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Discussions on how to propagate your plants sexually and asexually, by seed, natural division or leaf pulling

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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#412923
Ok, so I'm a glutton for punishment. I got a mix of flytrap seeds from @hollyhock. Thanks, hollyhock, the USPS *finally* got them here regardless of their attempts to delay them or maybe the letter-lady's mule got the colic....hmmm!!! :o

Anyhoo....

So, here I sit. Don't even know how to grow a living flytrap much less start one from scratch, er...seeds. I think I need to turn this over to my granddaughter as her flytrap is apparently doing better than mine...naturally I can tell her that but she's gonna find out sooner or later. She's the expert, I'm the rank newb!!! :lol: Why I decided to plant flytrap seeds I don't really know...I might have flytraps growing on top of me (depending on whether they dump me in a bog when "my day comes" :shock: before these seeds grow to adult plant size!!!! Ah, well, we all gotta have a reason not to go taking a dirt-nap, I guess. ;)

So, to get this started...

First thing... It sounds like I need to sterilize the peat moss before planting the seeds. I've seen where some people microwave the peat moss, some people pour boiling water over it, other people soak it in bleach (just kiddin' on that last one, really!<g>). I could do either the microwave or the boiling water method. The microwave is in an old trailer at the edge of the property so my wife won't be taking a broom handle to me for stinkin' up the house. And boiling water is a no-brainer, I suppose. Any advice or other feedback on sterilizing the peat?

Next thing... People say to simply sow the seeds on top of the growing mixture. Other folks say to cover them with a tiny amount of moist peat moss. While others even say to sow them on the surface and then lightly sprinkle fine peat moss dust over the seeds and wet them. Actually, all methods are usually followed by a "mist to settle seeds into the peat moss" or either "mist to settle the peat moss around the seeds"....you know, "tomahto" or "tomater" (I think that's the usual saying. :P Tiny seeds of tiny plants with basically no stem or stalk to shoot up out of the surface can't be covered very deep. I kinda lean towards the "fine peat moss dust" method. But, I'm flying blind here so feedback is appreciated.

Container... It looks like probably a minimum of a year before the traps will need transplanting. Looking at the time span of growing this to maturity I see no need in holding back on the number of seeds I plant so I'm going to plant all of them...the vial I have has roughly 100 seeds in it. I figure to split the planting up between two or three pots. But...what size pots should they be? I've got some of the long planter-type containers...18"L x 5.5"W x 5"D...they'd need some good scrubbing. Maybe just plant two of these planters? Or, would it be better to stick with maybe two or three smaller 6" round pots that are probably 5.5" deep?

Humidity/moistness and light... I've found it *often* recommended to have a vented cover for the pot your germinating the trap seeds in so as to keep the humidity/moisture level high. I also see it said that the pot needs to be in the sunlight. Well, down here south Alabama I think that would equate to a solar oven...of sorts. :o Comments on covering the pots *and* sunlight that the pots sit in are most welcome. I'm thinking to do the first week or week-and-a-half under tree shade and then after than time has elapsed to move the containers to open shade that might give them an hour or so of early morning direct sun. But, once that time span has elapsed would it be better to simply uncover the pot and leave it in the (hot) sun?

I won't be planting them until Saturday so I've got plenty (I think) of time to plan some more.

Overthink things? Me? :mrgreen:
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By thepitchergrower
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#412925
I'd sow them on top of the media, but lightly press them in so that they have good contact with the soil. I'd take something flat (for example a bottle cap) and press the seeds in. But I would not bury them.
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#413199
Ok. I guess I ask too many questions sometimes. :) I've searched some more and will be going with the plan below...

With @thepitchergrower's comment I'll simply press the seeds into the surface of the peat moss. I *might* sift a dusting of fine, dry peat moss over the top of them and mist it heavily (à la FTC seed planting guide).

Sterilizing the peat mix... I've found folks saying they always sterilize and other's who say that they've never sterilized it. I'm leaning towards washing the peat moss one more time really good and call it "good", rather than boiling or microwaving. Or, I'll flip a coin. :lol:

Containers... In the FTC seed-planting guide they show to use small ZipLock containers but they state later in the article to transplant the seedlings after they have their first true leaf. These containers are cheap and take up little space...which is both good. But, I'd rather invest some real estate, space the seeds out some, and just let them grow on from where they've sprouted...maybe for the first year or so. I'm thinking of using some 6x6x5.5 plastic pots that I have and cover them with vented plastic bags, spacing the seeds an inch or so apart...roughly the spacing of a quarter.

