The most popular carnivores plant, the Venus flytrap, is a true marvel to look at. While beautiful, that beauty hides a terrible secret, if you’re a bug that is. While sometimes labeled as difficult to grow the Venus flytrap can be a breeze to grow with the proper knowledge. Today, we’ll look at all you to grow a Venus flytrap of your very own.
The Bogs Of Carolina
Before we begin, it’s important to keep in mind the natural environment of the Venus flytrap. The plant is only native to the coastal bogs of the Carolina’s here in the United States. This is important to know, and you’ll see below much of the care for the plant goes into replicating this environment.
Preparing your Soil
The first thing to do is to prepare your soil. Venus fly traps are a bit odd in that they actually like poor, acidic soil. Generally, you want to avoid potting soil mixes sold at the store.
It is best to make use of a soil that consists of sphagnum peat moss and perlite to a ratio of 2:1. It’s easiest just to buy suitable peat-based mixes on Amazon as these will give you the correct ratio. There are also a number of peat-less mixtures available that many gardeners are moving to this. This has less of an environmental impact so is good for those looking to reduce their footprint.
In general, almost any type of container can be used to grow a Venus fly trap. The only thing to keep in mind is to make sure it has proper drainage holes, but this is the same for nearly every plant.
Venus Fly Trap Lighting
A Venus flytrap needs lots of bright sunlight for proper growth. This usually means giving them the sunniest window in your home or a equally bright spot outside. One word of caution, if temperatures are above 90°F outside the sunlight may be a bit too intense for the plant and potentially fry the leaves. In these high temperatures look to give the plant lots of indirect light.
The two major signs of too little light are droopy leaves and inside of the plant loosing its characteristic red color. If you notice these problems try giving your plant more light.
Water and Feeding
Venus flytraps grow best in swampy areas, and therefore do enjoy damp soil. That’s not soaked, but the soil should always have a bit of moisture in it. Water every few days minimum to keep the soil in this range.
One important note when watering is to use distilled or rainwater. You don’t usually want to use soil directly from the tap as the build up of minerals from this water can kill your plant. It’s okay on occasion, but don’t make it a habit and look to repot each year to prevent mineral buildup.
For feeding both live and dead insects can be used. If using dead insects keep in mind that the hairs on the plant need to be triggered after it has closed. You also only want to feed once all the plant’s other needs are taken care of. Look to feed your plant once every other week.
This really only applies to plants grown inside, if the plant lives outside it will generally catch enough on its own.
As the Venus fly trap is native to swampy areas it generally likes it a bit more humid than most plants. While not necessary, many growers choose to place them in terrariums to encourage high humidity levels.
Outside of that, many standard humidity raising techniques work to keep the plant happy. We have an article that details humidity raising techniques here.
Venus flytraps naturally grow in an area the experience cooler winters and therefore grow best when given this cycle. They don’t want it freezing cold, but around the low 30’s is a good temperature for the winter. This can be achieved by leaving them outdoors (depending on where your live), or in a garage.
You can also simply move them away from their normal growing window and stick them in a cooler room. Your plant will not need as much sun or water during this time.
During this time parts the plant will die and turn black. This is normal, and it’s okay to trim off these dead parts.
Hopefully you’ve been inspired by this exotic plant. It’s deceptively easy to grow, so go forward with confidence!
For those looking for an easy option you can get a fully grown one here on Amazon. These pre-grown plants come in a nice container, and give you all the beauty of owning one of these plants without the work to grow one from a seed.
1. My Venus Flytrap Is Turning Black, is This Bad?
In the winter the plant will naturally stop growing and begin to die. This is normal, and the plant will spring back up come the growing season.
2. What Should I do If I See Flowers On My Venus Flytrap?
Generally, you can look to cut off the flower stalks once they reach a few inches. Flowering takes a lot of energy from the plant, and stopping it will help fuel faster growth. That said, you can just ignore them and should do so if you’re looking to harvest seeds.
3. What Can I Feed a Venus Flytrap?
You should only feed your plant living or freshly dead bugs. Anything else can harm it. If in doubt, visit a local nursery to ask for advice.