Venus Flytrap Care
Charles Darwin called the Venus flytrap “the most wonderful plant in the world”. Its Latin name Dionaea muscipula partly commemorates Venus, the goddess of beauty. These strange and wonderful plants are easy and rewarding to grow, and we've put together all the information you need to care for yours in one place.
VENUS FLYTRAP CARE (TEXT)
SUN: Full sun. It is common for several of the traps to "burn" and die back when you first put it into the sun, it is just getting used to the full sun exposure and it will quickly grow new traps. They will thrive in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct light. You can grow them indoors on a very, very sunny windowsill or in a terrarium under grow lights but they generally do best outdoors. Also, if you grow them indoors be sure to provide them with a winter dormancy.
WATER: Always keep them sitting in a saucer with a few inches of distilled or purified water, they do not want to dry out but try not to flood the top of the traps with water as they do not appreciate this. Never let them dry out. Always use distilled, reverse osmosis or rain water only. These plants are especially sensitive to their water quality and it is very important to give them mineral and salt free water.
TEMPERATURE AND DORMANCY: These are warm-temperate plants meaning that they need warm summers and chilly winters. They should be grown outdoors year-round in areas with mild winters. They thrive in temperatures ranging from 20 degrees - 90 F degrees and can take a freeze or high temperature spike up to 100 F degrees for a brief period.
If you live in an area with very cold winters, where night time temperatures drop below 20 degrees for sustained periods, you have three options for providing them with a winter dormancy. Dormancy is triggered by a combination of exposure to shorter photo periods and cooler temperatures in the 50-60's F. While you can skip a dormancy period once or twice, long term your plant will begin to do poorly and will eventually die if you skip this crucial period.
Your first option is to bring your plant indoors to a sunny windowsill in an unheated room or garage where the night time temperatures will dip down into the 50-60 F. Leave it sitting in water during this period and put it outside again when outside temperatures increase.
The second option is to mulch them in very, very well outdoors. You will need to pack at least four inches of mulch on top of the plants and all around the sides to prevent winds from chilling them.
The third option is to remove the plants from their pots, gently clean the roots of soil, wrap the roots in a bit of damp long-fibered New Zealand sphagnum moss, place the plants in a seal-able bag and put the bag into the refrigerator. Leave them in the refrigerator from October to February, periodically checking on them to make sure they are still a bit moist and are not growing any fungus. Pot them back up in February.
SOIL: We prefer a mix of four parts fertilizer free peat moss to one part perlite.
FEEDING AND FERTILIZER: When grown outdoors Venus flytraps will catch plenty of food and do not need supplementation. You can still supplement with a foliar fertilizer. Apply MaxSea fertilizer once per month to the foliage only. Dilute 1/4 teaspoon of MaxSea into one gallon of water and then apply. If you would like to feed the traps of your flytrap it is recommended that you use live prey as the traps usually require continued movement from their food to stimulate the full absorption process. They will often open too soon if they are fed inert foods and will not absorb nutrients. We recommend live meal worms available from any pet store.
Anatomy of a Potted Venus Flytrap