Water Propagation of the Venus Flytrap

posted in: Propagation, Venus flytraps | 0

B52 from leaf pulling (600 x 433)


In the past I have taken a leaf pulling of my flytrap and planted it in a 50:50 mix of peat moss and washed sand (as I would pot up any of my flytraps) in the hope that it would then be able to produce another plant. Unfortunately though I found this method to be not the most successful as I could succeed less than half of the time. Earlier this year I stumbled across water propagation and decided to give it a go.

This is possibly the most successful propagation method that I have tried on my Venus flytraps. Using this method I was able to have a success rate of almost 100% for all the leaf pulling’s that I took.

The basic process is just taking the leaf pulling and then placing them into a container of water and putting under a grow light for a month or so. I will break down the entire process I used into five individual steps with some photos I have taken and if you are interested in doing this you can give it a go yourself.

I started this little experiment at the start of April 2015 and I potted up the pulling’s in June and July 2015.

Step 1: Getting the Leaf pulling’s

Taking the leaf pulling’s is best done when repotting your flytrap. When I have upended my pot I will shake loose the excess soil and then I place the entire plant into a bucket of water and let it soak. I will shake the plant gently so that there is no soil remaining on the plant. Once you have done this you will be able to divide the plant into however many plants have divided from it naturally. I place all of the smaller divisions into a bowl of water and leave them be until you are ready to pot them up. This can even wait a day if you aren’t quite ready straight away.
I then grab the largest healthiest looking plant and find the big healthy leaves on it and then pull them gently downward towards the rhizome (The leaves that are easiest to get are the ones that are growing from the outside of the rhizome). The leaf will break off at the base of the plant and you will see there is a bit of white rhizome on the base of the leaf. Keep doing this until you have removed all of the accessible healthy leaves from your plant, and the amount you want, while leaving the main part of the plant with many leaves also.

Note: Don’t forget to pot up the original plant that you took the leaf pulling’s from after you are done.

Step 2: Preparing the Leaf pulling’s

Put all the leaves from each different plant cultivar into their own separate jars and rinse them in lukewarm water a few times to remove all of the dirt that was on them. Once you have all your leaves of the one plant together take them one by one and cut off the trap at the end of the leaf.

Leaf pullings fresh

Step 3: Add Water and Light

Once you have cut off all the traps (and thrown them away) place all of the leaves into their jar/container (I used a 250mL jam jar), fill it up with demineralised water and place a lid on it. Then all you need to do is simply place the jar underneath some lights. I treat the jar as if it were a pot of seeds that I want to germinate so I place it under some lights with a photoperiod of around 12-14hours.

 Leaf pullings in jar

Step 4: The Magic!

I found that after 1 month of not touching the jars at all nearly all of the leaves had produced roots and leaves from the base of the leaf. Some had also sprouted roots from the point of where the trap was cut off.

Root and leaves formed

Step 5: Removal and planting

Once all the leaves had all produced roots and leaves (I found that this took between 2-3 months) I removed the leaves from the jar of water. You will notice that the original leaf will have started to die back from the top. To some of the leaf pulling’s before potting-up I cut off the dead part of the leaf only really to make it look nicer.


Removed for planting


Then all you need to do is plant your newly formed plants into your standard soil mix (some of my pots I used a 50:50 mix of sand and perlite and to others I used 100% peat moss, in this instance it hasn’t seemed to have made a big difference) and place into a cheap $10 mini greenhouse (available from Bunnings) so that you can keep the plants in a humid environment to acclimatize. Over the next 2 weeks or so open the vents slowly until you remove the lid altogether.

I still actually have my little plants growing inside under lights as I haven’t made the time to move them outside with my other plants. They have been planted for 2-3 months now and seem to be going strong.

"Dutch Delight" freshly planted
“Dutch Delight” freshly planted
"Dutch delight" 1-2 months later
“Dutch delight” 1-2 months later

If you are going to take leaf pulling’s I would strongly recommend using this method over the traditional method.

Happy Growing!