Venus Fly Trap seedlings/backyard garden

rondon(8)March 19, 2008


I just received a large number of VFT seedlings -- approximately 3 to 6 months old -- in a clear gel growing material.

I want to know how to proceed with them at this point.

Can anyone suggest the best soil mixture to use? I was planning to mix perlite with sphagnum moss at a 50/50% ratio, and then lay living sphagnum moss as a top layer for mulch and appearance. And do I leave as much of the gel as possible?

I want to plant these in regular flower boxes instead of using the traditional small-mouthed opening containers to maintain humidity. Will they dry out? I've read where the plants can be adapted to living in a hot area, such as Alabama, in a small backyard garden.

I've been to their natural environment off the Carolina coast, and the temp/humidity seems very similar with the only exception being the soil mixture, which in the Carolinas is sand and pine peat.

Requesat any info that can support or improve on this project.

RD 3/19/2008

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Care must be taken to prevent any backyard garden/lawn fertilizer from getting in contact with the carnivorous garden.
Lots of well water should be usd.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:01AM
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Its sound like you obtained tissue cultured plants. Here's how you grow them:

Firsts, you have to wash off all the gel from the plants completely, that gel is agar with nutrients and hormones added to it. Agar will form hard clump with the soil around the roots of your plants and strangle them. Not to mention that the nutrient rich agar will promote fungus growth and you definitely don't want that either, since these plants have been growing in a bacteria and fungus free sterile environment inside test tube or vials.

Second, because your plants have been growing in a high humid environment and control lighting. You have to place them in a container that will maintain the high levels of humidity like a large jar or terrarium with a lid to avoid shock. You have to harden them off first by leaving the lid ajar a little at a time, keeping an eye on your plants for wilting. So definitely your plants are not ready to be grown outside.

Third, do not put them under strong sunlight in your backyard because the leaves will be burned and the heat will kill them. They have been growing under bright lamps that don't produce a lot of heat. For a moment have them growing in filtered sun light next to a window or under a bright lamp, donÂt expose them to strong light or you will burn them but not to dim that it will slow their hardening.

One thing, the plants will be under a hormonal high and will be producing many small leaves and traps and that might give you the wrong impressions that they are ready. That will eventually wear off so you have to be patient when you acclimatize them to your environment inside your room. It shouldn't take more then two weeks but don't expose them outside yet, you have to do it slowly and look out for shock and wilted leaves. This will take time to hardened them off so be patient.

Good luck and happy growing!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 3:50PM
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As to soil media, I would mix sand and peat and add LFS (long fibered sphagnum) on top

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Here's an added message from RONDON:
These are very young tissue culture plantlets, not more than a month old. I am looking for procedures to promote their growth once I remove them from the gooey agar jelly and plant them in pots with a 50/50% mix of sphagnum peat moss and perlite. I need specific info on artificial and actual lighting, temps, aeration and fungicide treatment which I understand go hand-in-hand.
Thax for any good info!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 6:26PM
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