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Using Carnivorous Plants in Science Projects
Propagating Carnivorous Plants
Leaf Cuttings

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Leaf cutting VFT trigger hair
Sundew Leaf Cuttings

Leaf cuttings are an excellent way to propagate carnivorous plants.  It is easy and quick.  Many kinds of CPs, especially sundews, can be divided this way and you will end up with a large number of plants.  This technique works very well with sundews, moderately well with butterworts and fairly well with Venus Flytraps.  Leaf cuttings are best done in the growing season of spring or early summer.

several healthy sundews or other CPs
razor blade, single-edged,  !Please use caution!
Sphagnum moss
CP soil mix
mineral-free water
cheese cloth or toothpicks
brandy sniffer, culture dish or clean jar
plastic cover

Procedure 1: Soil

  1. Cut off a fresh, healthy, mature leaf at the base of the petiole with a clean, fresh, single-edged razor blade.
  2. Place the entire leaf right-side-up on a bed of moist, finely chopped green Sphagnum.  The lower side of the leaf must lie flat on the Sphagnum.  You can do this by placing a single layer of cheesecloth over the leaf or by pinning it down with toothpicks.
  3. Place your pot of leaf cuttings into a plastic bag or other high humidity area in the shade.  Choose a warm, but not hot place.
  4. Plantlets will occur in several weeks.
  5. Let them develop their own root systems before separating them and planting them in a CP soil mixture.
  6. Slowly acclimate the new plants to their normal growing conditions.

Procedure 2: Water

  1. Gather leaf cuttings as described above.
  2. Fill a brandy sniffer, culture dish or other clean jar with mineral-free water.
  3. Place the cuttings into the water.
  4. Cover the cutting dish with a loosely fitting plastic lid.
  5. Place the cuttings in a warm, but not hot, spot with indirect lighting.  Avoid direct sunlight.
  6. Plantlets will occur in several weeks.
  7. Pot them up as described above.

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