1st March 2019 – Update 5
The Dionaea ‘Wacky Traps’ has come a long way in growth and establishment in its pot. The plant has put on significant growth and has produced the somewhat standard eight traps per plant.
As the season changes from Summer to Autumn, the plant will slowly but surely start slowing down metabolic processes to prepare for the dormancy during Winter. A health and established plant such as this specimen is an ideal candidate for propagation when Spring comes. By the end of 2019 we aim to have successfully propagated this specimen from leaf pullings.
You can see the healthy ecology of the pot by the living moss which has established itself on top, and the odd Drosera sp. which has invaded too!
7th November 20187 – Update 4
Wacky Traps have now completely broken dormancy, and are in active growth.
The Sphagnum moss media is starting to green up. The plant has been kept completely outside in full weather standing in a tray of water.
The plant is small, 7cm in diameter. One notable feature, the plant has six active traps with one trap developing. This is completely consistent with other Dionaea plants.
25th July 2018 – Update 3
The plants are completely dormant. There is no above ground growth. In this way, Wacky Traps appears to be similar in growth habit to many of the red Dionaea cultivars. I expect the plants to resume active growth again late spring, rather than early spring. The cultivar appears to be that kind of slow performer.
South Australia is in the midst of an Autumn heat wave. Temperatures in the mid 30’s have persisted for four days. Wacky Traps is still outside on a full sun growing bench. The weather and additional light has made some of the leaves turn light rose red. This is not uncommon. The 85mm pots are standing in 2 – 3 cm of reverse osmosis product water.
There has been some die-back. But that said, there has been much more new growth of new leaves. Previously closed traps have also re-opened, although it may be difficult to tell because Wacky Traps is very small at the moment.
Wacky Traps has been fertilized for the Autumn (along with other Dionaea on the same bench). The fertilizers was 1/4 strength Seasol mixed into pure water, applied as a foliar spray.
The weather is still conducive to establishment and growth.
The Wacky Traps are less floppy then on the 28th of March, and both plants are showing signs of stress recovery. New growth is continuing development without browning off. The new growth is small, but not unexpected for a plant growing outside in current environmental conditions this time of year.
We’ve got some very exciting news. A while back we sourced material of Dionaea muscipula ‘Wacky Traps’ B. Rice.
If you haven’t heard of Dionaea ‘Wacky Traps’ you’re not alone. It’s a cultivar of Dionaea muscipula (Venus Fly-Trap) which isn’t common in Australia. Dionaea muscipula ‘Wacky Traps’ was a clone which came from Cresco Nursery in the Netherlands. The plant is an extremely slow grower. It has abnormally thick traps and petioles, which are probably the reason why ‘Wacky Traps’ has trouble closing its traps quickly. It takes several minutes to stimulate trap closure even with repeated teasing of the trigger hairs.
‘Wacky Traps’ is one of those cultivars which never fails to draw strong opinion. Some people revel in its uniqueness and absurdity while other people outright hate it, convinced its only real contribution to horticulture is in the compost bin.
We are aiming to add ‘Wacky Traps’ to our offerings in the future. Because of it’s slow growing nature, we though it might be an interesting idea to blog our progress in cultivating and propagating this unique cultivar. We will investigate the speed of growth, self division potential, most effective media to grow in and dormancy. Before tissue culture or cuttings can be considered, plants must be healthy and ideally mature.
Plants can arrive from all kinds of places, having been through all kinds of stresses, in various conditions. The trick to maximizing positive results is to re-hydrate bare rooted plants as quickly as possible. The easiest way to do this is to add pure water to a plastic container. Allow the plants to float in the water. Leave them there from an hour. Always keep them in shade or indoors while re hydration occurs.
The two plants have since been potted in 85mm square pots. Pot A contains 100% long fiber Sphagnum moss. Pot B contains premium carnivorous plant mix. Part of getting to know a cultivar is to learn it’s growing habits. Some Dionaea (normally the more vigorous growing) do very well in Sphagnum peat moss mixes, while some of the more fragile and slower growing Dionaea find Sphagnum moss much easier for their roots to push through. We will be able to observe the growth difference in the two different media over time.
Being around mid Autumn, our first priority is to get the plants acclimatized to outside conditions by providing sheltered conditions for 72 hours, and then slowly introducing to warm, but not hot sun. We want these plants to be settled in their pots and hardened by the time Autumn is finished. This will ensure survival over winter. If we wrap the plants in cotton wall and greenhouse them now we actually risk setting their development back further.
New plants can sometimes worsen before they improve, depending on the environment they’ve come from, their age, their health and the time of year. This is completely expected, no reflection of their history. If this happens to ‘Wacky Traps’ the season may provide enough time to recover enough to survive winter.
At this point in time it’s unknown how dormancy will manifest with ‘Wacky Traps’. My thoughts are the plant will die back to it’s rosette. Stronger and more vigorous cultivars e.g. ‘Paradisia’ can continue slow and smaller growth during winter. But weaker growing cultivars often die back severely. My feeling is ‘Wacky Traps’ fits into the latter.