My Venus fly trap, its needs and wants


On my Google+ forum I had to display one of the better closeups my old digital camera came up with. I also made it a mystery picture and outlined it with this introduction.

“Most growers pinch off these flowers to prevent the mother plant from being weakened. But you MUST have the flowers in order to produce the seeds needed for new plants or just the fun of it. If you only have one plant, it can self-pollinate, but two provide a stronger genetic line. Mind you, I have no choice in the matter as this is my only blooming plant. There is no other ‘studly’ in the picture, although I will go to the former nursery brothel to find a blooming mate. Such is the mark of a true plant fiend

I brought home ‘King Edward’ and ‘Red Dragon.’ I left the blog with the question what more can she want? Left them to figure out what the plant is. I did give a daily second line to a poetic hint leaving the first couplet until the last. No one got it!

Flies pollinate it
Until Until they get bit.
The Roman goddess takes no sexual nap
but  leads the pollinator to a trap.
Love and beauty cannot flee
She devours thee with glee.
So open to the sun, the deed is done
as she darkly closes to devour one.





You've bought them, now how to take care of them? Having fun with them means you need to understand their culture and needs. Most basic is water. Do not use chloronated water. Spring the bucks for distilled water or use captured rain water or well water that is up to specs. Capture leads to the next point. Venus fly traps do NOT like to be fertilized as they get their nutrition from insects. After luring them in with a sweet odor the surprised insect touches trigger hairs and the trap snaps shut. After digesting its meal the trap re-opens and is ready for its next meal. Fertilizer is NOT needed or a welcome addition to their regime.

Water and location would the the next concern. Some growers suggest leaving a large sized plant in 1/2 inch of water at all times. I disagree at prevaricate by putting them in trays with a small gravel base and much less water, replenishing it when needed. The soil does need to be kept moist during the May through October growing season. Unless they are in DIRECT sunlight I do not keep them standing in water. In dim light or inside the house they often rot if set in water. A sunny window is preferable. When refilling with water or letting them sit out in rain make sure that the water is not well water cold.

Temperature preference is on the high side (above 70 degrees) and my house rarely affords that so I keep them in my funky unheated greenhouses. Overwintering is a different stroy and the plants need to be kept just moist and kept in a cool area to enforce dormancy -even a garage.  Outdoor storage much need pine needle mulching, or lavender mulch as is the case in Sequim, WA. A fungicide spray may be advised before doing so. Oh ya, do not feed them hamburger. Eating insects is far better for them as well as for you. Eating insects might be healthier for you as well.

LINKS and Sources!

A Pt. Townsend Nursery! Far Reaches Farm

eBay seller -(damonnormal99) Exceptional
Wholesale grower - Courting Frogs Nursery
Retail Oregon Supplier - Cooks Carnivorous plants
Retail CA supplier - California Carnivores ** No personal experience
Detailed Venus Fly trap, Sundew and Pitcher plant growing instructions from Cooks.
Propagation of Sarracenia seed
International Carnivorous Plant Society

Some new data came in of Giant Nepenthes eating mice, not just insects. But, what eats Pitcher plants? Question being – Is something that eats a carnivorous plant classed as a herbivore or an omnivore?” I classify my plants as Insectarians.They only eat flies that would otherwise have short lived and bothersome lives.


Other Carnivorous Plants

Other Carnivorous Plants

If you are interested in the not so hardy Sundews - 'Other Carnivorous Plants', check this Drosera link out first.

(C) Herb Senft 2015

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