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Posts posted by brad

  1. The first "All Red" VFT plant ever documented, is a VFT named "Holland Red".

    VFT "Holland Red" is also the only "All Red" VFT to be documented wild collected as its origin.

    "Holland Red" is still grown in many VFT collections today. Also "Holland Red" is the direct parent plant of the VFT "Red Dragon" and "Green Dragon", and possibly the parent of some other "All Red" VFT.

    If you want the only documented, wild collected "All Red" VFT then get a "Holland Red".


    Ventura California

  2. Amar asked: "how would say one can prevent it?"

    Well if you have classic root rot, then following the advice above of Steve (xscd) is perfect.

    Other ideas include, watering just enough to require daily watering, lessens the water stagnation situation. Also occasional top watering and discarding the flow through is helpful.

    If you soil substrate has degenerated or is algae laden repotting to a new fresh soil substrate will help.

    If a plant is suffering root rot it may be necessary to slowly nurture it back to health, before exposing it to harsh growing conditions.


    Ventura California

  3. Classic VFT root rot, which then quickly leads to rhizome rot is most often caused by bacterial overgrowth in the soil substrate. The bacteria consume the oxygen and release waste products into the soil. Generally it is due to bad luck and promoted by the stagnant nature of the water techniques we employ in growing CP.

    The process of root rot seems to often be initiated by a heat wave. This stimulates the bacteria to grow faster, therefore consuming more soil oxygen and creating more toxic waste products, at a time when the plant itself needs more oxygen and clean soil substrate. This results in root death and then several weeks later rhizome rot.


    Ventura California

  4. Hi,

    Your first picture shows a VFT that looks like it is going into late Fall and Winter growth. The aborted traps on the older and newer leaves, show that the plant is stressed. Not sure why it is stressed, again could be any number of reasons or combination of reasons. The plant is obviously alive and waiting for better times.

    You describe a couple of roots being at the bottom of the pot. Those are old roots. You need to see at least one or two short healthy roots at the end of the growing point, these are the new roots which will support new growth. Also, underground you should have seen several new leaf buds and a very small flower bud arising from the growing point.

    Whatever is stunting this VFT, your repotting in new substrate will eliminate the substrate as the problem.

    Good luck,


    Ventura California

  5. When VFT revert from the winter growth (small short wide petiole and small trap) to spring growth, they do it with strong growth (larger petiole and large or at least larger traps).

    The breaking of dormancy therefore, shows very strong healthy growth. Anything less is just not normal.

    You have a nice experiment. You have a healthy plant that has broken dormancy with you stating:

    “the "all green" plant has clearly woken up and throwing out new traps almost daily.”

    Then the other plant is clearly unhealthy and is declining and you state:

    “However, the other plant which I believe is just a "typical" type seems to be continuing to shrink”

    There you have it, a healthy VFT and a sick VFT. Regarding the sick VFT you can wait it out, or you can investigate, you can repot or not, that is what makes the hobby fun and a challenge.

    Again the normal breaking of dormancy is strong robust growth. Anything less is just not normal, for any number of reasons


    Ventura California

  6. Pictures can be very deceiving, and I hope this picture is.

    It appears to me that the back petiole is rotted at the soil surface (center of the plant at the soil surface). In addition there seems to be other rotting leaves. If these rotting leaves are new growth then the plant is declining.

    Hopefully my vision is just bad.

    Good luck with the new growing season.


    Ventura California

  7. Very nice example of a Typical VFT displaying wide petioles with serrated edges. It is due to low light intensity. Your VFT seems to want stronger light.

    If you give your VFT better light conditions the new leaves will loose this trait.

    All the different VFT I grow can display this "wide petiole, serrated edge" trait, too.


    Ventura California

  8. As stated by cgarry in the first response to this thread:

    “De-ionised water from Halfords is fine for CPs.”

    This is True.

    Deionized Water is perfect for CP. In fact Deionized Water is considered the purest water that can be reasonably produced, often purer than Distilled Water.

