venus flytraps

Douglas Wiggins (
Mon, 29 May 1995 09:16:00 GMT

ZK:Hi, I was wondering if anyone has any tips for getting venus flytraps
ZK:to produce large traps?

You have already received a good response to this, but I wanted to
make sure you know something: the Venus' flytrap requires a good
winter in order to flourish - during the gradually decreasing
daylength and the gradually decreasing temperatures, the plant
withdraws the nutrients in its leaves into a compact bulb-like
growth. If the plant is not subjected to these conditions, the
bulb-like growth will not form, and the "bulb" (an improper term,
more like a cluster of enlarged leaf-bases) will be loose and
leafy. If the plant gets its winter dormancy, it will leaf out more
strongly the next year, with larger traps. Most importantly, it
will have reserves to use in the event of a temporary problem, such
as a fungus infection (easy to happen under high humidity) - with
this "bulb", the plant can survive mishap and thrive, but without
it the plant may become stunted, and may even die, if anything goes
wrong during the growing season.

You have received a proper response to the rest of this message,
except for this part:

ZK:intensity affect leaf life? If the plant is in full sun are the leaves
ZK:going to last longer or shorter than a plant under some shade clothe?

The sun is a harsh source of light, and yes, you would be better
with at least a 40% shade cloth during the heat of the summer, both
for protecting the plant and for reducing the water needs. I have
been doing survival experiments for the last several years, to see
how well some species can handle extreme situations, and have found
that many plants which can take full sun prefer partial shade, or
shade during the hottest part of the day - I now move the plants
twice per year, to catch the right amount of sun. Indoors, I use
the brightest light I have found - halides (a 400-watt halide
covers an area of about 10 square feet with enough light to induce
maximum coloration of the traps). I tried a 125-watt halide once
before, but was not satisfied with the cost and size effectiveness.

-Douglas Wiggins, Portland, Oregon

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