A Venus flytrap in its native environment.
image by Sakoi Kai/sxc.hu
Venus flytraps are native to the coastal regions of North and South Carolina. Insectivores, flytraps feed on small insects. They catch them in their traps, two fleshy paddles with hair-like fronds that attract and digest the insects when they close. Flytraps require high humidity and poor soil conditions to thrive. Recreating this environment at home is most easily done with a terrarium. Moisture is trapped in the terrarium, making it quiet humid, even in dry climates.
Remove the label from a large jar with a wide opening and lid. Wash and rinse the jar thoroughly and let dry.
Fill the bottom of the jar with 1 inch of perlite, available at garden supply stores. Substitute sand if perlite is unavailable.
Mix two parts peat moss with 1 part perlite. Place enough of the mixture in the jar so that it is 1/3 full.
Water the mixture until it is wet but not soggy. The mixture should hold together if you squeeze it, otherwise it is too wet.
Wet long-fiber sphagnum moss in water. Place a 2-inch layer of the moss on top the layers already in the jar.
Make a hole in the center of the moss and plant the Venus flytrap in the hole. Mound the moss over the flytrap bulb to cover.
Place the lid on the jar. Remove the lid at least once a week for 12 hours so that the plant receives fresh air. Keep the soil wet at all times.
Place the terrarium where it receives bright, indirect light and maintains a temperature between 70 and 90 degrees. A south-facing window or under fluorescent lights for 12 hours a day is best.