    Helleentje, wrote:

    “we cannot use de-ionised water as this merely swaps calcium and sodium icons. So that would rule out the Halfords de-ionised stuff.”

    This is incorrect. Seems like you are describing a process called Water Softening, which is bad for CP.

    Regarding Dionized Water, production of this water completely removes calcium and sodium ions from the water.

    In summary Deionized Water is amoung the best water for CP. Other easily obtainable and appropriate water would include Distilled, Reverse Osmosis, and Rain. Even as posted in another recent Thread, industrial produced Sterile Water is perfect for CP.

    Good luck in your quest for Pure Water,


    Ventura California

  9. Varun wrote: “when I watered today...it took a while for the water to come out... maybe a lot is being absorbed.”

    Probably not important, but when I top water any of my Pots (20 ml of pure water at once), water begins to run out the drain holes within seconds, easily within 30 seconds, probably less.

    OK, so it took a while for the water to come out, that is not helpful. Once you saturated the soil, then added more water, how is the drainage then?, that is what is important. You want good drainage, because this is the other place the pot communicates with the rest of the world.

    Also, if the soil substrate has not soured (no bad smell), which you state is the case, then hopefully things are on the road to recovery.

    Good luck,


    Ventura California

  10. First, regarding Dormancy, I do not believe VFT have a Dormancy. VFT grow in cycles throughout the year in response to daylength. Temperature allows the VFT to grow at certain rates. If it gets too cold to grow then the VFT stops growing.

    Some of the VFT in your photos are in Dormancy now. Their growth has arrested, they are basically Dormant. When a VFT stops growing it is Dormant regardless of the cause.

    I can see new growth emerging from those plants, so they are alive and kicking, hopefully it is just a one time bad event.

    Regarding repotting your VFT that is entirely up to you.

    CP growing is a hobby of fun, and as much as you want and allow, scientific discovery.

    Here is what I would do, it could even be dangerous, so you decide what you want to try.

    1. Smell the surface of the substrate, bad smell is bad.

    2. Smell the base of the pot at the drain holes, bad smell is bad. If so far, ok, then proceed.

    3. Place pot in a clean bowl and top water, as the water emerges from the pot access if the drain holes are functioning as you want. After you get enough water collected in the bowl, remove the pot, and evaluate the color, quality, and also the smell of the water, bad smell is bad.

    4. If everything is to your satisfaction, then hopefully this Summer Time Dormancy is a one time event and continue growing your VFT as best you can.

    Good luck,


    Ventura California

  11. Those aborted traps are again from stress. (duh, obvious) It is from failure of the roots being able to support the requirements of new growth, so the traps arrest in growth and die. It could be due to one or many different variables causing an unhappy plant. It could be a pest attack.

    The information that cuttings in the same pot are thriving tells a lot. It tells me that most of the growing variables are correct. So you have to figure out what are the microhabitat differences of two plants in the same pot. Pests attacking one plant and not the other is a possibility. Another possibility, is that typically a cutting’s roots are growing in more superficial (higher) layer of the soil substrate, and a mature plant’s roots will be growing very deep in the substrate. The superficial substrate will, if not infiltrated by algae, have more relative oxygen making the cuttings happy. However, the deep substrate will have less oxygen causing a toxic zone to the roots. Not only less oxygen, but a zone for anaerobic toxins to be created by bacteria. High heat levels will only accentuate this process. Often high heat levels are what initiate this process to begin with.

    So again, it could be a pest attack or any number of problems.

    Nicely discussed by HugoMorse is that overwatering may be the cause. But VFT cannot be overwatered in Theory. However VFT hate stagnant water complications of low oxygen levels and toxin accumulation.

    My guess is anoxic substrate leading to the time tested diagnosis of root rot. You may not have root rot yet, but the roots are not happy enough right now, to support healthy plant growth.

    If new healthy growth resumes you were able to ride out the storm. Otherwise repotting one of the affected plants into new substrate may show you exactly what is going on.

