Venus Fly Trap
Dionaea muscipula, otherwise known as Venus Fly trap, is a charismatic and unique looking carnivorous plant. Bright reds and lime greens and otherwordly looking jaws make of this plant an out of the ordinary must have!
Size: 9 cm pot
Origin: Subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the United States in North and South Carolina
Light: Bright indirect light, some direct sun (protect from strongest midday hours)
Watering: Use distilled or rain water (especially avoid hard tap water or mineral water) and water the plant from the bottom. Keep compost damp at all times, but not soaking wet or waterlogged. If you can keep them in a terrarium all the better as this will keep humidity levels high. Venus fly traps go dormant from late autumn and all through winter, so reduce watering frequency (keep it just damp) from late november to early march. Place it out of the terrarium during the dormancy period as they enjoy slightly colder temperatures then.
Feeding: Do not fertilize this plant. You can occasionally "feed" the plant with a small spider or a fly, but the insect must be alive as its the movement inside the "jaws" what triggers the hairs that give the signal to start digestion.
Soil: Venus Fly Traps need poor soil, a mix of sphagnum moss and perlite should be enough.
Tip: This plant is safe for pets and children. Direct sunlight can leave sunburn marks on the leaves. Keep away from radiators and drafts.
Troubleshooting: Venus Fly traps like humid enivonments, but are susceptible to root rot. Use appropriate soil mix and provide a humid environment. As the plant enters its dormancy period the leaves may start to turn black and the plant may die back to the rhizome. This is normal, and you can safely trim off any dead growth. The end of the winter dormancy period is a good opportunity to repot or divide the plants if they require it before growth begins in March. Carnivorous plants need acidic water and using neutral, mineral or alkaline water for long periods could damage your plant. The most commonly accessible source of acidic water is rainwater. You may also be able to use soft tap water or boiled tap water.
Flowering: Cut off the flower stalk once it’s reached about 5 cm tall. Flowering can be exhausting for Venus Flytraps, and most plants will grow more vigorously during summer if prevented from flowering.
Did you know? These plants do not like to be poked to perform the trick. It takes a lot of energy for the plant to close the jaws, and it's only occasionally that bugs land in them, so forcing it to constantly open and close its jaws is very unnatural to the plant and could even kill it!