Grow Tips for October: Taking Venus flytrap Leaf
By: Emily Troiano
This is a great time of year to find Venus Flytraps for sale at supermarkets and
hardware stores. Some stores will get large shipments in for Halloween. After
one of our annual shows, I bought one of these VFTs for a few dollars, and
decided to experiment with propagating it.
When I got home, I uprooted the plant. I think the VFT rhizome looks sort of like
a head of garlic. Each leaf is connected to a “clove”. By pulling downwards on
each leaf, I was able to separate it from the plant, along with its piece of white
rhizome. I did this for every single leaf on the plant.
Then, I simply put all the leaves in a dish of distilled water, covered it with plastic
wrap, and left it in a warm terrarium. If the water evaporated, I gently added
more. Eventually the leaves started turning brown and ugly. But after a month or
two…just when I was about to give up…green growth started to appear!
Once these new plants started to grow, I added long-fibered sphagnum to the
bottom of the tray and removed the plastic wrap. I allowed the leaves to settle
into the sphagnum as the water evaporated over the course of weeks. I kept this
sphagnum constantly wet.
By spring, the plantlets had grown and started to produce traps:
When I transplanted them, I was surprised to find that there were LOTS of plants
in this 5” x 5” container:
In all, there were 49 baby VFTs…from one original plant!
Forty-nine Venus flytraps! There were plenty to keep, as well as plenty to give away.
Friends and neighbors who were fascinated by my carnivorous plants got to take
home their own. There were also plenty of plants to donate at the next annual show.
One of the great joys of our hobby is being able to share these plants with one
another. This was a simple, inexpensive way to not only increase my own collection,
but to allow dozens of other people to grow a carnivorous plant. I encourage you to
give it a try!