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My first attempt at growing VFT from seeds


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#1 Marcia

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 13:06 PM

I've been an admirer of VFTs for years and i knew family members who kept them. I've decided to grow my own from seeds but there's a lot of different views online about this.

I bought a full set up which had 6 VFT seeds, 3 bio pots, a propagator and nutrient poor soil. I was told to firstly make sure that the soil was moist which i did using rain water, then i added the seeds, 2 per pot. I was also told not to bury them, just drop them on top.

I only did this yesterday but the light/sun is my issue. Some sources say that i should put them in direct sunlight for a few hours a day but others say that this isn't a good idea and that indirect sunlight is best?

I've got them on my bedroom windowsill at the moment so they are recieving plenty of indirect sunlight but if they do benefit from direct sunlight, i will move them into the kitchen.

#2 Amar

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 13:26 PM

What kind of nutrient poor soil are you using? It should be peat.
I would say, put the pot in full sun, this is how it would happen "in the wild" too, but I have never grown VFTs from seed. Am sure others will chime in. :sun_bespectacled:

#3 Marcia

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 13:32 PM

I am not 100% sure, other than the seller said it was specially formulated compost

This is the link to the seller and the compost - http://www.ebay.co.u...=item4845c8c2bf

Edited by Marcia, 30 June 2012 - 13:43 PM.


#4 Amar

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 14:01 PM

Ok, that's perfectly fine, a mixture of peat and perlite.

#5 Marcia

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 14:08 PM

Thanks :) One other question. I know these are slow growing plants but how long roughly does it take before mini traps start showing?

#6 Amar

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 14:11 PM

More like micro-traps, right after germination, those traps may be functional, but they are minute. Your plants won't be catching any flies this year, next year, yes. :sun_bespectacled:

#7 FlytrapRanch

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 14:17 PM

If you place a covered container with clear sides in the full sun (the "propagator" has a covering?) it will act like a solar oven and the temperatures can quickly build inside the container to a point that can bake and kill the seeds, if it's placed in direct sunlight.

Here is a helpful article about growing Venus Flytraps from seed, if you care to read it:

Growing Venus Flytraps from Seed

#8 Marcia

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 14:27 PM

If you place a covered container with clear sides in the full sun (the "propagator" has a covering?) it will act like a solar oven and the temperatures can quickly build inside the container to a point that can bake and kill the seeds, if it's placed in direct sunlight.

Here is a helpful article about growing Venus Flytraps from seed, if you care to read it:

Growing Venus Flytraps from Seed


Yes it does have a covering, it kinda looks like a mini greenhouse. If i place it in direct sunlight, perhaps i should remove the covering to prevent 'cooking' my seeds?

Thank you for that link, it's very helpful

#9 FlytrapRanch

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 14:49 PM

Without a covering, the surface of the soil upon which the seeds are sown can dry out a little too fast. Dionaea seeds (unless they are old, as often happens when one buys a "kit") typically germinate in 15-25 days when kept moist and relatively warm. If the surface of the soil dries out just as the seeds are germinating, it can dry the emerging root and possibly kill the plant before it has a chance to become well established. This problem is more acute in regions such as my own, which tends to be very dry with very low humidity and lots of hot, dry wind.

So there are reasons to use the covering over the soil, and reasons not to use it, depending upon your individual circumstances.

A covering helps keep the soil surface moist, to avoid drying out the seeds, but fresh air is also important to prevent the buildup of fungal spores and fungal growth on the soil, so it's a good idea to remove the cover once or twice a day and fan the air for a fresh air change. When using the cover, it's important to keep the germination container out of direct sunlight because of the heat buildup that can occur. Some direct sunlight can help warm the seeds and soil and can help them germinate faster, but when in direct sunlight the covering should be removed, and the soil must be carefully monitored so that it is kept moist enough and doesn't dry out.

Although it might sound difficult, it is not hard to germinate and grow Dionaea muscipula from seed. It just requires a little experience. Have fun and good luck. :smile:

#10 Alexis

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 14:52 PM

Don't mess about with propagators - they're a recipe for fungus and rot when you're trying to grow something that lives in a boggy wet soil type. Just place a pot on a sunny windowsill which sits in a saucer of rainwater. The peat will not dry out (I think xscd is basing his experience on his arid climate in New Mexico).

I'm concerned about your 6 seeds as well. VFT seeds have a short viability period and gimmicky DIY kits contain dead seeds 9 times out of 10. With only six seeds and 5 years to maturity, the chances of you having six adult plants at the end of it are slim.

Get a decent quantity of seeds from a reputable supplier e.g. http://www.triffidnu...p?pt_id=1&cid=1

If you do want a VFT, buy an adult plant. By all means try by seed, but consider it an experimental side project whilst you care for some full grown specimens.

#11 FlytrapRanch

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 15:07 PM

I think xscd is basing his experience on his arid climate in New Mexico.

Yes, you're right, and I should have made that more clear. In arid climates with hot, dry air and wind, a covering over the germination container helps to keep the soil surface moist. Even with a container sitting in water, in my particular dry climate the soil surface, in direct sunlight in hot weather and with even mild air movement, can dry out too much.

