Your home might be lovely and inviting but it’s probably vastly different from the Venus flytrap’s subtropical wetland setting. The Venus flytrap is native to the sun-drenched regions of North Carolina and South Carolina, where it grows and thrives in moist loam soil. Unless your home is a humid hothouse crawling with insects providing the Venus Flytrap with the nutrients it cannot obtain strictly from the sun, your new buddy will require tender nurturing care upon entry into its strange, new setting.
Venus Flytrap Survival Tips
Venus flytraps are sun-worshipping houseplants. Avoid placing your Venus flytrap on a bookshelf, corner table, or on top of the refrigerator (yikes!) if you want it to thrive. Unless you wish to murder your Venus flytrap, do not place it on a north-facing window sill. Contrary to popular belief, Venus Flytraps do not thrive in terrariums.
Don’t drench it! Keep the growing medium moderately moist—not soggy or completely dry. Incorrect watering or overwatering is the most common reason that the majority of houseplants struggle or die.
Venus flytraps are fusspot divas when it comes to quenching their thirst. It is essential to provide your flytrap with either distilled water, rainwater, or reverse osmosis water when it’s thirsty. Tap water or spring water is verboten.
It’s not necessary to fertilize a Venus flytrap.
Wheeling Out the Welcome Wagon
When you receive your Venus flytrap, it is in shock and feeling overwhelmed. It has been plucked from an ideal growing setting and requires time to gain footing in its new home. During the first week, provide three to four hours of gentle, indirect sunlight, avoiding the harsh midday sun. Slowly and steadily increase the hours of sunlight that it receives. After a week or two, provide a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight per day. If you’ve purchased your plant during the growing season, provide a minimum of 12 hours of sunlight for optimum growth.
Venus flytraps are in plant heaven when they spend most of their day bathing in the sun, with the exception of brutally hot climates. Be sure to place your Venus flytrap in the sunniest spot inside or outside of your residence once it is established.
When it’s time to repot, it’s essential to use the right pot and the right soil. You can choose from a wide range of mediums, with the exception of mineral-rich mediums such as Miracle Gro or vermiculite because the minerals in those mediums will kill it. Steer clear of unglazed clay pots. Plastic pots that are about four inches in depth provide the most favorable environment for your Venus flytrap.
To avoid root rot, be sure that the pot has a drainage hole. Fill the pot with a 50:50 mix of peat moss and perlite or peat moss and horticultural grade silica sand.
When Your Venus Flytrap Is Thirsty
Your Venus flytrap won’t be happy if you let it go thirsty. When it’s feeling parched and in need of a drink, don’t poison it with tap water, spring water, or any other mineral-rich water. Quench its thirst with water with a TDS (total dissolved solids) measurement of 50 ppm (parts per million) or less. Be sure to keep a supply of fresh rainwater or distilled water on hand because Venus flytraps need damp soil and must never be allowed to go bone dry.
Rule of thumb: Your Venus flytrap plant needs Goldilocks “just right” conditions. The soil must not be dry or too wet. When a Venus flytrap’s soil has dried out so it is only very slightly damp, water thoroughly. Allow your plant to dry out again so that it is ever so slightly damp before watering again. Bottom watering is the best way to water a Venus flytrap. Simply set it in a tray of water for up to 45 minutes to allow its roots to drink up!
Here Comes the Sun
Venus flytraps thrive when they can bathe in the sun all day long. They’d love a south-facing window or sunny garden setting, but you can place them close to any window except for a northern-facing window.
The Hunger Games
Your Venus flytrap is a carnivore and fussy foodie—but don’t feed it meat! Satisfy its hunger by feeding it flies or other insects by placing them within a trap. Once inside a trap, you will need to move the “victim” to trigger the trap to close. Traps can only close less than six times before they stop responding so don’t overwhelm one by continually trying to feed it insects.
A Venus flytrap is not a typical houseplant. If you are in doubt about any aspect of its care, be sure to reach out and ask an expert. With proper care, your Venus flytrap will become a vital and valued member of your plant collection. You’re in for a fascinating plant journey—enjoy it!