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Yossu

Sitting in water or not?

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Hello,

 

I was under the impression that VFTs liked to sit in water, like most other CPs. I have mine in a tray of about 1"-2" of rain water.

 

I just came across this page that said "For optimal growth, do not keep Venus fly traps sitting in water.  They prefer to have their soil always damp, never dry, and not too wet for too long."

 

Am I doing it wrong? What's the best way to give them the water they need?

 

Thanks

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The vast majority of flytrap growers leave plants sitting in water all the time.  I did too when I started the hobby.  Flytraps can withstand it quite well and grow fine, but for optimal growth (as I stated in that article -- I authored it), keeping the soil just damp, instead of soaking wet, yields the healthiest flytraps.

 

When the soil is too wet, flytraps tend to not develop much of a root system and are more susceptible to disease.  If allowed to develop a substantial root system, the maximum size the plant can attain seems to increase.  See below for results of flytraps grown in deep pots where the moisture level is kept "just damp":  Roots are 30+ cm (12+ inches) long and rhizomes are 4-5 cm (1.5 to 2 inches) wide.

 

43d9c777e904bc04d412132d.jpg

 

b3aa506d34c6a2c5864374d2.jpg

Edited by FlytrapCare
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the few i have left(grown from seed by my kids) are only watered when i remember.

Once a week if lucky and never sit it water,it hasn't done them any harm.

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The vast majority of flytrap growers leave plants sitting in water all the time.  I did too when I started the hobby.  Flytraps can withstand it quite well and grow fine, but for optimal growth (as I stated in that article -- I authored it), keeping the soil just damp, instead of soaking wet, yields the healthiest flytraps.

First off, thanks for a great article. I only found that site today, but there's some great info there. Looks like I'm in for some good reading!

 

My fly traps are currently sitting in a water tray, in about 1"-2" of rain water. If I raise them up, so that the bottom of the pot is either only just in the water, or is just above the surface, and then water from the top as needed, would this give me healthier plants?

 

Thanks again. Those pictures are amazing! I would love to grow plants like those!

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This year was the first year I have not sat my VFTs in water, and all are growing very well, though its been a very poor summer.

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As an experiment a few months back, I planted several vft's in amongst my nepenthes baskets to see how they'd do. The mix is a very loose combination of orchid bark, live sphagnum, and expanded clay pebbles and they get a 15 minute soaking from the misting system every evening. The vft's seem to be doing better for me like this than when they were in a peat/perlite mix and stood in water. I am now getting healthier looking growth, and so far no deformities like i was getting from water trays, which i just put down to scummy water. Flushing daily with fresh water from the misting seems to be giving me nicer plants.

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First off, thanks for a great article. I only found that site today, but there's some great info there. Looks like I'm in for some good reading!

 

My fly traps are currently sitting in a water tray, in about 1"-2" of rain water. If I raise them up, so that the bottom of the pot is either only just in the water, or is just above the surface, and then water from the top as needed, would this give me healthier plants?

 

Thanks again. Those pictures are amazing! I would love to grow plants like those!

You're welcome for the article and everything else on FlytrapCare.com  :tu:

 

You don't mention how deep the pots are that you are using, but if they are deeper than 25 cm (10 inches), then you can leave them sitting in an inch or so of water and you should get good results.  But they would do better if you allow the medium to get "just damp" and then sit the pot in a bowl of water and allow it to soak up as much as it can.  Alternatively you can top water until water runs out the bottom of the pot and the media is thoroughly saturated.  Then wait for the soil to dry to the point of "just damp" and repeat.

Edited by FlytrapCare
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You don't mention how deep the pots are that you are using, but if they are deeper than 25 cm (10 inches), then you can leave them sitting in an inch or so of water and you should get good results.  But they would do better if you allow the medium to get "just damp" and then sit the pot in a bowl of water and allow it to soak up as much as it can.  Alternatively you can top water until water runs out the bottom of the pot and the media is thoroughly saturated.  Then wait for the soil to dry to the point of "just damp" and repeat.

The pots are about 4"-5" deep, so probably not big enough to leave them as they are. I didn't realise that VFTs had such long root systems, and potted them in normal pots.

 

My nepenthes are sitting on small plastic tubs in the water tray, so the bottom of the actual flower pot is either just above, or just under the water line. Can I do the same for the VFTs?

 

Thanks again

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As an experiment a few months back, I planted several vft's in amongst my nepenthes baskets to see how they'd do. The mix is a very loose combination of orchid bark, live sphagnum, and expanded clay pebbles and they get a 15 minute soaking from the misting system every evening. The vft's seem to be doing better for me like this than when they were in a peat/perlite mix and stood in water. I am now getting healthier looking growth, and so far no deformities like i was getting from water trays, which i just put down to scummy water. Flushing daily with fresh water from the misting seems to be giving me nicer plants.

Sounds good. I don't have a sophisticated set-up like you do, so it would be manual watering, but I guess as long as I kept an eye on them, and watered them whenever they started to look the slightest bit not moist, I should be OK.

 

Thanks

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Welshy I find your post very interesting, next year if all is good it would be great to see some pics:-)

I was thiinking the same thing myself. The experimental plants are typical, B52, louchapates, dentate, and cup trap if i recall. Also forgot to mention there's several d. capensis alba and red doing fine too. Oh, and the misting system is fed from mains water which has a TDS of 065 ppm.

