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VFTs Outdoors


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#1 TommyTopTraps

 
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Posted 07 June 2012 - 21:00 PM

Hi all,

I have been putting my Dianaea outdoors in the sun (and rain) as I have heard it is the best place for them. Many of them seem to be loving it but I just have a couple of queries:


First of all my taller plants such as the spider seem to get blown about a lot and don't look to be as healthy in colour as they were before they went out.

Many of the plants seem to be closing their traps frequently without catching anything (especially sawtooth type plants) and the traps often appear to look squashed to the side when they are closed

I have noticed the appearance of tiny white jumping insects in the soil.


Is all of this normal and if not what can I do about it, I have been bringing them in on windy days as I think the heavy wind and rain my be partially responsible for the traps closing.

Cheers guys,

Tom

#2 Richard Bunn

 
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Posted 08 June 2012 - 13:46 PM

I've really come to the conclusion that they really do best in an unheated greenhouse. For the protection from wind, excessive garden pests (slugs etc) and the warmer start to the growing season. The colour is better too.

#3 mantrid

 
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Posted 08 June 2012 - 19:05 PM

Hi all,

I have been putting my Dianaea outdoors in the sun (and rain) as I have heard it is the best place for them. Many of them seem to be loving it but I just have a couple of queries:


First of all my taller plants such as the spider seem to get blown about a lot and don't look to be as healthy in colour as they were before they went out.

Many of the plants seem to be closing their traps frequently without catching anything (especially sawtooth type plants) and the traps often appear to look squashed to the side when they are closed

I have noticed the appearance of tiny white jumping insects in the soil.


Is all of this normal and if not what can I do about it, I have been bringing them in on windy days as I think the heavy wind and rain my be partially responsible for the traps closing.

Cheers guys,

Tom


I wouldnt worry about the spiders leaves blowing about as the plant matures and divides the leaves will start to support each other. you could give a bit of protection such as a makeshift wind break if you are really concerned or they are very exposed.

Sawtooth will generally have more misses than a regular flytrap as the longer teeth on the regular one means the teeth interlock forming a cage to trap the insect before the two halves of the trap come together. Sawtooth with the short teeth can only trap the insect when the two halves almost meet which will take longer giving the insect a chance to escape. This is possibly why you dont see sawtooth in the wild as it cant compete with the more efficient trap of the regular VFT which will take more insects, grow faster, reach reproductive age quicker, produce stronger seeds etc.

Theres going to be lots of different invertebrates in the soil, if they dont appear to be harming the VFTs dont worry about them.

Rain drops usually dont set of traps as they are evolved to 'ignore' then. Trap needs repeat stimulation and rain drop not likely to fall on the same trap in quick enough succession. Also I dont know if this has been observed or commented on before but even very heavy spraying dont seem to close traps traps, where many droplets are hitting thre trap at the same time and in quick succession (try it). On close inspection I can see that the droplets dont act as a weight and move the trigger hair. The hair just seems to slip through the water as if it wasnt there. I suspect the hairs are very hydrophilic instantly breaking the droplets surface tension before it has a chance to act as a force on the hair. Just my thoughts but would make an interesting research project.
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#4 mantrid

 
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Posted 08 June 2012 - 19:10 PM

I've really come to the conclusion that they really do best in an unheated greenhouse. For the protection from wind, excessive garden pests (slugs etc) and the warmer start to the growing season. The colour is better too.



I dont think slugs eat VFTs. Ive never experienced it happening and I have seen slug trails left on the plants so I know there are plenty of slugs around. The only damage Ive had are from earwigs and certain wasps chewing through traps to escape after being trapped.

I have to disagree about better colouration in a freen house. I find much better colouration on plants outside. However, I do agree about the benefits of a greenhouse for a creating an earlier start to the season.
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#5 TommyTopTraps

 
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Posted 08 June 2012 - 20:45 PM

great help!

thanks,

so it normal for almost all the traps to be closed almost all the the time when a plant is outside?

#6 mantrid

 
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Posted 08 June 2012 - 21:01 PM

great help!

thanks,

so it normal for almost all the traps to be closed almost all the the time when a plant is outside?


If they have something in them then it just means theres alot of insects around. If they are empty it could be that the cold summer so far means the traps are closing too slow to catch the insects (is this all your vfts or just your sawtooth?). If you have just put them outside after being inside they could just be a bit stressed and will take some time to adjust. I wouldnt worry if they otherwise look healthy.

