Growing Information

Some information to help you grow your Carnivorous Plants

Water - Rain water and Reverse osmosis is safe to use for Carnivorous plants. Do not use tap water this will kill your plants.

Soil - the safest mix to use is peat and perlite, you can use other mixes like coir/perlite or sphagnum moss/perlite and  Melcourt pine growbark/perlite but not all species will like it...Dionaea especially does not like Melcourt.....  

I have been trialing Dried Sphagnum moss (Argentina) from the, its a dried moss which doesn't regrow so have found it ideal for seed sowing, growing Utricularia, Drosera and Dionaea. I have been using it on its own and mixed with perlite both ways seem to work.

Position - Sarracenia, Darlingtonia and Terrestrial Pinguicula can live outdoors. Dionaea, Drosera, Utricularia etc will need to be over wintered in greenhouse or in side the house.

Seed Sowing

If you plan to grow Carnivorous plants from seed you will need to ensure you have the correct growing medium, water, light, ventilation, heat and sowing them at the correct time.  Some seed require a cold and wet stratification for good germination.

Seed sown not using the correct planting medium, water (like tap water), poor ventilation (which will cause the seed to damp off and die) not enough light and heat will likely not gratinate at all.  

So if you sow the seed at the wrong time and less than ideal conditions you will likely fail.  More often and not its not bad seed which is provided it is human error in sowing.

Sowing seed requires patience.


Sowing seed of the tropical types you are best to sow the seed during the warmer months of the year, so sowing April - August time is generally ideal.  Drosera seed is very small so you surface sow these on top of your medium, place in a warm sunny spot. I wouldn't suggest you cover the pots with a propagator lid as you can easily cook the seed.  

Germination of Drosera seed will vary depending on how fresh the seed is.  Some specifies like Capensis, Spatulata and Aliciae can germinate very quickly, the general rule for germination if the growing conditions are good is 4-6 weeks,  Yet you will find some species take a lot longer to germinate, patience is needed when growing from seed!

If you plan to grow Drosera under grow lights you can sow any time as long as you provide adequate warmth.

Drosera plants will remain very small generally for the first year but we find if you use a diluted orchid fertiliser you can help speed up their growth. 


You can sow the seed at any time really as long as you provide a cold and wet stratification.  The natural way to do this is to sow the seed outdoors or in a cold greenhouse over the winter/early spring, when the weather warms up in April/May the seed will germinate, germination at others times will be 4 weeks onwards.

Sow the seed on top of peat and perlite mix, seed can be buried it a bit it doesn't matter if that happens, place in a sunny spot, protect from heavy rain etc so maybe a cold frame or a sheet of glass but if the weather is warm and sunny remove this not to cook the seed.  Sowing them in a cold greenhouse is probably best.

If you plan to sow the seed past Spring you can take the bag of seed we provide and add some slightly damp peat to the bag, shake it around and place the bag in the fridge for 4-6 weeks, then empty the bag on top of a pot of peat and perlite and place in a sunny warm position outdoors/greenhouse/window sill and the seed will germinate. 

This process is ideal for anyone growing under lights or are in a tropical country.

Sarracenia  plants will remain pretty small for the first year.  What we do is every spring we repot the seedlings in to fresh peat and perlite, this really gives them a boost in growth.  You can also add some slow release ericaceous fertiliser balls to the compost  2or 3 in 9cm pot is adequate or you can use a dilute orchid fertiliser to spray the pitchers and add the liquid directly in to the pitchers.  Doing this can speed up growing plants to maturity which will take many years.


Like Sarracenia normally you sow the seed in winter/early spring  outdoors/greenhouse where they will germinate once the weather warms up, germination is normally 4 weeks onwards.

I have also have good germination adding some damp peat to the bag of seed and placing in the fridge for 4-6 weeks, then sowing the seed usual and the seed germinated very well, even seed that was covered with peat germinated.

Darlingtonia grow very slowly from seed I have not tried to fertilise them so cannot advise any further.

Hardy Pinguicula and Drosera

Seed from Pinguicula Grandiflora, Drosera Rotundifolia, Anglica, Intermedia and Filiformis to name a few the seed is best sown again in winter/early spring outdoors/cold greenhouse to have a natural cold and wet stratification. 

These seed do not like to be covered with any medium so you other option is to sow the seed and place the actual pots in the fridge, this may not make you very popular though!

I do not grow any Nepenthes so cannot provide any growing help.