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I'm definitely not green fingered in any way shape or form and in fact I would go so far as to say that I am a little bit of a liability when it comes to plants and even in my own garden my mum comes round to sort out my plants every few weeks as she doesn't trust me not to kill them. So it came as somewhat of a surprise when my mum bought me a couple of grow your own plant sets.
She had been shopping and seen them on sale somewhere for only £2.99 each and thought they would make a nice gift for me to put in my kitchen. Although I was surprised I was quite happy with the sets as I had been tempted on a couple of occasions to buy myself a set. The two sets she bought me were the grow your own olives and the one that I am reviewing today which is the grow your own carnivorous plants.
~~~~~ Grow your own carnivorous plants ~~~~~
The grow your own carnivorous plants set comes in a cardboard box and in theory contains everything that you need to be able to grow some carnivorous plants yourself at home.
The contents inside the box include:
* A packet of Venus flytrap seeds
* A packet of Pitcher plant seeds
* 5 growing pots for the seeds made from coconut husks
* 5 compost disks also made from coconut husks
* 5 wooden plant markers
* A booklet of tips for growing your plants
When I emptied everything out of the box and saw what you got I was really pleased with it and everything looked so professional and more importantly for absolutely fool proof to use.
The set is incredibly cute if that is the right word to use with everything being miniature and just from looking at the set laid out on my table I would happily have bought it as a gift for someone.
~~~~~Growing the plants ~~~~~
As I said everything looked absolutely fool proof so I was quite confident when it came to growing my plants.
Unfortunately it wasn't quite as easy and full proof as I had imagined it was going to be. The instructions weren't nearly as comprehensive as I would have liked but again I thought it would just be a case of putting the seeds in the pot and waiting for my new plants to grow.
I soaked the compost disks like it said and these broke down and expanded in the water just like they were supposed to. I then added the compost to the pots and then it was time to sow my seeds.
The seeds that came supplied looked a little past their best to my admittedly untrained eye and the amount of actual seeds in the packet was a little on the mean side but I persevered and planted them following the instructions. I then covered them in cling film and left them to germinate.
~~~~~ My plants ~~~~~
Well I waited and waited for weeks for my plants to grow and checked them every day to see if they had begun sprouting. After nearly two months the only thing that even remotely looked like it might one day far far in to the future become something resembling a plant was a tiny green shoot in one of the pots. The other 4 pots had absolutely nothing happening in them and I finally gave in to the fact that my seeds just weren't going to grow.
I have no idea if I got a bad batch of seeds or if the carnivorous plants were maybe just too complicated to grow by an amateur from a set. I'm pretty confident that it was nothing to do with me why they didn't grow so I'm leaning towards blaming the seeds themselves which did look really dry and lifeless when I opened the packet so perhaps they had already died before I planted them.
~~~~~ Price and availability ~~~~~
As I said my mum bought me these from a shop that was having a closing down sale and the price she paid is a lot cheaper than they normally retail for. The grow your own sets are made by gift republic and can be bought on their own website for a whopping £12.99 but they can be found for around £6 from many online shops. I have also seen the sets in lots of high street gift shops so they seem to be quite easy to find.
~~~~~ Recommendation ~~~~~
Well obviously I was disappointed with the grow your own carnivorous plants as I didn't manage to get one plant out of the set. I think the idea is behind the set is fantastic but the fact that nothing grew means that I wouldn't recommend it. As I said though perhaps I just got a faulty batch as I did have much more success with the grow your own olive set which actually managed to grow something resembling a small olive tree.
I do think that if bought cheaply enough then it might be worth a try buying one as a gift as I do think they would make great gifts and from my experience with the olive one I do know it is possible to actually grow something just maybe buy a different kind from the carnivorous one.
They aren't going to be any good to the seasoned gardener but for an amateur like me even though I got no plants from the set I did enjoy planting them and waiting to see if anything would grow from it.