How to Take Care of a Venus Flytrap
Venus flytraps are fun plants that are fascinating to watch. As one of the most accessible carnivorous plants, they are available in most garden stores and big-box home improvement stores.
However, it can be difficult to keep a Venus flytrap healthy and alive for long. The conditions inside the typical home simply aren't remotely similar to the conditions in the rainforest that flytraps originally called home. The low humidity levels indoors make it necessary to grow Venus flytraps under domes to create the right conditions.
Most Venus flytraps come in a greenhouse-style case that includes a hard plastic top. This type of container is used to keep high humidity levels for the plant. Unlike many carnivorous plants, the Venus flytrap doesn’t need humidity levels close to 100 percent. A humidity level of 50 to 70 percent is sufficient to keep a flytrap happy. To keep the plant at this level, be sure that the soil is always moderately moist and never has a chance to dry out. However, avoid making the soil soggy. Soil that is too waterlogged can lead to fungal infections in the plant. The bottom of the container should have a drainage hole to keep water draining through the soil.
The soil itself should be a slightly acidic, but it should be almost devoid of nutrients. A nutrient-rich soil will sicken a Venus flytrap. For this reason, avoid any commercial potting soils and fertilizers. Plain peat moss mixed with a small amount of sand is a useful soil type to grow Venus flytraps. The sand will give the peat moss better drainage while the peat moss is a low-nutrient, absorbent soil type.
The flytrap container should be placed in full or partial sunlight. This will ensure that the temperature stays warm enough for a flytrap. If the conditions are cold and wet inside the containers, the flytrap won’t live long. However, it is also important to make sure that the container doesn’t get too hot. It is possible to overheat a Venus flytrap if it gets too hot. If the container is too dark in color, this can cause it too retain too much heat form the sunlight and burn the roots. When you have placed your container in its sunny spot, feel the sides of the container periodically to check the temperature. If it is much hotter than room temperature, your plant needs a less sunny spot to live in.
The water that you give your Venus flytrap is as important as its soil. Like the soil, it must be low in minerals. Typical tap water and bottled water has a number of minerals dissolved into it. To keep your Venus flytrap healthy, use distilled or water filtered through reverse osmosis only. You can also collect rainwater to use with your Venus flytrap. Check the soil every other day to be sure that there is still some moisture in the soil. If you will be away from your flytrap for a few days, consider placing the container in a tray of water or purchasing an automatic watering glass to keep the soil moist.