Lighting... I will keep the germinating seeds in open shade. Once I see several seeds germinating I will move the pots to a spot where they can get a few hours of direct sun with the bag opened wide. Once germination is over I'll gradually move the pot so that it receives longer and longer hours of direct sun.

So...off to the races!!!! :D
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By NightRaider
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#413200
Have these seeds been stratified yet? If not, you'll need to go through that process first before sowing them unless you plan to put the whole container in the fridge. I've never stratted VFT seeds specifically, so I'll defer to other members and old threads to fully describe the process if needed.
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By Intheswamp
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#413201
Thanks for the feedback, but from everything that I've read they don't need stratification. In the wild they fall from the seedpods in late spring/early summer and start the germination process shortly thereafter. :?:
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By thepitchergrower
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#413202
No, from what I heard, they are just sow and grow. The thing about washing the peat is that it doesn't get rid of all the bacteria, mold spores, and algae spores. It may reduce them.
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By NightRaider
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#413204
Weird. I'm absolutely 100% positive I've read that they need strat before and never once heard they didn't until now and every other carnivore they grow alongside in the wild needs strat, but you're right, it appears that's the case. My bad, I have no idea why I thought that then. Carry on lol. I'll add though I've had luck with sterilization by just boiling a pot of water and pouring it over the peat. You'll just want to do it outside since it doesn't smell great.
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By thepitchergrower
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#413206
NightRaider wrote: Sat Jun 04, 2022 3:41 pm I've had luck with sterilization by just boiling a pot of water and pouring it over the peat. You'll just want to do it outside since it doesn't smell great.
That's the method I use as well. It's better then putting it in your microwave, or oven, and making you house smell awful. :lol:
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By Intheswamp
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#413210
<chuckle> I'm sure my wife would appreciate the lingering smell of singed peat moss in the house! :lol: I've actually got one of those convection/microwave combinations in an empty mobile home on the property that I could use for the sterilization...I'm just not real sure how to even turn it on. It may be Ronald Reagan vintage.<grin>

Thanks for the feedback, I'm still debating the sterilization. I thought I was going to be planting by now but got sent down a different rabbit trail. :)
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By Intheswamp
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#413246
I microwaved the peat moss for about 9 minutes. It got nice and toasty. I didn't realize just how long peat moss would steam/smoke afterwards...nothing bad, but you stir it and steam comes out and dissipates and then your stir it again and more steam comes out. It's cooling now after I mix everything up.

The mix is 2 parts peat moss, 1-1/2 part perlite, and *maybe* 1/2 part play sand. The sand wasn't real coarse so I reduced the amount I used but I wanted some sand in the mix, so... :roll: I had previously tested the sand with vinegar and it tested fine...no fizzle, no foam. I rinsed the sand probably 4-5 times. I pan to fill three 6" pots with this.

But, as usual, I'm second-guessing myself. Take a look at the mixture below for me, if you will. I keep thinking I need more peat in it. It may be that I'm just not accustomed to having this much perlite in a plant mix. :? I could add more peat if it looks like I need to. Thanks for the help!
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By NightRaider
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#413248
It may well be fine, but when I use perlite I do prefer to go a little heavier on the peat too, personally. I figure too much peat won't really hurt them under normal circumstances, but too much perlite can.
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By Intheswamp
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#413251
@NightRaider, thanks! I added roughly a quart more peat moss to the mix and it looks better. Here's a shot of it (lighting is a bit different but looks like the skin and bucket exposure if pretty close to the same. :)
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By Intheswamp
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#413277
I liked it a bit better, too. It's a "done deal" now. :D I topped the peat/perlite mix with roughy a 1/4" of peat moss. I planted ~25 seeds in each pot, basically on an inch grid spacing with the last 3-4 seeds thrown in in using the "wherever they fall" method. :lol: They should be spaced well. I misted them good and dropped them in gallon ziplock bags with about three inches of the zipper open. They're sitting outside in our garage beside a large west window but not where direct sun will be hitting them. It looks like we will be hitting 95F next week for three days, but then dropping to the upper 80's. The next few days are forecast to be around 90F. So...low-90's to mid-90's and back down to upper 80's....should I bring the pots in during the 95F weather?
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