carnivorous plants

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by greenboy, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. greenboy

    greenboy Active Member

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    Carnivorous plants I never had one, and I know all about insects and such. I am planing to keep one this winter I wonder what I feed it during winter, a guy in the gardening section at Lowe's told me he feed his Shrimp, for pets, they sell dry shrimps in the pet section in Walmart and I was wondering if this will do for such a plant, Any suggestion, now at the end Of September here in Pennsylvania insects are pretty much done for the season until April or such.
     
  2. bender420

    bender420 Member

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    well it a depends on what species or genre of CP your gonna be getting my pitcher plant does not get any insect food other than a random fruit fly during the winter most of them dont need feeder animas during the winter though as they only use them for nitrogen for new leaf and steam growth and seeing as how most pants grow little or not at all during winter it would only lead to over doing their nitrogen and may even hurt them from excess nitrogen hope this helps and have fun i recomend many of the tropical pitcher plants as they make great show pieces and require little care by way of insects just make sure they are getting enough water to keep the soil damp and they will do fine
     
  3. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    As has been said, it depends on what kind you are getting. Chances are pretty good that if you get it at a big box store, or even at a place like Safeway, you will be getting a venus fly trap. These need a winter dormancy, so no need to feed it indoors. Just leave it outside for the summer, and it will feed itself! Same with Sarracenia. If you get a Drosera, it could either be a temperate or tropical one. If you get a Nepenthes, these are tropical, and could use a bit of food during the winter, but probably isn't necessary. Like before, leave it outside for the summer, and it will feed itself - granted, of course, that it is kept healthy and humid enough in the winter that it actually produces pitchers! Nepenthes are one of the few CPs that can use a bit of fertilizer, but not much. That can substitute for the bugs. NEVER fertilize the others. As with all of these, chances are, if it has a tag, the tag will be either non-existent or wrong - even if you get it at a garden centre. At least, that is how it is here.
     
  4. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    VFTs don't always go into dormancy when kept inside, will it actually do them any harm if they don't? Mine is showing no signs yet but then my room is about to get rather cold so maybe it will then.

    I wouldn't feed them dried shrimp as I'm pretty sure that would not be what it evolved to eat in the wild. Also I think its better to let nature take its course and not feed them at all as the various different appendages of CPs have evolved to attract a certain insect or range of insects, which might not be found in your climate. And CPs are primarily plants and can still photosynthesize so they don't actually NEED to be fed anything as far as I'm concerned.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  5. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    VFT's should go dormant for the winter - it will hurt them over time if they do not. VFT's in particular mass produced by the millions via tissue culture at any time of the year, so your plant may not be ready to ge into dormancy. This is tricky, but just try and give it cool temps and a bit less water, and see what happens. Even though VFT's are the most common CP in cultivation, the are also the most killed.

    CP's can and will eat any insect (and the occasional small vertibrate) that it can. I can't say anything about dried shrimp, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. But, as I said, there is no need to feed them anything, if kept outside to fend for themselves. Also, as you pointed out, they actually don't need any food at all, but they do need a bit. Totally denying them the nutrients would eventually kill it, since their habitat is virtually void of nutrients, and catching insects in the only source of nutrients they have.
     
  6. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    Ok, well my bedroom, where I keep mine is the sort of room that is boiling hot in summer and absolutely freezing in winter, I'm already having to wear jumpers in bed in the evening, so its getting colder anyway. As far as water goes should I just give it only just enough water to make the surface wet and then tip out the saucer? I usually leave it so the VFT can soak the remaining water up over the next day or so.

    I know their natural habitat is almost devoid of nutrients but do you think the people who sell them might make the soil slighter better than it would be in nature so they live longer? Then again they wouldn't necessarily care....
     
  7. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    Sounds like you have ideal temps for the VFT. In summer, I keep the pot in about an inch or more of water all the time. In the winter, I'll let it sit in water, then when the water is gone, wait a few days, then water again.
    When growing any plant, you need to see what it's natural habitat is like, and try to mimick it, so as to give the plant the best chance. If people who sell VFTs give them 'better' soil, the plants will die. Period. And, true, sometimes they don't care. I use a Peat/silica sand mix, or you can use straight peat, or sphagnum moss, or even an inert media, as long as the roots can stay wet.
     
  8. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    Fair enough, well thankyou very much for your help, I suppose I'll have to start feeding it..........
     
  9. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Just recently got my hands on some Venus Flytrap seeds!!!


    : O


    I am working on germinating them, as we speak...


