Venus Fly Traps are carnivorous plants that live in wet, acidic soil. They’re native to the bogs of North and South Carolina in the United States.
The plant has a unique trapping mechanism, consisting of two hinged leaves with trigger hairs on their inner surfaces. When an insect touches the hair, the two halves of the leaf swiftly close together over it. In addition, the inside surface of each half has tiny little “teeth,” or fine protrusions, which secrete a clear fluid that immobilizes the prey by dissolving its cuticle and other soft parts. Venus flytraps are known to eat insects as big as themselves!
- Venus Fly Trap Main Characteristics
- Venus Fly Trap Care
- Types (Cultivars) of Venus Fly Trap
- Propagating Venus Fly Trap
- Potting Venus Fly Trap
- Venus Fly Trap Terrarium
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- Venus Fly Trap – Useful Care Tips (Video)
Venus Fly Trap Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Venus Fly Trap, Venus flytrap, Meadow Clams|
|Botanical Name||Dionaea muscipula|
|Synonyms||Dionaea corymbosa, Dionaea crinita, Dionaea dentata, Dionaea heterodoxa, Dionaea muscicapa, Dionaea sensitiva, Dionaea sessiliflora, Dionaea uniflora, Drosera corymbosa, Drosera sessiliflora, Drosera uniflora|
|Native Range||North Carolina, South Carolina|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||5 to 10|
|Mature Size||Height: 0.50-1.00 feet; Spread: 0.50-0.75 feet|
|Bloom Time||May to June|
|Propagation methods||by seed, by leaf pullings|
|Sun||Full sun, Partial shade|
Venus Fly Trap Care
Venus Fly Traps are not among the easiest carnivorous plants to grow indoors, as they can be temperamental during their dormant period, which is not until right before spring hits. Thankfully there are still many simple things to do when caring for your Venus Fly Trap in winter that will make it feel at home during its dormancy phase.
Light and Location
The best light for a Venus Fly Trap is direct sunlight. They need at least six hours of sun a day to stay healthy. Therefore, they should be placed in an area where they will get plenty of sunlight. Such as near a window or in a bright room.
These plants are very particular about their location. The best option would be to grow them in a bog garden, replicating their natural habitat of North and South Carolina. Alternatively, they will do well on a patio or on a porch where they can get plenty of sun. Finally, place indoor plants near a window to allow some direct sunlight. If none of these options are available, you can also use a Venus Fly Trap Terrarium to grow them in a controlled environment.
Venus Fly Traps need plenty of water. They will do well when placed in a tray full of water. Indoor plants should be kept constantly moist. Try to avoid watering your plant with tap water, as this can contain high levels of harmful chemicals. Instead, try using distilled or rainwater, which will be gentler on the Venus Fly Trap’s delicate roots.
Venus flytraps in the wild grow in wet, acidic soil. The optimal temperature is in the range of 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit. In autumn, you can prepare them for winter by keeping them in a location of about 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
These plants love humidity; the more, the better. Achieving this shouldn’t be a problem if you live in an area with humid summers. But if your summers are dry and you want to maintain your plant’s ability to take up water through its leaves, you may need to use a humidifier or set the pot on pebbles that can hold moisture. You can also use a Venus Fly Trap terrarium to control the humidity.
The Venus Fly Trap is among the rare few plants that don’t require fertilizer. Instead, the insects it catches using the infamous leaf traps are all the feed it needs. So, instead of fertilizers, move the plant outdoors once in a while to let nature run its course.
Types (Cultivars) of Venus Fly Trap
There are many different variations of the Venus Fly Trap. Some are left to grow naturally, containing up to 26 teeth, all without human interference. Others are bred for their looks- the Japanese cultivar “Red Dragon” is a famous example, as well as “Sawtooth.” There are also commercial cultivars bred to enhance the predatory qualities of the plant. For example, “Florida Giant” has larger traps with an even greater sensitivity to touch than other varieties, and “Green Thumb” produces more digestive enzymes than other plants. Varieties of Venus Fly Traps:
- Purple Haze
- Japanese Red Dragon
- Florida Giant
- Green Thumb
And many more!
Propagating Venus Fly Trap
The simplest way to propagate the Venus Fly Trap is by leaf pullings or by division. Remember to take the leaf from a healthy part of the plant and avoid wilted areas. The best time to cut is after the flowering. Rooting hormone is unnecessary, but it can help speed up the process.
How to grow Venus Fly Trap from seeds?
