WARNING: Since the plant has likely grown too big to fit through the necklace bottle’s opening, the glass bottle must be broken open. Use proper eye protection and work gloves and wrap the bottle in an old towel for this step. Read more about this below.
So, it’s time to pot your living necklace. You will need a few things: Carnivorous plant soil (you have several options here), a gallon of distilled water, a large Ziploc bag, an old towel and either a hammer or locking pliers (e.g. Vice Grip). Tweezers can also be useful for putting the plant into soil, but aren’t entirely necessary.
Our goal will be to get the plant from its bottle into the pot in a sealed plastic bag within 2-3 minutes of breaking open the bottle. We are not worried about contamination at this point, but we are concerned with the plant drying out. Why? Because the plant has been grown in 100% humidity for its entire life, it hasn’t developed the ability to deal with dryer air.
For this reason, we will move the plant into a pot and into a plastic bag and then, over the next 2-3 weeks, open the bag once or twice a day to allow it to acclimate to lower humidity.
- Prepare the soil – In a bowl, wet your soil (sphagnum moss, peat, etc.) with enough distilled water to thoroughly soak it. Normal soil will kill your flytrap. See this soil guide for more information.
- Fill your small pot with the wet soil.
- To break open the bottle, wrap it in an old towel.
- Adjust the locking pliers (e.g. Vice Grip brand) jaws to to the size of the towel-wrapped bottle.
- Put on proper eye protection and work gloves. Using another pair of regular pliers, tighten the adjustment screw on the locking pliers until the bottle cracks open in the towel.
- If you are unable to get the locking pliers method to work, you can of course just hit it with a hammer – using proper eye protection and work gloves, of course! But do try the pliers method first, as it is safer.
- Being careful of the broken glass, extract the plant and swish its roots in the water bowl you used for the soil (or rinse it with any distilled water). Be sure to knock off any chunks of gel that remain on the plant.
- Quickly place the flytrap into the wet soil, ensuring the root and white rhizome are completely in the soil along with about 1/8″ of the leave ‘stems.’ Quickly place the pot in a large Ziploc bag and seal it. (See the video for our similar grow kit below for this step) Done! Read below to learn how to continue acclimating your flytrap to the outside world.
Now you must acclimate your plant to brighter light and dryer air. Once removed from the gel, the plant will need MUCH more light to survive. Your flytrap used sugars found in the gel for growth, but with no gel, it is now dependent on photosynthesis entirely for sugar production. Place the plastic bag containing the pot in a shaded area outdoors (in the Spring or Summer) and, each week, move it a little closer to full sun.
Also, over the first couple of weeks after potting your flytrap, open the plastic bag briefly each day, allowing dryer air into the bag. Each day, leave the bag open longer and longer. After 2-3 weeks, you should be leaving the bag open about 15 minutes. At this point, you can discard the plastic bag and continue acclimating your flytrap to full sun over a couple more weeks’ time. Always ensure that the soil stays wet with distilled water throughout the life of the plant – through the acclimation period and beyond.
The final step is to learn how to care for a normal Venus flytrap. Begin by reading all of our care guides found here or in the menu above. With proper care, your flytrap can last for years and will divide into several new plants over the course of its lifetime.
It’s not exactly the same as the process for the necklace, but please view our video for potting an Apothecary Flytrap from our grow kit: