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How to Grow Venus Fly Traps Indoors

Growing a Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) indoors is like having a natural insecticide that is always working. Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant, native to streams and swamps of the Carolinas in the United States. Venus flytraps do not acclimate well to life outside of the swamp so, to be successful, mimic its natural environment as much as possible. This means lots of bright, full sun and cool winter temperatures.

Plant the Venus flytrap in equal parts of peat moss and horticultural sand.

Place your Venus flytrap in an area where it will receive at least 6 hours of direct sun per day.

Water with distilled or rainwater only. Place a saucer under the pot and allow 1 inch of water to remain in the saucer at all times. Keep the soil moist at all times well.

Pinch off flowering stalks as soon as they appear. This can be done with your fingers or sharp scissors.

Trim off dead and dying leaves for aesthetics only. They will not harm the plant. If trimming a partially dead leaf, cut off only the decayed portion and avoid cutting into live plant tissue.

Feed the Venus flytrap every four to eight weeks with flies, spiders, crickets, slugs, bloodworms or other insects. Bugs are available at pet stores (in the reptile department) or you can bring the bugs from the outdoors. The food must be no larger than 1/3 the size of the trap. Drop the insect into the trap and the plant will do the rest. If the insect is dead, gently pinch the trap between your thumb and forefinger after it closes. Rub it between your fingers, gently, to stimulate the trigger hairs inside the trap.

Help the Venus flytrap go dormant. When the Venus flytrap stops growing and some of the leaves gradually darken, in the fall or winter, it is attempting to go dormant. Place the pot in a sunny area where the temperature will remain between 55 and 60 Fahrenheit until spring. If that is not possible, place the pot in a plastic bag, seal it and put it in the refrigerator until spring. Check the soil periodically and water if it feels dry.

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