The Q&A Archives: Venus Fly Trap

Question: My 10-year-old daughter recently purchased a Venus fly trap plant. Personally, I think it's doomed, but she would like to plant it in an aquarium environment, trapping and placing insects inside for the plant to consume. How is the best way to plant this plant so that it will grow and thrive, especially if an aquarium environment is used?

Answer: Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula) has a long root system so make sure it's planted high in the aquarium. Use peat moss or spaghnum mixed with sand or orchid bark. In the wild, Venus Fly Traps grow in full sunshine. Since yours will be in a glass enclosure, keep it out of direct sunshine, but be sure to supply bright light. Your plant will need to be fed once a month. A household fly or two placed on one of the leaves should suffice. Once a leaf folds up and the fly is consumed, the leaf will wither and die. New leaves will develop, so don't worry too much when an old one shrivels and dies. Here's a website with all kinds of information about carnivorous plants: Good luck to your daughter and her new plant!

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