How to grow seeds of a venus flytrap at home?
Dionea is an unusual houseplant, which many gardeners consider a living organism. The fact is that the venus flytrap (the second name of a tropical plant) eats insects very well, and this cannot but arouse the interest of others. But is it so easy to keep this exotics at home and what you should know about self-growing plants from seeds - you will learn more about this later.
A brief description of the venus flytrap
The natural environment for the growth of dionea is wetlands in the northern part of America, where the plant feels great in conditions of high humidity with an almost complete absence of nitrogen in the soil.
Of course, this was not always the case, therefore, in order to survive, the flower had to change a little, using leaves as traps for catching insects. They serve as the source of the missing nitrogen and protein for him.
Today, dione is gladly grown at home, but before you buy a plant, you should know about its increased requirements for the conditions of detention: a high level of humidity in the room and the presence of live insects will be mandatory.
The main botanical features of the plant include:
- a short above-ground stem with a small number of trap leaves (up to 7 pieces) collected in a socket;
- short “tentacles” on the edges of greenish leaves that remotely resemble teeth and serve to better close the “jaw” of the flower;
- glands of the leaves, producing a special juice that attracts insects.
As soon as the insect sits on the open leaf, under the influence of the reflex, it immediately closes, holding the victim inside. Over the next 10 days, with the help of the produced juice, food is digested, after which the leaves open again and the process can be repeated.
Important! Each actuation of the trap is a stress for the plant, therefore, in its entire life it can survive no more than 3-4 such actions. For this reason, it is not recommended to place the pot in a place with a large concentration of flies.
Dates and optimal planting conditions
The optimal time for planting or transplanting a venus flytrap is considered the end of March, when a rested plant is full of strength and it can be easier to tolerate any intervention. Adult dionei are transplanted every three years, and young specimens are placed in a new substrate immediately after purchase or when transplanting young seedlings.
In addition, annual plant transplantation will be required in the case of regular use of distilled water. However, whatever the initial reason for planting or transplanting the tropical predatory guest, the preparatory measures and the choice of a suitable place for cultivation always remain the same.
- Suitable flower pot sizes are no more than 8–10 cm in diameter and no less than 15–20 cm in height (drainage holes are also required).
- Bright, diffused lighting that the windows facing east can provide. If natural light is not enough, then you can use phyto- or fluorescent lamps that guarantee a luminous flux of at least 15 hours a day.
- Moderate substrate moisture and high ambient humidity. In a room with stably dry air (below 70–80%), it is better to place the plant in glass flasks, where these values are always kept at a consistently high level.
- Temperature indicators are within + 24 ... + 28 ° C.
All these requirements for growing conditions are characteristic both for planting dioneia seeds, and for propagation by cuttings, however, each option will have its own nuances of preparing planting material. So, before planting the collected seeds, they must go through a process of stratification, which will increase the chances of successful germination.
It is necessary to place the collected seeds in a damp cloth (it is advisable to moisten it in fungicide) and send them in the refrigerator (can be in the door) for 2 months. All this time, be sure to monitor the condition of the planting material, wetting it when it dries.
Did you know? To attract insects inside the trap, the dionea not only exudes a pleasant smell, but also glows in the dark with a bluish glow, which sometimes looks quite frightening.
How to plant a venus flytrap from seeds at home
Before proceeding to a detailed description of the process of planting dionea seeds, it is useful to know how to properly collect them from an existing plant. Predator flowering begins at the beginning of the spring period and is characterized by the appearance of white flowers on long peduncles.
It is not difficult to do this, especially if the steps required are followed:
- As soon as the buds open, take a small soft brush and gently collect pollen from the first flower that comes under your arms.
- Gently transfer it to the pistil of another flower, being careful not to damage its main parts.
- In the same way, follow the procedure with other flowers, covering the entire bush.
A month after the appearance of the ovaries, the seeds themselves will ripen, and after another 3 months they will be completely ready for planting. I must say that growing dionea from seeds is not an easy process that requires certain knowledge.
Learn how to plant indoor flowers in a pot.
For example, this carnivorous plant loves acidic soils, so for the preparation of the substrate it is better to take two parts of peat and perlite soaked in water, one each of moss and quartz sand. The drainage layer is not needed in this case.
The prepared soil mixture can be poured into flower pots and sown seeds.
Landing a venus flytrap in this way is carried out according to the following plan:
- First, stratified dionei seeds are laid on top of the poured soil composition, but do not press them into the substrate.
- On top of the planting material I fall asleep with moss and cover the box with glass (you can use a plastic film).
- Filled pots with plants are placed in a room with constant temperature values within + 24 ... + 28 ° C and continuous bright lighting for 15 hours.
