Venus Fly Trap – How to feed this carnivorous plant!


One of the first things that people like to do with their first venus fly trap is to trigger the traps to close.  This is usually for one of two purposes – just to watch the fascinating experience, or in an attempt to get the carnivorous plant to eat an insect!  Unfortunately, if this is done too often or improperly, it can ultimately harm the plant.  There are some correct ways to properly feed the venus fly trap.  If this is something you are interested in learning, then this article should help you out considerably!

The first thing you need if you want to feed your plant is some sort of food.  As mentioned elsewhere at growing carnivorous plants, suitable food will usually be insects.  Some fo the best insects to use are the easiest ones to catch, including ants, non-poisonous spiders (for obvious reasons), baby crickets, and many more.  Other things such as slugs and some caterpillars will also be great food for your venus fly trap.  Once you have captured the pray, you need to prepare it for the feeding.

To get an insect ready to be fed to a venus fly trap is really quite easy.  Just put the insect into a small plastic container and close the lid.  The jar will need to go into the freezer until the bug is cooled.  The goal here is not to kill the insect but to stun it for a short period of time.  It may take a few tries until you figure out the best amount of time in the freezer so don’t be upset if your fist attempt isn’t perfect – just keep going until you have a suitably cooled and stunned insect.

Once your insect is stunned, find a suitable trap.  A good trap is one that is fully developed, has reached a mature size, and is open.  Place the insect near the center of the trap, ensuring that it doesn’t stick out from the edges!  You will need to use something to trigger the trap to close.  This can easily be done by using a toothpick tweezers to brush the trigger hairs on your venus fly trap.  The trap will snap shut, usually within 1/2 of a second!

For the trap to form a proper seal (that contains the digestive juices), further stimulation is required.  This can be achieved by one of two mechanisms.  The insect should warm up relatively quickly and will start to move around within the confines of the the venus fly trap’s now closed trap.  This will provide the stimulation needed for the trap to finish closing completely.  If the insect doesn’t ever wake up, some gentle massaging between thumb and forefinger will also do the trick.

Be sure not to overfeed your venus fly trap.  All it needs is one meal every two to four weeks.  Use your judgement to decide when to feed this wonderful carnivorous plant.  If your trap is showing signs of weakness, it may just need the extra nutrition that a juicy slug or ant can provide!

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