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Dionaea muscipula, the Venus Flytrap, is a well known carnivorous plant. It is native to subtropical areas of America, and naturally grows in boggy areas of sandy or peaty soils which are naturally deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. Trapping insect prey is a method that the plant uses to add to its nutrients. The leaf has a hinged pair of lobes that secrete mucilage, which forms the trap, which snaps shut when stimulated by the contact with prey. They can also be triggered by the touch of a finger, but too much triggering by human touch can be bad for them. After it traps insect prey, it takes around ten days for digestion, after which the trap reopens and is ready for the next insect meal.
Successful growing conditions for a Venus Flytrap recreate their natural sandy boggy habitats. Rich soil, drying out, and fertiliser will all be detrimental to the plant, as will too much water. Tap water that contains chlorine will also harm the plant, so it should be watered and misted with rainwater or distilled water. It needs humidity, which can be given by misting the plant several times a week, or by standing the pot on a tray of gravel and water, taking care that the pot is not directly standing in the water. As the water evaporates, it will create humidity around the plant. The plant needs a sunny spot to grow well. Feed the plant no more than once a week with any insect which will comfortably fit into the trap. Flies, mosquitos, ants, small slugs and lady beetles are all great food. Raw meat should not be fed to the plant. Insects that are too big for the trap to shut properly may cause problems. Live or freshly killed food is best. Remove any browning leaves before they rot. The plant will go dormant in winter, when it should be watered less. Venus Flytraps can withstand frost, and a cold period is beneficial for them to stimulate dormancy.
Flower colour: white
Flowering season: not specified
Maximum height: 0.2 metres
Minimum height: not specified
Maximum width: 0.4 metres
Minimum width: not specified
This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is not salt tolerant.
Yes. Attracts: Insects.
This plant species will grow in the following climates: cool, temperate, subtropical, tropical.
Clay: not specified.
Planting season: not specified.
Types of fertiliser: None.