How to Care for a Venus Fly Trap: 3 Pro Tips to Grow Your Own Carnivorous Plant Indoors

Apr 16, 2021 06:00 PM

How to Care for a Venus Fly Trap - Photo by Aenic from Pexels
SHARE - While growing Venus fly traps may sound cool, they have obtained the reputation of being difficult to grow. Actually, Venus fly traps live for years in their native habitat as their growing conditions are quite straightforward. But they are often short-lived plants in cultivation, and it’s usually because we don’t care for them properly.

So, it’s important to learn how to care for a Venus fly trap when you grow them as indoor plants. Fret not, though, as Tripboba has wrapped up useful information about growing the plant as well as pro tips in taking care of this carnivorous fella. So, just keep reading!

Where do Venus fly traps grow?

How to Care for a Venus Fly Trap - Photo by Stuart Borrett from Flickr

Before getting started to learn how to care for a Venus fly trap, it’s important to know some facts about the habitat of this carnivorous plant. Venus fly traps (Dionaea muscipula) are perennials native to boggy areas of coastal North and South Carolina. They grow in moist, acidic soils in full sun, but only survive winter outdoors in Zones 8-10.

That’s why if you happen to live in colder-winter climates, always make sure to grow a Venus fly trap in a moist environment like a terrarium that can go indoors during winter.

How to grow a Venus fly trap

How to Care for a Venus Fly Trap - Photo by András Dénes from Pexels

If you want to grow this plant, you’ll then need to know the proper way on how to care for a Venus fly trap. Though Venus fly trap thrives in poor, acidic soil that stays damp, but it needs soil that still has good drainage.

That’s why regular potting soil won’t work for your little carnivore—instead, stick to a blend of one-third sand and two-thirds sphagnum peat moss for the best drainage and moisture retention. You also have to avoid adding lime and fertilizer to the soil.

Don’t forget to keep your Venus’ fly trap happy by giving it lots of light. Though this plant prefers bright light, you’d want to keep it indoors instead as indirect light works best for it. That being said, you should never place this plant in direct sunlight in summer as the temperature may get too hot which results in crispy leaves.

Even so, you still have to learn how to care for a Venus fly trap plant indoors. If you grow it under artificial lights, make sure to keep fly traps 4-7 inches away from fluorescent lights. Provide with more light if your plant's traps don't show a pink interior or if the leaves look long and spindly.

Though it’s best to keep the environment humid and the soil moist, avoid letting the plants stand constantly in water. Also, note that tap water is too alkaline or might have too many minerals, so you’d want to avoid giving that to your plant, too. Then, how should we water the plant? You can instead use distilled water or rely on rain.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the air circulation in growing Venus fly trap plants, so turn a fan on in the room where you keep them.

How to care for a Venus fly trap plant

How to Care for a Venus Fly Trap - Photo by Izabella Bedő from Pexels

Here are some other things to consider when it comes to learning how to care for a Venus fly trap indoors. Keep your plant sitting in water from spring till autumn.

In winter, your plant’s growth will stop and the leaves may turn black. When this happens, you don’t need to be panicky: the plant survives the cold winter with swollen corm under the soil surface, so this is a completely normal phenomenon! 

This is why you have to keep it damp during this time. You can then resume normal watering when it bursts back into growth in spring. You may also want to cut the flower spike off to encourage more leaves.

The idea of feeding the plant with live insects sure is fun, but note that it’s not essential for the plant’s survival. So, you should never, ever neglect your plant’s ideal soil, water, or lighting needs just because you‘ve fed them with a lot of insects!

Remember that Venus fly trap is a plant, after all. Also, don’t feed your plant with bugs sprayed with insecticide as this could kill your plant.

Another thing you may need to consider when it comes to learning how to care for a Venus fly trap is regular repotting of the plant to ensure that it has adequate room to grow as well as to help keep the potting medium fresh.

It’s best to repot the plant annually during the spring or early summer as this is when they come out of their winter dormancy. Avoid repotting Venus fly traps while they are actively flowering. 

To repot your carnivorous plant to its new home, fill a slightly larger new pot with the 1:1 mixture of peat moss and perlite. Gently water the new potting mixture with purified water or rainwater to moisten it. Then, create a small hole in the center of the new potting mixture where the Venus fly trap will be placed.

Carefully wiggle the Venus fly trap out of its current pot, being careful to handle the root ball and not the traps. With your fingers, gently break away the old potting medium from the roots of the Venus fly trap.

Then, place the plant into the new moistened potting mixture and carefully pat the soil into place around the roots. Lastly, water the plant thoroughly.


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