The quick and convenient step-by-step guide to growing your very own Venus Fly trap plant.
The Venus Fly trap is the most famous carnivorous plant. Charles Darwin once described Venus Fly trap plants as "one of the most wonderful in the world." Few people who have spent time with a healthy venus fly trap, and observed it consuming an insect would disagree.
- Venus flytrap seeds
- Sterile seed starting mix
- Small pots or seed trays
- Plastic wrap or a humidity dome
- A grow light or a sunny window
- Distilled water, rainwater, or reverse-osmosis water
- A refrigerator
- A fine sandpaper (for scarification, optional)
Step 1: Seed Preparation (Scarification)
If you choose to scarify your seeds, gently rub them between two pieces of fine sandpaper. This process can help to break down the seed's hard outer coating and promote germination. Be gentle and careful not to damage the seed inside.
Step 2: Stratification
Place your seeds in a container with a moist (not wet) mixture of sand and peat moss. Seal the container and put it in the refrigerator for about 4-6 weeks. This process, known as cold stratification, can help to break dormancy and increase germination rates. Check the seeds daily to make sure they are not molding and that the substrate is still moist.
Step 3: Prepare Your Planting Medium
Venus flytraps prefer acidic soil with poor nutrients. A common mix is one part peat moss and one part perlite or sand. Throughly rinse the soil mix with distilled water to reduce any mineral content. Fill your pots or seed trays with this mix.
Step 4: Plant the Seeds
Remove the seeds from the refrigerator. Place your seeds on the surface of your soil. Do not bury them, as they need light to germinate. Use a tweezers for accurate placement.
Step 5: Water Your Seeds
Water the soil thoroughly. Always use distilled water, rainwater, or reverse-osmosis water, as tap water usually contains minerals that can harm your Venus flytraps.
Step 6: Provide a Humid Environment
Cover your pots or seed trays with plastic wrap or put them into a humidity dome. This helps keep the environment humid and prevents the soil from drying out.
Step 7: Place in a Sunny Spot
Place your seeds in a sunny windowsill or under a grow light. Venus flytraps need lots of light, so try to give them 12 hours of light each day.
Step 8: Wait for Germination
The germination process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged during the entire process.
Step 9: Care for the Seedlings
Once the seedlings sprout, continue to keep the environment humid and provide plenty of light. Be patient, as Venus flytraps grow slowly. It can take a few years for them to reach full size.
Step 10: Re-potting
When the seedlings are large enough to handle (usually after a year), you can carefully repot them into individual pots. Continue using the same type of soil mix.
Step 11: Feeding
Venus flytraps get nutrients from insects, not the soil. Once they develop their signature traps, you can start feeding them small insects. Never feed them human food or fertilize the soil.
Step 12: Dormancy
Venus flytraps require a winter dormancy period. In most climates, they will naturally go dormant in the winter. If you live in a tropical climate or are growing them indoors, you might need to artificially induce dormancy by placing them in a cool (but not freezing) location for a few months.