Venus flytrap is a popular carnivorous plant that traps insects before “consuming” them. The Venus flytrap uses sweet nectar to attract flies and insects to its two hinged lobes. When a fly, spider, or bug touches the fine bristles on the surface, the lobes close, trapping the insect. Fluids from the leaf tissue dissolve the insect, and the plant feeds by absorbing the insect’s nutrients.
The Venus flytrap is one of the few carnivorous plants with visible movements that it uses to capture its prey. When an insect touches the clusters of serrated lobes, they close instantly and are fascinating to watch. It’s tough to take care of a Venus flytrap at home. When it comes to sunlight, moisture, and winter dormancy, the unusual plant has special care requirements. You may nevertheless cultivate a Venus fly trap at home if you take care, so that you may marvel at this fascinating insect-eating plant.
This article covers growing a Venus flytrap in a pot on your own or in a warm sunny garden. You’ll find out about additional Venus flytrap types in addition to the care guide.
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) Facts
Venus flytrap is a plant in the genus Dionaea and family Droseraceae that grows low to the ground. It is the only species in its genus, and it is native to North Carolina and South Carolina. Venus flytraps only thrive in moist, acidic soil in USDA zones 8 to 10. They may be difficult to locate in the wild because they are a low-growing plant. The long heart-shaped leaves of Venus flytraps have a hinged lobe on the end with serrated edges.
A rosette cluster of four to seven leaves supports the carnivorous plants. The subterranean stems may grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, although they are mostly hidden by the leaves. Leaves grow at a 40° to 60° angle and either lie flat on the ground.
Venus flytraps have two circular lobes with spiky teeth along their edges as part of their trapping mechanism. When the trap closes, the lobes’ surface has small bristles that interlock. The interior of the trap may be red, light burgundy, pink, green, or purple depending on the species.
Venus flytraps only close when an insect enters the “mouth” section, which is an fascinating attribute. The traps usually close shut only when the sensitive hairs inside the lobe are jostled in a hurry. As a result, the plant saves energy and is unaffected by rain or breezes.
The stems of Venus flytraps flowers are longer than the plant’s “jaws,” measuring approximately 6″ (15 cm) in length. The plants don’t attract pollinators, instead attracting crawling or non-pollinating flying insects, thanks to the growth feature.
Venus Flytrap Flower
Five white ovate or obovate-shaped petals forming a star pattern and green stamens make up a close-up picture of a Venus flytrap flower. White blooms bloom in late spring and are found on the ends of lengthy upright stems. The flytrap plant uses its energy to create seeds after pollinating.
Should you let a Venus flytrap bloom? It’s recommended to cut the flower stalk of a Venus flytrap before it blooms if you’re caring for one at home. From the middle of the plant, the stalk develops as a cylindrical stem. The Venus flytrap will have sluggish development for the majority of the year if you allow it to bloom. After blooming, cultivated plants may succumb to death.
How to Grow Venus Flytraps
Grow Venus flytraps in pots with peat moss and perlite, at a 2:1 ratio, to maintain them. For optimum development, place in a sunny windowsill. Soil is kept moist all of the time because of the water. Keep the plant in a cool environment with little or no direct sunlight during the winter.
What Do Venus Flytraps “Eat”?
Venus flytraps “consume” tiny insects and spiders, as do their relatives. Ants, beetles, slugs, tiny caterpillars, flies, and even tiny frogs are part of a typical Venus flytrap diet. A Venus flytrap secretes a fluid that disintegrates the insect after capturing it, taking three to five days.
After that, it takes up to 12 days to prepare the feast. The plant will open its trap and display the exoskeleton after it has been fed. When the hungry plant captures its next victim, the feeding process continues, luring in the next unsuspecting bug. The trap no longer catches insects after around five meals, but it photosynthesizes first before departing.
How to Feed Venus Flytrap?
When growing it indoors, avoid feeding Venus flytrap during its winter dormancy. Catch flies or insects to feed it. Outdoor use of a net to capture tiny insects. Next, using a pair of tweezers, brush the dead insect onto one of the trap’s lobes. The lobes should close as a result of this.
Instead, feed your bug-eating plant with dried crickets, bloodworms, or mealworms. Rehydrate the worm or insect before feeding it to your plant before serving the “meal.”
The lobes will stay closed for up to two weeks after feeding the Venus flytrap. Overfeeding a Venus flytrap can kill it, so don’t do it. You only feed one trap of the whole plant, so it takes a long time for the plant to digest one insect. After that, give the plant a week or two between feedings to rest.
