Re: VFT roots, pots and dormacy [was: Re: VFT roots]
Wed, 27 Sep 1995 23:37:58 -0300

>The secret of success in growing VFT is (IMHO) to use LARGE pots!


>But since I use larger pots, all my VFT's
>are doing well. Last year I got seeds from one and currently 2 of them
>are flowering again. They are planted in peat in pots about 13 cm wide
>and 14 cm high in 1 cm standing rainwater. In my opinion (Slack doesn't
>mention this :-) ), height of the pots is more important than width!
As a Northern grower, I have found that a pot 13 cm wide and at least 9 cm
deep placed in a reservoir 2 cm wider than the pot top and about 5 cm deep
will produce a large, healthy VFT. In larger pots, I have found them to run
wild during the Summer and early fall (not complaining). I agree that they
_do_ seem to like to be able to wet their feet, rather than to soak in
water. The ones I have (all from the the same original plant) bloom twice a
year, now. Whether I like it or not. As they seed profusly and grow
(because of limited space) next to other CPs, I have a lot of volunteers.
>BTW: The last couple of weeks dormacy of VFT's was mentioned a few
>times. The general opinion was that with VFT's dormacy is
>necessary. Otherwise the plants would suffer in winter and eventually
>die (Did I get that right?). Last year I decided to leave two VFT's at
>my window just above the heating. East window, no artificial light (I
>know, but I wanted to try ...). Both plants continued to produce
>leaves. They grew very slowly, the leaves were very broad and the traps
>small, but otherwise they looked healthy. As soon as the days got longer
>again they started to grow normally again and produced the typical
>summer-leaves and really big traps: This summer they even caught wasps
>and the traps survived and opened again.

I do much the same thing. However, the VFTs are kept in a cool eastern
window without any bottom heat (and the watering is much reduced). Others
are wrapped in sphagnum moss, sealed in a plastic bag, and stored in a
fridge. The former almost ceases growth, but picks up when the days start
to get longer. The latter (when repotted in Spring) starts growth sooner
and usually blooms earlier.

Observation: If your VFTs are big enough and tough enough to catch wasps;
there can't be much wrong with them. We have had a plethora of wasps this
Summer and they seem to be quite able to chew their way out of most
Sarracenias. Or at least damage the pitchers before they succumb. N. alata
don't seem to be damaged by wasps. Perhaps there is no leverage that the
wasp can bring to bear in order to bring its pincers into play. Big 30 cm
pitchers. Lots of fluid.

Rand Nicholson
The Writing Service