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Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:47 AM

The peat I bought is dark, and it hasnt done my vft too much good. Yet my sarrs are really happy! Vft seem very different to sarrs in my opinion, same with sundews. They like a lot more water, so its a good idea to separate them.

#13 danthecpman

 
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Posted 06 August 2010 - 18:14 PM

I was tempted to try to save them but the Garden Centre still wanted £4.99 for each one !!!

I think most garden centre fly traps need a bit of time to recover and get going again, i'm sure yours will be fine with all the TLC its going to get. :tu:


Hi
I have a dobbies garden world not far from me and they had so rather pathetic looking VFT's (4.99 each) so i took a few to the counter and commented how almost dead looking they were and got 75% off now they are looking as good as the others. I also did the same at a wyevale GC with a few sarracenia purp ssp venosa and got 50% of, so its always worth being cheeky and asking for discount.

Cheers
Dan

Edited by danthecpman, 06 August 2010 - 18:15 PM.


#14 James O'Neill

 
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Posted 06 August 2010 - 18:56 PM

I should try that at my local B&Q....:tu:

It strikes me that the sarr in the picture is not a pure leuco...

#15 dchasselblad74

 
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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:14 AM

I spoke,a few weeks ago, with David Crump(One of the old school cp guys here in North Carolina USA) on the phone and he was telling me that he had visited so many places where Sarrs and VFTs and butterworts and many other CPs grow naturally in the wild, and that he noticed VFts grow on the hilly edges of these natural North Carolina bogs. He then proceeded to also tell me that the peaty soil was also very sandy. So given that the VFTs, grow on higher, sandier ground, this indicates that fly traps prefer a drier sandier soil, as opposed to Sarracenias preferring a wetter condition. I actually followed this soil recipe for my VFTs, and lots of sun, the result was amazing...Super healthy and bigger traps....try it, itll work..

"Lifes a garden.......dig it"
DexFC(dchasselblad74)

#16 Peabody

 
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Posted 07 August 2010 - 07:39 AM

I have some of my Venus Flytraps (and a couple of Cephs) in deep Rose pots. This means they can be stood in deep water without the compost being too wet in the top few inches where the plant has its roots. It means that there is less need to check on watering and you can fill the tray brim full and go on holiday without any worry.

I use Haribo sweet containers that I obtain from the village shop and they are about 4" deep. There are big deep trays available from Garden Centres and I would guess they are about 5" deep - you would be able to get a lot more plant pots in them. I have second hand round Rose pots from my local nursery but Morissons Supermarket sell Rose bushes and soft fruit bushes in tall square pots and they are about 4" square at the top which would be a bit more economical on compost. I have used the tried and tested 50/50 peat/Perlite mix for the whole depth of the pots but I would think that pure Perlite for the bottom half of the pot would be OK and use less peat. Some Garden Centres have a recycling bin for plant pots so you could have a rummage for any suitable pots.

I was pleased to get some knowledge of the actual growing conditions for wild plants. I would be pretty surprised if wild plant soil contains Perlite (!) so what kind of sand content does the wild plant soil have ? Is the sand coarse/ gritty or very fine like silver sand? I have used sandy mixtures by cutting a disc or square of capillary matting to fit the bottom of plant pots to prevent the sand from escaping.

#17 dchasselblad74

 
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Posted 07 August 2010 - 13:59 PM

I have some of my Venus Flytraps (and a couple of Cephs) in deep Rose pots. This means they can be stood in deep water without the compost being too wet in the top few inches where the plant has its roots. It means that there is less need to check on watering and you can fill the tray brim full and go on holiday without any worry.

I use Haribo sweet containers that I obtain from the village shop and they are about 4" deep. There are big deep trays available from Garden Centres and I would guess they are about 5" deep - you would be able to get a lot more plant pots in them. I have second hand round Rose pots from my local nursery but Morissons Supermarket sell Rose bushes and soft fruit bushes in tall square pots and they are about 4" square at the top which would be a bit more economical on compost. I have used the tried and tested 50/50 peat/Perlite mix for the whole depth of the pots but I would think that pure Perlite for the bottom half of the pot would be OK and use less peat. Some Garden Centres have a recycling bin for plant pots so you could have a rummage for any suitable pots.

I was pleased to get some knowledge of the actual growing conditions for wild plants. I would be pretty surprised if wild plant soil contains Perlite (!) so what kind of sand content does the wild plant soil have ? Is the sand coarse/ gritty or very fine like silver sand? I have used sandy mixtures by cutting a disc or square of capillary matting to fit the bottom of plant pots to prevent the sand from escaping.

David Crump didnt specifically mention the coarseness of the sand in the wild North Carolina bogs, but I just simply took that basic idea of a sort of well drained, not to soggy soil recipe....so I used 1 part sphagnum peat moss/1 part perlite/1 part washed play sand for the soil for generally all my outdoor growned cps like my Sarrs and my VFTs an I just started this spring and the results are really good. My Darlingtonia is also outdoor growned but I use 1 part long fiber sphagnum/1 part perlite/1 part terrestrial orchid mix(finely chopped Douglas Fir bark)/1 part sphagnum peat moss cause this plant, from what I read, wants an airy substrate to cool its roots. And when I water my plants, I usually water my Sarrs, and my Darlingtonia more than my VFTs giving the fly traps a chance to be on the moist but dryier state......and theyre all doing very well....

"Lifes a garden.....dig it"
:give_heart: DexFC(dchasselblad74)

#18 Phantom

 
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Posted 08 August 2010 - 12:07 PM

I have some of my Venus Flytraps (and a couple of Cephs) in deep Rose pots. This means they can be stood in deep water without the compost being too wet in the top few inches where the plant has its roots. It means that there is less need to check on watering and you can fill the tray brim full and go on holiday without any worry.


Like so many people this year, I've had trouble with rotting VFTs (not helped at all by originally being in Westland Peat !!!!).

So I've tried much deeper pots this year for VFTs - Rose pots, Long Toms, Palm Pots.....call em what you want. 4.5 inch square x 8.5 inch deep.
And you can see a major difference in how wet/dry the surface layers are.

#19 wallsg7

 
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Posted 20 August 2010 - 17:44 PM

Your plants do look waterlogged to me.When buying from garden centres its always a good idea to repot into a fresh mix.Ive seen them watering with tapwater so the plants welfare isnt high on their list.
From my own observations sarracenia are quite happy to sit in water but dionaea are much more particular for healthy growth.I grow mine using the capillary method.Trev introduced me to the idea and i must say the plants seem to like it.You can use capillary matting or just an old towel with one end submerged in a tank of water.Its a simple way of distributing the water evenly as the plants require it.

Edited by wallsg7, 20 August 2010 - 17:48 PM.


#20 Guest_drosera12_*

 
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Posted 22 August 2010 - 00:13 AM

I agree, Sarracenia love water. I have a pot of them and I love waterlogging them. I heard venus flytraps can be temperamental. They all look a bit frazzled too. The capensis looks very healthy.