This Venus fly trap care sheet covers everything you need to know about caring for a Venus fly trap indoors.
Venus fly trap or Dionaea muscipula is a carnivorous plant that originates from the sub-tropical wetlands of the East Coast of the US in North Carolina and South Carolina.
This is without doubt one of the most unusual plants in the world and can grow up to 5 and 6 inches in height.
And, people often cultivate it, not necessarily because of its looks, but of what it does, i.e. it traps insects.
It’s therefore a fun plant to grow, particularly if you have children around who will love watching it ‘eat’.
How does the plant trap flies? -It does it with its modified leaf with two lip-like lobes that are united with a hinge.
The nectar inside baits the insect and once it traps it, the leaf closes.
It’s digested within 4 to 10 days and then the lobes reopen.
However, don’t get nervous-despite the stunning show it’s capable of presenting, Venus fly trap care is no harder than for other common houseplants.
Plus, it looks great-the modified leaves, which can be up to eight, look quite peculiar. There’s no doubt that whoever spots it in your home or office, won’t ever forget it.
It’s good to know that the plant is non-toxic to humans and pets so don’t worry about their safety.
The plant will thrive if you place it where it will get minimum 12 hours of sunlight and 4 hours of direct sunlight-the more direct sunlight it receives, the healthier it will be.
One part of its common name, i.e. the Venus, refers to the Roman goddess of love. Go figure!
Good to Know:
Although the trapping action isn’t strong enough to harm humans, try to discourage little fingers going inside the trap as doing this wastes energy needed for the plant to actually catch insects.
How to Take Care of a Venus Fly Trap
Proper light is one of the keys for a healthy Venus flytrap.
When the plant is in its active growing season which is from May to June, it will need at least 12 hours of light and 4 hours of direct sunlight.
This is why it’s perfect for window sills and even balconies and porches.
However, despite its love for the sun-it can experience shock when you bring it from the shop where its natural light was minimal.
This is why gradually adjusting it to its new home is pivotal.
The plant will do just fine if the temperature indoors ranges from 70 and 95 degrees F. In the winter, it can withstand down to 40 degrees F.
Water & Humidity
Watering, especially the quality of the water used is pivotal for the health of Venus fly traps. They want it to be as pure as possible so it’s always best to use rainwater, spring water or purified water.
Tap water is usually rich in minerals and salts that may affect it adversely and even kill it.
In terms of humidity, the plant is not overly demanding and doesn’t want high humidity-above 50 percent will be just fine.
The plant loves to stay damp; however, it should never be soaking in water! This is why you should choose a pot with good drainage system.
For your Venus flytrap to grow happy and healthy, make sure the soil is nutrient-free and it’s well-draining and aerated.
Opt for a soil combo of 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite. Avoid planting it in potting soil, fertilizer or compost because it can kill it.
Fertilizing Venus Fly Trap
Even though some people feed the flytrap, the plant doesn’t need it.
Since it’s carnivorous, it’s adapted to catching insects on its own and they’re naturally attracted to it.
If you do feed it, do it with insects you’ve recently killed (without pesticides or insecticides) and never give it meat!
In the winter months when the plant is in resting phase, feeding isn’t necessary at all.
Repotting Venus Fly Trap
If you want to keep it robust, make sure you repot it yearly.
Use fresh soil and bigger pot. By changing the soil, you’ll boost its acidity, aeration, and strengthen the plant.
It’s best to do it during late winter and early spring or any other time of the year.
Venus fly trap can be propagated in three ways, that is, through seeds, leaf cuttings, and division.
If you choose to do it through leaf cuttings, early summer is the best option.
Peel the leaves off the rhizome and put them in sand and peat mixture and cover them with a plastic bag for humidity. In two years, expect a mature plant.
If you decide to do it through seeds, spread them on sand/peat mix. The germination happens in a couple of weeks. Transplant the plants after one year.
If you choose to do it through division, the best time is late winter to early summer. Cut the offshoots from the original plant, but ensure the piece you cut off has its own root system.
Best Types of Venus Fly Trap
This is one of the biggest Venus fly trap with traps measuring 2.25 inches across. Stunning choice for bigger space offices or rooms in your home.
On the other hand, this is the smallest Venus fly trap with the traps only half of an inch across.
All Red Venus Fly Trap
Most Venus fly traps have traps with some green in them and others are entirely green.
Some can be a combo of red, green, purple or yellow. This variety, as the name itself reveals, it’s completely red.
Other Venus Fly Trap CareTips
In winter, the plant will keep some of its leaves, but most of them will go brown around the edges and the traps won’t work and this is normal.
To protect it during colder months, make sure it’s not placed where the temperature goes below 20 degrees F because of frost burn.
You can also cover it with black plastic to protect it.
One last tip, why not display it in a Venus fly trap terrarium? See how beautiful it looks!
>> Check out terrariums on Amazon
Trouble Shooting- Common Issues
Problem: water-soaked spots on the stems or foliage
Cause: Fungal infection-gray mold.
Solution: Reduce the moisture and provide it with enough warmth, light, and good air flow to ensure it stays dry. Cut the infected parts to prevent further spread.
Problem: leaves aren’t developing & seem small, thin, and floppy
Cause: The plant is probably not getting the light it needs.
Solution: Make sure you provide it with full sun for at least 14 hours per day if you keep it inside.
Problem: Venus fly trap with black leaves / traps
Cause: a very big insect which the plant can’t digest or normally because they’re older traps.
Solution: Cut off the blackened traps.
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