How to Grow a Venus Fly Trap


The Venus fly trap is a carnivorous plant native to the eastern United States, particularly the bog-like areas of the Carolinas. The plant obtains its nutrients from the soil and from insects it catches in its trap. Each trap contains trigger hairs, and when they're touched more than once, the trap snaps shut to digest its prey. Traps containing prey typically remain closed for up to two weeks before reopening to catch another meal. Growing a Venus fly trap at home takes special care, including feeding the plant insects, but most importantly, providing a warm, humid growing environment.

Step 1

Fill the bottom of the terrarium with a soil mixture made up of one part clean sand and two parts peat moss to provide the plant with adequate drainage. Plant the Venus fly trap bulb root side down so the top of the bulb is even with the surface of the soil.

Step 2

Leave the lid on the terrarium slightly cracked at all times to prevent the plant from overheating and to provide air circulation. Place a fluorescent grow light 4 to 7 inches from the plant for four to six hours per day to provide sufficient lighting.

Step 3

Maintain a temperature of 45 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit at all times for optimal growth. Keep the Venus fly trap plant at a temperature of 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit during winter to encourage a dormant period. Reduce lighting to two to four hours per day during winter.

Step 4

Water the Venus fly trap once every five to seven days to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Flood the container once per month to prevent stagnation and salt build-up. Siphon away any excess moisture about five minutes after flooding.

Step 5

Feed the plant a small insect once every two to three months to provide the nutrients necessary for growth. Place the insect in the trap of the plant and trigger one of the tiny hairs to force the plant to ingest the insect.

Step 6

Re-pot the Venus fly trap every one to two years to provide a fresh, moist growing medium. Increase the size of the terrarium by several inches if the plant is becoming too large. Use the growing medium recommended for initial planting for the best results.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never feed a Venus fly trap raw meat or human food, as these can cause serious damage to the plant. Only use small insects, such as flies, crickets or mealworms.

Things You'll Need

  • Terrarium
  • Clean sand
  • Peat moss
  • Fluorescent grow light
  • Small insect


  • Botanique: Caring for the Venus' Fly Trap
  • The Botanical Society of America: The Mysterious Venus' Flytrap
  • "Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada"; Donald E. Schnell; 2002
Keywords: care for a Venus fly trap, growing a Venus fly trap plant, grow Venus flytrap, caring for Venus' flytrap

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including