How to Care for a Venus Flytrap

Overview

Although Venus flytrap, a well-known carnivorous plant, supplements its diet with insects, it makes food just like any other plant. Standing at 3 to 6 inches tall, the Venus flytrap is native to North Carolina and South Carolina. Outdoors, the plant is hardy down to USDA zone 8, where the temperature does not drop below 10 degrees F. Most people grow these plants indoors to better control the environment.

Step 1

Plant the Venus flytrap in moist, acidic soil in full sun. The plant needs as much humidity and moisture as possible. Indoors, a terrarium or large fish tank with a cover is your best option. Place a layer of coarse gravel on the bottom of the tank. Use two parts sphagnum peat moss and one part coarse sand as a potting medium and make sure the top of the plant's root ball is even with the soil level.

Step 2

Collect any rainwater that falls into a container and use this to water the plants. Tap water may have too much alkalinity and too many nutrients for the Venus flytrap. If rainwater is scarce, distilled water will work. Keep the potting medium or soil consistently moist and do not let it dry out between waterings.

Step 3

Feed the traps ants to supplement the plant's diet. It does not absolutely need this to survive but ants can boost the plant's vigor.

Step 4

Pinch off flower stems and dead traps to encourage more trap growth. The traps will die after two to four closings.

Things You'll Need

  • Terrarium or fish tank
  • Gravel
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Coarse sand
  • Container
  • Rainwater or distilled water

References

  • Iowa State University: How does one care for a Venus flytrap?
  • North Carolina State University: Venus Flytrap
  • University of Connecticut: Dionaea muscipula
Keywords: watering Venus flytrap, feeding Venus flytrap, Venus flytrap care

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.