Recently we have been having alot of rain so if you have trays as deep as mine make sure you tip the water out as soon as you can as saturated soil in combination with cool temps, no sunshine can cause problems if left. I like to treat my VFTs like they are people :). When its cold wet and cloudy we dont like to be in water, when its hot and sunny we like to get our feet wet.

#7 TommyTopTraps

 
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Posted 08 June 2012 - 21:26 PM

Cheers Again Mantrid,

It is not just the sawtooth but the Boho Garnet, big mouth, akai ryu and slack's Giant which seem to suffer the most where the spider and my standard vfts which are already separating and growing at a rate of knots seem to be functioning normally all their traps open which is odd as they are the only ones I know for sure have spent at least a year indoors.

The other thing that puzzled me was the closed traps often looking inverted on one side as if squeezed, have you ever noticed this behaviour in strong winds?

#8 mantrid

 
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Posted 09 June 2012 - 14:19 PM

I wouldnt worry if the plants generally look ok.
When new traps develop they will do so to suit the specific location they are in.
I have seen closed traps which are inverted on one side. Im not sure what causes it but iI dont think its wind related. If they are alive then they are contributing to the plants needs. They may or may not reopen but this doesnt matter as traps are continuously being replaced and only function a few times anyway.

I recently aquired a louchapates and green wizard and Jaws Smiley from france. On potting them up and putting them outside most of the traps promptly died. However the centres are producing new traps which at the moment are smaller than the originals and pigmented differenlty. The plants are aclimatizing to the new conditions. They have been set back temporarily but will recover through the rest of the season and be hardy enough to tolerate outr UK winter by the end of the season.

Edited by mantrid, 09 June 2012 - 14:26 PM.

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#9 scottleroc

 
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Posted 09 June 2012 - 14:30 PM

I try to leave my VFT's outside as often as possible. The colour they get from being in the German sun is fantastic.

Greenflies are the only pests I get problems with. They always seem to chew the new growth in the spring.

I have actually tested the two situations recently, out and indoors. Indoors you get bigger and faster growth and less wind damage.
Outside however they catch plenty of food so despite a slow start these greedy plants are usually bushes by the end of the summer :D

I have a Denate which still seems to eat well despite not having long spikes on the jaws. Does Denate occur in the wild?

Edited by scottleroc, 09 June 2012 - 21:16 PM.


#10 TommyTopTraps

 
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Posted 09 June 2012 - 16:56 PM

I am pretty new to this Forum and already I am finding everybody so knowledgeable and helpful! Thanks for the great info,

What I actually do with my VFTs is leave them outside in the sun all day and them bring them into the flat in an east facing window to give them the extra last few hours of sun which they would miss outside. I also bring them in on really windy days which we do get often on the north coast of Cornwall. Is it possible that I am confusing them by doing this and that they would prefer to stay in one place or might they get used to the pattern.

As far as I knew it was only the typical type of Dianaea that existed in the wild with all the other types being the results of natural selection but like I said, new to this and probably wrong and soon to be corrected!

Huge thanks again, especially to Mantrid!

PS the Big Mouth made a kill today!

#11 mantrid

 
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Posted 09 June 2012 - 18:06 PM

As far as I knew it was only the typical type of Dianaea that existed in the wild with all the other types being the results of natural selection but like I said, new to this and probably wrong and soon to be corrected!


Thank Tommy

that would be artificial selection :)

#12 TommyTopTraps

 
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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:17 AM

Thank Tommy

that would be artificial selection :)


Bahhhh!

I wrote natural selection but I meant selective breeding!!!!

#13 Richard Bunn

 
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Posted 10 June 2012 - 17:17 PM

I am pretty new to this Forum and already I am finding everybody so knowledgeable and helpful! Thanks for the great info,

What I actually do with my VFTs is leave them outside in the sun all day and them bring them into the flat in an east facing window to give them the extra last few hours of sun which they would miss outside. I also bring them in on really windy days which we do get often on the north coast of Cornwall. Is it possible that I am confusing them by doing this and that they would prefer to stay in one place or might they get used to the pattern.

As far as I knew it was only the typical type of Dianaea that existed in the wild with all the other types being the results of natural selection but like I said, new to this and probably wrong and soon to be corrected!

Huge thanks again, especially to Mantrid!

PS the Big Mouth made a kill today!


It's great that you're taking the time to give the maximum amount of sun possible. Even though I had said earlier that the colour was better on greenhouse grown plants what I was really meaning that my plants that only grow outside don't colour up as well not because of lack of light but because even in June they're only just starting to grow. Therefore the plants have been retarded.

