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The Venus flytrap is one of the most unique plants to have in your home. Since they are such a unique plant, they require a unique set of needs. Knowing how to properly care for a Venus flytrap will ensure that it stays healthy and happy for a long time.
The Venus flytrap requires you regularly feed it flies, mealworms and crickets if it is a houseplant. You must also give it the appropriate amount of water and light. The water must not contain minerals.
The following article is a more detailed guide of how to properly care for a Venus flytrap. It includes a short guide on what and how to feed your Venus flytrap, as well as how much water and sunlight it needs.
How Do I Feed Venus Flytraps?
The most important thing to know when it comes to caring for Venus flytraps is how to feed them. They aren’t able to survive on just water and sunlight like most plants. They need a consistent supply of live bugs for protein and other nutrients.
When you first plant your Venus flytrap, it’ll only need the proper amount of water and sunlight for the first two to four weeks. Once you start noticing the plant is sprouting leaves that look like a mouth with little red teeth, then you know it’s time to start feeding it.
The most popular things to feed a venus flytrap include:
- Flies, hence the name
Flies will naturally fly into the Venus flytraps’ mouth since the plant secretes sweet nectar that draws the flies. You don’t have to worry about hand feeding them flies, but you should hand feed them the other bugs listed to make sure they have a long and healthy life span.
Feeding Mealworms to Your Venus Flytrap
Mealworms are a nutrient-rich food source that is perfect for helping young Venus flytraps grow. You can purchase a jar of them at any pet supply store for around $14, and the jars are enough to feed a Venus flytrap for years. You might have to cut the mealworms in half if the plant’s mouths are still a little small, but other than that, you can place them right in the trap.
All you have to do is pick up one of the mealworms with a pair of tweezers and place it into the plant’s trap. You’ll have to gently brush the tweezers against the trigger hairs to make sure the trap closes around the mealworm. If it doesn’t, it won’t be able to digest the mealworm and absorb all of the good nutrients.
Feeding Crickets to Your Venus Flytrap
Crickets are also very high in nutrients, but they should only be fed to adult Venus flytraps since they are much bigger. You can also find tubs of them for around $5 at any local pet store, and a single tub is able to last for years.
Feeding your Venus flytrap crickets is very similar to feeding them mealworms. You pick the cricket up with a pair of tweezers and place it in the trap, making sure to brush the trigger hairs so that it closes gently. The only thing that’s different with feeding the plant crickets is that you have to make sure the bug’s antenna isn’t poking out at all.
If the antenna is sticking out, the trap won’t be able to close fully. This will prevent the plant from digesting the bug properly. Pushing the antenna in with tweezers or a toothpick is an easy way to avoid this issue.
Feeding Bloodworms to Your Venus Flytrap
Lastly, bloodworms are very similar to mealworms in nutrients, but you have to feed them to the flytrap a little differently. Bloodworms come freeze dried in little tubs, and they need to be rehydrated a bit before you can feed them to the Venus flytrap.
All you have to do is drop a few droplets of water onto the bloodworm, then soak up any excess with a paper towel. Next, use a toothpick to roll it up so it looks like a “meatball”, and place the bloodworm into the trap. You can use the toothpick to trigger the trap’s hairs or use a pair of tweezers to gently close the trap.
Just like the crickets and mealworms, you can purchase a tub of bloodworms for around $10 at any local pet supply store.
All the bugs mentioned above are good food sources for Venus flytraps. But you only need to feed the plant these bugs once a week. You should also make sure you feed the plant a variety of them to ensure they receive all the nutrients they need to thrive.
How Much Should I Water The Venus Flytrap?
Like any plant, the Venus flytrap needs a specific amount of water to stay healthy. The frequency of how much you water the Venus flytrap depends on where you live and the current season.
During the growing season, which is during the summer for Venus flytraps, you’ll want to keep the soil damp at all times. Since the summer months are dry and hot, the water will evaporate fast. If the Venus flytrap doesn’t get enough water, then it will dry out and shrivel up. This means you’ll have to water your Venus flytrap every day. If you live in an especially dry climate, you’ll have to water it multiple times a day.
You also want to make sure you aren’t overwatering your Venus flytrap. Too much water can cause the roots of the Venus flytrap to rot, which will then lead to wilting leaves and traps. A good rule of thumb to go by is if you touch the soil and it feels like a wet sponge, then the flytrap has enough water. If you touch the soil and it feels like a puddle, then you’ve watered the flytrap too much.
You should also water your Venus flytrap with mineral free water. The Venus flytrap grows best in acidic soil that doesn’t have a lot of added minerals. A good mineral free water option is fresh rainwater, which can be collected whenever it rains. If you live somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of rain; then bottled distilled water also works well.
How Much Sunlight Do Venus Flytraps Need?
The last thing a Venus flytrap needs to live a long and healthy life is the right amount of sunlight. The right amount of sunlight for the flytrap also depends on what season it is and where you live. If the plant gets too much or not enough sunlight, then its lifespan could be cut short.
During the growing season, you’ll want to make sure your Venus flytrap is getting at least six full hours of direct sunlight. This will help it grow much faster and help it survive during the winter season. If you’re unable to provide six full hours of sunlight, then four hours will also suffice. Avoid letting the plant sit in direct sunlight for more than six hours, as this will dry it out and cause it to wilt.
During the winter season, an hour or two of sunlight is enough to keep it healthy. If the plant doesn’t get enough sun, it will start to wilt and will have a hard time making it through the winter season.
Taking care of a Venus flytrap is a unique experience since it requires a very special diet to survive. If you feed it enough and let it get enough water and sunshine, then the Venus flytrap will be able to grow and thrive for many years.