daughter brought home a Venus Flytrap but all its leaves have closed
up and have not reopened. Are there any special care instructions?
Do they die if they do not have any flies to catch/eat?
Venus Flytrap uses the prey it captures as a natural fertiliser,
increasing its growth and size over the growing season. It only
eats every now and again, but yes, it does need feeding!
The trap constricts tightly
around the insect and secretes digestive juices, much like those
in your stomach. At the end of the digestive process, which takes
from five to 12 days, the trap reabsorbs the digestive fluid and
The leftover parts of
the insect blow away in the wind or are washed away by rain. The
time it takes for the trap to reopen depends on the size of the
insect, temperature, the age of the trap, and the number of times
it has gone through this process.
If you feed a Venus Flytrap
something that doesn't move, e.g. a dead insect, it will not close
tightly over it. You need to move the food around so it imitates
the action of a live insect.
If an insect is too large
it will stick out of the trap. This allows bacteria and moulds on
the insect to thrive. Eventually the trap turns black, rots and
The flytrap does require
a few special considerations, including purified/distilled water,
full light, and a constant source of moisture. If these few rules
are followed, the Venus Flytrap will grow for many years, provided
it is given dormancy during the winter.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH