The Venus Flytrap Information and Care Guide
How to Keep a Venus Flytrap Alive, Healthy and Happy for Years
The Venus Flytrap (also spelled Venus Fly Trap) plant captures moving prey and digests it. If we didn't know that the Venus Flytrap actually exists, we would find it difficult to believe that something like it could exist. Many people are fascinated by the Venus Flytrap and grow Venus Flytraps in their own locations around the world, even though the unique plant's only natural habitat on Earth is a thin strip of land along the coast of North and South Carolina on the eastern, Atlantic coast of the United States.
Venus Flytrap waiting for a fly
Venus Flytraps are easy to grow if you know their few, but strict, requirements. People often kill their first Venus Flytrap or two, despite their best intentions, because they treat them like other plants. But the Venus Flytrap is a special plant with a very special natural habitat and some special needs. In nature, Venus Flytraps grow in soil that has almost no nutrition. They expect soil so poor that ordinary garden soil, soil from the yard, even special potting soil produced to encourage other plants to grow their best, will all kill Venus Flytraps.
Fertilizer will also kill Venus Flytraps. Although experienced growers have learned a few ways to lightly fertilize a Venus Flytrap without damaging it, new 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 lots of rain, which contains almost nothing but pure water. Water from a kitchen or garden spigot is not nearly as pure as rainwater; although it may look clear, it usually contains dissolved minerals, and these will damage or kill Venus Flytraps.
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 if the weather is not too hot (or strong artificial light) and need a yearly rest period (a winter dormancy) during which they die back, look terrible for a while, grow only very little and very slowly, and should not be watered nearly as frequently as during the warm and sunny growing season, or they might rot from fungal or bacterial infection, if kept too wet during dormancy.
Antique English china dinner plate with Venus Flytrap design
Much more information, in much greater detail)
Now that you know what not to do, please read more here at VenusFlytrap.info and elsewhere to discover and learn what to do to grow Venus Flytraps so that they not only survive, but thrive.
These and many other aspects of growing Venus Flytraps are covered and addressed at VenusFlytrap.info. Just use the menu at top right.
If you have comments about the information at VenusFlytrap.info, please send an email to the website author and maintainer, Stephen Doonan.
— Stephen Doonan, FlytrapRanch.com