Caring for Venus Flytraps

There are many misconceptions about these beautiful plants. 1) They don’t need as much TLC as people make out, so long as you get the basics right they can fend for themselves. 2) They’re not actually tropical plants; their origins trace back to South (and North) Carolina, but you’ll find them in the tropical section of garden centres because they like warmth and humidity, and 3) “They die really easily” This isn’t true, they appear dead and brown during their winter dormancy, but come springtime they’re able to grow again. Everybody needs a rest now and then, including Dionaea!

The two Venus Flytraps I bought from separate garden centres were both in pretty bad health, because the garden centres don’t usually know how to care for them properly. I rescued one from near the checkout, where a whole basket of them were left starved of flies and sunlight; it was actually eating itself, as you can see if you look closely above.

But since then it’s grown many new traps to replace the dying ones, and even divided into two separate flytraps. Below you can see the baby flytrap hiding amongst the bigger one, and it was catching its own prey long before the baby shoots from the main plant were grown enough to do that. Above is my second venus flytrap, growing a flower which most growers cut, because it takes energy away from the traps…but I let it do it’s natural thing.I separated the baby trap to make sure it had its own space, you have to be very careful when repotting; peat moss, soil with no chemicals, and perlite or sand work well. You shouldn’t repot very often as it’s a trauma to the plant, but because they were already in bad health from the shop, I figured no more harm could come to them. Below is the baby flytrap:

And here’s all three together, a happy Flytrap family:

They should never be watered from on top, instead about 2cm of rainwater should be added to their tray so that the roots and soil can absorb as much water as they need. Never give them bottled or tap water, the chemicals will eventually kill them. They quite like humidity, but instead of spending tones on a terrarium you can pick up a decent sized cake box from Poundland, burn a few holes into the top and sides (they need decent air circulation) and they’ll thrive in there! Most important is they need lots of direct sunlight, if the leaves go yellowish it means they aren’t getting enough, but if the leaves get brown patches it may mean that they aren’t used to that much yet, ease them into their new environment.

Because of how moist the soil will be, and the amount of insects that will be attracted to them….even through the cakebox (see below)…it does mean they’re at risk from pesky bugs that can pose a threat to them (I know, ironic!). To stop those bugs from eating their leaves, damaging their roots or generally stealing the goodness from the soil, I recommend: Provado Ultimate Bug Killer spray, because it gets the job done without harming your plant (obviously don’t spray too much though). There’s a similar product that deals with Fungus Control; you don’t want your plant to rot from how moist it is, or any mould from dead flies. That’s why sand and Perlite in the soil help it not to get too soggy.

Everyone cares for their traps differently, so there’s bound to be trap-breeders who don’t agree with my method, but this has worked wonders for mine. Good luck! And comment if you’ve any questions.

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One response

  1. Pingback: Teaches Me To Trust « It Just Dawned On Me

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