One bug should be fed at a time, unless more are present. You may have to feed each trap once every week or two if you have six or eight traps. When it comes to feeding a Venus flytrap, here are a few helpful guidelines:
- If you’re not feeding the traps, don’t overstimulate them too much. They only open and shut ten times throughout their lifetime.
- During the winter dormancy, avoid feeding Venus flytrap plants.
- Never feed the plant raw meat; instead, only give dead or alive insects.
- At least one trap should be feeding on an insect at all times if your plant has multiple traps.
How Long Do Venus Flytraps Live?
Under the right conditions, a Venus flytrap can live up to 20 years. A perennial subtropical plant, the Venus flytrap will continue to thrive year after year. Before it dies, a trap will open and close many times. A new subterranean stem will then develop as the plant ages.
Where Do Venus Flytraps Live?
Venus flytraps prefer moist, loamy ground in North and South Carolina’s coastal plains and sand hills, where they live in their natural habitat. Longleaf pine uplands, where the soil is damp and of poor quality, are generally home to Venus flytrap plants. Nonetheless, certain regions of Florida and Washington State have also been introduced to the plants.
A Venus flytrap grows indoors on your brightest windowsill, for example, in an area where it receives full sun most of the day. The leaves will wilt and lose their energy if there is too much shade. A closed terrarium can also be used to grow the insect-loving plant. Yet, in the winter, you must make sure it gets adequate light and has a dormant phase.
How Big Do Venus Flytraps Get?
Venus flytraps have a diameter of up to 5 inches (13 cm). A single leaf is usually no bigger than 1″ (2.5 cm). The tiny predatory plant can have up to 20 traps when grown in ideal conditions. A trap will drop off every so often and be replaced by a new one.
Winter Dormancy for Venus Flytraps
A Venus flytrap requires three to five months of winter dormancy for each year of growth. The leaves turn black and die during the winter. From late fall until early spring, you should put the potted plant in a cool, untreated area. Temperatures of 50°F to 35°F (10°C to -1°C) are ideal in theory.
During the winter, keep the soil moist, but don’t provide it with insect feed since it’s sleeping. Move the plant to a sunnier location when the temperatures reach 50°F (10°C). Any dead leaves should be removed. The plant will re-establish itself and be ready to capture more insects.
Varieties of Venus Flytrap Plants
Venus flytrap plants come in a variety of different forms, each with its own features. Venus flytraps come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Red Dragon—Deep red leaves, lobes, and long, slender black spiky teeth characterize this spectacular bug-catching plant.
- Justina Davis—The two circular spiny lobes are the only leaf components that are light green.
- Flaming Lips—Bright red lobes with a lime-green border and razor-sharp teeth are the distinguishing characteristics of this Venus flytrap.
- Red Piranha—With this carnivorous plant, the burgundy-red leaves and lobes provide a striking visual.
- Sawtooth—Green-toothed lobes with deep red shade on the inside are the identifying feature of this Venus flytrap plant.
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) Care Guide
To flourish, a healthy Venus flytrap must meet certain requirements. Growing the Venus flytrap plant in sphagnum peat moss, watering with distilled water, and exposing it to bright light are all essential steps in its care. Let’s explore how to cultivate a Venus flytrap in a pot in greater depth.
Venus Flytrap Soil
Always use a mineral-free, nutrient-free potting soil when growing a Venus flytrap to ensure healthy development. Two parts sphagnum peat moss and one part perlite are the most common compost combinations for the plant. This soilless potting compost is ideal for a thriving Venus flytrap because it contains few nutrients and has great moisture retention.
In the alternative, you may use an insect- and bug-eating plant aspotting medium made from a carnivorous plant soil. Do not use ordinary potting soil to develop a Venus flytrap. Too many minerals can harm a plant’s vigor and cause it to die if they are present in the soil from the garden or in a nutrient-rich potting mix.
Lights Requirements for Growing Venus Flytrap
Venus flytrap plants thrive in a sunny location with at least six hours of daily sunlight. As a result, a south-facing windowsill is the optimum location to raise the fly-catching plant. To guarantee that the carnivorous plant thrives, you can also utilize a suitable plant grow light. Although a Venus flytrap is a suitable terrarium plant, it needs adequate lighting. In a packed glass enclosure, this can be difficult at times.
Nevertheless, if the plant receives enough sunlight every day, the constantly wet conditions and damp soil may benefit it. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep in mind that if a glass terrarium is exposed to direct sunlight, the temperature may rise too high and cause leaf burn.
