How to Care for Venus Fly Trap
Often, as kids, we’ve all thought Venus flytraps did actually come from the planet Venus. The little twin jaws with thorny fringed “teeth” looked alien already, but when a bug landed on that tantalizing pink center, and the Venus trap closed around the unsuspecting victim, that was totally out of this realm!
These carnivorous plants are pretty captivating and can be super fun to grow indoors. But, you need to know how to care for venus fly trap, so it doesn’t die quickly on you. Fortunately, growing them is not that difficult, as long as you don’t care to catch a few fly snacks for them every once in a while.
These odd plants need different care than other indoor plants that you’re probably used to, but by catering to the right conditions, the Venus flytrap will quickly become your favorite plant.
Venus flytrap is also known as Dionaea muscipula. This plant is domestic in South and North Carolina. The Venus flytraps flourish on plenty of water, heat, and sunlight. Since their roots are used to developing in bogs, a type of wetland, this plant needs to be kept constantly damp.
These flytraps are known for capturing and feeding on bugs and insects. They grow best outside, though it is possible to grow them indoors if you can generate the right environment. You can get the Venus flytraps from most garden centers, nurseries, and online plant shops.
How do carnivorous plants work?
Venus flytraps are predatory plants that rely on bugs and insects for nutrients instead of fertilizer, soil, or amendment. They’ve grown traps with configurations that seem like hair and can capture and squeeze their prey.
Once the plant captures its prey, it releases an enzymatic material that crushes the trapped insects into nutrients that the flytrap can utilize for its growth. If the plant detects nothing in its trap, it will naturally open back in a day.
Growing a Venus flytrap:
These unique plants can be grown outdoors and indoors, although they have special soil needs and are best planted in containers.
Since the Venus flytrap has specific soil requirements, you should avoid rooting it directly into the soil or ground, except if you have fashioned a particular swamp garden. You can also grow it in a fountain or a pond but keep in mind to keep the top of the plant above water.
When Venus flytraps are matured with proper care, the whole plant can get as large as five inches in length.
Where Venus Flytraps Grow:
Unlike the name suggests, these plants do not, unfortunately, grow on the planet Venus, as we all thought when we were kids.
Instead of originating a planet away from Earth, Venus flytraps are eternally native to marshy coastal South and North Carolina areas. They grow in acidic and moist soils in full sunlight but only survive outdoor winters in Zones 8-10. In colder winter weather, gardeners should grow these plants in a wet environment that can even go indoors during winters.
The Flytraps need direct sun for healthy development. If you’re maturing your flytrap indoors, select a bright sunlit windowsill. Inadequate sunlight will cause your plant’s leaves to become floppy and weak, and the interior of its trap will not have the desired red color.
They don’t need a terrarium to mature, but they appreciate the higher moistness of the bounded environment. They can be content with the terrariums if you respect their winter dormancy desires and provide enough light. Artificial lighting can also work well, mainly with high-powered fluorescents. They can also grow exceptionally well in unheated greenhouses and conservatories.
How to Care for Venus Fly Trap:
Venus flytraps are not as straightforward to care for as other plants. Although once you get to know their exact needs and deliver the correct settings, you’ll have a flourishing carnivorous plant.
Venus flytraps enjoy the water and need to be kept damp at all times, unlike most houseplants, where it’s better to let the ground they’re planted in dry out until the next watering. The Venus flytraps should be consistently kept wet. You should water them when 25% of their terrarium dries out. Depending on the place you live in and the time of year, you’ll usually need to water after a couple of days.
Although the flytrap needs a moist environment, you should avoid flooding them. The Venus Flytraps should never constantly sit in water because this will make the roots rot and ultimately kill your houseplant.
When it comes to the Venus flytraps, you might have to do a little extra to keep them happy; you can’t use tap water like you probably use for your other plants. You must use reverse osmosis or distilled water as tap water can hold minerals that might harm the plant with time.
Venus flytraps need lots of heat and sunlight to flourish, and the more they get, the faster they mature. At least six hours of direct sun is necessary for these plants to grow, and they do great if they get 10 or 12 hours of sunlight daily.
If you’re growing your flytraps indoors, place them next to a sunlit window or a grow light. Even though grow lights are not as strong as the sunshine, if it is your only option, you should leave the light on for about 12 to 16 hours daily. It’s better to shift your Venus flytrap outdoors during the summers so it can absorb the bright sun.
Venus flytraps are fussy about their growing organ. Like many other plants, these plants have developed to take in whatever nutrients they require from their traps instead of their roots in the soil. So what exactly should you even root them in? Sphagnum moss, a mix of fertilizer moss and a ventilating medium, like perlite, is considered the best type of terrarium.
Avoid any nutrient-rich soil so as to not give your flytrap any extra nutrients. Never use fertilizer, potting soil, or compost, as these materials kill your plant.
