Venus Flytrap is the most well known species of
carnivorous plants. It is a low growing perennial herb
native to coastal bogs of North and South Carolina.
The trap of the Venus Flytrap is one of Nature's most
amazing marvels. The outer edges of the two clamshell-like
halves are lined with nectar glands and stout bristles.
They are normally held open at about a 60° angle. When
an insect is attracted to the sweet nectar and enters the
interior of the trap, it brushes against sensitive
trigger hairs causing the two halves to close rapidly;
the plant reacts within 1/30 of a second. The plant then
secretes an enzyme which essentially dissolves the insect,
turning it into a digestible dinner. Depending on air
temperature and the size of the meal, it is digested and
absorbed in 3-5 days. Then, the trap reopens for another
The traps have a limited number of false alarms too, so
don't stimulate them too often. Artificially springing
the trap drains the plant's energy, if no insect is
caught, the energy expenditure is wasted and the plant
can soon deteriorate. The closed trap will remain closed
for many days afterwards, denying the plant the
opportunity to catch further prey, adding to its troubles.
After about a 10 false closures they will no longer
respond. If you are growing your Venus Flytrap in an area
where it does not get anything to eat, you can give it
one or two flies or wild caught crickets every month.
Never feed your Dionaea hamburger, the fat content in
burger will be fatal to your plant.
The perennial Venus Flytrap blooms in May and June with
white, five-petaled blossoms which are held a few inches
above the foliage. The added bonus of letting them flower
is that they will set seeds. About 6-8 weeks after
flowering, the ovoid fruiting capsules mature, each
releasing many tiny black seeds.
The leaves will reach up to 13 cm long with flat, winged
petioles. Dionaea continually renews its leaves; old ones
die off, and new ones are produced to replace them.
Always keep dead leaves and heads cut off to prevent
fungal infections. Dead leaves and heads are a part of
this plant's life cycle, and doesn't necessarily mean
that the plant is unhealthy.
Hardiness zones 6-8, (-10°C/15°F, -20°C/-5°F) in
Winter. Venus Flytraps are quite easy to grow, as long as
they are given the proper conditions, the plants have
been know to live for more than 20 years.
Use a soil mix consisting of 70% peat moss or sphagnum
moss and 30% perlite. You can also pot them in pure peat
moss, it's what it grows in in its habitat. Flytraps do
not need fertilizer or this will damage the plants; if
they live, they will not produce traps, the insects which
they consume provide them with all the nutrients they
Venus Flytraps need a humid atmosphere with a moist soil.
It is a good idea to place a pie pan or large saucer,
with about an inch of water in it, under the pot. Elevate
the pot by placing pebbles under it so that the base of
the pot is barely in contact with the water, not
submerged; the growing medium must stay moist, but never
soggy. This will keep the humidity around the plant
higher and it will ensure that the plant has a constant
source of moisture. The humidity should be between 60-80%.
Water must be distilled or rain water because they do not
tolerate city or hard water. Venus Flytraps have an
active growing and feeding season, from May through
October. During this period the soil should be kept
constantly damp. During the Winter, keep it just barely
They require seasons in order to survive long term. Venus
Flytraps need a dormant period of about 3 months in the
Winter. The typical heated home is too warm in the Winter.
The entire planter may be moved to an area where the
temperature will remain between 2°C/35°F and 5°C/40°F.
It can be the salad crisper compartment of your
refrigerator. Or the bulb may be removed, sprayed with
fungicide, wrapped in damp live sphagnum moss, placed in
a plastic bag, and moved to a cool area. Then you should
check them every few weeks to make sure that there is no
fungus starting to grow. When a Venus Flytrap is entering
its dormant period, all the tall big growth will die back
to a few small leaves or back to just its bulb and root
It should be grown in very bright light, the leaves grow
much stouter and the traps colour up beautifully, but
with protection from full midday sun. Temperatures should
be kept between 21°C/70°F, 27°C/80°F.