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How to Transplant a Venus Flytrap

By James Young ; Updated September 21, 2017

Venus fly traps grow very slowly and even a small pot should provide plenty of room for two or three years of root development. Don't transplant newly purchased fly traps immediately--plants need time to adapt to new surroundings and the original pot gives them the best chance. Master the other issues involved -- watering, feeding and leaving the plant alone -- before shifting the fly trap to a larger or more decorative container.

Transplanting Flytraps

Wait until winter. In early winter when daytime temperatures drop to 40 or 50 degrees F and day length shortens, Venus fly traps go dormant. Transplanting while the plants are dormant causes less stress and gives time to re-establish new root systems.

Choose a terrarium you like. Pick out something you won't be tempted to change again for years. Glass goldfish bowls work well and allow easy checks of water levels in the soil.

Mix equal parts peat moss and clean sand. Fill the terrarium one quarter full of the special soil mix. Do not add fertilizer or use pre-mixed potting soil. Fly traps obtain most of their nourishment from captured insects and do not grow well in nutrient-rich media.

Moisten the new soil by misting with rainwater or spring water. Mix the soil until evenly damp and press lightly into place in the bottom of the terrarium.

Slip the fly trap carefully out of the old pot. Tip the pot and tap the plant and soil loose. Handle the plant by the base and avoid touching the leaves. Gently crumble the old soil loose from the root ball. Shake gently to release most of the old potting mix from the roots.

Dig a small hole in the new potting soil and hold the Venus fly trap plant at the same planting level as in the old pot. Toss new soil carefully around the roots and press lightly to set the plant in place.

Water the fly trap well with the mist sprayer. Roots should be set above the layer of water that accumulates in the bottom of the terrarium, with only the lowest roots touching a constant water source. Set the terrarium in a cool place away from direct winter sunlight.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Venus fly trap
  • Glass terrarium
  • Peat moss
  • Clean sand
  • Mist sprayer
  • Rainwater or bottled spring water

Tips

  • Keep a constant supply of water in the terrarium. Fly traps may survive over-watering but allowing the soil to dry out is deadly to them.
  • Water only with rainwater or spring water. Fly traps need the nutrients natural water sources provide--tap water containing chlorine or fluoride may kill them. Do not use distilled water as it contains no minerals or nutrients.

Warnings

  • When Venus fly traps emerge from dormancy in February, these plants need more light. Closed terrariums placed in a sunny location could overheat and kill the plants--make sure the tops are open for air circulation.
  • Don't play with the leaves of the fly traps. Each leaf triggers only three or four times, using up precious nutrients each time. After the last closure the leaf dies. Testing the plant may kill it.

About the Author

 

James Young began writing in 1969 as a military journalist combat correspondent in Vietnam. Young's articles have been published in "Tai Chi Magazine," "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," Sonar 4 ezine, "Stars & Stripes" and "Fine Woodworking." He has worked as a foundryman, woodturner, electronics technician, herb farmer and woodcarver. Young graduated from North Seattle Community College with an associate degree in applied science and electronic technology.