Fanged Foliage: How to Grow & Care for Venus Flytraps



Venus Flytraps in the wild are so rare that eco-tourists make pilgrimages to the Carolinas to see them on bog walks, tours, and in carnivorous plant gardens.

But only look, don’t touch! They are a protected species in those states, and it is a felony to poach them.

What Do They Look Like?

Venus Flytrap plants grow in a basal rosette of 6 to 8 flat, light green, leaf-like stems topped with inch-long, hinged traps. The traps, which are modified leaves, are light green with red insides and edged with interlocking bristles to enclose a trapped insect.

Why Do They Trap Insects?

Venus Flytraps make their food by photosynthesis, that needs light, water, and carbon dioxide, which are all readily available. But for the photosynthetic process to run, the plant also needs nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and micronutrients that are not available where it grows wild.

How Do They Trap Insects?

The inside surface of the traps produces sweet-smelling nectar that attracts unsuspecting bugs. If one lands on a wide-open trap and touches a trigger hair (trichome) twice within a few seconds, the trap snaps shut, closing the insect inside.

Care & Feeding of Venus Flytraps

- Light - Temperature and Humidity - Dormancy - Soil - Pot - Water - Feeding

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