Frequently Asked Questions:

Why did the leaves on my Venus Flytrap turn black??
Use distilled water and the new leaves will not burn. If your water is not pure rain water, melted snow, or distilled water, the dissolved salts will burn the edges of the leaves. Water must be mineral free, as it is in their natural surroundings. “Filtered” water or “Bottled” water is not mineral free UNLESS it states that it is also “distilled.” Leaves will also turn black at the end of the growing season in the Fall which is normal. Leaves will also turn black if you allowed the plant to dry out, which kills the roots. Without a good root system, the leaves suffer water stress even though the soil is moist again, and the leaves blacken at the edges, or die.

The Venus Flytraps are small. How do I get them to grow bigger?
The traps will grow larger with time, given good sunlight and adequate food. Older plants, those three years or older, also have larger traps, often over 1” in length. With near full sun conditions, traps can grow about 1” in length from small plants in 3 months time. Keep them moist at all times, and fertilize them with a very dilute fertilizer once per month. By “dilute” we mean you should use regular plant food at 10% of the recommendation on the box.

How do I give my Venus Flytraps the dormant rest they require in the winter?
You have two easy options to give your plants the rest they need. One is to place the plants in a bright unheated window, where the temperatures are between 32 and 40F every night during December though February. The other is to place the plants in a closed plastic zip closing bag that holds moisture in the soil, and place the bags into the vegetable keeper of your refrigerator where the temperatures are about 40F. Leave the plants in this cool section of the refrigerator for 90 to 120 days. After this cold resting period, you can take the plants out of the fridge, remove the bags, and place them in a sunny window. Growth will resume naturally. For many plants, this will also trigger flower formation. Don’t be surprised if your plants reward you with flowers.

Does my Venus Flytrap need fertilizer?
Venus Flytraps feed themselves by absorbing nitrogen and nutrients from the insects they eat. A very dilute application of plant food once or twice during the summer is not harmful and may help the bulb grow bigger. The bigger the bulb grows, the larger the traps will be. Dilute the fertilizer to 10% of its regular strength. Full-strength fertilizer can injure your plant.

Should I transplant my Venus Flytrap when I get it?
If you want to, yes, but the plants we sell do not need to be transplanted right away. Venus Flytraps can live indefinitely in small pots no larger than 3” in diameter. If you want to transplant your Venus Flytrap to a larger pot or terrarium, only use natural peat moss with no additives. Regular garden or potting soil can injure the plant.

I bought a Venus Flytrap to give to somebody as a gift. How do I take care of it until then?
Relax. Our plants are packed in plastic containers that hold enough moisture around the plants that they can live about 2 weeks without additional water or food being needed. Just place them near a bright sunny window, out of the direct sun until you can give it away. If the soil does dry out, you can water the plant without destroying the packaging by pouring water in through the one of the side vent holes on the plastic box.

Is the plant I received fully grown?
Venus Flytraps are small plants by nature, only about 5” tall and wide. Most plants are much smaller than that. If you bought a Venus Flytrap in a 3” pot, then the answer is “yes,” it is at or close to its mature size. With proper care, your plant will continue to grow many new leaves each year. Venus Flytraps can grow 5 to 30 leaves during the summer. The amazing feature of Venus Flytraps is that no matter how small the leaf is, it will still develop a trap at the end. When they are small, they trap gnats. As they get larger, they can trap houseflies and damselflies.

Should I buy bugs to feed my Venus Flytrap? There aren't any in my house.
You do not need to buy bugs for your Venus Flytrap. They have roots and can feed themselves by using the nutrients from the soil, and sunlight, just like any other plant. Bugs merely “supplement their diet,” so to speak. You can keep your Venus Flytrap in top conditions during the summer by feeding it once a month with houseplant fertilizer diluted to 10% its regular strength. Full-strength fertilizer can injure your plant.

Will Venus Flytraps control the fly problem in my house?
No, but you may find some twisted pleasure in watching one or two of the pests find final rest in the traps of your new plant pet.

Are the plants poisonous?
None of the carnivorous plants are known to be poisonous.

How much sun should I give my Venus Flytrap?
Give these plants as much sunlight as possible. If you grow them in your home, place them on a sunny windowsill, right next to the glass. Normally, direct sun does not harm them as long as they are NOT in a closed terrarium where the heat can build up and cook them. If you place these plants in a terrarium, leave the lid off so that the heat can escape.

Are carnivorous plants autotrophs, or are Venus Flytraps an exception?
Venus Flytraps, like all green plants, are autotrophs. An autotroph is an organism that can make its own food, usually from a process called photosynthesis. They use the energy of the sun to drive a reaction that converts CO2 and H2O into sugar (glucose) and oxygen. The glucose is then converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that carries energy to the cells. Flytraps actually get a good deal of their sustenance like other plants do through this same process.

However, in addition to synthesizing glucose, plants need to make amino acids and other cellular components to survive. This requires additional nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other minor elements. Most plants grow in environments where they can get all their nutrients from the soil, water and air where they live. Venus Flytraps are native to the wetlands of North and South Carolina, where the levels of Nitrogen and other nutrients are VERY LOW and the soil is acidic. Most plants CANNOT survive in this environment, because they can't produce the amino acids and other cellular components necessary for growth. The Venus Flytrap evolved over millions of years to adapt to this environment by getting the nitrogen they needed from insects! They take the missing nutrients from insects, because the soil cannot provide them.

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