Carnivorous Plants forum→Growing Carnivores from Seeds

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Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
Jun 7, 2020 11:21 AM CST
I've been looking for a new project, and am thinking of trying to grow a few carnivores from seed.
I'd love to try a sundew (I quite like the spoonleaf sundews) and a Sarracenia (still deciding which kind I'd like to try). I've found a few well-rated sources of seeds in my area.

Before I order some, I was curious what experiences people have had growing carnivores from seed? Would these be good options to start, or are there any particular species that are good for a beginner? Any tips or tricks I should know?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 7, 2020 11:47 AM CST
I've grown both Sarracenia and Drosera from seed. Drosera are by far the easiest as Sarracenia need a few month cold stratification time.

I've always gotten my seed from California Carnivores. Can you order seed from outside Canada?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums Bromeliad Tropicals Aroids Hibiscus
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Macrocentra
Jun 7, 2020 7:27 PM CST
Thanks! Sounds like the Drosera is a good starting point. I think I'll start there.

What's the best way to go about providing the stratification period for Sarracenias?

Shouldn't be a problem. I was mostly looking in my area due to shipping delays with COVID, and I tend to get hit with a lot of border charges. But I don't mind waiting longer to order from a good source.
Worst case scenario, my partner lives in California. He's helped me ship things here before when places won't ship direct. Smiling
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums Bromeliad Tropicals Aroids Hibiscus
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Macrocentra
Jun 8, 2020 2:07 PM CST
I ordered some Drosera rotundifolia seeds, and Drosera capensis (wide leaf) seeds to start. I got some supplies today to make a miniature greenhouse for them while they're germinating as well. Smiling

I also got some Sarracenia purpurea seeds for if I'm feeling a little more adventurous and want to give the stratification a try.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 8, 2020 3:41 PM CST
Sarracenia: Find some small (2 - 3 inch) plastic pots, add wet sphagnum moss (not packed in but not loose), sprinkle the seeds on top, spray liberally with fungacide and put them into ziplock bags in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 months. Take the pots from the refrigerator, put them in a pan of water (1/2 inch or so) in a sunny spot and wait. The seeds may take another couple months to germinate and the seedlings are microscopic. I left them in their tiny pots for a couple years.

I'll see if I can find some photos.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Mike
Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Region: Massachusetts
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munchies24
Jun 8, 2020 11:03 PM CST
Macrocentra said:I've been looking for a new project, and am thinking of trying to grow a few carnivores from seed.
I'd love to try a sundew (I quite like the spoonleaf sundews) and a Sarracenia (still deciding which kind I'd like to try). I've found a few well-rated sources of seeds in my area.

Before I order some, I was curious what experiences people have had growing carnivores from seed? Would these be good options to start, or are there any particular species that are good for a beginner? Any tips or tricks I should know?


I recently just started with 50 assorted sundew seeds from an Etsy shop called "AKCarnivores" based out of Hawaii. It's been a few weeks and a few seeds have managed to germinate - they are so small it is hard to tell. The seeds couldn't have been larger than a grain of sand. I placed them on top of a 50/50 mix of perlite and sphagnum peat moss in 3.5 inch pots and let them sit in about an inch of distilled water. To keep in humidity I covered them in saran wrap and poked a couple of tiny holes in. So far a few weeks in they seem to be doing okay. I am seeing some green coloration from algae on the perlite so it seems to be good for promoting life.

I got to say I am with you on Sarracenia being a huge time to wait to germinate from seed. Stratification seems like a daunting task for an impatient grower like me. I'm almost wondering if it would be better to get a live one and see how it does with rhizome cutting propagation like you would do to a Venus Fly Trap.
[Last edited by munchies24 - Jun 8, 2020 11:06 PM (+)]
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Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
Jun 9, 2020 2:28 AM CST
I'd definitely prefer to get some adult Sarracenias. It's near impossible to find carnivores in my area though. The only two I've ever seen available here are one type of Nepenthes and the Venus Flytraps. It seems easier to find the seeds. I was so excited when I found my two Nepenthes. I hadn't seen them around in a while.

