Shrinking Flytrap


Guest stoat

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Guest stoat

I have just two flytraps which I bought last year and kept in identical conditions, following all the recommendations of this site both grew very well last year, they survived dormancy with the majority of the leavies dieing back, now dormancy should be finished the "all green" plant has clearly woken up and throwing out new traps almost daily. However, the other plant which I believe is just a "typical" type seems to be continuing to shrink, it has been slowly growing new leaves but each new leaf is smaller than the last, the last few have each been less than 2cm long, it does start producing the trap part but stops before they open.

My question to the more experienced is, can this be a normal response to post-dormancy? should I consider uprooting it to see if something is going on down below? or just be more patient?

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if the plant was bought from a retail outlet it may be down to the fact it's tissue cultured, i've had them before when they grow fine the year you buy them and then the next year they revert to small young looking plants that just keep dividing (i got a tray full out of one pot once!)

without a photo it could be alot of other factors though. if you want to uproot it and have a look now is the ideal time to repot

Edited by diva
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Im my experience you cant really do any harm by having a look and repotting as long as you're careful.

It does sound like odd behaviour but would advise you just to be patient and see if normal behaviour resumes later in the year/near year.

it does start producing the trap part but stops before they open

Do you the new traps not open at all??

Heather

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Early leaves on most flytraps will be all leaf and not much trap.

After dormancy, the plant just needs to produce some material for photosynthesis. Trapping isn't as important.

In a few weeks they'll produce proper traps. I find most of my plants only start to look good in the second half of May.

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Early leaves on most flytraps will be all leaf and not much trap.

After dormancy, the plant just needs to produce some material for photosynthesis. Trapping isn't as important.

Agree somewhat Alexis.......but it does sound strange if each new leaf is getting smaller and smaller and if the traps are forming but not opening. New growth should increase in size not decrease.

I do agree thats its probably just temporary though.

Although saying that I've had something similar with one of my vfts but no idea why. It still looks like a weak plant and quite a few of the traps regularly dont open and then turn black. Its grown with other vfts which are nice and healthy so it baffles me. I am going to give it another year and see if there is any improvement. Not sure if its a bad TC clone or whether the bad growth is just temporary or will eventually subside, I've given it the best conditions I can and there isnt really anymore I can do except wait and see what it does.

Heather

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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

Brad

Ventura California

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Guest stoat

Many thanks to all who replied, it sounded like repotting shouldn't cause it too many problems, so last night I decided to repot and investigate what may be going on. I was expecting mush/mould or being eaten by something but was pleased to find a good size rhizone, bright in colour with plenty of roots with no signs of anything nasty, in fact a couple of roots had reached the bottom of the pot, so I would think it may benefit from a deeper pot.

To answers previous questions, the traps do start to form, but don't fully develop before a smaller leaf starts to grow, for the last few leaves the trap part eventually turned black as shown in the photo below:-

FlyTrap1.jpg

This is what it looked like at the end of last year:-

FlyTrap2.jpg

It is a bit of a relief that others have had something similar, I also assumed it should be increasing in size at this time of year but maybe different plants respond in a different way to the same conditions, could be it was shocked by the first dormancy? or may be a late bloomer, I guess time will tell.

Thanks!

Edited by stoat
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Well it certainly looked nice and healthy at the end of last year. There really isnt anything you can do except give it the best growing conditions you can (correct light, water, soil etc) and hope it starts to grow normally again after a while.

Just keep an eye on it and see how it goes over the next few months..........let us know if it recovers!

Heather

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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,

Brad

Ventura California

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