The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous plant that produces jaw-like leaves, lined with sensitive hairs. If an insect irritates the sensitive hairs, the jaws will snap closed. Inside the jaws, the leaves secrete an enzyme that helps the Venus flytrap digest the insect. Growing a Venus flytrap indoors allows you the luxury of enjoying the plant without the worry of outdoor temperatures or frost. In fact, the Venus flytrap propagates by seed, which will germinate within two weeks of sowing indoors.
Things You'll Need
- 8-inch pot with saucer
- Venus flytrap seeds
- Distilled water
- Spray bottle
- Plant warming tray
- Grow lamp
- 4-inch containers with saucers
- Plastic bags
Fill an 8-inch pot with organic potting soil. Sprinkle some Venus flytrap seeds evenly on top of the soil. Seed spacing is not an issue, since not all of the seeds will usually germinate. The seeds do not require burial.
Fill a spray bottle with distilled water and moisten the soil. Do not use tap water, which usually contains chemicals that can harm the Venus flytrap. Keep the soil moist throughout the germination process.
Place the pot on a plant warming tray. Venus flytrap seed germination requires temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees F. Place the seed tray in an area that receives bright, indirect light. If this is not possible, place the pot under a grow lamp.
Transplant the Venus flytrap seedlings into their own 4-inch containers filled with organic soil, two to three weeks after they emerge. Continue to maintain a bright indirect light source and warmth as the Venus flytrap plants grow indoors.
Maintain moist soil for the life of the Venus fly trap plants. Once-a-week deep waterings are usually necessary. Allow the water to flow through the soil and out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pots.
Tips & Warnings
- Place saucers underneath the pots to collect the water. The saucers will hold the water and make it available to the Venus flytrap plants in between waterings.
- Venus flytraps require a dormant period indoors just as they would outdoors. Most Venus flytraps will die back on their own in the winter. When you see this happening (usually around October), place the pots in individual plastic bags and set them in a cool, dark garage or basement until the early spring.
- Do not feed the Venus flytraps any type of meat or hamburger. The plants will catch their meals naturally when they land on the leaves.
- Do not touch the leaves of the plants to see the jaws open and close. The opening and closing process takes a lot of energy away from the plant.
- Photo Credit carnivores image by Vladdy from Fotolia.com
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