The Venus flytrap is a perennial plant that grows from a bulb root system. Venus flytraps grow outdoors in USDA growing zones 8 through 10, however most prefer to grow them in a container indoors. If grown outdoors, a container makes the plant easy to move during winter dormancy. The plant should be re-potted every 2 to 3 years to increase the nutrient value in the growing media.
Choose a container for planting the Venus flytrap that is 2 to 3 inches wider in diameter than the plant's bulb root system. Select a growing location that offers temperatures of 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and has high humidity. The location should have full morning sunlight from the northeast or northwest and afternoon shade so the plant doesn't burn.
How to Plant
Fill the planting container with a sterile, nutrient-rich African violet potting soil mix or create your own by mixing equal parts peat moss, sphagnum moss and perlite. Lightly dampen the soil and make a 1-1/2 inch wide and 4 inch deep hole. Place the lower end of the bulb into the soil so the lighter part is below soil level. Gently close the hole around the bulb while still holding the plant. Release the plant and verify it is positioned in the pot correctly before tamping the soil to hold in place. Water the plant thoroughly after planting to moisten the soil. Place a tray filled with pebbles and water under the planting container making sure the container is not sitting directly in the water. This will increase the humidity around the plant.
Care and Maintenance
Water the Venus flytrap plant once the top layer of the soil begins to dry. Always use warm water to prevent shock to the plant. Apply a slow-release balanced fertilizer to the soil in early spring. Trim the spring flower stalk once it appears to increase trap formation on the plant. Cut dead leaves and traps as they dry out. Place the plant in a cool area that has a temperature of 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months as the plant requires a dormancy period.
Propagate Venus flytrap plants by dividing the bulb sections in the spring. Venus flytraps should be divided if the plant appears crowded in the container or dries out quickly after watering. Remove the plant from the container and gently cut or pull apart new bulbs that sprout off the main bulb. Plant the bulb in a soil mixture of sphagnum moss, peat moss and perlite that has been moistened with water. Grow under the same conditions as the mother plant.
Excessive poking at the trap to cause it to spring open and shut will drain energy from the plant and cause the trap to become less sensitive. This may lead to death in the plant as the trap is unable to catch food. Force feeding the Venus flytrap meat products, such as hamburger, is fatal--the fat content is too high for the plant.