Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our Venus Flytrap Flowered!

If you are like me you blithely had kids even though you couldn't keep a house plant alive. I figured a baby would be more insistent about its needs than a spider plant, and boy was I right about that.

You are probably not like me, actually, you are probably a gardener. But I bet we have in common that we bought books on parenting. So when I bought these babies, venus flytrap babies, back in December for the kids for Christmas, I figured I'd get a book on raising them. The one I got was The Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants.

We had tried to keep venus flytraps before, only to have them wither and die. I hoped to keep these ones a secret until Christmas morning, but even though I hadn't read the book yet I figured the back of a dark closet was not a good place to keep them until the big day.

So I stuck them in our shower which we didn't use as it leaked. It had the benefit of having frosted glass that let in just the sort of wan light the packing material said the babies would want after their traumatic cross country trip in a box.

One day shortly before Christmas Greta had a huge tantrum and said she wanted to be alone. She stomped off, tears pouring down her face. Only to return moments later, tears forgotten.

"Mom! You have venus flytraps growing in your shower!"

Ev read the book (phew!) and discovered that their pots should sit in a pan of water and that they liked humidity. So they've been the happy denizens of a bell jar on the kitchen counter ever since. And two of them have decided to flower. This was the first one to open. Alas, the book says you must chop off the flower as soon as it opens or the plant will go to seed and die.

So we admired its bloom and Clem snipped it off.

Whether this was what it needed or not, it gave no indication.


Stefaneener said...

I was thinking, "How nice!" until you got to the beheading scene. Oh well. I love that Greta knew immediately what it was. Your kids never fail to surprise me in nice ways.

Notice I don't have houseplants? Some gardening is best done outside.

Susan said...

I was surprised that Greta knew what they were, too.

I'm not so good with outside plants either, but I have hope for this book idea. That you could read one and figure out how to take care of them.

Tomatoes and strawberries would be nice.

JeaneP said...

I always wonder about those "snip the flower' recommendations as who does it in the wild? Are they catching food for the plants and putting them inside the bell jar? Fun to watch.