Famous for their carnivorous appetite, Venus flytraps are a captivating addition to your houseplant collection. This clever plant lures insects to their demise with bright leaves and sweet nectar - who would resist. When an insect touches the teeny hairs on the surface of a leaf, the trap snaps shut and starts digesting its prey. Yummy…
As tempting as it is, try not to poke or tease your Venus flytrap, they need to conserve their energy for catching bugs, not human fingers. Your Venus flytrap will be happiest in a very bright spot where they can bask in sunshine and wait for unsuspecting flies to buzz their way. These plants are naturally found in acidic bogs, so it’s important to keep your Venus flytrap’s soil moist with rainwater or distilled water. The minerals and salts in hard tap water can be poisonous to carnivorous plants, so collect rainwater or fill a watering can and leave it overnight to distil the water.
When repotting your Venus flytrap, make sure to use peat-free acidic compost. Because most of the nutrients come from the bugs it eats, it won’t need a nutrient-rich compost, so you can always reuse some compost from another acid-loving plant in your collection.
If your Venus flytrap’s leaves start to turn black or die back, don’t be alarmed. These plants are dormant over winter, so they’ll die back almost completely before bouncing back in spring. If this happens, move it to the coolest room in your home and let it dry out. As it has no leaves to process the water, it can be easy to give this plant root rot while it’s dormant. Once new leaves start to appear, pop it back in a sunny spot and water as usual.
While they’re deadly to bugs, Venus flytraps aren’t toxic to humans or pets, making this unusual plant an excellent gift and an easy first plant for all the family. After all, who doesn’t want a carnivorous plant munching happily in the corner?
Did you know?
The trap’s tiny hairs are also sensitive to heat, helping Venus flytraps to protect themselves from forest fires.