This is the story of one desire: Octavio wants to have a plant call Venus Fly Trap. Probably he saw that plant in cartoons or in the internet. He asks us about, we find some nice videos in Youtube, and then our adventured started.
We look for the plant here, but not one of our local nurseries carries it. So we decided order some seeds to USA in February.
We sow the 40 seeds as if they were regular seeds (Lesson 1: No all seeds need the same conditions), but after many days (30 days), nothing happened. Suddenly we find five tiny plants emerged (each seed is less of one millimeter), but they die quickly even so I did all the effort to keep them alive.
We were very disappointed, but we keep our goal to have that plant. We started to investigate the plant, read about, and we found out that Venus Fly Trap take five years in develop from seeds to a small plant. Five years is too much time to wait, but there were hope: Micropropagation.
Micropropagation is a technique of plant’s reproduction in-vitro. In Micropropagation we need to give the right environment (sterile environment, rich in nutrients, but free of contamination) to a portion of plant’s tissue (it can be even a single cell), so we can reproduce the plant in controlled condition. If the environment is rich and sterile the plant (a clone of the original plant) can develop faster, in addition you can divided the new plants in exponential manner, producing many (even millions) of new plants in one year. So, we take that road.
We found that Kitchen Culture has already sets for beginners, we ordered one. We also join the Home Tissue Culture Yahoo Group and start to receive good advice and tips from professional and other hobbits. We also order a small specimen in vitro of Venus Fly Trap to propagate it.
We did the experiment; learn the basic technique of micropropagation.
Our first experiment did not succeed: we get contamination. We discover that we need continue studding and practicing.
We order more seeds in April. We decided use half of the seeds for Tissue Culture and the rest to planting in soil, BUT, here come the trick: Venus Fly Trap seeds (and the plants) need special soil and care: Sphagnum Peat Moss (low nutrients, acid soil), sterile material to break of peat, and distilled water. I know I can buy easily distilled water in the pharmacy, I wait a couple week until find Peat Moss (the only sell it in huge bags!), I try different options of sterile material to break the peat (even a geologist friend of us helping to find the right material, he suggested Drill Bead, we tried that), but after looking and looking I found the right stuff: Silica Sand (a 25KB bag!) I just need a cup, but it did not came in small bags).
So we use Tissue Culture for half seed and soil for the rest, but no one of this experiment succeed, probably the seed where old. The rate of succeed has relation with the freshness of the seeds. Again I order more seeds, 12 seeds germinate, so I have 12 tiny baby fly traps (they measure from 1 to 3 millimeters), I took the next pictures with Microscope.
Day 1 (after wait 32 days seeds start to germinate)
Day 7 (this plants show the two cotiledons, the only leave that are not carnivorous)
Day 12 (First trap start to develop)
Day 17 (Two inmature traps)
I am waiting for very fresh seeds that were collected this June to try again with Micropropagation. Now we are even reading about other Carnivorous Plants that we want cultivate in the future.
Two days ago I repot the babies, I got alga contamination, so I am afraid this third try will not succed, but we keep trying….