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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By Avery Leatherwood
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 pm
#358692
Hey all!
So i am a beginner to growing vfts from seed, i have grown plants successfully before, but this is my first time growing them from seed. I got my seeds fresh from a well known seller (so i know these are not fake ebay type seeds) and i planted them in pure peat (i understand its better with silica or perlite mixed in, but i couldn't seem to find any in time).

Today is their sixth day being planted (or rather scattered on the surface) and today i noticed some fungal growth on multiple seeds. It appears to be two types: one (the most widespread) a white fuzz on the pointed part of the seeds (has affected about 7 out of 30), and the other a sort of grayish tower sticking out of the peat in random spots (about 3 points where this has happened). I have no idea what i should do, i have taken there lid off (though i was fanning them about three times a day) to decrease humidity hoping to get rid of it like that, but i can't seem to find anything online as to what i should do (only what i should've done at the beginning). Any thoughts!

I can give more detailed information after if needed, thanks in advance!
By ChefDean
Location: 
Posts:  1414
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#358696
Pics would help.
That being said, I've never had a problem with the gray fuzz as long as it's light. If it gets heavy, then I'd worry. You can try a gentle top misting to knock it down, then keep some good airflow to prevent its recurrence. (Sounds like you're already on that) Some people also suggest a thin layer (1/8th inch or less) of inert sand to help protect against mold, fungus, and algae.
The white fuzz at the pointy end of the seed, are you sure it's fuzz? The pointy end shows white right about the time of germination. VFT seeds usually take at least a couple of weeks to germinate, but six days in not unheard of if they are very fresh.
I could give you a thousand words, but a pic would help.
By Avery Leatherwood
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 pm
#358698
Thanks for the reply! I didn't really consider that they could be germinating early on, so i guess that could be the seeds sprouting. Since it is on the tip of all the seeds with it, that would make sense as i think a fungus wouldn't be so uniform. Also, i tried to get pictures with like 7 different devices, and i cant get one that is visible enough to really see (since they are so small). So if there is any additional information i could give that would help just let me know.

Lastly, i also found this image online, and towards the top right there is what i think i am seeing. Is this what a flytrap seed germinating looks like? (let me know if the image went through, im not sure if i am doing this right...)

Thanks so much!
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By ChefDean
Location: 
Posts:  1414
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#358702
If you can, download an app called Magnifying Glass + Flashlight. I have it, and it gets a little closer and better pics than my phone camera.
However, that little white fuzz in the pic you provided does seem to show the early stage of germination. I've seen that on a few of my VFT seeds that I caught just germinating.
If that's what you're seeing, then congrats momma! I believe you're about to become a parent to a bug eater.
By Avery Leatherwood
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 pm
#358721
Ok, thanks! I will definitely still keep a close eye on them just in case, but this is so exciting!!!!! Thanks for all your help! I will also definitely look into the app and try to get some pics. I'll try to update in once there is a bit more growth (plus i will probably have some more questions...)! I am still amazed that they are starting to germinate in six days (or rather 5 as i noticed it yesterday) so i guess i got really lucky with these guys. Also... i have one other question, since you have grown vft's from seed before, in their first winter (assuming all goes well), do you let them go dormant? or have them grow through winter in warmer conditions to have a larger flytrap by the next winter when they go dormant. I have heard a lot of opinions on different websites, but don't really understand the pros or cons of each option, do you know anything about this? Thanks!
By ChefDean
Location: 
Posts:  1414
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#358726
Personally, I have them on a sunny windowsill the first year. They go into a light dormancy due to light cues, but they will still close around a small fly, albeit slowly. In Tennessee we have mostly Winter. It gets below freezing occasionally, but it doesn't kill all the bugs. It will warm up enough throughout the Winter that some bugs will wake up. I can catch the small ones and feed them to my traps during this time.
The following Spring, I put them outside when the temps are going to stay above 35°F. The next Fall, I leave them out until they go into dormancy naturally, then I put them in my unheated, unlit garage until Spring.
This is what I do, and it works for me.
By schmeg
Location: 
Posts:  216
Joined:  Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:07 pm
#358729
Everyone's definition of dormancy—and their options for achieving it—is different.