Important! When choosing the seed reproduction of dionea, be prepared for the duration of this process, because seedlings will become adults only 5 years after planting.
Care after landing
After landing care for the dionea is based on standard activities, the key of which will be watering, fertilizing and protecting against diseases and pests. Each of these actions has its own characteristics, which are best known already from the first days after sowing the seeds, because only in this way will it be possible to grow a healthy and strong plant.
Watering and fertilizing
Given the tropical origin of the venus flytrap, it is not surprising that this plant is very fond of high humidity, but the soil should always remain only slightly moist. Stagnant moisture is detrimental to the plant, so instead of top watering under the stem, it is recommended to place a pot with a tropical flower in a saucer with water.
The dionea herself will take exactly as much moisture as necessary, the main thing is that the drainage holes are completely in the liquid. If possible, it is better to use rainwater for irrigation, but, in extreme cases, filtered and well-maintained tap water is suitable.
During the period of active growth, young plants can be moistened at least 3 times a week, first moistening the soil with a spray, and then irrigating it with drip irrigation. It is impossible to pour water with a jet, otherwise all seeds and immature seedlings will simply be washed out of the ground.
Important! The insect caught should not be larger than the trap itself, otherwise the flower cannot cope with its digestion and will become ill. Also, you can’t feed the plant with shell-type varieties, worms and leaf-eating insects that can damage the shell of a predator plant.
The flycatcher does not need to feed the venus, since the plant receives all the nutrients along with the caught insects. Feeding a predator in this way should be performed no more than 1 time per month, using only live flies, mosquitoes and spiders.
The first time a dionea transplant is performed after the first true leaflets appear on the seedlings and their continuous hardening, and then the pot is changed after 1-2 years.
To perform the procedure correctly and not harm the plant, it is useful for each grower to know the following rules:
- The flower pot should be deep, but not very wide (no more than 10-15 cm in diameter), since the venus flytrap has long roots.
- The roots of the plant are very fragile and often break when transplanted. If this happens, then it is advisable to dust the place of breakage with chopped charcoal.
- After extracting the plant from the pot, the adhering soil must be washed off the rhizome with warm water.
- In the first month after transplanting, watering the plant should be slightly increased, and sun exposure should be minimized (in the afternoon, it is better to remove the flower from the window sill or at least cover it from the scorching sun).
- The transplantation process itself provides for actions similar to planting, except that instead of seeds, grown seedlings or an adult plant are used:
- In a pot filled with soil, you need to place the plant and sprinkle with the remaining substrate.
- At the end of the procedure, moisten the soil well and, slightly raising the leaves, spray them from the spray.
The ideal time for a transplant is mid-March.
If a transplant is required for an adult overgrown flower, then the mother plant can be divided into several parts, which, after processing in the growth stimulator, are planted in separate containers.
How to care in winter
For most indoor plants, winter is a dormant period, and the venus flytrap is no exception. Therefore, starting in November, watering the flower is gradually reduced, and already in early December they reduce the lighting and temperature in the room with the pot (+ 5 ... + 10 ° C are ideal temperature indicators in the cold season).
Did you know? The dionea always had their admirers among the people, and some of them even dedicated books to the plant. So, back in 1875, C. Darwin called her the most amazing plant and even described her gastronomic preferences in his writings.
To constantly maintain a suitable temperature at an acceptable level, you can put the plant in the refrigerator, but be sure to regularly check the condition of the soil: it should not dry out. In the spring, a pot with a venus flytrap is taken out and, gradually raising the temperature in the room, continue standard care procedures.
Pests and diseases of the flycatcher
Due to the specific nature of the predatory flower, many people think that pests are not afraid of him, but this is not so. Most often, he suffers from aphids and spider mites that settle in the traps of the plant. You can detect them simply by inspecting the flower for sticky mucus or even the pest colonies themselves.
Insecticides (for example, Fitoverm, used once a week) will help get rid of the problem. In the fight against spider mites, a solution of acaricide will also help.
As for plant diseases, all of them, one way or another, are associated with violations of the conditions for keeping an exotic flower.
- “Fitosporin – M”;
- solution of copper sulfate.
In addition, you will have to get rid of heavily infected areas, and in the future, observe all the conditions for growing a flower.
Sometimes problems begin due to a violation of the digestive processes of the predator, when the plant cannot cope with the captured prey and its leaves begin to rot. In this case, untimely removal of the affected area threatens with a massive defeat of the entire flower.
As you can see, subject to simple care rules, a venus flytrap can be safely grown at home, regardless of the region of residence. The main thing - do not overfeed it, always maintain the required temperature and suitable humidity.