    Had a VFT years ago, and it survived all summer outdoors in a 1/2 covered fishbowl, underneath a wooden chair, where it received strappled sunlight, and a lots of warmth.


    I let it get it's own insects that flew into the bowl, and over winter inside, I fed it dead flies in the window sill - even asked family member and friends to collect some for me too, so I'd have plenty all winter.


    Kind of gross, but it sure kept my little VFT happy. I gave it lots of light and warmth indoors as well. I don't think they fair well with the cold.


    I sure hope I can get these seeds to pop for me. I would just love to grow a VFT from scratch like that. Too cool.


    : )
     
  10. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    I haven't tried VFTs from seed yet - let us know how it goes! As far as winter temps go, VFTs actually need cool in the winter to go dormant. If kept warm and fed all winter, eventually they will decline. Check out the climate for their native habitat in North/South Carolina.
     
  11. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Maybe that explains why mine eventually died! Thank you.


    Yes, I will let you know about the seeds. I have no expectations because the seeds were purchased off eBay, and you know how that can go. We'll see...


    : )
     
  12. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    I have had no problems except one with E-Bay garden stuff HBL

    Whats the reason you expect little from E-bay seeds...failures?

    I ever had only one complaint.
     
  13. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    A number of seeds from eBay are not viable. You never know how old the seeds are either - they could be ancient. I hear people on gardening forums complain all the time about them.

    I myself have had minimal success with a number of seeds from eBay. Not a big fan at all. If I am going to spend money, I would rather buy from a reputable company. No offence to eBay customers of course, but it's just not for me.


    : )
     
  14. Blake09

    Blake09 Active Member

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    lol, in my native state ( S.C ). :D Now I want one to grow outdoors :D

    I did have one many years ago, it lived for about 3 years........because I did not put them out in the winter............

    When I bought the ( tiney 2in high, $11.00) VFT the growing instructions said, nevar let dry out, do not expose to cold, part sun, and that was it! Well I was like "there has to be a more detaled instructions than this to grow VFT" so I read on a bunch of sites and found out how to grow one properley ( but still I nevar found out that it is helpful to the plant if they have a dormant period) so it lived hapily for almost 3 years, eating bugs, enjoying the humidity of the summer, loved biger pots... but it alwayse hated the winter and it alwayse looked horible, and then it died... :(

    It was big, I wish i had pictures of it, it had beautiful red mouthes (trap for insects) and sometines I would sit there and drop newely killed flies and some times I went out and bought 1-3 small crickets for my VFT. A couple of weeks after I fed it crickets, what ever els it cought (once they digested things they had eaten) they would shoot up tons of traps, it was like fertlizer :D

    Now all I have is a purple pitcher (I think 4yrs old) and a judith finn nep. (many months old) .
    .....and by the spring I will hopfully get a VFT plant :D

    :)

    GB,
    onley feed VFT native type foods (flies, nats, etc) If you do feed it foods like shrimp, peaces of hot dogs, peaces of hamburger meat etc. they will die! and some say it cuts back on there life span, like smoking, etc. it is just bad for the plant... you really dont even need to feed the VFT, it just gives them a bost of energy. and if you were to leave it on a counter top it might just catch something for ya.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  15. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    The thing is HBL, many people on ebay buy their seeds from reputable companies but just sell them on split into smaller quantities so they make a profit. They're probably the same seeds from your 'reputable' companies, although I suppose it does depend somewhat on how they are stored.

    I have not had any problems with seeds bought from ebay either but then again I haven't bought that many - I'm too impatient lol. Although I am thinking of getting some pitcher plant seeds since the ones I see in garden centres always look rather sad....

    I haven't fed mine anything since I got it and it keeps on growing new traps all the time....I'm not quite sure why! Mine's getting close to catching something, it manages to attract small flies (which is a good sign for its long-term survival!). I see them inside the traps but so far they seem to avoid the trigger hairs....oh well one day maybe!

    To everyone who is interested this is a really good page on VFTs:

    http://www.strato.net/~crvny/sa03005.html

    It's quite long but definitely worth reading!
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
  16. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    This is an assumption, but not known for sure as a fact, and I've heard and read about too many complaints from eBay customers, to actually believe that, unfortunately. Not just about seeds either - many other items as well.

    To each their own of course, I am just saying that for me, buying directly from an established seed company, with absolute guaranteed viability, is much more appealing.


    Blake - I would love to see your purple pitcher plant...


    : )
     
  17. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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  18. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Thank you, JenRi.


    Very beautiful plant, Blake. I really love the color. Post more shots of it as it grows, will you? I hope you find a great VFT plant as well.


    : )
     

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