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#89378 February 8th, 2007 at 04:14 AM
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Hello all,

I'm an absolute novice embarking on my first terrarium experiment involving two venus fly traps and two hermit crabs. I've been told that the fly traps need a hibernating period this time of year and that one should up root them and store them in an environment that is a constant 40 degrees. The only place in my apartment where I might be able to maintain such a temperature requirement would be my refrigerator! One of the plants appears now to be dead, in all honesty, after living for a month in my care and doing well for a while(it ate a moth and a fox-elder beetle). It has shriveled up a good deal. I've been told that these plants will, however, do that during their "dormant season." The other plant is doing much better and I'm using filtered, room-temperature tap water to keep them moist. The terrarium itself has the essential four layers of "earth" (that is, a coarse drainage layer of small gravel, a carbon filter layer, some coconut shell, and then a layer of potting soil [African violet mix]). So my question is, how do I know if the first plant is dead or just hibernating, and, do I actually need to uproot both of them and stick them in my fridge?!? I can send pics if necessary. Thanks a bunch!

#89379 February 10th, 2007 at 07:19 PM
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You can uproot them but I wouldnt. It would send the plant into more shock. Keep them in the pot and put it in the fridge for a month or two. Allow the soil to dry out more but dont let it dry out completely, keep it somewhat moist but not too moist or gray mold will form and kill the plant. African violet mix is bad I believe, it will kill the plant. You want to use a 1/1 peat/perlite mixture. Coconut shell is more for the tropical pitcher plants than the flytraps. A gravel drainage area is not needed since the perlite in the peat/perlite mixture will allow drainage. However, the gravel will not kill the plant. Check this out:

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/flytrap.html

If you have more questions dont hesitate to ask.

#89380 February 11th, 2007 at 03:24 PM
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Aaron,

Thanks a lot for your advice. It seems like I have some adjustments to make. Should I test the temperature in my fridge before sticking the plants in there? I assume that an environment that is too cold will hurt them. The plants are also in a terrarium, so the only way that I could put them into my fridge is to uproot them. Perhaps the next time I try this I will simply leave them in their pots in the terrarium. Perhaps one could even bury the pot in the terrarium soil in order to preserve a natural look but also to allow for the easy removal of the plant when necessary. Does that sound reasonable? Thanks!

D.B.

#89381 February 12th, 2007 at 04:59 AM
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Any temperature above freezing should be ok. I dont remember the exact range but you dont need to freeze it so put it in the fridge, not the freezer. I have a terranium and I keep all my plants in individual pots. It is best to do it that way if you need to remove the plants for any reason (i.e. disease or dormancy) its easy, you dont have to dig up and disturb them each time. Im too lazy so I dont put soil around the pots but if you want a more natural look the way to do it is to put soil around the pots. While your plants are in dormancy, watch out for gray fuzzy mold. It appears in too damp conditions. If this appears treat it with a systemic fungicide or for small amounts of mold you could even use rubbing alcohol. Also keep the soil moist while in dormancy. Not wet! If its too wet root-rot will occur. If you have any more questions dont hesitate to ask I like doing this type of stuff. Also if you get into the world of carnivorous plants is the World of Carnivores forum is good to use. I use it and its helped me a lot. Here is the address:

http://www.world-of-carnivores.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl

Good luck with the flytraps!


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