“See, don’t touch!” I read the terse notice. “What a killjoy. What antisocial behavior,” I thought. That was during my pre-carnivorous plant days. Now I am tempted to stick a similar notice for my VFTs.
When I read that a Dionaea muscipula (VFT) trap turns black once it’s closed 3 or 4 times, I paled. Have I ever jabbed at a VFT trap just for the thrill of seeing it snap shut? Has my curiosity ever killed a VFT? I hope not.
I thought of getting a plant but I didn’t want to spend hard-earned money on what looked like a huge challenge with a slim chance of survival. My friend bought a VFT one summer but it didn’t last through autumn, much less winter.
But when my first few droseras survived, I felt I could take on Goliath. “Am I ready? Am I?” I asked the CP experts eagerly. I was asked to wait awhile. Now I know why patience is said to be a virtue.
And finally, it happened. Christmas came early this year when I was given a pot of Dionaea muscipula ‘regular form’. Oh, joy!
And then another kind soul gave me a barerooted VFT red dragon. It was a beauty. “But what do I do with this?” I wondered. It was like being handed a newborn baby but seriously, I’d be more confident dealing with that.
I planted it in long fibre sphagnum, placed it in a shallow dish of water and hoped for the best. It seems to be quite contented with its lot and now has more than twice the original number of leaves and traps.
“Give it more sunlight,” I was told. I made space for it in the dish reserved for my sarracenias.
The daily dose of full sunshine did the trick and the rich maroon colour returned once more.
Like all CPs, VFTs are highly addictive. I went on to get another Dionaea muscipula with rosy traps, a VFT pink venus and some juvenile royal reds.
I wonder what’s next?