When you receive your Venus flytrap seeds be careful not to lose them since they are so small. When preparing to plant them place the seeds in a secure place until you are ready to plant them.
To germinate your Venus flytrap seeds, sprinkle them on a medium that comprises mostly of shredded sphagnum peat moss. Your planting mix may include some vermiculite, or alternatively, perlite. A good ratio for your planting mix is 80% shredded sphagnum moss to 20% vermiculite or perlite. Alternatively you can use peat pellets, like “Jiffy Peat Pellets” that can purchased online or at a garden center.
Sow the seeds very thinly on the medium so that once they germinate they can grow an entire season without them either getting overcrowded or needing to be transplanted. The reason that you should sow the seeds thinly is because you want larger plants, not small plants that are the result of overcrowded conditions. Additionally, overcrowding Venus flytraps may result in a higher incidence of fungus diseases which is extremely common in overcrowded seedlings. After thinly sowing the seeds, a very thin layer of the planting medium may be used to cover them but this is unnecessary.
After you sow the seeds, you should expose the planting tray or pot that contains your Venus flytrap seeds to as much light as possible. In the case of geminating seeds, more light is always better than less light. Bright light in the form of natural or artificial light is essential for successfully germinating your seeds. Regarding light, it must be said that while natural sunlight will result in the geminating of many seeds, artificial light in the form of fluorescent bulbs have a definite advantage. The main advantage is of course the increased time you can expose the seeds to light. If you use fluorescent lights to germinate your Venus flytrap seeds, be sure to have them turned on from 12-16 hours per day. Using a timer with your fluorescent lights will make the whole process that much easier by putting this project on “auto pilot”. A common question that we frequently get asked is, “how far should we place the lights above the seedling tray or pots?” The answer is simple, as close as possible. The fact of the matter is, the closer the fluorescent lights are to the seeds, and eventually the seedling, the more usable the light becomes. Therefore, it is our recommendation to place the lights 2 – 3 inches above the seedling tray or pots.
Humidity and Water:
As important as light is to the geminating of the Venus flytrap seeds, nothing will happen if you do not provide the right amount of water and humidity. The planting medium should be moist to the touch, but not sopping wet like a water-logged sponge. Also, the seedlings will germinate better in an environment where the humidity is high. Increasing the humidity can be as simple as placing “saran wrap” style plastic wrap over the seedling tray or pots, or for a more sophisticated setup, by using one of those commercially available seed starting kits which typically include a plastic dome. Many of you may already be familiar with these types of seed starting kits that include a thick plastic tray, peat pellets, and a clear plastic dome to keep the humidity from escaping. Another important note regarding water is using the right kind of water. By the right kind we mean anything but tap water. Most tap water contains far too many chemicals and minerals (salts) that will in the long run kill your Venus flytraps. Therefore we highly recommend using either spring water, distilled water, or if you have access to it, rainwater.
While a mature Venus flytrap can tolerate a wide range of temperatures throughout the growing season, germination of the seedlings is speed up by maintaining a temperature range of 80-85°F (26.7-29.5°C). In fact most gardeners know that seeds do better in a warm environment which is why many serious hobbyists and commercial growers use heat coils or heat pads to keep the seeds warm. This may only be necessary during certain times of the year, such as when you are starting your seeds in the winter. So if you are doing everything correctly such as providing 12-16 hours of fluorescent light per day, have given the seeds just the right amount of water and humidity, and yet they still will not germinate—then it might be time that you invested in a heat mat that can be placed under the seedling tray or pots.
When the seedlings have at least four leaves then they can be transplanted. If you will be growing more than one seedling in a pot or tray, make sure to plant them at least 1 inch apart to avoid overcrowding. Also, please remember that you must be patient with this whole process. It can take several years for Venus flytrap seedling to become large and mature plants. To those of you who embark on growing Venus flytrap from seeds, you will no doubt find this project a satisfying endeavor.
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