I do have to ask what part of the North coast of Cornwall you are in that doesn't see much wind? I'm originally from St Ives on the North coast of west Cornwall and we used to get fairly bad winds (my house looked over the bay). Here in Ireland we have a special phrase for the summer; 'Further outlook stormy'.

#14 TommyTopTraps

 
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Posted 10 June 2012 - 19:01 PM

I do have to ask what part of the North coast of Cornwall you are in that doesn't see much wind? I'm originally from St Ives on the North coast of west Cornwall and we used to get fairly bad winds (my house looked over the bay). Here in Ireland we have a special phrase for the summer; 'Further outlook stormy'.


Hi Rich

We do have loads of westerlies, as well as southerlies and northerlies for that matter, and no where near enough easterly winds to create good clean surf! I am in Newquay, possibly one of the highest spots in Newquay and have my plants in an exposed yard. The spot is however very well sheltered from all but southerlies and the stronger Westerlies.

#15 Blocky71

 
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Posted 12 June 2012 - 20:59 PM

Hi I'm in kent and like most of england have had an enormous amount of rain, i've opted for this from bnq to stop my new plugs getting battered. They seem to be very happy, certainly much healthier than the plants i left out in the rain anyhow........
Posted Image
Posted Image

#16 TommyTopTraps

 
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Posted 15 June 2012 - 23:01 PM

Hi I'm in kent and like most of england have had an enormous amount of rain, i've opted for this from bnq to stop my new plugs getting battered. They seem to be very happy, certainly much healthier than the plants i left out in the rain anyhow........
Posted Image
Posted Image



Nice,

Are you going to be growing some exposed as well? Could be an interesting experiment...

#17 Blocky71

 
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Posted 16 June 2012 - 22:55 PM

the plan was just to use the propagator to protect the young plants from taking a battering from the weather.
I nearly lost 2 cephalotus last year after they "boiled" in a propagator on a hot day.
In my limited experience there's nothing they like more than being outdoors in the sun and where possible, sheltered from strong wind/rain.
I'm just waiting for the summer to start then i'll lose the lids......

#18 Heisenberg

 
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Posted 23 June 2012 - 20:44 PM

I've got just over 24 mature Dionaea of mixed cultivars and 50 or so (very tiny) VFT seedlings that are just a few months old. All of them are outdoors and unprotected. Wind, rain, etc. They all tolerate UK weather well. I bring them indoors in the winter and leave them in a cold place like a garage when it gets VERY cold (minus 5-10c). But more often than not they are left outside all year.

They do look better in a sunny, unheated greenhouse. The colour and appearance. But in full sun, outside flytraps can do well too. Some traps can go limp especially the more upright, spindley types such as Spider and also Akai Ryu (Red Dragon). I've also noticed a loss of colour in heavy rain like we're having at the moment. But this is just outdoor growing in general, it isn't perfection. They recover well and can become tougher in my opinion. I've lost a sundew to the frost but never any Dionaea (yet).... fingers crossed.

On the plus side they get to hunt, often... mine are always full with flies that they have caught by themselves. Cattle roam in the opposite field so there is plenty of food. :P

Edited by Heisenberg, 23 June 2012 - 20:46 PM.


#19 TommyTopTraps

 
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Posted 23 June 2012 - 21:31 PM

[quote name='Heisenberg' timestamp='1340484297' post='319375']
I've got just over 24 mature Dionaea of mixed cultivars and 50 or so (very tiny) VFT seedlings that are just a few months old. All of them are outdoors and unprotected. Wind, rain, etc. They all tolerate UK weather well. I bring them indoors in the winter and leave them in a cold place like a garage when it gets VERY cold (minus 5-10c). But more often than not they are left outside all year.

Hi Heisenberg,

I also have seedling which are just producing their first batch of tiny traps, I keep these indoors on a windowsill as I thought the rain might bury or damage them.

I have noticed that heavy rain seems to set them back slightly in trap size, colour and rigidity but they seem to be growing well on the whole, for me it is a really small sawtooth, a spider and at times a Ryu Akai that are the ones that seem to suffer where as my typical types seem to charge on rain or shine, the little troupers.

#20 mantrid

 
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Posted 23 June 2012 - 22:41 PM

On the plus side they get to hunt, often... mine are always full with flies that they have caught by themselves. Cattle roam in the opposite field so there is plenty of food. :P


Ive got some big traps on mine but nothing that can take a whole cow :)
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