But in more humid environments, if one can ensure that the soil surface doesn't dry, it would be better and less problematic to refrain from using a covering at all, even though in cold climates or during cold conditions, a covering, combined with some direct sunlight, can help ensure that the soil and seeds stay warm, which encourages Dionaea germination.

So it's mostly a matter of adjusting one's technique to one's particular climate and conditions. Ideally, one would want the conditions to which the seeds are exposed to be warm enough, moist enough, but with plenty of fresh air movement to discourage mold and other fungal growths and infection. How one best achieves these goals is different from person to person, climate to climate. :smile:

Edited by xscd, 01 July 2012 - 13:08 PM.


#12 Richard Bunn

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 18:06 PM

Absolutely everything you need to know about VFT's can be found here

#13 Trev

 
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Posted 30 June 2012 - 18:23 PM

Don't mess about with propagators - they're a recipe for fungus and rot when you're trying to grow something that lives in a boggy wet soil type. Just place a pot on a sunny windowsill which sits in a saucer of rainwater. The peat will not dry out (I think xscd is basing his experience on his arid climate in New Mexico).


I grow all our VFT seeds in propagators, (not heated) for the first 2 years, I find I get much less fungal problems that way and the seedlings love the humidity.

#14 Marcia

 
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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:18 PM

I'm a bit concerned now that I'm wasting my time with my 6 seeds. If 9 times out of 10 these seeds are dead, then should I bin them and start again?

#15 FlytrapRanch

 
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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:32 PM

I'm a bit concerned now that I'm wasting my time with my 6 seeds. If 9 times out of 10 these seeds are dead, then should I bin them and start again?

You can keep them as they are, but sometimes those seeds sold in kits are already old when they are put into kits (the kits are designed to profit the manufacturer, not to guarantee success to the customer), and then the kits sit on the shelf or hot warehouse in much less than ideal conditions for seed storage for perhaps one or two years or longer. This drastically reduces the chance for germination.

If you would like a greater chance of success, just buy some seeds from a carnivorous plant grower/seller, many of whom harvest their own seed and sell it fresh. You'll get a lot more seed for the same price or less, it will be much fresher and germinate better, and the only thing it will lack compared to the kit is the advertising hype, the cute graphics and the "adorable" mini-greenhouse. :smile:

Edited by xscd, 01 July 2012 - 17:36 PM.


#16 Marcia

 
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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:40 PM

Ok. I'll keep these going for a while and see what happens, but I'm looking at that triffid nurseries website, I would just need to buy more pots

#17 Marcia

 
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Posted 01 July 2012 - 15:58 PM

Don't mess about with propagators - they're a recipe for fungus and rot when you're trying to grow something that lives in a boggy wet soil type. Just place a pot on a sunny windowsill which sits in a saucer of rainwater. The peat will not dry out (I think xscd is basing his experience on his arid climate in New Mexico).

I'm concerned about your 6 seeds as well. VFT seeds have a short viability period and gimmicky DIY kits contain dead seeds 9 times out of 10. With only six seeds and 5 years to maturity, the chances of you having six adult plants at the end of it are slim.

Get a decent quantity of seeds from a reputable supplier e.g. http://www.triffidnu...p?pt_id=1&cid=1

If you do want a VFT, buy an adult plant. By all means try by seed, but consider it an experimental side project whilst you care for some full grown specimens.


I've just been contacted by the seller and they said the seeds are harvested and sold within 8 weeks so they're fresh

#18 FlytrapRanch

 
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Posted 01 July 2012 - 16:17 PM

I've just been contacted by the seller and they said the seeds are harvested and sold within 8 weeks so they're fresh


I doubt that what you were told is true. While the kits might be "fresh" (assembled only as needed to satisfy new orders) the seeds very probably aren't. That's not to say they won't germinate though, because even Dionaea seed that is 2 or 3 years old can germinate if it's stored well. The "stored well" part though leaves some room for doubt, since the kit manufacturers are probably focused on marketing the seeds in cute boxes with a little bit of plastic paraphernalia rather than actually growing the plants themselves.

My assertion that the seeds aren't fresh is just a hunch, but a guess that is supported by many comments in various carnivorous plant forums from disappointed or unhappy seed-kit buyers.

I've been contacted myself in the past by a couple marketers of kits looking for large quantities of cheap seed (the old seed I wouldn't sell anymore). Anyway, if the seeds don't germinate within 30 days, you might begin to suspect they weren't really fresh. :smile:

Edited by xscd, 01 July 2012 - 16:33 PM.


#19 Marcia

 
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Posted 01 July 2012 - 16:36 PM

Thanks for your input. I've bought some seeds from that website you recommended so if I don't get any luck with my current ones, hopefully I will get some luck with the new ones :)

#20 mantrid

 
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Posted 01 July 2012 - 19:28 PM

Thanks for your input. I've bought some seeds from that website you recommended so if I don't get any luck with my current ones, hopefully I will get some luck with the new ones :)


That seed will probably be a year old. Thats not to say it wont germinate. New seed will be harvested (in UK) between July and begining of autumn. August will be a good time to buy as they should then be as fresh as they can be and will give you a couple of months to get them germinated and ready for the winter.