Hi… My name is Mike… and I’m an Addict!

From time to time I get emails from people, telling me about their growing experiences. I wanted to share Mike’s story with you.  As it happens to most of us… growing Carnivorous Plants starts off innocently… however, once you’ve caught the bug… (pun intended) there’s no turning back… Just ask Mike.

bog trayZone 6a London, Ontario Canada

My name is Michael. The first time I gave a venus fly trap to step son (13 years ago), he had no luck with it.  I’ll take partial blame I had no idea it was a bog plant!

My daughter Willow (11 years old)  came home from school & said Daddy I want the plant that eats bugs, the venus fly trap.  November of 2013 was her birthday and the only store in London that had them was two miles out of town. When I got there, there were seven left.  I asked the lady how much for the lot because I would have felt bad leaving any behind plus what Willow wants Willow gets! LOL. A little extreme I know but she is my only child.

Leading up to her birthday I did a lot of reading. I’d be damned if I would help kill these wicked plants & it would crush my daughter if her little friends died.  We got seeds from the fly trap store and got started.  Out of the thirty we started with, we only have four red and 4 green ones left.  Many were lost damping off.  In my opinion, they like it a lot dryer then Sarracenia… (just moist). Being that it was November,  I kept them alive with four – 4 foot 32 watt bulbs until this Spring, they are now outside.

While reading up on how to keep these venus fly traps alive,  I saw some very nicely coloured plants, ( sarracenia), I immediately showed Willow and told her they eat bugs too !! She looked at what I was reading and said “I want that one”!.  It was a S. leucophylla. I was on the hunt again this time for beautiful Sarracenia’s.  My choices were slim as there are only 3 places that sell them in Canada unless you get a sterile certificate for tissue culture. In January of this year, we ordered seeds and put them in stratification. The seedlings in the photo are about 2 ½ months old.  I started ordering mature plants from the Urban Bog while seeds were in stratification.

In the picture, there are  2 big pots of venus fly traps , 1 large S. leucophylla, 1 large S. flava var rugelii, 1 large S. leucophylla ‘Hurricane creek white’, 1 large S. oreophila, 1 small S. leucophylla. 1 large S. flava var. atropurpurea, 1 large S. flava var. ornata, 1 S. purpurea ssp purpurea, 1 S. purpurea ssp venosa,   2 pots of seeds one pot S. leucophylla X ‘Schnell’s Ghost’  and the other pot S. leucophylla AJ01 x S. leucophylla,  Franklin Co.  And in other pot (S. X castesbaei X Flava) Addington X Adrian slack.  The B52 fly trap in the styrofoam cup and the unknown pitcher plant are the lone survivors from the Dune Craft Kit !!

All of these were under my light set up. I had 18 hours a day until April.  I dropped the photoperiod by one hour per week until I hit 15 hours. That way when they went outside they would be accustomed to the current number daylight hours.

Here is how I built my water table. I took a skid and cut it in half and closed off the ends to make a box the width of a 2×4 (that’s how deep the table is). I layered cardboard so my blue tarp don’t rip and then layered two layers of clear paint drop sheet on top of the blue tarp to hold the water. For the table legs, I used left over cat litter tubs

So for me, this hobby started in the fall of 2013. I inherited it from my daughter & I can’t stop thinking about what I want next to add to my collection next.

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4 Responses to Hi… My name is Mike… and I’m an Addict!

  1. Julian says:

    Yup, that’s how it starts!! Good luck to MIke.

  2. Dee Blakley says:

    Willow has a very smart dad.

  3. Michael says:

    Thank you both & most of all Carl for sharing your wisdom of growing Sarracenia in Canada !!

  4. Michael says:

    Hey ! Julian, I’m an now a proud owner of your waccamaw, this was my first Atro I wanted, but it endend up being the 5th one that I ended up getting 🙂 non the less I’m sooooo stoked !!!! Thanks a million & of course most of all Carl 🙂

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