    Good luck,


    Ventura California

    A VFT rule of thumb: “happy healthy roots, make happy healthy traps.”

  12. Every VFT grower knows, that each VFT grows differently year to year. They are not always consistent. Some years they are redder in color, some years they are lighter, that goes for All Red VFT too. Some years the traps are a bit bigger, some years they grow a bit more upright, any trait you observe can vary over time. The biggest factor being the exact growing conditions are impossible to keep exact.

    Even perfectly grown VFT eventually they cycle down, for any number of reasons, all due to their changing growing conditions. When they cycle down they begin to look like any number of other VFT. That is how all VFT grow, they have good months and bad months, they have pest attacks, they grow up to the pot edge, etc. etc. etc.

    Regarding trading Named VFT clones. You have to trust your source. And then grow them the best you can and enjoy. Nearly all the people involved in naming and distributing VFT clones that are discussed over and over again on these forums are alive and reachable by telephone, email, mail etc. If you want to know more about Red Dragons or Green Dragons or Petite Dragons or Red Piranhas or Clayton’s This or Clayton’s That or Creeping Death or Dentate or Dentata or South West Giant or basically any other reasonable Registered or Named VFT clone the originator is alive and reachable.

    If you grow your special VFT clone redder or larger than that what is described (published) or common knowledge, it is probably because you just grow it better than the originator or other growers do. Also, just because every All Green VFT you grow eventually shows some red coloration, don’t panic. Because All Green VFT do show some red at various times, regardless of what the originator publishes or tells you. Same goes for Big or Giant VFT, if the originator named it Giant then it is definitely a Giant in their mind.

    Keep your VFT well labeled, because I may want to trade with you in the future.


    Ventura California

  13. That is a bit of sunburn, or if under strong artificial light, also a burn. Usually not much to worry about.

    It occurs during repotting in several ways. One way is if you potted the rhizome a bit higher than it had been previously, therefore the exposing the petiole bases which had been under soil, now exposing them to strong light. Another common way is that when a VFT grows normally the center of the rosette is very tight, but when repotted the center is a bit more lax and again exposing petiole bases to strong light which had previously been closely opposed and not exposed to light. A third possibility and probably in this situation not possible, you are just growing the VFT in stronger light than the previous grower, but I doubt this.

    So you have a bit of transplant sunburn (light burn), seems like the burn has been done, so just keep on growing them as you would all your other VFT.

    Good luck.


    Ventura California

    Transplant sunburn is one problem. Transplant shock which is due to root disturbance is another. The two combined can really set a transplanted VFT back.

  14. Very simple, your plant has VFT transplant shock, from the repotting procedure, happens all the time.

    Just grow it the best you can and it will recover, hopefully soon.

    Small VFT are very fragile (Big VFT even have very fragile roots), but if it is making new leaves, this is good. When the new root forms, it will make strong traps for you.


    Ventura California

  15. Alexis, brings up a good point. Newbies. The “Newbie Syndrome” is when everything the good intentioned Newbie does, is exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time.

    The well read very knowledgeable Newbie knows that VFT grow very well outdoors in Full Sun. Every Experienced Grower knows that the VFT is going to suffer some Sun Burn, not a big deal. But the Newbie soon sees the plant suffering, the once green petioles begin to redden, the traps begins to slowly blacken. Panic sets in, the plant is dying (not), the Newbie is frantic. The plant either comes indoors, or into shade or something worse. This is exactly the worst thing that can be done. The damage is done, the burn has occurred, now the Newbie has compounded the problem by trying to protect the plant, the new growth is now being shaded, the plant will now truly weaken and possibly spiral slowly to its doom. If the VFT had just been left out in the sun the new growth would get a better start for the sun loving VFT.


    Ventura California

    The “Newbie Syndrome” can be observed in


    Water Quality

    Watering too much

    Watering too little

    Terrarium Growing

    Reaction to Pests and even worse reacting to pests which are not there.

