The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

So I've been itching, for the past few weeks, to get myself a Venus flytrap.

Why? I wouldn't say I've got an insect problem in the hizz-ouse. But it looks like the reason for that is a marked increase in the number of spiders I've had to squish in this corner and that. That's fine, except that I don't want to be overrun by spiders, either, even if they are rather small. Plus, with summer approaching, I'll be keeping my windows and patio doors open on a continuous basis, and that tends to draw in the bugs (although it's never been a big problem, with the screens and such).

Insecticides, you say? I could make use of those, but I don't like spreading too many chemicals around the same place I eat, sleep, etc. Plus, I'm leery of doing too much household chemical warfare in the same vicinity as my aquarium; last thing I want is a tankful of dead fish.

So the solution would have to be organic, and a carnivorous plant, that actually attracts its prey, is the way to go. The last factor is that I've never actually owned a flytrap, and I figured this was a good chance to cross that minor goal off the list.

The problem? It seems like I got the hankering for Venus flytrap ownership at exactly the same time that the Tampa Bay area experienced a shortage of said plant. I didn't search far and wide, but I did check all the plant nursery and garden centers within a ten-mile radius of my place, numerous times, and was told the next supply of flytraps was "coming in next week". Or not at all. After about three weeks of that, I gave up and, as awkward as it felt, went online for a purchase.

Found a store. Found the type of flytrap I wanted, and bought two in one pot. Waited a week for the Post Office to deliver. And got the precious cargo today.

My initial reaction? I'm decidedly underwhelmed.

I have to say I expected something... bigger. Not huge, necessarily, but not this small. I first thought that they had sent me only one plant, instead of the two I ordered. Turns out, the little cluster of blooms I got was, indeed, two growing Venus flytraps. About an inch high, maybe an inch-and-a-half in radius for the entire grouping of stems and leaves. Small. And not likely to get much bigger than five inches high and three inches around.

I guess I've got to wait for it to establish itself in the new, larger pot I put it in, and start growing. It's definitely alive--I tested one of its traps, and it worked like a charm. I'm sure once it's rooted down, it'll look great. But small.