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wadave

What causes my VFT's to shrink and divide?

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Hi everyone,

Ever since repotting my VFT's into a large pot all they've done is grow smaller and divide, divide, divide until the whole pot is full of small plants.

I had them in the same environment for a few years in their original small pots where the plants were almost pot bound and they grew nice big traps every year for me but after putting them in big pots they've gradually gotten smaller over the last few years.

Does anyone else have this problem or know what causes it?

They're healthy little plants, no diseases, no pests just much smaller than they were a few years ago and they love to divide.

Cheers,

Dave.

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Hi everyone,

Ever since repotting my VFT's into a large pot all they've done is grow smaller and divide, divide, divide until the whole pot is full of small plants.

I had them in the same environment for a few years in their original small pots where the plants were almost pot bound and they grew nice big traps every year for me but after putting them in big pots they've gradually gotten smaller over the last few years.

Does anyone else have this problem or know what causes it?

They're healthy little plants, no diseases, no pests just much smaller than they were a few years ago and they love to divide.

Cheers,

Dave.

This is normal. When a VFT divides its resources are now shared between 2 or more plants. Each new plant has less stored food and less leaves each to make more food so the traps that grow from the new divisions are smaller. Next spring you will see them start to grow bigger traps again. In addition to this traps oftem grow smaller in the autumn as the days are shorter and the sunlight weaker.

My advice would be to split them all up and pot each separately.

I just noticed you are in australia so spring is here for you already :)

Edited by mantrid

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This is normal. When a VFT divides its resources are now shared between 2 or more plants. Each new plant has less stored food and less leaves each to make more food so the traps that grow from the new divisions are smaller. Next spring you will see them start to grow bigger traps again. In addition to this traps oftem grow smaller in the autumn as the days are shorter and the sunlight weaker.

My advice would be to split them all up and pot each separately.

I just noticed you are in australia so spring is here for you already :)

Hi Mantrid, I get that, my sarras do that too so I guess a better quality question is how do I stop them dividing and put their energy into growing nice big traps?

I will repot them into their own containers to see how that affects their growth, though my thoughts were that if they grow nice and big in the wild with lots of room to grow their roots then surely they would do that for me in a nice big pot????

Yes, we've launched into spring here in Perth, Western Australia and everything is putting out new growth which I just love to watch daily. I just love how fast sarras grow and it always blows my mind how over night they can go from nothing to a flower stalk poking several inches out of the soil when it seems like there was nothing there the day before. Anyway that's a differnt topic.

Is there anything you know of that actually causes vfts to divide constantly?

Cheers,

Dave.

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I've not heard of vfts constantly dividing to the point they only divide and get smaller instead of growing and get bigger. Perhaps chemicals in TC could cause this temporarily but that shouldnt be the issue in your case if it was growing normally when you got it.

Have they had a good dormancy period? How long have your vft been doing this? If not that long I wouldnt worry, vfts do this every so often, they dont all divide the same way or at the same pace, sometimes my plants divide and I get a good sized division(s), sometimes the a vft almost looks like its dying off but then I find its suddenly produced lots of smaller divisions.

Hopefully they'll grow better and bigger this season for you.....

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One thing that may cause this that I have observed is if the growing point has been damaged or has rotted. The remainig rhizome tissue, essentially the leaf bases start to produce new growth, effectively creating a new plants. This is the equivelent of lobbing off the top of a typical type plant like a tree. The tree starts to grow one or more side shoots from below the cut region. The biochemical reason for this is that in a plant with a healthy growing tip, the tip is producing hormones that inhibit side shoot development. When the tip is removed the source of the inhibitory hormones is removed so the side shoots can now develop. It is a survival strategy that has evolved, ensuring that if the main growing point is destroyed it can be replaced with a new one. It is likely that VFTs are no different in this respect.

Edited by mantrid

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Hi,

I agree that this is almost certainly due to the presence of the plant growth hormone 6-Benzylaminopurine. How its accessing this is the mystery. I like mantrid's idea as to how, might also be that the soil was contaminated prior to transplanting.

Riaan

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Keep in mind that hormones remain a short time working in the substrate, I have understood that only 7-8 days, so that the division of the plant would only last a few weeks / months. After that, the plant would continue growing normally.

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Keep in mind that hormones remain a short time working in the substrate, I have understood that only 7-8 days, so that the division of the plant would only last a few weeks / months. After that, the plant would continue growing normally.

Im talking about the natural Cytokinin that the plant is producing that reverses apical dominance, not something that has been added to tissue cultures to cause cell division.

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Hi all,

Thanks for your feedback. This has happened ever since I repotted them 2 seasons ago, this year will be the 3rd growing season in the same soil mix, I've used 50:50 peat, perlite.

This winter Perth had the coldest cold snap on record with the longest number of consecutive days below 2 deg C night temps. Nothing below freezing though. My sarras loved it, showing nice strong healthy spring growth which seems more vigorous than I've seen before.

Perth gets cold enough temps for long enough that my sarras and VFT's, pings etc go through at least or 4 more months of dormancy, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I just had a thought, do VFT's dislike calcium in the water?

My VFT's are starting to emerge from dormancy now so it will be interesting if they grow bigger this year or not.

Another thing I just thought of, when I originally repotted them I had them sitting in a weak solution of superthrive to keep the roots wet while I was dividing up my plants and washing their old roots and removing the old dead traps.

Dave.

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I dont know enough about superthrive Dave, maybe someone else can advise on that bit.

I would assume that vfts wouldnt like calcium in the water as I think this would increase the TDS reading....its recommended for this to be quite low. Are you using tap water? Have you measured the TDS level at all. Though I dont think it would have any bearing on this issue but if high they might not be too happy, it may just be a weird grow pattern if its continually dividing and staying small. If its nice and healthy looking then I'd be inclined not to worry and just watch with interest :) You could try giving it a little extra nutrition to see if that breaks the cycle, feeding it live food if the traps are big enough and its not catching that much or even a bit of fertiliser? (be careful with the latter though , too much can be harmful). I'd see how it goes this season.

We often have lots of time over winter where its below freezing, I'd actually think it would be good for your plants if its been colder than usual as I think your climate is warmer than in their natural habitat so anything closer to that should be a good thing.

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