- Winter Dormancy:
Like many other houseplants, Venus flytraps require a time in winter when they look as if they’re dead, but they are just resting. Be mindful of keeping the plant 35 to 50°F. Avoid letting the terrariums freeze over as this can cause the plants to die, and the glass might break. Around the springtime, when days grow longer, you should increase light and warmth.
- What does a Venus flytrap eat?
Usually, Venus flytraps can easily fend for themselves when capturing and consuming their prey. They have developed to catch their prey without depending on plant parents to assist them. Although some people like to feed their plants, it’s not essential. The Venus flytrap has adapted to catching insects and bugs on its own, and pests are naturally attracted to it.
If you’re growing your flytrap indoors and there aren’t any insects in your space, you should deliberately feed your plant. You can provide a spider, fly, or any other small scrap to your flytrap once every few weeks to keep it powered up.
You can use a pair of tongs or tweezers to softly put the insect into your plant’s trap. If your plant is not hungry, it will stay open for a while and then close its trap within an hour, indicating that it doesn’t want to eat that bug. You need to focus on the size of the insects you feed your plant, as not all bugs are appropriate for a Venus flytrap. Choose insects that are a third of the size of your plant’s trap.
- How to feed Venus flytrap plants?
The name is pretty self-explanatory. Their primary diet consists of flies and other minor bugs. The secret is that the insect must be alive when it is captured. Dead flies or bugs won’t work in flytrap feeding; the insect should move inside the trap to activate it to close and start consuming the food. The insects and bugs also need to be small enough so that the plant can close the trap tightly around it to keep out germs.
If you grow your plants in an enclosed terrarium, the simplest Venus flytrap feeding method is to free small flies inside it. Sooner or later, the bugs or insects will be fascinated by the traps, land on them, and be captured.
Venus flytraps can even go long periods, usually a month or two, without eating at all. They will naturally get enough food if you plant and grow them outside. If you’re growing them indoors, you’ll need to feed your plants bugs occasionally. Live flies might be complicated to feed the flytraps, but tiny caterpillars, spiders, and beetles will also work.
- Common problems and how to fix them:
Keep a lookout for signs that your Venus flytrap isn’t content with its conditions and what you might need to change about them to help it prosper.
- Brown leaves:
As Venus flytraps constantly need high humidity and damp soil, letting the plant get too dehydrated can cause burning of the leaves and traps and makes them go crispy and dried up. Keep your flytrap slightly moist, and consider positioning it next to a humidifier.
- Skipped dormant period:
Relaxing and refreshing are important for Venus flytraps, and it is for humans. Your flytrap must go dormant as the days get shorter and the climate gets colder. Venus flytraps usually go into dormancy over the winters, and your plant should follow its natural tempo rather than you forcing it to stay awake during the winters. Keep up with the maintenance mentioned above, and your Venus flytrap should go into dormancy on its own.
- Black spots:
If you notice unpleasant odors or black spots on your Venus plant, it’s possibly an issue with its rooting medium. The Venus flytrap needs mineral-free, nutrient-free soil to survive. Any other kind of soil is like poison to your plant.
Tips to keep in mind:
- Keep in mind these quick tips; you’ll be prepared to nurture your Venus flytrap to health:
- Place your Venus flytrap outdoors during the summers if you’re maturing it as an indoor plant.
- Bring your plant inside your house before the temperature drops below the mid-40s.
- Although the Venus flytrap requires high heat exposure, it shouldn’t be exposed to heat surpassing 95 degrees Fahrenheit as it might dry out rapidly.
If you wish to add a carnivorous plant to your household, the Venus flytrap can be an entertaining one to bring home as a garden addition or a houseplant. Although they aren’t the simplest plants to care for, Venus flytraps can be a stimulating but rewarding choice!
Venus Flytrap Types:
Plant breeders have been experimenting with Venus flytraps and have emerged with a few impressive ranges available from online retailers or specific garden centers.
Venus Flytrap Cultivars:
There is only one specie of Venus flytrap, i.e., the Dionaea muscipula; however, dozens of odd and brilliant cultivars are also available. Most forms contain a small rosette of leaves, each of which bottoms out into a trap. The traps of fully matured plants are usually about 2.5 cm long, but they can also reach up to around 5 cm in some gigantic types.
Cultivars usually are chosen for size, mutation, or color. The first group, particularly the all-red and all-green forms, are among the most popular. These comprise Dionaea’ Justina Davis’, which stays completely green even in bright sun, and Dionaea’ Akai Ryu,’ a.k.a, the ‘Red Dragon’, which acquires a striking burgundy or maroon color over the whole plant. Large varieties include ‘South West Giant’ and ‘Slack’s Giant.’
Lastly, there are the mutants, usually resulting from tissue cultivation accidents. Some of these plants are distorted to the point of being incapable of even catching their prey. They are seemingly hated and loved equally; some people like the uniqueness, while others might find them bizarre!