If you want to propagate by seed, you will need to remove the Venus Fly Trap seeds from the plant’s flower after it has run its course. You will get about 10-15 tiny black seeds that you can germinate. Contrary to most other plants, these seeds need not be stratified (soaked in cold water for an extended period). But instead, they have the highest chance of successfully taking root if you plant them as soon as possible. Please place them in a container filled with moist sand or peat moss and keep them in a warm place until they germinate. Usually, this takes about five months.
Potting Venus Fly Trap
Venus Fly Traps like moist, acidic soil. They grow in bogs and wet savannas, so these conditions are ideal for them. To pot a Venus Fly Trap, the best thing to do is use a peat-based potting mix when filling your container.
How to repot Venus Fly Trap?
A Venus Fly Trap should be repotted when the leaves are growing at the edges of the pot. Here’s how to do it:
Take a container that is just a little bit taller and wider than the original pot, and fill it with the proper soiling mix. Plant the white part of the rhizome at the center and fill the rest of the pot with peat moss or pure sand. And remember to water thoroughly.
Venus Fly Trap Terrarium
The Venus Fly Trap is an exotic plant that most gardeners find fascinating. You can grow one in a terrarium, but they require more care than most. A few conditions must be met for the growing environment of the Venus Fly Trap for it to truly thrive.
One of the easiest ways to keep a Venus Fly Trap terrarium is to use a plastic container. Make sure that the container has a well-fitting lid. The soil must be acidic, moist, and rich in peat moss and sand. You can mix your own soil or purchase it from a gardening store. When planting the Venus Fly Trap, be sure to bury it so that the top of the plant’s leaves are just above the soil’s surface. You will need to water it regularly. The best way to water a Venus Fly Trap is to immerse it in water for about 5 minutes.
Lastly, this plant doesn’t like fertilizer. Most of its nutrients come from the prey. But you will need to provide the insects for it to eat. The best insects to use are ants or flies. You can use crickets or other feeder insects that are high in calcium, but they will die before the plant has a chance to catch them. If you use ants, you can provide a shallow water dish for them to drink near your plant. Ants also help keep away aphids and other pests that may harm your plant. But if your plant has trouble attracting ants to its traps, flies are your best bet.
Maintaining a Venus Fly Trap terrarium is hard work but worth it. Fill it with any decorations you like. Sphagnum moss is a personal favorite.
The Venus Fly Trap is non-toxic. Humans, dogs, cats, and horses are safe. But don’t go chewing on the leaves either; an upset stomach is no fun.
Common pests for Venus Fly Trap include aphids and spider mites. Aphids feed on the plant and inject a poisonous liquid into its cells while eating them. On the other hand, Spider mites produce webs that cover the plant and leave it to die. They also suck the liquid from the plant’s cells. It is essential to get rid of these pests as soon as they are spotted because they can quickly damage the plant. There are a few ways to be rid of these pests, including insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or neem oil.
Red lobes turning green and floppy?
Your plant can get droopy if you mess up its watering routine. It can also become this way if the air becomes too dry. Recheck how often you water it and increase humidity, preferably by misting the leaves for the quickest results.
Why is my Venus Fly Trap turning black?
It’s a sign of the plant entering winter dormancy. This is perfectly natural and part of the natural life cycle. It may even happen in the fall, depending on the region. However, your plant should come back to life once spring arrives.
Yellow, brown, or black traps?
Quick changes in the environment can result in the traps becoming discolored. Return the plant to its previous location and gradually acclimate it to the new spot over a week.
Trap not closing?
Many people are unaware that the traps can only close a limited number of times. Usually no more than four or five times in a trap’s entire life. So if you’ve been messing about with the traps and baiting them to close, they can lose the power to do so entirely very quickly.
Venus Fly Trap – Useful Care Tips (Video)
How to keep a Venus Fly Trap alive?
Give it direct sunlight for six hours every day. Use acidic soil with peat moss and sand as the potting mix. Water often, and don’t let the soil get dry. This plant needs a lot of humidity, and an almost swamp-like environment would be ideal. Many people go with bog gardens, though you can also use a terrarium. And don’t feed it anything; it gets its nutrients from the insects it catches.
How often to feed Venus Fly Trap?
These plants don’t need fertilizer at all. But they do need prey; insects like flies are the most common. But if you are keeping it as an indoor plant or in a terrarium, you will have to provide the insects yourself.
How often to water Venus Fly Trap?
A proper watering routine is the most critical aspect of caring for this plant. You want the keep the soil moist at all times. Don’t ever allow it to become dry. Ideally, water it so often it doesn’t even get close to that point. Remember to use rainwater or distilled water. Avoid tap water entirely.