Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)
One of the most familiar carnivorous plants. This plant traps its prey, mainly insects and spiders, between a double-lobed structure at the end of the leaves. Fine hairs trigger the plant to close its “trap” and snare its prey. Nutrients from the insect are absorbed over a period of about two weeks, then the lobes reopen, ready for a new victim. A true specimen plant. Fun and educational for kids to grow. Native to the coastal, subtropical wetlands of the United States.
Thrives in boggy conditions and would do well in a humid area of the house, such as near a bright bathroom or kitchen window. Very decorative on a windowsill, small table or shelf.
Once every month during growing season.
Do not allow soil to dry out.
Slightly acidic, organic-rich soil.
Basic Care Summary
Plant in organic-rich, well-drained soil. Keep soil moist throughout growing season. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly.
If the plant was purchased in a pot, then it is probably already in a quality potting soil and requires little more than watering and grooming for a while.
If potting a flowering plant to bring indoors or to give as a gift plant, start with a good quality, commercial potting soil. These are usually lighter in weight than topsoil, sterile and pest-free. Many are available with a mild starter fertilizer in the mix.
Select a container with a drainage hole or be prepared to drill holes for drainage if there are none.
Prepare the container by filling with potting soil up to 2” (5cm) from the rim of the planter. Make a small hole in the soil slightly larger than the root ball either by hand or using a trowel. Insert the plant into the hole and press soil firmly around the roots and just covering the root ball. When all the plants are potted, water thoroughly to settle the soil and give plants a good start. Place plant in bright location for best performance.
Repot every 2 years in the same container or in a container slightly larger than the diameter of the roots.
Most potted flowering plants prefer consistently moist but well-drained soil. If the soil gets too dry the blooms can wilt and they may not recover. Check the soil moisture with your finger. If the top 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, or plants are wilted, it is time to water.
Apply water at the soil level if possible to avoid wetting the foliage. Water the entire soil area until water runs out the base of the pot. This indicates that the soil is thoroughly wet.
Remove the flowers as they fade. This keeps the plant looking tidy and may encourage more blooms depending on the type of plant. After flowering many blooming plants make attractive houseplants. Be sure to trim the foliage to maintain the desired size and shape. Occasional trimming encourages the plant to develop more side-shoots and flowers, and reduces the demand for the plant to develop a larger root system. This is important since the roots are in a confined space.
Some plants will re-bloom on their own, but others may have very specific day-length or temperature requirements to flower again. A bit of research may be necessary to determine what is needed to encourage future blooming. Some plants, such as bulbs or perennials, can be turned into wonderful garden additions after the flowers have been enjoyed indoors.
Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed for foliage plants.
Too much fertilizer can damage plants so it’s important to follow the package directions to determine how much, and how often, to feed plants.
Slow-release fertilizers are an especially good, care-free choice for container plants. Follow the product directions for proper timing and application rates.
|Height Metric Range||15-30cm|
|Space Metric Range||25-30cm|
|Available Colors||Grown for foliage|
|Companion Plants||Miniature Orchids, Pincushion Plant, Pitcher Plant|
|Lowest Temperature||50° to 80°F|
|Lowest Temperature Metric||10° to 27°C|
|Bloom Time||Grown for foliage|
|Plant Light||Bright Light|
|Hardiness Zone||10, 11, 12|