How to Feed Venus Fly Traps & Pitcher Plants


Both Venus fly traps and pitcher plants are carnivores, meaning that they eat insects to survive. Both plants thrive on live meals, and either, if it grows large enough, can digest small reptiles and amphibians as well. Both plants have a hot, humid natural habitat, but can be raised indoors as a houseplant with very little effort. Feeding Venus fly traps and pitcher plants is simple.

Catching the Food

Step 1

Mix 1/4 cup sugar into 1/4 cup hot water and stir until dissolved.

Step 2

Pour the mixture into a small jar.

Step 3

Insert a small funnel into the jar. Use a funnel small enough to remain off the bottom of the jar, but large enough to cover the opening of the jar.

Step 4

Place the jar outdoors on a table or bench. Flies, gnats and other small insects will be attracted to the sugar water and once inside the jar, cannot escape.

Feeding Your Plant

Step 1

Use the tweezers and gently grasp one of the live bugs in the jar.

Step 2

Hold the live bug approximately 1 inch above the open mouth of the Venus fly trap. Release the bug into the open mouth. The mouth of the fly trap will close immediately. If feeding a pitcher plant, insert the bug deep into the pitcher, or trumpet portion of the plant.

Step 3

Feed your Venus fly trap or pitcher plant once or twice a week. Young plants may need to eat only once a week, while more mature plants will need to eat more often.

Tips and Warnings

  • You should never feed either a Venus fly trap or a pitcher plant raw meat, such as hamburger. The enzymes in the meat could kill the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Small jar
  • Small funnel
  • Sugar
  • Small tweezers


  • The Carnivorous Plant FAQ
  • Ohio State University Extension: "Feed Me Seymour!" Carnivorous Plants All Bark, No Bite
  • Cornell University: Carnivorous Plants - A Teacher's Resource Guide
Keywords: feed carnivorous plants, feed venus fly traps, feed pitcher plants

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.