If you’re a first-time Venus Flytrap owner, you probably have some questions about how to water it. This carnivorous plant is eye-catching and a great way to take care of pests, but insects alone will not be enough to keep them alive.
Venus Flytraps need to be watered often enough that their soil never dries out completely and is always damp to the touch. Depending on where your plant is located and what kind of climate you live in, watering can vary from only every 10-14 days to as frequently as every 2-3 days.
However, keeping the soil damp won’t be enough to make sure your Venus Flytrap is healthy. Keep reading for more information on when and how to water. With some time and care, you will soon have a thriving and happy plant.
When to Water Your Venus Flytrap
As a general rule, Venus Flytraps enjoy humid climates and damp, but not overwatered, soil. Because of this, you will need to ensure that your plant is never sitting in completely dry soil, as this will lead to wilting and eventual death. Here are some factors that can impact the speed at which your Venus Flytrap’s soil dries out.
Is the Plant Inside or Outside?
Venus Flytraps are versatile and can grow either indoors or outdoors. If you choose to keep your Venus Flytrap outside, be mindful of its exposure to sunshine. If you live in an especially hot, sunny climate, this means your plant will dry out at a faster rate, and you need to water more often.
If your plant is indoors, it may stay hydrated for longer periods. However, its location in the room could lead to additional dryness. The following are things that could increase how often you need to water your indoor Venus Flytrap:
- Exposure to air vents
- Drafts from windows
- A high room temperature
If you live in a colder climate, keeping your plant indoors is a must. However, you should still be aware of the elements within a room that you expose your plant to.
How Humid is the Plant’s Environment?
Originating from the bogs of North and South Carolina, Venus Flytraps are most vibrant in a humid environment. If you are keeping your plant outdoors in a hot and humid climate, your plant will likely need to be watered less often as the humidity helps the plant retain water. Some plants in the right climate will only need to be watered every 10-14 days.
However, if it is outdoors in an arid climate or inside in a climate-controlled, dry room, the soil will likely dry out at a much faster rate. If you do have a drier environment for your plant, check the soil every day and water it so that it maintains dampness. This may be as often as every 2-3 days.
If you bought your plant from a store or online, it might have come with a humidity dome, a clear plastic covering over the top of the plant. It is not necessary to keep this on as long as you are watering the soil consistently to help it adjust to its new climate.
Is Your Plant Exposed to Direct Sunlight?
Venus Flytraps thrive in sunny environments. However, the sunlight your plant needs to survive can also cause water to evaporate faster.
Whether your plant is indoors or outdoors, if it is sitting in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight, be mindful of how this affects the soil moisture. Odds are, you will probably need to water it more often.
Using Drip Trays with Your Plant
Drip trays are a great strategy for keeping your plant perfectly hydrated. These trays are often as simple as a small saucer that comes with a standard plant pot. Consider using the following as a drip tray for your plant:
- A ceramic saucer
- A plastic drip tray specifically for plants
- Any small plastic or glass container from around your house that retains water
Because Venus Flytraps are water-loving plants, they can comfortably stand in small amounts of excess water, and using a drip tray can help prevent them from drying out.
Although you may be tempted to keep up to half of an inch of water in your Venus Flytrap’s tray at all times, be cautious of doing this in an already humid environment as this may lead to root rot. A better strategy is adding water to the drip tray only on especially hot or arid days to keep your plant hydrated without the risk of oversaturation.
Additionally, consider adding a small amount of water to the drip tray a few times per week if your plant struggles to stay damp, letting the tray dry out fully before watering again. Remember to never add more than an inch of water to the tray at any point.
Best Types of Water for Venus Flytraps
Although it is critical to make sure your plant is getting enough water, it is equally important to monitor what kind of water you’re giving it. Using regular tap water could damage your plant as this often contains chemicals and chlorine. The following are types of water that I recommend for Venus Flytraps:
- Distilled water
- Deionized water
- Reverse osmosis water
If you would like to use rainwater but your plant is indoors, there are many methods for collecting rainwater. Consider investing or building a rain barrel or collecting rainwater in objects found around your household to use on your plant.
In the event that you accidentally use tap water that is high in chlorine or minerals, you can thoroughly saturate the soil using one of the recommended water types to flush out any harmful contaminants.
If you do not have consistent access to any of these options, don’t worry! You can use tap water on your plant, provided that you are testing it regularly for total dissolved solids (TDS). If the meter reads less than 50 ppm, you can probably use the tap water on your Venus Flytrap, although I still recommend pure water.
Watering Your Plant in the Winter
Venus Flytraps go into a period of dormancy in the winter months, where their growth slows. This may seem like a cause for concern, but in actuality, the dormant period is an essential time for the plant to rejuvenate. You will know your plant is dormant when:
- It no longer produces flowers
- The leaves turn slightly brown or black along the edges
- The traps will no longer work
Between November and March, your Venus Flytrap will need less water than usual. Instead of keeping the soil thoroughly damp, the soil can be nearly dry, but make sure it is still damp near the base of the plant and by the roots. During the dormant period, your plant may only need to be watered once or twice per month.
If you’re using a drip tray, remove it during the dormant period to avoid the risk of plant death or bacterial growth. Overwatering during the dormant period will lead to the death of your plant.
Your Venus Flytrap is a versatile and intriguing plant. Whether it is getting some wintertime rest or trapping insects in the summer, this carnivorous plant will function best when it is adequately watered. Paying attention to its water needs and providing it with the right type of water will keep your plant healthy for years to come.