Carnivorous Plants/Expert Help


First, your answer to my D. Capensis was awesome, but, I decided to grow a venus from seed, along with the drosera. I did a bunch of research on the flytrap, but after all that, I needed some expert help. Does 2, 26 watts {fluorescent} bulbs work with seedlings, and if you can, please tell me how YOU germinate them. Because I heard about your shop's quality plants. I'm sorry if I'm bugging you, but I can't trust the internet because it said that messing around with the traps of the venus flytrap is a-okay. I'm a beginner, but even i know that messing with plants can be bad.

Hi Yoshi,

I'm going to start by trying to talk you out of trying to grow Venus Flytraps from seed unless you have at least a couple years successful experience growing Venus Flytraps.  By that I mean you have kept a Venus flytrap alive and growing well for two years.  Here's why:

1.  Venus flytraps take two to five years to reach maturity from seed.  They are quite slow-growing.

2.  Venus flytrap seed has a very short viability; 90 days unrefrigerated, and 6 months at best under refrigeration.  If you're buying seed, you don't know how old it is unless it's coming from a dealer that you trust, and can assure you the seed is fresh.  If you're buying from a private party you don't know (like off E-Bay), and your seeds don't grow, they will simply say you didn't know what you were doing.  Even if that is true (Hope not! :) you'll never know if they just had old seed.

3.  If you don't fully understand how the adult plant grows (including the dormancy requirements), failure with seedlings is almost assured.

4.  I've grown carnivorous plants for over 30 years, and I still find seed of many varieties challenging.

If you still want to give it a crack, here's a link to our page on growing them:

With your light I still don't know if you're talking about CFL's (Compact fluorescent), or fluorescent tubes.  If it is a CFL, it will be fine.  That's about a 100 watt incandescent equivalent.  It's best if it is a 6500K (Daylight).

Here's a better idea, however.  Save yourself the hassle and invest in an inexpensive set-up with a two-tube shoplight.  These use 48" T-12 or T-8 fluorescent tubes.  Use cool-white or daylight spectrum tubes.  The fixture with two 40 watt T-12 tubes will cost you a grand total of about 16 dollars depending on where you live.  Add a simple timer and your good to go.  The fixtures always come with chains so you can hang it, or block it up.  This way you can have several plants under it, and adjust the light up or down.  This will give you bright light without being as hot as CFL's can be.  We talk about lights in detail on our volume #2 DVD:

My last recommendation is this, don't spend another penny on plants, seeds or anything else until you invest in some education.  The Internet doesn't count.  Get a copy of the Savage Garden by Peter D'Amato.  Consider one of our DVD's.  This is going to give you hands-on information from experienced growers who do this for a living.  This is going to give you background information and insight on things you may not have even though about.  It will help you avoid pitfalls so common to new growers.  The money you spend on educating yourself now will save you hundreds in the future, and I'm not exaggerating, in lost plants from simple rookie mistakes.  I've been there having lost so many plants when I was younger.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

Carnivorous Plants

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Sarracenia Northwest


If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

Over 9,000 questions answered since 2005!


Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower!


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thousands of carnivorous plants each year.

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