How to Feed a Venus Flytrap

Overview

Venus flytraps are carnivorous plants native to the North and South Carolina swamplands. They rely on insects for their nutritional needs but can also thrive without them. Feeding Venus fly traps is especially easy because, well, you don't have to feed them at all. Still, you may think it's neat to watch your flytrap eat the occasional insect, and that's OK too. Just follow these feeding guidelines to make sure your plant stays healthy and happy for the whole growing season.

Step 1

Provide pure water. This is one of two essential elements to feeding your Venus fly trap. Avoid tap water at all costs because the chemicals and minerals in tap water can damage your plant's root system and kill it. Use filtered water or rain water.

Step 2

Provide enough light. Good water and light are really all your plant needs to survive. Place your Venus fly trap in a place where it will receive light for at least 12 hours a day, of which four or more should be bright, direct sunlight. There's no such thing as too much direct sunlight with these plants.

Step 3

Let it hunt on its own. If your flytrap is outside or near an open window, it will attract and feed on insects all on its own. If your plant is indoors in a place without insects, it will be fine so long as it has enough light and good water. Still, if you'd like to see it feed, you can give it up to one insect per week by dropping it between the open petals and on top of the hairs that signal the plant to snap closed and feed.

Step 4

Never feed other foods. Avoid the temptation to give your plant meats, vegetables or any food source that it wouldn't be able to catch on its own. If you do, the fly trap will snap shut around these foods, be unable to digest them, turn black, rot and die.

Step 5

Do not fertilize. Venus fly traps will die if you add plant food or fertilizer to their soil. Provide poor nutrient quality soil, like a mix of sphagnum moss, perlite and peat.

Things You'll Need

  • Pure water
  • Insects

References

  • Venus Fly Trap Care
  • Care and Cultivation of Venus Fly Trap
Keywords: feed, venus, fly trap

About this Author

Lillian Downey is a writing professional who has served as editor-in-chief of "Nexus" literary journal and as an assistant fiction editor at the "Antioch Review." Downey attended Wright State University, where she studied writing, women's studies and health care.