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Richard Bunn

B&Q VFT's

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I don't know what posessed me but I ended up buying a VFT in B&Q this afternoon to have while I'm spending the summer at my Mum and Dad's regardless of the fact that I've loads of them back in Ireland.

I noticed something on the label stuck to the pot 'contains 40% peat'. Does anyone know what else is in the mix? There's no perlite/sand/vermiculite as far as I can see. It's supplied by Verve.

And I just wanted to point out what a joke the care instructions were.

'Semi shade. Feed once a month with houseplant food (ooo dead plant). Mist leaves regularly. Requires warm room, minimum winter temperature 12c (probably dead plant again). Cut off any traps that begin to brown. Repot every 2 years using houseplant compost (oh another dead plant).' And no mention of rainwater.

Typical, I hate the money making racket they have going as a result of the care instructions.

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Yeh, just general house plant instructions. Also check if it is contained in 2 pots. If there is an outer pot I've found it doesn't usually have any drain holes, which can catch out the unwary. It does seem a shame to leave these plants to be killed by the ill-informed public, but as you say, that's probably how B & Q makes it's money.

Verve seems to be B & Q by another name.

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Yes it's in a shocking pink outer pot but those things are far too snug to the original pot to be practical to water the plant so I'm just going to put it in a saucer and put the other pot to other use. I'm curious as to what its' planted in though, I'm considering transplanting it.

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It can be annoying with some of the things about these plants that are sold. I have found that the best thing to do is to repot in proper VFT compost ASAP. Sometimes, you see quite a nice clone and it can be worth buying a plant. I have always found that in the second year they have a tendency to shrink back to half their size. They will come back eventually but can take a while. I think they must grow them on steroids or something. Before everyone gets up in arms about these B & Q plants and how bad they are, just remember this is how most of us started in CP's. Killing a VFT when you are ten years old is a right of passage for most of us. The interest stays with us for life. These plants are almost grown as cut flowers and while we may not like it, that is the way that a lot of houseplants are grown.

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It could be the tissue culture effect. Whatever the species, they seem more susceptible to problems over their first winter and take a couple of years to settle down in my experience.

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Alexis, I think that you're right about this being a tissue culture effect. I am not saying it applies especially to B & Q plants, I have noticed this with Dutch grown plants. Of course, these plants are probably Dutch grown anyway.

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I think that they still contain tissue culture hormones as some divide like crazy and as others have observed, the growth seriously slows down after a while.

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This explains why my 2 vft's, which I bought last year from Homebase, are being really slow producing new growth after their winter dormancy.

I've just taken a flower spike out of one plant to try and encourage some vegetative growth.

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Just to add my 2 cents, when I first started I got all my plants from homebase/b&q and asda funnily enough, and I just transplanted them all straight away... They are all fine now thanks to a few pointers from everyone here. As to the instructions that come with them I wrote to the manager the other year about them and they refused to tell me where they got them from .. as I pointed out quite calmly that the instructions provided guarantee the death of all CP's....

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It is a great shame that they weren't willing to pass your letter on to their supplier. I wonder if a letter from the CPS would have a little more weight and hopefully get somewhere. Is these the ones that have the 'Verve' label?

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