August 5, 2009:
When I went to pick out a couple of plants for Mom's birthday, it occurred to me just how much I longed for one of my own. Upon seeing the Venus Flytraps, I immediately wanted one, but decided against it because my room just isn't all that well lit, and my window opens INWARDS, so having plants there would just be annoying! So I asked a worker for a plant that would do just fine in a slightly dark corner. Meet Zamioculcas!!!
August 7, 2009:
As much as I love my new Zamioculcas, I just can't get Dionaea Muscipula out of my head.
August 8, 2009:
MY VERY OWN DIONAEA MUSCIPULA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I debated internally for a while whether or not it would be morally acceptable for a bug lover to get a Venus Flytrap, but it's not like me and Fidel are vegetarians, so what does it matter???
It's standing in my moldy window at the moment, but probably not for long since my window is so lame.
August 11, 2009:
I placed a tiny dead moth in one of Dionaea Muscipula's leaves the day I got it. Nothing happened, so I stroked its little inner spikes with a mikado stick in order to get it to close. The next day it was ever so slightly open again! WHICH MEANS IT DIDN'T LIKE THE DEAD MOTH I GAVE IT!!!!!!!!
It apparently needs live squirmy bugs in order to keep the closing mechanism triggered. That's... kind of morbid, actually. Nature never ceases to surprise me.
Either way, I caught Daisy playing with a spider under my bed today, and grabbed the opportunity to jam it into one of the leaves. Success! Dionaea Muscipula accepted it and sealed the leaf shut, starting the digestive process! Which takes like ten days.
I've been reading up on it though, and wow, it's quite a... sensitive plant with many requirements. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep it alive because I don't think I or this entire house have what it takes! But rather than angsting about what may happen in the future, I'll enjoy its company for as long as I can.
August 18, 2009:
I think the spider I fed Dionaea Muscipula is giving it an indigestion! It has gotten a very nasty-looking brown spot on the leaf containing said spider.
August 20, 2009:
I helped Dionaea Muscipula devour a fly in my window today. When I heard the fly desperately buzz around inside the leaf pod, my heart sank a little and I was THIS close to pry it open, but instead, I just walked away in shame. It was silent when I got back, and it looked like the sealing process had started.
I AM OBVIOUSLY NOT FIT FOR THIS PLANT!! It was okay with the spider, but flies are just so innocent and harmless it breaks my heart.
This is the pod with the spider in it. I don't think there's any hope left for this one. I think it might have been because the spider was just a tiiiiny bit too large - if you look closely, you can see a couple of legs poking out. Body parts poking out is a big no-no in flytrap digestion. I thought it was okay because the legs are freakishly thin, but I guess not!
And this is the one with the fly, you can see it and everything thanks to the lighting.
August 20, 2009 (later):
YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO EAT INSECTS THAT LARGE YOU CRAZY PLANT IT'LL GIVE YOU INDIGESTION AGAIN!!!
I... I actually proceeded to pry the pod open after taking the picture and recording it for science. The cranefly is alive and well. This might damage the pod, but it's not like it'd have survived with a half-eaten bug anyway, fragile thing.
It brought this one on itself, by the way...! I returned from my walk with Fidel only to be all like WHOA WHAT ARE THOSE BLACK STRINGS DOING IN MY DIONAEA MUSCIPULA!?!
In other news I just dropped a huge box on my Zamioculcas. I AM THE WORST PLANT OWNER EVER!!!!!!
August 21, 2009:
I... I just...
It finally happened. My Dionaea Muscipula took a tumble from my windowsill.
JUST!!! WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE SUCH HORRIBLE LUCK?? WHAT HAVE MY PLANTS DONE TO DESERVE ME?!?!??
All the pods unwillingly closed in the process, and most of them got big dents. They'll most likely end up withering. SOME of them surivived though, and I think the one with the fly in it is doing fine too, but...
Well, it'll be a learning experience at most. It can be a science experiment - let's find out exactly HOW fragile these things are. If the pods wither, will new ones sprout out? The roots are fine after all.
I've read that you're not supposed to feed these plants tapwater, but the sites stating it were all in English, so does that include delicious Scandinavian tapwater? It's been doing fine so far, and I've had it for a while already, SO.
August 25, 2009:
None of the damaged flytrap pods have withered yet. They still don't look too good though. Who knows what will happen? Plants are pretty slow.
August 26, 2009:
I placed Dionaea Muscipula in a living room window today because small bugs always keep crashing into them, particularly wasps. It's August, you know, the month when wasps act particularly dopey.
This guy ended up in one of the damaged traps that wouldn't fully close. I tried to jam the wasp deeper in with a mikado stick, but...
Ms. Wasp proceeded to waddle over to another pod and get this... tried to squeeze her way in!
"I CAN'T GET IN!! WHY CAN'T I GET IN??"
She eventually gave up and waddled over to a perfectly healthy and open pod.
"Hmm, this one looks rather coz-- uhh?"
Yeah I'm still kind of a sap and feel a bit bad for it, but it all happened naturally. Nature does its thing and life goes on!
September 5, 2009:
Did another wasp dive in while my back was turned? Its wing is sticking out. RATS.
The pod with the previous wasp is just about to finish, it seems! Only the exoskeleton is supposed to remain, but it's hard to tell since it's the outside part of the bug and all.
SO HOW ARE THE BABIES DOING???
This one looks WONDERFUL!
Crud-tastic pic sorry, but if you look closely, you may be able to spot the tiny teeth.
This one still has ways to go.
And these even more so (top left corner, bottom right)!
September 16, 2009:
MY BABIES, MY BABIES!!!
I wonder how long it takes for the insides to turn red though? I hardly have any red ones left...! The one that ate the wasp with the wing sticking out is getting spots like a banana. May have to snip it off sooner or later.
October 22, 2009:
I've been noticing lately that Zamioculcas's pot has been looking positively ready to explode, so today, I gave it a new pot. It was quite a process! Its roots have grown so large that I had to freaking cut the old pot open in order to get it out. I wonder how large it'll eventually grow? I sure hope I won't have to move it out of my bedroom.
Epilogue: May 29, 2020
Nearly 11 years later, I found myself reading through my old plant diaries and decided to write an epilogue. Some of what I read shocked and disturbed me, such as referring to a wasp as "he" and assuming that insects don't feel emotions (both have been edited because I couldn't stand to have them remain the way they were).
So here's what happened. Despite their apparent fragility and trickiness to maintain, I ended up keeping my venus flytraps for several years. They survived just fine with basic plant care. I moved out of my parents' house in 2012, and they were still alive then, but I didn't take them with me. They eventually ended up withering. Anticlimactic, I know, but I was surprised by how long they lasted. Because of my devotion to insects, I don't plan on keeping venus flytraps again as it isn't worth the heartbreak every time an insect falls prey to the plant, but it was an interesting little project to explore in my 20s.
So ends the plant keeping diaries!