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INSTRUCTIONS: Growing your own carnivorous plants from seed

  • We all love adventure and for the carnivorous plant fans out there that would like a bit of a challenge, we have the perfect project for you
  • We took the hassle out of wondering where to start and created a complete range of seed starter packs, to suit your every want and need
  • Our range of seed kits include all the supplies you will need to grow your very own carnivorous plants from seed
  • These starter packs are available from Cultivo in two grow-your-own kits:
    • COMPLETE starter pack that includes fresh seeds from a plant species of your choice, all the supplies you will need, species-specific germination media and a full instruction leaflet; and
    • BASIC starter pack that includes all the growing supplies, species-specific germination media and a full instruction leaflet
    • for these BASIC starter packs, we offer an extensive catalogue with fresh carnivorous plant seed, imported and locally acquired, for you to choose from and buy separately.  For the basic starter pack, just buy the seed of your choice, grab your starter pack and follow the simple instructions below
  • Each starter pack includes a full instruction leaflet, but just for easy reference the sowing instructions are repeated here

The Instructions:  Cultivo's Seed Starter pack

  • Open the plastic container, remove the plant pot and set it aside.  Also, remove the instruction leaflet and polystyrene cup and punch a few holes into the bottom for drainage
  • Empty the growing media contents into a microwave safe container. Add water (500 ml should be sufficient) and leave it overnight to moisten the growing substrate thoroughly - distilled or reverse osmosis water preferred
  • The growing media can also be pre-moistened to speed up the process
  • Place the container with the growing media into the microwave at full power for a few minutes to kill any spores in the 'soil'
  • Let the growing media cool down completely and empty the contents into the plant pot.  Tap the plant pot gently on a hard surface to remove most of the air pockets and for the soil level to settle just below the rim of the pot
  • Place the plant pot back into the polystyrene cup (The polystyrene will insulate and protect the plant pot from sudden climate changes which may be fatal to fragile seedling roots)
  • Next, open the seed envelope carefully - some seeds are tiny!
  • Sprinkle or spread the seeds onto the surface of the moist growing media - Do not bury it, they will need light to germinate
  • Use a spray bottle (again, distilled or reverse osmosis water preferred) and mist the surface lightly to ensure the seeds make good contact with the moist media
  • With the plant pot back into the polystyrene cup, place both back into the bottom half of the clear container - this will serve as the growing chamber
  • Some seeds such as cobra lilies, albany pitcher plants, trumpet pitchers, purple pitcher plants and temperate sundews and -butterworts will need a period of cold stratification.  For non-temperate plant seeds you can just skip over the cold-stratification step, and continue below

  • Cold-stratification:
    • This will be indicated on the seed listing on our web store as well as the seed envelope  
    • For seeds needing this winter period, sow the seeds as instructed above, close it with the cap and place the complete growing chamber into the refrigerator for the allocated time 
    • Choose a spot, such as the salad drawer, where it will not tip over
    • Write the start and end date for the cold stratification period on the growing chamber and set a reminder to not forget about them.  It is easy to lose track of time
    • After the 'winter period' continue with the germination process below as for non-temperate plant seeds

 

  • At this time, a little water can be added to the clear container so that the bottom of the polystyrene cup will just touch the water level
  • Open the ventilation hole on the growing chamber's cap completely, mist it with clean water and secure it onto the bottom half to maintain a humid growth environment
  • Every 3-4 days, open the cap for a few minutes to provide ventilation and water the soil surface if necessary to ensure the growing media does not dry out (never soggy - you don't want floating seeds)
  • Place the growing chamber in a warm place with as much STRONG, indirect light as possible
  • Growing outside, a couple hours of early morning sun will suffice but take caution, as direct sun will cause heat to build up under the cap and can cook the seeds.  Also protect the growing chamber from rain as it may wash away all your progress 
  • If grown on a sunny windowsill indoors, consider using a desk lamp (a daylight compact fluorescent bulb works great) to supplement light - a light cycle of 12 to 14 hours is recommended
  • Most seeds germinate in a couple of weeks with temperatures of 20 to 30°C, a day-night temperature difference of 10°C may also improve germinate rate. A heating pad can be used to keep seeds warm if grown indoors
  • Remember to label your seeds and record the sowing date
  • Most seeds germinate within 4 to 8 weeks and some need cold-stratification.  Some are are seasonal and may germinate much (MUCH) later
  • The main factors that will influence germination are freshness of seeds, warmth, humidity, VERY bright light and lots of patience
  • Growing carnivorous plants from seed can be very rewarding but may (and will probably) in most cases, test your patience to the extreme.  BE PATIENT and observe for growth every couple of days, through the clear cap
  • Try not to disturb the seedlings. Change water when discolouration occurs, and improve airflow if you notice algae developing on the soil surface 
  • Once your seeds have sprouted acclimatise the seedlings by opening the top half of the growing chamber for longer periods each day, removing it completely over a period of a week
  • Once the seedlings are around 3 to 4cm you can leave them be for bushy growth or gently separate them and repot each on their own into fresh carnivorous plant soil
  • Take your time and be gentle when repotting and keep in mind that most seedlings have very fragile roots
  • As with any plant seed, we can - due to a range of factors - of course never absolutely germination, however, we can provide you with this clear, concise sowing guideline, assert that these seeds are carefully labeled, guarantee that they are authentic as carnivorous from trusted suppliers, as well as one of the most important factors with regards to success - fresh seed!
Wishing you the best of luck
Happy Growing!!
Download the Grow-your-own-seedkit Instructions

Home Screen | Online carnivorous plant nursery | Cultivo Carnivores, South Africa

Reference Guides | Sowing carnivorous plant seed | Grow your own starter pack from Cultivo Carnivores South Africa
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