Carnivorous Plants/Dionaea muscipula
QUESTION: I received 4 flytraps from Sarracenia NW last Wednesday. One of them, the B52 x Low Giant seems to be dying off. There are alot of traps that have blackened since I got it. I'm in SW Oregon and have been very successful with Sarracenia and wanted to redeem myself for all the Flytraps I murdered as a kid,lol! The plants are getting @81/2 hrs of direct sun, they are in the original pots and I use only rainwater. It has been unusually hot here so I have them in plastic lined styrofoam coolers, which keep the water and plants a lot cooler. I am wondering if maybe this particular plant just got overstressed during shipping since everything else is doing so well.( If I can't bring it back, what is the proocedure to request a replacement?) Thank you.
ANSWER: Hi Maire,
Send me a photo of your plants. It will really be helpful if I can see what's happening to them to determine if it's a problem, or just a normal transition. Include in the photo the styrofoam containers you're describing. Also, how is your rainwater being collected? Is it coming off of a roof with zinc/galvanized sheet metal? If so, try switching to distilled water and see if they make a turnaround. Venus flytraps are the most sensitive to impurities in the water of all carnivorous plants.
It's possible that stress in shipping caused a problem, but flytraps are rarely the plant that has this issue. They are not very sensitive to heat, and we get our best growth when it hot in the summer. If you need to request a replacement contact Jacob through the website.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
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QUESTION: Hey Jeff I couldn't get a good pic of the plants but they are blackening from the outside in -there are around five black traps and more looking bad-and there is no new growth toward the middle of the plant like the rest. My water is collected from a Suntuf plastic roof and plastic gutter and being kept in containers. Like I said the rest are doing well, as well as my Sarracenia so I think this particular plant is either stressed from shipping or just not thriving from other causes..
Thanks for sending the photo. That really helps.
Here's what it looks like you have happening. B-52 x Low Giant holds traps very close to the ground like this compared to other flytraps. It also has a fairly dark color. The dead traps are simply older traps. I see 5 nice open traps, and a new one preparing to open. Just cut off the dead ones, and then feed your plant. Give it a couple bugs (small cricket, mealworm, fly, etc...), then give it a couple weeks to digest them. Be sure they are live bugs. You should see a marked increase in growth. The giant flytrap forms often have higher metabolism, and higher demands for food. I've seen both B-52 and King Henry's stunt if they are catching no bugs. Normally this isn't an issue for typical flytraps, but it seems to make a difference with these.
Also, I saw that in the styofoam shipping containers you're using you have gravel in the bottom. Be sure the bottom 1/4" of the pots are actually in the water. It's easy for pots to dry out this time of year, and their soil should always be wet. This is less important in winter when we are in the rainy season.