The Venus Flytrap Care Guide

Venus Flytraps (or Venus Fly Traps) are easy to grow and care for if you understand their few  simple requirements. People often unintentionally kill their first Venus Flytrap unaware of its water and soil needs. The water must be pure and the soil specially prepared. Venus Fly Traps naturally grow in soil so lacking in nutrients and minerals that ordinary garden soil, soil from the yard, even potting soil specially produced to encourage other plants to grow well, will all kill Venus Flytraps.

venus flytrap waiting for prey
A Venus Flytrap waiting for a meal.

Fertilizer will also kill Venus Flytraps. Although experienced growers have learned a few techniques to lightly fertilize a Venus Flytrap without damaging it, beginning growers should never use fertilizer, nor soil with any kind of added plant food or natural fertility.

Water from your kitchen tap or garden faucet will almost certainly kill a Venus Flytrap. In nature, they are used to a lot of rain, which usually contains nothing but pure water. Water from a kitchen or garden spigot, fine for humans to drink, is not nearly as pure as rainwater; although it may look clear, it usually contains dissolved minerals, and these will kill or damage a Venus Flytrap.

venus fly trap fleuron

So to summarize the major points so far—

To grow healthy Venus Flytraps:

  • Water— Use only pure distilled water or reverse osmosis water with nothing added, or collected rain water; never use tap water or garden water. Venus Flytraps love soil that is moist but not wet all the time.
  • Soil— Use only a specially prepared soil (soil recipes can be found here at VenusFlytrap.info) that has no nutritive value; never use garden soil, potting soil, soil from the yard or any kind of soil prepared for other kinds of plants.
  • No fertilizer— Do not use any kind of fertilizer with Venus Flytraps; it will damage or possibly kill them.
  • Sunlight & dormancy (see below)

In addition to needing only pure water and nutritionless soil, Venus Flytraps love lots of sunlight (or strong artificial light) if the weather is not too hot and need a yearly rest period (a winter dormancy) during which they grow very little and very slowly, and should be watered much less frequently than during the warm and sunny growing season to prevent fungal or bacterial infection.

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venus fly trap design dinner plate
Antique Portmeirion dinner plate with Venus Flytrap design.