Care of Venus Fly Traps


Venus fly traps, also known by their scientific name, Dionaea muscipula, are carnivorous plants that trap and digest insects as a supplemental food source. Commonly grown as houseplants, Venus fly traps require special care to survive under normal household conditions. Because they are native to wet, boggy areas of North America, the plants require moist, rich soil to thrive. Creating an appropriate environment is one of the most important parts of caring for Venus fly traps, although providing the plants with adequate nutrition is also necessary.

Step 1

Plant Venus fly traps in a small container filled with a growing medium made of one part clean sand and two parts peat moss. Keep in a location that receives bright, direct sunlight during spring, fall and winter and indirect or filtered sunlight during summer.

Step 2

Maintain a constant temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night throughout spring, summer and fall. Keep plants at a daily temperature of 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a nightly temperature of 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit during winter.

Step 3

Water once each week to keep the soil consistently moist, yet not soggy. Flood the container once every two weeks by adding water until it begins to accumulate around the plant. Siphon off excess water after flooding to prevent stagnation and remove excess fertilizer salts.

Step 4

Feed Venus fly traps a small insect once every two to three months to provide plenty of nutrition. Place the insect in a trap, and touch the trigger hairs around the outside to cause it to close and digest the prey.

Step 5

Remove the flower stalk that grows during the spring to help the plant conserve nutrients and produce additional traps. Trim off any dead leaves or traps as necessary to increase the appearance and health of the plant.

Step 6

Repot Venus fly traps during early spring whenever they are too crowded or the soil is drying out too quickly. Increase the size of the container by several inches to accommodate for new growth. Use a fresh growing medium to provide proper nutrients and acidity for growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not feed Venus fly traps any raw meat or human food. Only use small insects, such as flies or mill worms.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Clean sand
  • Peat moss
  • Small insect


  • Caring for the Venus Fly Trap---Dionaea Muscipula
  • Iowa State University Extension: Ask the ISU Extension Garden Experts: Venus Flytrap
  • "The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Biology and Cultivation"; Wilhelm Barthlott, Michael Ashdown; 2007
Keywords: Venus fly traps, Dionaea muscipula, carnivorous plants

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including