Venus Fly Traps – Keep Your Carnivorous Plant Thriving
Venus fly traps are among the most interesting plants alive because they are some of a small number of plants that are actually carnivorous. It’s this quirk that makes the venus fly traps such a popular plant for people of all ages. Of course, it also means that they have a few special requirements – they can’t be treated like just any household plant. I will teach you the basics of how to properly care for these carnivorous plants so that they will thrive for years to come!
For starters, the good news is that though Venus fly traps are exotic, taking care of them really isn’t too difficult. They will need water, but you shouldn’t water them from above like you would for regular plants. You can instead make sure their roots are in water by putting the container in a bowl of water. You should try to use distilled water or fresh rain water whenever possible. If you use tap water too often, the salt and clorine in it can kill or damage this type of carnivorous plant. If you water your Venus fly trap often, you will get plenty of healthy leaves and traps that may need pruning from time to time.
Each healthy Venus fly trap has several traps. You will notice that after a while these leaves will get old, turn black, and whither up. When you see this happening you basically have two options. One is to just snip the whole stem and trap off. Alternatively, if the stem is still healthy you can cut just the Venus fly trap’s trap off and leave the stem. I find this second option to be a bit unsightly though so I usually cut the entire stem off just above where it meets the base of the plant.
Now we’ve come to the fun part of growing carnivorous plants such as Venus fly traps – feeding them! This is not a hard task to do at all! If you keep the venus fly traps outside, they can usually fend quite well for themselves so you shouldn’t need to artificially feed them. If your plants are kept inside, and if they aren’t catching many insects on their own, you may choose to give them some help. Some good choices for foods include insects such as flies, grasshoppers, ants, spiders, etc. Avoid feeding worms since most worms have too much calcium and this can have a negative impact on your Venus fly traps. The bugs should be live or recently stunned. Place the insect gently into the jaws of the Venus fly traps and watch as the trap snaps shut! It will feed off of the insect for approximately 10 days then reopen to discard the ‘inedible’ shell of the insect. Your plant should only need one to two insects per month to keep it alive and thriving.
For more information on how to properly care for your Venus fly trap, I highly recommend “Growing Carnivorous Plants” by Barry Rice which can be found here!