The Venus Flytrap or Dionaea Muscipula is one of the most well-known carnivorous plants. They attract insects using the scent of their sweet-smelling nectar and bright colorful traps. When an insect enters the trap, it touches ‘trigger hair’ and an electric charge closes the trap. The teeth of the plant form a cage and capture the insect. It can catch and trap even the fastest of insects. Though the insect struggles to get out, the digestive enzymes of the plant start to dissolve the victim’s soft tissues. The plant does not open up again until it has completely digested the insect, which is usually a few days later. After the plant has closed thrice with prey, the leaf turns black and a new one starts to grow.
Carnivorous plants can be grown very easily indoors. There are three types: The flytraps, Pitcher plants, and sticky leaved plants. They only need sunlight and bugs and insects to grow. In their natural habitat, they experience the hot summer and cold winter seasons. So no matter where you live, as long as you try a little to recreate these seasons, your plant should be fine.
Many people think that it is hard to care for Venus flytraps, but if you try to match the conditions you are growing it into the conditions of its natural habitat, it is quite easy.
Where Venus flytraps grow best:
Venus flytraps originally grow in the coastal areas of North and South Carolina in the United States of America. They grow in moist and acidic soil in the summer season. They survive in the winter season outdoors when it is between -120 to 40 C. In the Cold winter climate, they should be grown in a moist environment.
Tips to remember when you grow A Venus Flytrap:
- Location of the plant: A Venus Flytrap usually grows really easily. They do, however, require to be placed in a spot indoors, where there is plenty of indirect sunlight and lots of bugs and insects. In the colder months, keep your plant in a cool place away from the sunlight.
- Watering the plant: These plants need to always be kept moist. You can use either rainwater or distilled water, though distilled water is the best. If you pour in too much water, it is okay. It will not harm the roots of the plant. But if you let the plant dry out, reviving it will not be easy. Also, do not overfeed this plant. It does not require much food. Maybe drop in a spider or ant once in a while, but never try to feed it meat.
- Remove any old leaves and traps that have turned black. And when new leaves and flowers grow, you can remove the flowers for stronger and larger traps.
- If you plan on transporting the plant, use peat moss.
- Never try to play with the plant by putting in random objects to see it close. This will damage the plant’s leaves.
How To Grow A Venus Flytrap:
Venus flytraps grow well in acidic and moist soil. When planting it, avoid doing so in regular potting soil. You should blend two – thirds sphagnum peat moss and one – third sand for the best drainage and moisture retention. At no point should you add fertilizers or lime to the soil.
They will grow best in a bright and sunny spot, but keeping them in the direct sunlight, especially in the summer, could lead to the leaves getting crispy. When growing them indoors, keep them away from fluorescent lights. If the plant’s traps ever turn pink on the inside, it means that they require more light. Also, Venus flytraps require good air circulation, so either turn on a fan or keep the windows open.
Main Diet of the Venus flytrap:
The main diet of a Venus flytrap is dead insects – mainly flies. The one thing to remember is that the prey must be alive when it is caught. Dead flies and other insects do not work. They need to enter the trap and trigger it to get caught and digested.
These plants are carnivorous but can last for long periods without eating – about a month or two. If you grow them outdoors, they will find plenty to eat, but when grown indoors, you might have to catch dinner for them one in a while. Feeding them live flies are quite tricky, so keep in mind that feeding them beetles, small spiders and caterpillars also work.
The Best Place to buy them:
Plants like Venus flytraps, when bought from a plant nursery that specializes in carnivorous plants will definitely be the best. These plants will be more robust and stronger than getting them from a departmental store. Though you can always also purchase one online and get it delivered home.