The Q&A Archives: Venus Fly Trap

Question: I've recently purchased a venus fly trap. It's a tiny little guy only 3" in diameter and it looks a little weak . What can I do besides give it insects to make it grow?

Answer: Venus Fly Traps (Dionaea muscipula) are easy to grow if their conditions are met. They have long root systems so they should be planted in a tall pot. If your plant still has the plastic covering over the pot, remove it, or the plant will be spindly. Give your Venus Fly Trap full sunshine, a potting soil with peatmoss as the main ingredient, humidity above 50%, and a temperature of 70F-90F degrees during the day. Use distilled water, keep the soil moist, and place the pot on a tray of pebbles in which you keep water. As the water evaporates it will add humidity to the air around the plant. Your plant will go dormant sometime during the winter; the leaves and stems will die down and the bulbous root will rest. It will send up new stems and foliage about three months later. (So, don't throw the pot away, even if you think the plant is dead!) You can feed your Venus Fly Trap one or two flies every month. After digesting food, the trap will shrivel up and die, but new traps will develop to take their places. Keep the plant tidy by cutting off the dead traps. Enjoy your carnivorous plant!

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