Venus Fly trapDionaea muscipula
Quick care guide
Use rainwater; keep soil damp
Never use fertiliser; feed with flies.
About the Venus Fly trap
It may need extra care and attention compared to other indoor plants but the hard work looking after the Venus fly trap is worth it and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most interesting plants you could own. The Venus fly trap catches its prey, usually flies or insects, in the traps that grow at the end of its stalks. An insect coming close enough to trigger the fine hairs inside the plant’s mouths will find itself trapped as the teeth snap shut around it. A trap may only open and close to collect prey for half a dozen or so times before remaining closed.
Come autumn, the Venus fly trap enters dormancy and its needs change: it requires less water and light. Its appearance will also change – it will stop growing and the leaves may begin to die. However, come spring it will begin to grow once more.
Caring for your Venus Fly trap
During growth seasons of spring and summer the Venus Flytrap will benefit from direct sunlight during the day.
Keep its soil moist but not water-logged. When it enters dormancy in autumn-winter you can water less but still keep the soil moist.
It will benefit from humidity but doesn't rely on it to survive.
Unlike most plants, you cannot use plant food or fertiliser. It's a carnivorous plant and it will catch anything that flies into it but you can feed it flies or insects yourself. Once you drop one close to the trap it will trigger the hairs inside and will snap shut over the insect. Don't feed it cat food or any form of meat - only insects, preferably alive but it will eat recently dead ones too.
Normal room temperature
Keep a look out for aphids, mealy bugs and spider mites as they can attack the plant. Treat with insecticide.
First aid for your Venus Fly trap
A trap has turned black
It's common for this to happen to traps - they will die off as newer ones begin to grow. It might also happen if a fly or insect hasn't been fully digested by the plant. When the trap turns black you can remove it.
I fed the Venus Flytrap a dead insect but the trap won't close
A live insect will wriggle inside the trap and will cause it to close fully. If you feed a dead insect, massage the sides of the trap to encourage it to close over. Once it's digested the insect it will reopen. However, after several closures the trap will cease working and will die off.
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