How to Take Care of a Small Venus Fly Trap

Overview

The Venus flytrap belongs to a group of carnivorous plants, which are known for their ability to trap and consume the nutrients from flies and other small insects. Venus flytraps do not take all their nutrients from insects, notes the Iowa State University Extension, as they also require many of the same things traditional houseplants do. Proper water, sunlight and soils are vital to the flytrap's survival. The insect-eating ability replaces the need for additional fertilizer, as Venus flytraps are naturally adapted to low-fertility environments.

Step 1

Put a 1-inch layer of gravel in an aquarium or terrarium. Combine 2 parts sphagnum moss with 1 part sand and cover the gravel with 3 to 5 inches of the moss mixture. Flytraps require well-drained, slightly acidic conditions, which this growing medium provides.

Step 2

Plant the flytrap in the growing medium at the same depth it was at in its nursery pot. Flytraps are not rooted deeply.

Step 3

Water the growing medium until it is at wet as a wrung out sponge. Water the mix when the surface just begins to dry.

Step 4

Cover the top of the terrarium with a sheet of clear plastic. Leave a 1-inch-wide opening in the plastic for airflow. Flytraps require high-humidity.

Step 5

Set the terrarium in an area that receives at four to five hours of direct sunlight, and bright, indirect sun for the rest of the day. Alternately, set the terrarium under two 40-watt bulbs or a fluorescent grow light for 10 to 12 hours a day.

Step 6

Feed the flytrap a fly or other similar-sized insect once every 10 to 30 days. Place the insect on a healthy trap pad or set it free in the terrarium. Leave the plastic covering completely closed until the flytrap captures the insect.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not feed the flytrap raw meat or other fatty items. Do not touch the traps with your finger to make them close, as this also leads to trap and plant death.

Things You'll Need

  • Terrarium
  • Gravel
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Sand
  • Plastic sheet
  • Grow lights

References

  • Iowa State University Extension: How Does One Care for a Venus Flytrap
  • University of Kentucky: Venus Flytrap: Fun Facts
Keywords: Venus flytrap care, growing carnivorous plants, insect eating plants

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.