One of the most famous carnivorous plants in existence is the Venus Flytrap. Charles Darwin described it as one of the most wonderful plants in the world.
Once you have one in your vicinity, and you happen to see it close its jaws on a curious insect, you would agree.
With a minimal native area where they grow, in the coastal bogs of North and South Carolina. This one species with the Latin name Dionaea Muscipula has seen the destruction of its habitat threaten its survival.
In other countries where it is a native, it is feared it is already close to extinction. Many houseplant gardeners think having a Venus Flytrap is not feasible because they are hard to tend to.
In reality, these carnivorous plants are no harder than many other plants, and if you follow this guide, you shouldn’t have much problem.
Read on in this article, and you will find that Venus Flytraps are one of the easiest plants you can care for.
Can You Have a Venus Flytrap in Your House
When it comes to growing a Venus Flytrap, there are a few things to learn if you are looking to have them inside your home.
They do grow very well in a conservatory or unheated greenhouse. These are the closest to their natural habitat in the Carolinas and deliver the right humidity.
As long as they are protected from any harsh elements, they can cope with a temperature that reaches around 86 degrees Fahrenheit or drops close to freezing in winter.
This, however, doesn’t mean you should push your Venus Flytraps to these extremes. Ideal temperatures range from 32 ºF and 55 ºF during dormancy.
Like other plants, they do have a growing season, and if you have one inside your home, you do need to follow this for them to survive longer than a year.
Venus Flytraps need a spell of cold winter dormancy. This falls from November to February, and you will have to mimic this environment, which is as close to their natural habitat as possible.
If the Venus Flytrap is being grown in a terrarium or on a window ledge during the growing season, the chances are you need to move them to another cooler area that still has sufficient light. A garden shed with a window or even a garage window can be ideal.
During this dormant time, the Flytraps leaves blacken, and the carnivorous plant dies back to the rhizome. It appears drastic, yet it is natural, and you can safely trim off the dead growth in this period.
Once the dormancy period ends, it is the best chance you have to re-pot and divide the plant. Pot-sizes for adult plants are around 4-inches in diameter.
How Much Sun Does a Venus Flytrap Need?
The Dionaea Muscipula are used in all manner of lighting conditions in their natural habitat. Therefore, partial shade and as little as four hours of sunlight are possible.
However, for them to thrive to their best, you need to provide them with 12 hours of sunlight that is bright and direct. The morning sun can be the best because the sun’s rays are not too strong.
This can be the same during the summer months because it prevents the leaves from drying out. If their location catches too much sunlight, you can hang a cheesecloth across the window to cut the sun and offer some shaded protection.
House location will need to be in windows that face either south, west, or east. On the occasions where you have poor light, you can use artificial lighting to accomplish this.
The best kinds and cheapest to run are either LED or fluorescent tubes. You need to sit these between 2 and 8 inches from the plant and make sure you turn these off once you hit the 12-hour marker.
Are Venus Flytraps Easy to Look After?
Here are the basic guidelines you ought to follow to care for your treasured carnivorous plant.
1. A Carnivorous Plant Needs Good Drainage
Because they are used to boggy conditions, Venus flytraps like plenty of moisture; however, too much saturated ground, and you can find you have root rot or mildew growth.
It is easier to grow them in pots that have plenty of drainage holes, although you can use containers, which come with no holes.
One thing to note is you are better at using plastic pots rather than clay or cement. This kind contains minerals, which can leech into the soil and water and thus cause a mineral burn. Replant after dormant periods as the plant grows.
2. Using the Right Kind of Soil
The kinds of soil found in the natural habitat of a Flytrap are sandy, acidic, and undernourished. To mimic this kind of soil, you can use a 1:1 mix of sphagnum peat moss and horticultural sand. This will deliver the perfect balance of water retention while offering lots of drainages.
Aside from this, there are a couple of other soil considerations to know.
Never use regular potting soil, enriched soil, or compost. Besides, never be tempted to add nutrients to feed your Flytrap because this overload can be harmful.
Sand needs to be horticultural sand and not beach sand. In the same way as clay pots, the mineral content can cause growth issues.
Peat moss should be used rather than regular sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss is better at retaining water while having a neutral pH level.
Sphagnum peat moss is a little more acidic and can retain the right amounts of water like their natural environment.
To increase drainage, you can increase the amount of sand or add perlite to your moss.
3. Watering Your Flytrap
Soils do need to be moist at all times, though this doesn’t mean water every day. Because the moss is good at retaining water, you can water your plant every couple of days.
The exception to this is if you live in warm environments or your pot is too large, you may need to top up the water every day.
You need to be careful when doing this because the surface may appear dry, while underneath, it may be overly wet. Check for a week or so to gauge how much water you need.
Here is another thing many indoor gardeners get wrong with their carnivorous plants. They may use regular water. To water a Flytrap, you should only ever use rainwater or distilled water.
The reason for this; being too many alkaline nutrients in regular tap water or even filtered water.
4. Feeding Venus Flytraps
When Flytraps are growing in outdoor environments, they are capable of catching their prey. Indoors, if you see they look a little under the weather, you can help them feed them small insects or small bugs. Don’t be tempted to give them other food, and you can harm them.
Instead of repeatedly feeding, remember which parts you fed as a flytrap can open and close only so many times during their life. Too much feeding can drain their energy.
Feeding live insects are better because these stimulate their digestive juices. Any insects need to be a third of the size of the trap; insects that are too large or too small may cause the trap not to shut correctly.
Use a long pair of tweezers to hold the insect inside the trap. Be sure the insect touches the trigger hairs that signal the trap to close. You can tickle the inside of the trap with the fly or insect, but never put your finger inside and touch it.
5. Don’t Put Your Finger in
It can be tempting to see what happens when you put your finger inside the Flytrap. If you do this, you can cause the trap to close, and that is it; once you pull your finger out, it can be around a day before the trap opens again.
Causing premature opening and closing can cause an early death for your plant. If you notice, a trap doesn’t close correctly, and it can be a sign it has not long eaten. It can also be a sign it has lost all its energy and is nearing the end of its life.
6. Pruning Your Flytrap
Indoor plant growers will know how energy-sapping it can be for a plant to flower. Flowers on flytraps have a harsher effect. Flowers are not required for a Flytrap grown indoors. If you don’t have the specific skills to care for a Flytrap that flowers, it can cause the plant to die possibly.
Flowers sprout from the center of the plant, and when you see this growth, you should nip them off to conserve your Venus Flytraps energy and keep them alive.