re My VFT leaf question

From: Ray Brusasco (
Date: Thu Sep 30 1999 - 20:44:01 PDT

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 20:44:01 -0700
From: Ray Brusasco <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3389$foo@default>
Subject: re My VFT leaf question

Greetings, all-

Well, I have to say that I've received a hefty number of very useful tips
from several on the list regarding my leaf question. Rather than rewrite my
responses to all over and over, I thought I would post up to the list. My
special thanks to Robert Ziemer, Steve Hinkson, MARIN and Davidogray who
responded privately - also thanks to those who responded publicly. A little
more detail, then. . .

The plant came in the usual 2" pot planted in long fiber sphagnum. I
repotted it into a 6" dia. X 6" deep plastic pot using a mix of about 75%
sphagnum peat and long fiber sphagnum (for water retention). It get really
hot and dry here - last couple of days the RH has been about 25% (all of us
have had nosebleeds because of it). We're using distilled water and being
real careful to keep any mineral sources and other things that might have
fertilizer away from it. There is a danger here; my daughter has the best
looking avocado tree in our place that I've ever seen :-).

The pot sits in a round glass container (nice looking - not like a home for
a fish, more dignified). We live in a north facing apartment which makes it
tough to get light in. The plant could get direct late afternoon sun, but
this time of year and the orientation of our place, not much. So, about 2
weeks ago, I set up a grow light for it - 15W Gro-Lux but about 6-8" away.
Its tough to get the light much closer just based on physical constraints.
I've thought about getting a silica glass top; that would increase the UV
level. I'm not sure how much is cut out by the container top, but it can't
help - most regular glasses are going to start to cut off at about 350-400
nm. I'll see what I can do to get the light level up.

We've fed it flies a couple of times because I didn't know how much
nutrition it had gotten while it had been for sale. I wanted it to get
something rather quick since I didn't know if it would go to sleep (dormant)
any time soon or not. We have to hand feed it flies - this is California
and we don't have bugs (at least, not like Florida). My plan is to bring on
dormancy somewhat slowly - start to dry it down a bit and cool it off slowly
so that about November it is seeing some time in the fridge or outside.

Thanks again for the response!


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