How to Grow a Venus Flytrap

Overview

The Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous perennial that feeds on insects. The plant releases a nectar to lure insects into a trap. Once caught in the trap, the plant dissolves the insect with secreted enzymes and absorbs the nutrients. The Flytrap is a tropical plant that requires a warm, humid environment for most of the year but needs 3 to 5 months of dormancy in the winter. Flytraps are best grown indoors where you can control the temperature and moisture levels. Venus Flytraps are simple to grow, and will survive indefinitely when given the right conditions.

Step 1

Fill a 4- to 5-inch pot half-full with a mixture of 70 percent sphagnum moss and 30 percent perlite. Place the Venus Flytrap bulb in the center of the pot with the root side down.

Step 2

Fill in around the bulb with your moss and perlite mixture (with your hands or a small shovel) until the top of the bulb is even with the surface of the soil.

Step 3

Water the pot with distilled water until water leaks through the holes in the bottom of the pot. Venus Flytraps are sensitive to chemicals and should only be given rain or distilled water.

Step 4

Line the bottom of a pie tin with small stones (1/4 to 1/2 inch each) and add distilled water so it just covers the top of the stones. Place your Venus Flytrap on the stones to ensure adequate moisture and humidity.

Step 5

Place your plant in a warm, bright location out of direct sunlight. Placetwo or three small crickets from your local pet store into the traps of the plant per month.

Step 6

Move your plant to a cool location, ideally between 32 and 55 degrees F, for November through February. Keep the soil moist. The Venus Flytrap will die back during these months, and store up energy for the next growing season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Springing the traps on your plant may cause them to lose sensitivity and die. Do not feed your Venus Flytrap hamburger meat.

Things You'll Need

  • Venus Flytrap bulb
  • 4- to 5-inch pot
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Perlite
  • Small shovel
  • Distilled water
  • Pie tray
  • Small stones
  • Crickets

References

  • Botanical Society of America: The Mysterious Venus Flytrap
  • The Garden Helper: Venus Flytraps
  • Flytrap Care: Venus Flytrap Dormancy

Who Can Help

  • Botanical Society of America: Carnivourous Plants
Keywords: growing Venus flytrap, DIY venus flytrap, carnivorous plant growing

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, SheKnows.com and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.