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I was thiinking the same thing myself. The experimental plants are typical, B52, louchapates, dentate, and cup trap if i recall. Also forgot to mention there's several d. capensis alba and red doing fine too. Oh, and the misting system is fed from mains water which has a TDS of 065 ppm.

OK, so I'm going to echo corky's request, and add on that you spill the beans. Please can you give us all the gory details, including the set up with the misting system and so on. I'd love to know how you're doing all this.

 

Also, do I read you correctly that you are keeping drosera out of water? This is getting more and more interesting!

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I keep mine stood in some water but I allow the trays to go dry for a couple of days in between refilling.  For me, personally, I wouldn't just keep mine 'just damp' and not stood in water.  The reason being as it would require too much guesswork and I'm very forgetful.  The reason I grow Drosera, Sarracenia and Dionaea are because I can keep them in water and not have to guess things much.

 

My Mexican Pings are doing ok as I let their tray run dry for a week before putting more water in.  They seem to do better this way and I've been taking advice from Dianne about this.  

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Guest paul y

oh goodie a real use for the several hundred sq rose pots I have that I just couldn't find a relevant use for, 10 cm width 25cm deep, should be perfect to try this out, deep pots and reduce watering and ill see if I get a big boost,  judging by the root system in that photo above it really speaks for itself

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OK, so I'm going to echo corky's request, and add on that you spill the beans. Please can you give us all the gory details, including the set up with the misting system and so on. I'd love to know how you're doing all this.

 

Also, do I read you correctly that you are keeping drosera out of water? This is getting more and more interesting!

 

Basically, it's just a 24 hour timer that opens a solenoid for 15 minutes each evening. The solenoid feeds a 5mm irrigation pipe with cheap plastic misting nozzles. Straightforward really.

Here's a few quick shots of d. capensis alba growing out of water in amongst my neps.

 

DSC_4019_zpsujsxmp6p.jpg

 

And it's currently in flower...

 

DSC_4016_zpsohnpfewg.jpg

 

Seems to be doing fine. It was the first experimental plant to be planted up and hence the biggest so far. I'll photograph the drosera and dionaea when they're larger, as they're not much to look at yet being small plants and only transplanted over the past few weeks/months. That's if they survive of course ! (and if someone reminds me about this thread in the future :laugh1: ).

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Place a pot of peat in water and it will become 100% saturated. If you then remove the water it will evaporate from the top and become drier and drier.

But then as you replenish the water it will wick upwards again and you will still have a portion of the peat at 100% saturation. Maintaining some sort of 75% saturation level would be very difficult.

It works in winter because you don't need to have any water in the tray because you have hardy any evaporation (or small amounts in autumn which does lead to a damp 75% or 50% saturation level)

So I'm just saying you cannot avoid 100% saturation at some point in summer simply by the actions of keeping the plant watered.

The advice might sit true if you are trying to avoid the roots sitting in the water, by means of a taller pot.

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Just a thought.... If planting Dionaea in with Nepenthes how are they going to get a cold dormancy?

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Just a thought.... If planting Dionaea in with Nepenthes how are they going to get a cold dormancy?

Well, that's another story Richard, in my greenhouse they simply won't.. But as i said, it's an experiment with some spare plants to see how long they last.

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I've never been all that happy with my vft's sitting in water permanently so am more than happy to " tweak" my methods.

I'm going to adopt the same methods as I use with the Cephs, allowing trays to dry out completely before re watering.

This suits me better anyhow as the trays have become a breeding ground for Mosquitos , now the larvae will die off between watering.

I already have a bowl with drosera, dionaea and purpurea in it that I've been experimenting with over summer, just watering enough to keep it damp.

All the plants are doing fine.

I did try this routine with some Sarra's too but they seemed much more sensitive to lack of sitting in water.

I checked on plants one morning and they looked fine, by midday a couple of them had gone limp and collapsed, even though the soil was still damp. They recovered after being stood back in water but I assumed from this that sarracenia must need a reservoir of water to draw from on the hotter summer days.

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oh goodie a real use for the several hundred sq rose pots I have that I just couldn't find a relevant use for, 10 cm width 25cm deep, should be perfect to try this out, deep pots and reduce watering and ill see if I get a big boost,  judging by the root system in that photo above it really speaks for itself

Tried this approach a few years back, keeping everything drier was so much better for growth - as well as no losses to botrytis, rot or anything else.

 

But it comes with a warning.....

For the last 3 years, the drier conditions made it a haven for SPIDER MITE !!!!!

So much so that this year, I've cut every VFT back to a bulb, cleaned all the soil off, soaked in water for a few days (hopefully drown any that are still hanging around) and repot into new compost.

oh goodie a real use for the several hundred sq rose pots I have that I just couldn't find a relevant use for, 10 cm width 25cm deep, should be perfect to try this out, deep pots and reduce watering and ill see if I get a big boost,  judging by the root system in that photo above it really speaks for itself

Tried this approach a few years back, keeping everything drier was so much better for growth - as well as no losses to botrytis, rot or anything else.

 

But it comes with a warning.....

For the last 3 years, the drier conditions made it a haven for SPIDER MITE !!!!!

So much so that this year, I've cut every VFT back to a bulb, cleaned all the soil off, soaked in water for a few days (hopefully drown any that are still hanging around) and repot into new compost.

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