How to Water a Venus Fly Trap
Always use mineral-free water when watering a Venus flytrap. Reverse osmosis, rainwater, deionized water, and distilled water are all acceptable sources of drinking water. Tap water, on the other hand, has minerals and chemicals that may harm your carnivorous plant’s development. Also, keep the soil moist by watering it frequently.
For a few hours each day, put the pot on a saucer of water to watered a Venus flytrap. Watering the soil from the top is not recommended. If the earth isn’t wet, you risk stressing the moisture-loving insect eater plant, which may die as a result. Never let it dry out even partially.
The Venus flytrap plant is kept in 0.4″ (1 cm) of distilled water by some individuals. The soil must be kept moist but not too moist during dormancy in the winter. As a result, it isn’t necessary to keep it in water.
Venus Fly Trap Temperature and Humidity Requirements
To thrive, a Venus flytrap needs at least 60% relative humidity. The evaporating water will help provide humidity if you place the potted Venus flytrap on a water tray. You may also create a humid environment for the fly-catching plant by placing it near other houseplants.
Venus flytrap plants prefer a temperature range of 70°F to 95°F (21°C to 35°C). To allow the tropical plant to rest during the winter dormancy period, maintain temperatures of 40°F to 50°F (5°C to 10°C). Light frosts of 35°F (-1°) may kill a Venus flytrap, but extended periods below freezing may harm the plant’s roots.
Venus Flytrap Fertilizer
Venus flytraps don’t need any tropical plant or houseplant fertilizer, so they don’t need any fertilization. The plant instead thrives on poor soil, getting nutrients from a constant diet of spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, and other insects.
Repoting a Venus Flytrap
Annual repotting is beneficial to Venus flytraps because it keeps the potting medium fresh and aerated. When Venus flytraps emerge from their winter dormancy in the spring or early summer, they are at their most vulnerable. Inspect the bulbous rhizomes for root rot and eliminate sick sections when removing the old soil from the Venus flytrap. You may now investigate whether it is feasible to split the Venus flytrap into numerous plants for propagation.
Venus Flytrap Propagation
Dividing the roots of a Venus flytrap plant in late winter is the simplest method to propagate it. Remove the plant from the pot, find an offshoot with its own root system, and replant it. Next, you can repot the plants in fresh containers. You can also start a new plant by removing a leaf from the root system. Remember that the leaf stem is subterranean.
To discover a suitable leaf to remove, you’ll have to scrape away the soil from the roots. Place the leaf in a sphagnum moss and perlite combination after removing it. A growing Venus flytrap plant would take about two years to develop.
Pests Affecting Venus Flytrap Growth
Aphids and fungus gnats are the two most common insect pests on Venus flytraps. Venus flytraps can’t capture every little fly that floats around since they aren’t large enough for the plants to detect. Aphids, on the other hand, are not especially harmful to Venus flytraps. Soak the plant in water for two to three days to get rid of aphids. Repeat the process after a week.
Feeding on the plant’s stems and leaves may harm Venus flytrap plants, according to Fungus gnat larvae. Applying Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is the best way to get rid of fungus gnats. Thegn larvae’s lifecycle is disrupted by soil bacteria, eventually resulting in their death.
Diseases Affecting Venus Flytrap Growth
Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) may be a problem if the weather is too chilly since Venus flytraps flourish in high humidity and wet soil. The leaves may wilt and die if the grayish moldy spots are present. Remove any contaminated leaves and place the plant in a warm, bright location to deal with mold.
Venus Flytrap Care – FAQs
Is it normal for Venus flytrap leaves to die?
As they enter winter dormancy, Venus flytrap leaves die every year. This is completely normal, and you shouldn’t be concerned. If you over-fertilize the plant, use the wrong water in the soil, allow it to dry out, or fail to give it a three-to-four-month break during winter, leaves may wilt and die.
What does an unhealthy Venus flytrap look like?
The color of a Venus flytrap may fade, the leaves might become twisted, or the leaves might transform black if it is stressed. Overly rich soil, insufficient watering, and lack of sunlight are the most prevalent reasons for Venus flytrap plants to die. It is critical to address the developing concerns in order to revive a dying Venus flytrap. If the potting soil needs to be changed, use a peat moss and perlite combination instead.
Also, keep the Venus flytrap moist by placing it on your sunniest windowsill, and only use distilled or rainwater to keep the soil moist.
What happens if my Venus flytrap plant goes black?
As winter approaches, Venus flytrap leaves are commonly seen to darken. The leaves will be black during the resting months of dormancy. In the spring, you may clean all of the dead leaves from your plants, and new leaves will sprout from below.