Help save my venus flytrap!
February 21, 2005 9:28 PM   Subscribe

I have a venus fly trap which seems to be sickening and dying, and I'd love to save it.

I've had it for a couple of years now, and recently repotted it. For a while it seemed happy, putting out lots of leaves, and slowly growing, but since then the new traps have been getting smaller and smaller, and now the leaves are looking sick and wilted despite having plenty of water and the same amount of sun as before.

I have good soil in the pot, and I added a light splash of liquid fertiliser (the type made from seaweed and carp).

Have I doomed it to a slow death?
posted by tomble to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
 
There's tons of information about Venus Flytraps on teh Intarweb. This one was one of the best I found when I was starting with my plant. IIRC, repotting is an advanced maneuver, so your plant may be a goner. OTOH, they hibernate during winter, and they get confused about the seasons, so maybe it's just hibernating. Letting the plant flower is also supposed to be bad for it.

From the same FAQ:
Q: About fertilizer and hamburger meat


A:
As a good rule, never fertilize. Most fertilizers will kill carnivorous plants. Only a few types seem to like (or tolerate) fertilizers, and for these use Miracid. Peter's 30-10-10 and especially Epiphyte's Delight are highly recommended by other growers, but I haven't used them myself.

As for feeding your plants hamburger meat, that is a fine way to kill them. Carnivorous plants expect insect prey, not small fragments of cows. If you don't think there is much difference, consider: would you eat a burger made of crushed insect viscera?

If you wish to capture a few insects and horrifyingly feed these live animals to your plants, enjoy! After all, that is what this whole fascination with carnivorous plants is all about, isn't it? Note that there are a number of subtleties to feeding your plants. For example, peruse and enjoy my several FAQ entries on how to feed Venus Flytraps (beginning here). Certainly do not feed your plants pesticide-killed insects.
posted by spacewrench at 9:47 PM on February 21, 2005


I saw a video of a venus flytrap trying to eat a frog once.


Maybe you could put ants in the same soil as the flytrap, to provide a foodsource (you'll probably need to get a new one if the fertilzer is going to kill it). You could then feed the ants sugar
posted by delmoi at 11:01 PM on February 21, 2005


How do I take care of my sick plant?
Plaintive, panicky emails call out for help on my screen, "What do I do?," "Help me, Obi-Wan, you're my only hope." Sadly, there is no special revivification treatment for your precious carnivore. The best treatment for a sick plant is the same treatment for any Venus Flytrap---give it the best growing conditions you can. If I were given a sick plant I would grow it side by side with my healthy plants.

Grow your plants well, whether they are healthy or sick. If your plants die, as they sometimes will, try again.
And the
posted by pracowity at 3:50 AM on February 22, 2005


Are you sure the new soil is OK? Venus flytraps hate, hate, hate limestone and need acid soils (this from decades of seeing my mom growing them and all of carnivorous plants).
posted by elgilito at 8:07 AM on February 22, 2005


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