I’m going to show you how you can germinate your own baby Venus Fly-Traps for around $10.00. No specialist nursery equipment required!
It’s easy for a nursery to write up plant propagation guides. If we’re being honest, those steps frequently involve greenhouses, bottom heat, misting and attentive propagation staff. But despite this, it’s still more than possible to germinate your own plants, including Venus Fly-Traps at home. You just need to get a bit creative.
Greenhouses and bottom heat seek only to provide a more humid, constant and stable environment than outside. But then again so does a clear plastic zip lock bag placed over a pot. It will raise humidity, retail warmth and protect from the elements too.
Generally speaking bottom heat accelerate germination, but seeds will still germinate without heat. They will likely germinate over a longer time, but they’ll get there none the less.
To germinate Dionaea seed at home you’ll need a few common items, most of these things can be found at cheap shops:
- Fresh Dionaea seeds (25 pack). $5.00
- 1 litre of carnivorous plant potting mix. $2.50
- A small plastic pot (85mm square plastic pot is ideal). $0.15
- 1 Large (~ 230 x 305mm) zip lock bag. $0.40
- A small plastic spray bottle $1.50
Fill the pot with carnivorous plant potting mix. water the pot gently with rainwater or pure water until you’ve watered through 2 – 3 liters of water. water will be coming out of the bottom of the pot.
Place the Dionaea seeds on top of the wet carnivorous plant mix. Try to spread them out evenly with a few centimeters between each seed. The seeds are small so it make take some time and effort. Watch out for seeds that you think you’ve sown but have stuck to your fingers instead!
Next step is to water the seeds. When watering small seeds like Dionaea, use the spray setting rather than the jet setting. Otherwise you risk dislodging the seeds. Dionaea grow in bogs so you really can’t over water the seeds. Be generous and ensure the seeds have received a good soaking.
Place the pot in a large zip lock bag. Add a 3 – 5 centimeters of water in the bag so the pot sits in the water. Seal the top of the zip lock bag so that you’ve created a closed environment with near 100% humidity and warmth.
Congratulations. You now have a controlled environment, which will stay warm, humid and much more constant than if you kept your seeds outside in the elements. The bag will act as a mini greenhouse.
Keep the bag and pot out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will raise temperature inside the bag too much, and likely kill the seeds. You’re looking for somewhere which receives bright indirect light, ideally outside. The seeds won’t germinate inside or in a dark place. They need light. Not direct sun.
Germination will begin in 4 – 6 weeks. Don’t give into the temptation to tamper with the pot or seed mix! Disturbance will set back germination or in worst case scenario will prevent germination.
Once the first seedlings start to emerge, you can poke a few small holes in the zip lock bag, adding a few more holes each day. Take the pot of seedlings out of the bag three to four weeks after germination started. Keep the pot standing in a tray of rainwater in the same place it was kept during germination.
Dionaea seedlings are slow growing. They can slowly be acclimatized to some sun over 7 – 10 day period. Keep seedlings in their original pot for a few years. When they are large enough to individually handle they can be potted up into their own pots using fresh carnivorous plant mix.