    Soil substrate

    The list is endless.

    Recommendation: do not be a Newbie for a long time, and even worse do not use the advice of Newbies.

    To really understand VFT takes time, they grow in an annual cycle, that takes a year in itself to experience. Do not let being a Newbie last you a lifetime.

  16. The Acclimatize Theory is basically false.

    You cannot acclimatize VFT to strong sun.

    Formed leaves and traps that were not grown early on in the sun will burn when exposed to the sun. But the new growth will be fine.

    The problem is the burned leaves take a toll on the plant as it tries to survive. The burned leaves are not dead but are obviously losing much water and resources from the sun damaged tissue, at the expense of the rest of the plant. If the burn is bad, it is best to cut off the still live but scarred tissue, so the rhizome can give all its resources to the new growth.

    What do I do?

    I put all my VFT out in Very Strong Sun. They burn, I cut nothing off, the burned leaves die, the new growth is fine, the plant is set back a bit, no big deal.


    Ventura California

    To nurse a weak (basically dead) VFT back to health, put it under florescent lights.

  17. Mick,

    I cannot tell from the photo if there is a red influence. As you know Red VFT, will show typical color in poor light. Not the problem in this situation, but VFT coloration on a single plant is variable due to multiple known and unknown factors. Regarding your VFT, over time as it grows larger, if it has red influence it will become apparent.

    My VFT are grown outside together. I did not cross pollinate any of my Reds with Typical last year, or this year either. But I do see 3 different species of insect pollinators in my yard that definitely visit my VFT flowers on a daily basis. And I grow a lot of Red VFT and I grow way too many Typical VFT.

    Regarding the Red coloration, first I have noticed several of the Triffid Park (Australia) Named but Typical VFT have a Red Stigma, interesting. Also 1979 VFT seems to often take on a very dark almost reddish color at times. I like to cross pollinate my Typical UK VFT (Great Plants) with my Best Typical VFT to get really good progeny. I try to avoid using Triffid Park pollen, as the Triffid Park VFT in my experience are not that great of plants. But Triffid Park seed is in the mix, and they are the Typicals with the Red Stigmas.

    Enjoy this very unique VFT. Keep us updated.


    Ventura California

  18. The traps do not typically close in the rain.

    The natural range of Dionaea receives upwards of 45 inches of rain per year. Often by torrential violent thunder storms, also they are the central target of the most hurricane land falls on the planet. Dionaea is not only, very rain tolerant, it is absolutely rain dependant for its survival. The most common site for Dionaea is at pocosin streamheads which are the headwaters of the land they grow in and are completely dependent on the overhead rainfall. They do not rely on snowpack melt like Darlingtonia, or often long distance water seepage like many Sarracenia sites. (There are however rare Dionaea seepage sites in existence).

    Dionaea sites are exceptionally unique, they occur between the dry savanna and the true wetland dependent sites. Dionaea gets its water directly from the rain. Between storms the sites tend to dry. Dionaea often grows with Sarracenia, but the true Sarracenia areas tend to be wetter with less drying with more seepage water passing through them. Still farther down where the water eventually collects and becomes near stagnant in the true wetland sites which all CP avoid, except some aquatic utrics.

    Summary, Dionaea requires abundant year round rain, and the plant is adapted to rainfall, and the traps do not typically close in the rain.


    Ventura California

  19. If all reasonable alternatives fail.

    Then 3 weeks wrapped airtight, a plastic bag of sufficient size will work, and right into the refrigerator. This will work fine. No acclimatization is needed at all going in or out for 3 weeks time. The older traps will probably take a beating, but they are on their way out anyway.

    Good luck on your travels,


    Ventura California

    Only risk is if you have a bad refrigerator, a solid freeze could kill a weak VFT.

