How to Take Care of a Venus Fly Trap Plant


The Venus Fly Trap can be an interesting plant to own. If you do decide to get one, there are many specifics that must be addressed when caring for your new plant. The Venus Fly Trap requires a certain type of soil, growing conditions, water and food. It is possible to quickly kill the plant by ignoring any one of these areas, but just as easy to enjoy a flourishing plant when each condition is met.

Step 1

Set up the proper growing medium. Venus fFytrap soil needs are opposite to most other plants. Use soil low in nutrients and almost no fertilizer. You will burn the roots and kill the plant using regular potting soil and fertilizer. Create a mix of perlite, sphagnum moss and peat moss.

Step 2

Put the plant in a terrarium. Venus Fly Traps prefer warm, humid conditions because their natural habitat are pine savannahs found in the Carolinas where the soil is sandy peat and always moist. An alternative for warmer climates is to use a deep dish filled with pebbles and water. Put the soil on top and the plant in the soil. This keeps the soil moist, but will not drown the plant.

Step 3

Keep the plant in direct sunlight. Venus Fly Trap plants love and need sunlight and heat. Provide at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily, although more is better. Use a southern facing window.

Step 4

Use filtered, bottled or rainwater. Venus Fly Traps cannot tolerate chemicals such as chlorine, fluorine, magnesium and sodium. These chemicals move from the water to the soil. In the soil, these chemicals burn the root system. Water the plant during the growth cycle from mid-May to October.

Step 5

Feed the plant insects once per week during the growing season. The Venus Fly Trap is a carnivorous plant, but only to a point where it uses insects to gain nutrition lacking in the soil. Overfeeding will cause the traps to turn black and rot. Each trap only works up to four times before reverting back to simple photosynthysis.

Step 6

Use live bugs. Venus Fly Traps can tell the difference between dead and living insects by detecting chemical reactions and movement from the insects. Use the proper size insects for your plant. Keep the insect size proportionate to the trap size so the trap can close completely.

Step 7

Let the plant go dormant. Venus Fly Trap will enter dormancy around October and resume growing in mid-May. Most of the foliage will wither and die. Carefully remove the dead foliage, leaving the green ends at the stem. The plant will resume growth and return to peak form naturally. Do not remove any black leaves or traps during growth, as they will fall off naturally.

Step 8

Look for more than seven leaves to find new plants. When the Venus Fly Trap has more than seven leaves, this is a sign that it has sprouted a child plant. Carefully remove the extra leaves to reveal a very tiny seedling.

Things You'll Need

  • Terrarium
  • Insects
  • Perlite
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Peat moss
  • Filtered water


  • Black Jungle Terrarium Supply: Venus Flytrap Care Sheet
  • Fly Trap Care: What are the Basic Things to Know to Keep a Venus Flytrap Alive
  • Botanical Society of America: The Venus Flytrap
Keywords: Venus fly trap, carnivorous plant care, raising Venus flytraps

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.