I did find a place in British Columbia that could be an option. They have a huge variety of carnivores and ship live plants across Canada. I'm hoping to contact them at some point about shipping some plants over, but I'm going to wait till the pandemic calms down a bit. I don't want a poor plant getting trapped in transit for longer than necessary. So far from the options I found, they seem to be a good option.

I've read the bag method works well for humidity for Sundew seeds. I was going to put together a sectioned tray for the two Sundew species I ordered and see how that goes. I have a tray I picked up that I was going to section off into halves, and a plastic cover that fits over it. Then I was going to drill some small holes through it. I have lots of 1.5" and 2" pots lying around. I think I can fit the plastic ones in two rows inside the tray. Then I can keep some water in the tray for them and keep the plastic cover over them. Either that, or put the substrate in the tray without pots and move them to pots once they're established. I haven't decided yet.

Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
Jun 16, 2020 9:16 AM CST
@DaisyI

What's your preferred substrate for growing sundew seeds? I've read the sphagnum/perlite mix Mike mentioned. I've also read a mix of sphagnum and silica sand works well too. Is either option better than the other?

@munchies24

Have either of you used the long-stranded sphagnum moss? I have a big compressed brick of it if that might be suitable?
Name: Mike
Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Region: Massachusetts
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munchies24
Jun 16, 2020 9:42 AM CST
A lot of videos I have seen use long stranded sphagnum as a top dressing for whatever their favorite mix is, and place the seeds on it. It is good for germination because of how well it retains water so feel free to use it!

Just want to add that people do have some success using 100% long strand sphagnum for their juvenile and mature plants, but most will advise against it because it stays way too wet for way too long.
[Last edited by munchies24 - Jun 16, 2020 9:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 16, 2020 10:09 AM CST
I have germinated all my seeds on long stranded sphagnum/perlite. I never use sand as it tends to sift out of the mix and end up in a solid brick at the bottom of the pot.

All my Nepenthes are living in Sphagnum but all my Drosera and Serrecena are in peat/perlite.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums Bromeliad Tropicals Aroids Hibiscus
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Macrocentra
Jun 16, 2020 11:13 AM CST
Perfect! I'll give that a go then.
Looks like the seeds may arrive today, so hoping to get them started this week.

Thanks to both of you for your assistance. Smiling
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums Bromeliad Tropicals Aroids Hibiscus
Sedums Container Gardener
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Macrocentra
Jun 17, 2020 11:26 AM CST
Seeds just arrived!
My goodness they're even tinier than I expected. Looking forward to giving this a try. They sent a very thorough germination walkthrough for each type of seed as well.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 17, 2020 11:40 AM CST
If they suggest stratifying them in a paper towel, ignore them. Those seeds are so tiny - where ever you put them first is where they will stay for the next couple years.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums Bromeliad Tropicals Aroids Hibiscus
Sedums Container Gardener
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Macrocentra
Jun 22, 2020 5:01 PM CST
For the sundew seeds, the instructions that came with them recommended using a 3:1 ratio of sphagnum or peat, and perlite as the mix.

It also recommended stratifying the D. rotundifolia seeds, but directly sowing the D. capensis seeds. Should I follow this? Or directly sow both?

They also recommended to keep some damp (not wet) sphagnum moss in a bag with the Sarracenia seeds while cold stratifying them. Should I leave the moss out?
[Last edited by Macrocentra - Jun 22, 2020 5:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 22, 2020 5:21 PM CST
D. rotundifolia is from peat bogs in the far north. Anything from alpine climates needs stratification. You should also look into their life cycle as they may need a dormancy period.

I use sphagnum and perlite as my starting mix but peat and perlite would work just as well. The perlite is to keep the sphagnum or peat from becoming too dense.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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