  20. Vash,

    Your VFT lesions look somewhat similar, but not quite what I believe is Black Spot. Yours do look like some type of infection. But Black Spot is charcoal black, yours appears to be dark brown. Also Black Spot, if I remember correctly, has central retraction of the lesion, yours seem to be smooth shallow ulcers. Also I believe Black Spot involves the full thickness of the leaf, I cannot tell if yours are full thickness in the photos. When Black Spot gets going it attacks the younger leaves. As these infected traps develop you will see the black spots on the mature traps, but it does not usually attack the mature traps. It is apparent before the trap is mature, then the trap matures with the lesion already present.

    “What symptoms occur with black rot? “

    Black Rot is caused by specific fungal or bacterial infections, which results in typical Black Spots, so I call it Black Spot Disease. I use the term of Black Rot for the typical death of a shocked rotting VFT.

    Black Spot is charcoal black. (see end note if you care)

    Black Spot has retraction in the lesion, often central retraction.

    Black Spot involves full leaf thickness.

    Black Spot can have appearance of vascular distribution lesion (triangular shape).

    Black Spot lesions begin on newly forming leaves and inflorescences.

    Black Spot at least initially start as small less than 1mm black spots that slowly enlarge to 5mm or so very slowly.

    Black Spot lesions remain small size until they coalesce and attack overwhelmingly at the growth point.

    “Would a fungicide help to kill the spores?”

    A fungicide should be helpful in fighting this disease, if it is caused by a fungus. I am not sure if it kills the spores or just kills the fungus itself. The disease could be caused by a bacteria however, then the fungicide would be useless.


    Ventura California

    End note: The Black Spot lesions seem to eventually form a brownish center, maybe this is spore formation. The brownish area occurs in the area of retraction. Otherwise the Black Spot lesions are charcoal black.

  21. Black spot is fungal. It has motile spores supposedly. It thrives in humid and moist conditions. It spreads circumferentially within the leaf. It can cause triangular shaped spots too, which appear to have a vascular distribution. It can kill the plant when it gets right down to the actual growing point and allowed to fester.

    A poor form of treatment (which I use) is to clip off all the infected appearing tissue, then wash very thoroughly in tap water, repot into new pot and new substrate mix, and semi quarantine from rest of collection.

    The only way to know if this was successful is that first, the plant recovers, and second, the next bout of rainy, dreary moist weather does not reactivate the dormant disease.

    Black spot is somewhat different from typical leaf blackening. It is most often apparent well before a trap on the leaf has even matured, so young leaves will have it. Black spot can and will attack any part of the inflorescence too.

    Cut off the black parts. If the infection gets low down and out of control unpot and cut off the black parts.

    Black spot and aphids are tops on my list of worst VFT pests.

    Good luck,


    Ventura California

  22. The folded trap is due to intermediate plant wilting (less than complete wilt). It is the inability of the roots to provide enough (sap) water to keep the trap rigid (healthy).

    The other plant appears to show fungal colonization of dead growth of a cutting that is struggling to survive. This is most likely due to poor air circulation. Remove that cutting from the rest of the VFT community. Wash it off real good in Tap water, cut off the dead parts and repot it far away from your other plants.

    Good luck,


    Ventura California

  23. The cheapest fixtures, cheapest bulbs, cheapest operating costs, very low heat output, ideal light output for VFTs is:


    48 inch (4 foot) two bulb florescent light fixtures (sometimes called shop light). Two of these fixtures would be ideal.

    - Good is 40 watt fixtures for T12 bulbs.

    - Better is a fixture for T8 bulbs, this is what I recommend. (Less energy useage than T12 and more light output than T12). T8 is great.

    - Best is a T5 fixture, but this may be hard to find and the bulbs will probably be expensive.


    Cool White bulbs are ideal for growing VFT, and the cheapest.

    In my area T8 2 bulb 48 inch florescent light fixtures cost approximately $15, probably less if you shop around, definitely less than $20.

    T8 48 inch florescent Cool White light bulbs are about $2, probably less if you shop around.

    Note: A shorter fixture will be more expensive, shorter bulbs will be more expensive, shorter will not provide as much light.

    Good luck,


    Ventura California

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