Venus Fly Trap Tips

Venus fly traps (Dionaea muscipula) are carnivorous plants. These plants get the majority of their nutrients by trapping and digesting small insects such as flies and mites. For this reason, they thrive in poor soil. Native to the United States, Venus fly traps are a popular choice for home gardeners who want a distinctive plant, or for teachers and students who want an interesting, educational project in their classroom.

Feeding

Venus fly traps obtain their nutrients from insects, not soil. On average, these plants trap and digest two or three insects per month. In most cases, they catch them themselves, but if your plant is indoors you might have to feed it a live insect once a week or so. Never plant Venus fly traps in rich potting soil. Too many nutrients in the soil will cause the roots to burn and the plant to die. Sphagnum moss works well, or a mixture of the moss, coarse sand and perlite. For this reason, you should also never fertilize a Venus fly trap, even if you see the leaves falling off. This just means that the plant is going into hibernation; a normal state for the Venus fly trap and one that usually lasts through winter.

Light and Water

Venus fly traps need lots of sunlight to thrive. Place or plant them where they will receive at least six hours, but preferably eight to 12 hours of sunlight. Morning sunlight or indirect sunlight is best, as too much hot, direct sun can overheat the plant, according to the website My Carnivore. Water your Venus fly trap between one and three times per week. Use only distilled water or rainwater, as tap water may contain too many nutrients for the plant. Keep the soil moist to the touch, but not overly soggy.

Humidity

Venus fly traps need high humidity levels to grow well. Outdoor plants can only be grown in climates that have warm, humid summers. Many indoor gardeners grow them in terrariums, where the water can evaporate and condense quickly. Others mist the plant up to three times of day with warm water from a spray bottle. Still other gardeners provide a humidity tray for their Venus fly trap plants. To make a humidity tray, line the bottom of a shallow tray with pebbles and add enough water to barely cover the pebbles. Then, rest the pot containing your Venus fly trap on top of the pebbles.

Keywords: Dionaea muscipula care, Venus fly trap, flytrap tips

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.