How to Look After a Venus Fly Trap


Insectivorous plants like the Venus fly trap are some of the most interesting species on the planet. Any owner of this rare beauty will tell you that watching and raising this exotic plant never loses its thrill. And, if provided with the right conditions for growth, Venus fly traps can be as easy to look after as a cactus. Put them outside in the summer in a terrarium with a hole in the top, and you won't even have to feed them flies.

Step 1

Water your plants with distilled water or rain water. Venus fly traps cannot tolerate the chemicals in tap water. If you have no other choice but to use tap water, allow it to sit out for 24 to 48 hours to allow the chemicals to dissipate.

Step 2

Keep your Venus fly trap's terrarium humid and moist. Water your Venus fly trap so that its soil remains moist (not soggy) at all times. If the soil feels dry, water it until it is moist again.

Step 3

Keep your Venus fly trap's temperature between 70 and 95 degrees during its growing season (between March and October).

Step 4

Move your Venus fly trap's terrarium to an area where the temperature remains between 45 and 50 degrees F when it goes dormant. During the winter, between November and February, Venus fly traps go into a dormant stage when almost most or all of its foliage dies back. When this happens, it's time to cool the plant down.

Step 5

Give your Venus fly trap access to indirect sunlight for most of the day but allow it two hours of direct sunlight daily (if it begins to wilt, cut back the amount of exposure). In the winter, when the plant goes into its dormancy, keep it out of direct sunlight altogether.

Step 6

Feed Venus fly traps that are kept indoors or in closed terrariums. A Venus fly trap that lives outdoors in a terrarium with a small hole in the top can fend for itself. Other Venus fly traps need to be fed two to three flies every month. Use the small feeder crickets available at most pet stores. Or collect small slugs, flies or other insects. If they are dead, make sure that they did not die of insecticide poisoning.

Step 7

Prune away dead leaves and traps as soon as possible to prevent the plant from developing fungal infections. Simply use your pruning shears to prune away any dead material as soon as you see it.

Things You'll Need

  • Terrarium
  • Insects
  • Slugs
  • Pruning shears


  • The Garden Helper: The Venus Fly Trap
  • Botanical Society of America: The Venus Fly Trap
Keywords: water venus trap, look after venus, feed venus trap

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.