Water Care – Venus Fly Trap

I thought I’d dive straight in with an update of my Venus Fly Trap, or Hector as you may know him if you have seen the previous post on this blog.

This week, I plan on covering the topic of water care. I’ll go into grooming, pest control and other topics as we go further into Hector’s growth and development.

He’s been living with me for roughly a week and is living a steady life. Kept on the west side of the house so he can fully benefit from the evening sunset and photosynthesize late into the day. I will occasionally keep him in my bedroom, facing east, so he can also benefit from the morning sun. As I live on the first floor and there is little around me blocking light, Hector is able to fully benefit from both morning and evening sun.

I have not seen any dramatic changes in growth and the biggest challenge is ensuring your plants are receiving the correct water. Tap water is not the best choice for a Venus Fly Trap as they are quite demanding, despite Britain having one of the highest qualities of water in the world.

Unfortunately, this means that the water is often high in Chlorine (Cl) and Fluorine (F) components which are not beneficial to your plants health. However, this doesn’t mean you have to spend high amounts of money on distilled or bottled water, there are a few tricks to the trade if you don’t wish to part with your hard-earned money.

I did some research and the obvious choice of water for your plant is rain water. North and South Carolina have somewhat similar conditions to Britain but if you have means to pot your Venus outside then do so. Although if there is the occasional dry spell, or your like me and not always around to collect rain water – fear not, tap water can actually turn into drinkable water for your plants.

I’d recommend filling up whatever sized bottle (or means of holding water) and leaving this on the side for 24-48 hours, under room temperature. This will allow time for any chemicals to evaporate and disperse and will prevent bacteria growth. Your Venus should never have dry soil but try not to water them too much, as you see in mine there is a lot of moss so this should soak up and encourage the Venus to thrive but being overzealous here could cause your Venus to grow thin leaves making them more vulnerable to insect or fungal attack.

I noticed the above damage was only slight when I first got Hector but as you can see this has gotten a little worse. This could be due to my over-eagerness of watering the plant admittedly but remember I’m a novice so go lightly on me! If you have recommendations on how often or how much to feed your Venus please do leave a comment, you could save dear Hector!

When watering your Venus it is always best to remember what conditions to keep him in. If you can allow lots of warm, direct sunlight you may only need to water your plant every 2-4 days (depending on how hot the conditions are and how quickly the soil dries). However, in colder more shaded conditions water your Venus every 8-14 days particularly during the freezing winter conditions.

If you’re really unsure of how often to water your Venus, just keep a watchful eye on the soil and when this starts to become dry at the top you can water your Venus and find a suitable pattern.

“So do I water from the top or the bottom?”

This is a question I asked myself in the beginning and thought it best wise to water from the top.

Water from the top will help disperse the feed better and can help wash the soil through of anything foreign that could be potentially harmful if left to sit inside the soil. However, water from the bottom will work and is easier but always remember to occasionally feed from the top too.

As for the head of the leaf that is deteriorating, I will cut this with scissors (see below) gently and allow the green leaf to continue to photosynthesize as there are many health benefits still from this.


If you’re growing a Venus yourself leave a comment, let me know how your growth is going it would be great to see other peoples techniques and share together!

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An Introduction To Life

I must admit, when I decided to start this I haven’t come equipped with a database of knowledge in my head like Professor Brian Cox or Sir David Attenborough. Just a child-like enthusiasm for the living organisms on our planet and what we have become as human beings in a society. If your a beginner yourself, we’ll be learning together.

The main focus of this blog will be to bring science and the ecosystems back to its basics. Using real life examples, to teach and learn about how the world works around us and just appreciating the simplistic beauty of our planet.

Meet Hector  
I visited the local garden centre and picked up a more popular of the carnivorous plants – the Venus Fly Trap. Something you might find in Poison Ivy’s hidden lair, the Venus Fly Trap I have here is only young and I count around 8 heads. As we enter late April the air is still very cold and Spring has not yet fully arrived, I anticipate the plant is being stubborn before it begins to really open up.

  

The “teeth” are what give Venus their popularity. They act like the bars on a jail cell and snap shut on any insect or bug who dares wonder into its mouth.

The surface of its mouth is covered in little hairs and when one hair is flicked by an insects leg – a timer is triggered. The unknowing insect will have just 20 seconds to escape before the mouth is sealed shut and the insect is unable to escape and there it will be slowly digested. The reason behind this 20 second gap, is so that the Venus doesn’t unnessecarily snap shut on passing winds or dust and waste its energy on indigestible meals.

A beginner like me requires some research on the care of plant life and I was pleased to see that our climate is well suited to the Venus Fly Trap. Coming from the East Coast of the United States, Carolina, the seasons are acutely similar to ours in the South of England and London, and Venus requires damp conditions. 

Should you choose to own one yourself, you’d be best to collect rainwater and feed this to your plant (tap water can be too acidic and the chlorine levels are also dangerous), otherwise you could leave a mug of water on the side between 24 and 48 hours – this would allow any chemicals in the water to disperse. Boiling the water can also be an option but perhaps as a last resort, as any bacteria is left dead in the water – of course, dead is good though.

I’m going to show you the progress over the next few weeks, amongst other things, and if indeed I’m cut out to at least be a florist. Introducing Hector, our Venus Fly Trap. 

 

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