Re: perlite for VFTs

From: Christensen (
Date: Mon Jul 26 1999 - 20:29:11 PDT

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 21:29:11 -0600
From: "Christensen" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2721$foo@default>
Subject: Re: perlite for VFTs

I still have 3 happy looking VFTs!
Mostly, the perlite has stayed white or grey- no mineral buildup.

A word of caution: don't try to pull out dead leaves.
The dead petioles and leaves, on my plants, didn't rot away and the
fleshy bases of the petioles stayed alive and attached. I tried yanking
out some of the dead petioles but I accidently pulled up the whole plant.
Carefully, I replanted it. Then, I used my tiny scissors and cut off the
ends of the dead petioles. I'm sure that the plant would prefer to keep
the bases of its petioles.

I put a piece of a 'B' VFT into a micropropagation jar. Now, the media is
contaminated with bacteria. The explant may be alive. I've had other
explants covered by the same contaminant, but caused no visible harm to
the explant.

> June 22, 1999
> My 3 Dionaea plants have been in perlite for a week and they look happy!
> They are probably divisions from one original plant.
> I had 3 kinds of VFTs and each kind had a different growth habit.
> The first kind 'A' was bred and selected to have a brief dormancy and
> always grew long-petiole upright traps. It had yellow sepals.
> The second kind 'B' always grew wide-petiole low traps and had slightly
> wavy petiole margins.
> The third kind 'C' grew low small traps while dormant and grew upright
> big traps while active. Didn't have wavy petiole margins.
> Previous repottings caused some accidental divisions so I had a total
> of 13 plants.
> Soils I tried:
> peat
> peat sand = ps
> peat sand vermiculite = psv
> perlite
> IMO, peat worked better than ps. The ps worked better than psv.
> Perlite worked better than all of them, so far. psv was the worst
> soil mixture that I tried. I suspect the sand that I used in ps
> and psv wasn't good for VFTs, too.
> When I tried the psv mixture, the first plants that died were the
> 'A' VFTs that I decribed. The bred and selected kind.
> Next, the kind that had wavy petiole margins 'B' started to die.
> Actually, most of them didn't die, but grew tiny petioles with
> unformed traps like a dormant rhizome.
> The third kind 'C' didn't seem to mind the psv mixture. It came out
> of dormancy and started growing long-petiole traps.
> In the end, all of the 'A' plants died. The 'B' plants appeared to
> be dormant. The 'C' plants didn't care about the soil mixture.
> I got rid of the 'B' plants, but I saved one little piece and put
> it into a tc jar. Remember, all of the 'B' plants were probably
> divisions of one original plant.
> Now, I have three 'C' plants and they are growing in perlite.
> Since they were repotted in perlite, I've noticed faster growth
> and more of the long petioles.
> Plus, mineral buildup is easier to see because the perlite is white
> or gray and the minerals discolor it, causing a brown or yellow shade.
> Or, maybe that's bacteria and fungus?
> Disclaimer: This isn't a scientific study, it is an attempt to make
> sense of and share information about my mistakes.

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