Germinating Venus Flytrap Seeds
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Get the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate thousands of carnivorous plants every year, since 1995.
Harvest your flytrap seeds when the seedpods are ripe. This will usually occur in August through September, depending on your climate. If you purchase your seeds from a nursery, ask the nursery when the seeds were harvested. Ideally, you want seeds that are no more than a couple months old. Viability declines significantly a couple months after harvest. If they are more than a couple months old, make sure the seeds were stored in refrigerators. Under refrigeration, flytrap seeds can last for years.
- Sprinkle evenly on a pot of soil. Use a soil mix of 50% peat moss and 50% perlite. Make sure the soil is completely moist. Use a 4-inch pot if you are sowing a small pinch of these seeds (about 25 seeds). Sprinkle your seeds evenly over the soil and very gently tap them down. It's a lot easier to sow your seeds in one pot and separate them later after they germinate.
- Fungal and mold spores grow in damp conditions, the very conditions necessary to germinate your seeds. To prevent mold and fungus, spray your seeds with Neem oil or a sulfur-based fungicide. Throughout the germination period, watch for mold and fungus and treat accordingly.
- Keep your pot in standing water. Use a tray or a bowl to set your pot in, and fill it up with water. Keep the water line no more than half way up the pot. Use low mineral water. Keep the temperature temperature at 75° for optimal germination. (Unlike other US-native carnivorous plants, flytrap seeds do not require stratification.)
- Your seeds will germinate within four to eight weeks, depending on temperature. Look for tiny versions of the adult plant. As soon as you see signs of germination, make sure your seedlings are getting lots of bright sunlight. Place your seedlings in a brightly lit windowsill or grow them under strong fluorescent lights.
Within a few months, your plants may be large enough to separate into individual smaller pots. If you prefer, you can keep them in the same pot for a truly dramatic effect. After growing your flytraps indoors for their first winter, acclimate them to outdoor growing where they can receive full sun during spring and summer. Do this in May, after the last frost of the year. Typically flytraps will be only 1/2 inch tall at the end of their first year. They will reach flowering maturity by their third season.