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Water propagation result macros

A couple months ago I did some water propagation with a few leaf pullings/flower stalk cuttings.

They sat under T5's for somewhere between 2 and 3 months before being potted.

Here are some macros of them. The "10 days later" photos were taken today.

Here are a few still underwater, where they've been sitting undisturbed for months:



FTS Maroon Monster showing strong initial root growth (you can see the fuzzy rootlets growing off the main root, which are what give flytrap roots their "blackened" appearance)



Just after potting:

10 days later :0o:

Typical flower stalk with newer callouses just starting to show signs of growth:


10 days later:

B52 - more great rootlet detail here, especially in the first photo:





Just after potting:

10 days later:

Another B52, this one was just a small piece of an attempted leaf pulling gone wrong. I had almost thrown it out:

10 days later:

Wacky Traps, 10 days after potting (original pics are all too blurry to share):

A Bristletooth-like seed-grown I received from JHT-Union:


10 days later:

The whole family, just after potting:

10 days later:

Ziploc bag as humidity/acclimation dome:

Edit note: Fixed misspelling.
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huh. didn't even know ya could do that with VFT's.
then again I don't own any..
Interesting - must try!
The process works great for dews, just never thought it would work well for VFTs. Congrats on sharing this. :hail:

They sat under T5's for somewhere between 2 and 3 months before being potted.

How far under the T-5's?
Forbes Conrad used water propagation extensively for VFTs and Drosera. Forbes was one of the non-TC propagation masters in the LACPS prior to his career in photography.
How far under the T-5's?
The top of the water was around 10 inches below the T5's, water was ~3 inches deep and the pullings all sat at the bottom. You just need to make sure it's not so close that the water is too far inside the light's heat. If the water heats up too much, the pullings cook and the whole thing fails.

I had posted this pic thread in one other forum and someone over there asked me how I did it. Here's the details, in case anyone wants to try this themselves.

Adjust to taste; your mileage may vary.

  • Distilled water (room temp, not refrigerated)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Toothpick, or anything clean that you could use to "dunk" pullings that wind up floating on top of the water
  • Rubber band
  • Plastic ziploc container or other small plastic tub, around 4-6 inches tall. It must not have drainage holes, and does not have to be clear.
  • Optional: If taking multiple pullings from various cultivars like I did, you will also need a way to separate the pullings so you don't get mixed up. I used a seedling container like the black one seen in the photos above. If the seedling container doesn't have drainage holes, add them yourself. The seedling container must be able to fit inside the other container.
  • Any artificial light that you would trust to start flytrap seeds/seedlings or pullings.

  1. Make sure your plastic tub and optional seedling container are clean - you don't need to sterilize, or at least I didn't, but wash them with Dawn/Palmolive, etc. in warm/hot tap water like you would any dirty dish.
  2. Rinse them with warm/hot tap water, then re-rinse them with room-temperature distilled water.
  3. If using a seedling container, put the seedling container inside the plastic tub.
  4. Fill 3/4 full with room temp distilled water.
  5. Take standard pullings/cuttings from your flytraps/drosera/etc of choice.
  6. Drop them into the tub/container and label as necessary. I taped the seedling container in place with standard clear office tape and wrote on the outside of the plastic tub.
  7. Dunk any cuttings that are floating, as that often causes them to sink to the bottom. If any are stubborn and really want to float, fine, let em. ;)
  8. Take a piece of plastic wrap and the rubber band and seal the container. Do not poke holes in the plastic wrap.
  9. Place the container under your artificial light, but not so close that the water gets heated up much by the light. Place it as though it's a flytrap seed pot - pretend the top of the water is the top of soil that has flytrap seeds on it (even though most of your cuttings are probably at the bottom of the tub). You just need to make sure it's not so close that the water is too far inside the light's heat. If the water heats up too much, the pullings cook and the whole thing fails. In my case, the water line was 10 inches from the bulbs, and the pullings were at the bottom of 3-inch deep water, so the pullings were ~13 inches away from the bulbs.
  10. I used a 16/8 light cycle under T5's, but 14/10 or 12/12 would work, too. I do not recommend a 24 hour light cycle here - that's only for pre-germination seeds.
  11. Wait. I checked it for the first time after a month, then every other week. You don't have to leave them as long as I did, but they should at least look like the Typical flower stalk pictured above where some sign of actual growth is apparent.
  12. Remove carefully and pot them in flytrap soil (e.g. peat/perlite or peat/silica sand). Use a water tray and fill the tray with water, like you would any flytrap pot.
  13. Put a large ziploc bag upside down over the new pot for 7-10 days with no holes or cuts in it - the ziploc bag should be "loose" at its base, not sealed with a rubber band or so small that it's hugging the edges of the pot. Remove and replace the bag every few days to cycle in new air. Keep the bag as "open" as you can so as much air as possible is inside (don't allow it to collapse on itself for days on end). This allows them to slowly acclimate to living in air, while keeping the humidity high since they're accustomed to living underwater. Without the ziploc, most if not all will dry up and die in a day or two.
  14. After 10 days, cut 1-inch triangles off of each of the two top corners of the upside-down ziploc to let some humidity start escaping out the top. Now we're acclimating to lower humidity.
  15. Throughout this process, don't let the water tray dry out but don't refill it daily - only refill the tray when it's empty. Watch for mold/fungus - if you see some, dump the water tray and open the bag just a bit more at the top. You'll need to keep the soil a bit drier than you have been. Hopefully this won't cost you any of the plants due to trying to acclimate them too fast.
  16. Continue opening the bag bit by bit every week. After 4-6 weeks, remove the bag.
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How long does it take to get them to the size in the last pics from the beginning?
  • #10
Anywhere from 2-4 months.

The pullings/cuttings were put in water about 8-10 weeks ago. I removed and potted them 10 days ago.

Their growth rate depends primarily on the age of the parent plant, light intensity, and genetics (some flytraps are fast growers, while others are slower growers)...and some luck thrown into the mix.

'B52' and "FTS Maroon Monster" are both known to be vigorous growers. A pulling from a "Big Vigorous" would be around that size by now as well, had I taken one.

Larger pullings tend to allow for faster growth as well - you'll notice the large B52 pulling made a larger plantlet, while the B52 nub-of-a-pulling made a much smaller plantlet. Both of those pullings came off the same B52 plant.
  • #11
very cool veronis thanks for sharing your results
  • #12
Nice. Something to try next season.
  • #13
That is really cool! It is always amazing to see a brand new plant growing from a single leaf. What would happen if you left the plant underwater? Could it be grown submerged?
  • #14
For a few months, yes, but not indefinitely.

Flytrap roots aren't built for aquatic environments, so they can't sustain the plant long-term in such an environment.

If grown in nothing but water, they'll grow for a few months, then eventually go into decline and die - most likely before the end of the first growing season.
  • #15
Wow they look awesome... pat on the back for getting them started like that ? never knew it could be done like that ...
  • #16
Nicely done and good photos too! You illustrate how much fun it is to propagate flytraps.
  • #17

this is an awesome post, i want to try this mid growing season. I was wondering if it is not to much trouble if we could see some updated pics on these starts progress. Also i was wondering on a flowering size plant how many leaf pullings could you take from a single growing season. Would you do several at once or take one every so often. Thanks for your input.