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Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap)

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Helpful articles

Native Annuals and Perennials. Australian annual and perennial plants can be used to create excitement in your garden as they are quick growing, usually very floriferous and because they are relatively temporary they can be replaced on a regular basis to add something new each year.

Microclimates in your garden. Did you know your whole garden may be a microclimate that allows you to grow plants that would not thrive on the other side of the street? Read this article to learn more.

Winter Flowering Plants for the Garden. No Australian garden need be free of flowers in winter. Read this article to learn about some great winter flowering plants.

External privacy screens. External privacy screens began to appear in Australian residential and commercial building during the 1950's and 1960's, as a direct result of high density living and higher incomes. For more information and some examples read this article.

Plant description

dionaea muscipula venus flytrap

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.

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: white
Flowering season: not specified

Plant size

Maximum height: 0.2 metres
Minimum height: not specified

Maximum width: 0.4 metres
Minimum width: not specified

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is not salt tolerant.

Fauna attracting?

Yes. Attracts: Insects.

Climate

This plant species will grow in the following climates: cool, temperate, subtropical, tropical.

Soil types & conditions

Loam: moist.

Clay: not specified.

Sand: moist.

Miscellaneous information

Planting season: not specified.

Types of fertiliser: None.

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