For babies that have tiny roots and very little means to gather proteins through trapped insects (unless you have a truly horrible fruit-fly problem in January), they need good access to water and decent light on their leaves.

Your goal is to maintain the growth you have, and not slide backwards. Most babies wouldn't have capability to recover, especially when true spring is still months away.

Play it safe: make sure there's no risk of freezing or drying out. Consider top-watering only, and not setting the pots in standing water. In the heat of summer a puddle can help replace the constant evaporation, but in cool temps it can promote mold.

If you can give them access to natural light, I recommend continuing to do that through the winter. Shorter daytimes are normal, so that's okay. If your growing place doesn't have much natural light, then you'll need a decent artificial light source. If you have an excellent light set-up, it can probably be on a shorter time during the day. If it's so-so, you'll likely want your plants soaking up that light for a couple more hours.

Also: when your seeds do hatch, give them the very very best conditions so they can grow fast and thrive before dormancy.
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By Avery Leatherwood
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 pm
#359125
So i have been carefully watching my seeds, and i really think that it is fungus that is growing on them. Because now on some of them it is about the size of the seeds themselves, and i can see that the stuff isn't solid, it a huge amount of small white dots. I also found another post on this same forum, with the same problem. Hopefully this link will take you to the post has-anyone-exspirence-white-fuzz-on-tip ... 22384.html

Also none of the seeds have started growing, which from my understanding, the white on seeds is only a brief section in their germination. Any suggestions on what i should do?
By ChefDean
Location: 
Posts:  1414
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#359132
Well, passive means of elimination, you could simply increase airflow and decrease moisture. That can help to prevent and eliminate the problem. Sometimes a light spray of water can knock it down, stronger than a mist. Then the increased airflow can help prevent more.
Chemical means, a sulphur based antifungal spray can eliminate the fuzz, but I don't know how it might affect seedlings. It probably won't affect them, they are tough plants, but I have no personal experience with a fungicide on seedlings.
Unfortunately, the conditions for germinating flytrap seeds are also very conducive to mold.
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By Matt
Location: 
Posts:  21200
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#359170
I've had that white mold grow on my VFT seed shells before. It seemed to only start on the shells and didn't initially spread to the soil. Once they germinate, remove the seed shells and hopefully that will get rid of most of it. If it spreads to the soil, try to remove it manually with a toothpick or some similar small implement, trying not to disturb the baby flytraps.

If it continues to grow on the soil, you'll need to use an fungicide. When I did that, it did impact the baby VFTs a bit.
By Avery Leatherwood
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 pm
#359326
Ok, thanks so much for all the responses! I have 5 visibly germinating, and about to pop their shells off, so once that happens i will definitely remove them as the fungus seems to have stayed mostly on the seeds. On some of the ones that aren't germinating (yet) it does look like it has spread to the soil, so if those ones do germinate i will try to manually take the fungus out. I also have a small fan in my room to help the air circulation a bit and to lower the humidity (my room is quite humid, and i already tried taking their lid off though it didn't seem to change much). Hopefully this will help to discourage any more fungal growth from happening. I will keep you all posted, and thanks again!
By Avery Leatherwood
Posts:  10
Joined:  Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 pm
#359771
Hey all! So just a quick update, i have about 11 seedlings now, and about five that are visibly two leafs, but are still together connected by the seed shell. The rest are still in the earliest stages of growth where they are just lifting the shell of the soil. Just about all of the fungus has disappeared, the only spots i see it is on some of what i am guessing are dead seeds (but i will wait and see about that) but it has completely vanished from the growing seedling's shells. So, so far everything seems to be going pretty well, and i am super excited to see their first traps! I will update you guys again when there is more to talk about.
ChefDean liked this
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