Most everyone has heard of the Venus Flytrap ,(Dionaea muscipula) We just wanted to give you some facts and myths about this unique plant. You might think of exotic images such as an amazon jungle to be where the Flytrap lives, But in reality they only grow naturally in a tiny geographical area of marshes in North and South Carolina. Yes they do actually capture and devour insects and small amphibians , like frogs. They don’t really eat them ,it’s kinda works like the human stomach does , it secretes digestive juices that breaks down the prey. It cannot envelop the tough exoskeletons of the insects so it will just reopen and they fall out or the wind will blow them away.
There are over 500 types of carnivorous plants in the world. They mainly are found in low nutrient environments, they do survive off of photosynthesis like all other plants , but they require additional nutrients to stay alive. Hence the trapping of bugs and such ,The way their “trap” works is when the prey enters, trigger hairs are contacted as the prey tries to escape causing it to close.
If you ever do end up with one of these wonders for yourself, it grows best as an outside container plant, its needs a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight for vigorous growth. It likes the heat originating from an area that often is humid and in the 90’s
Keep the pot in standing water at all times , with the pot raised up a bit, rain water is the best as they like mineral free water.
The flytrap requires nutrient free soil that has good drainage, use a 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite – never use potting soil , compost or fertilizer as it will kill the plant. They do best if repotted every year.
Venus Flytraps are endangered, as you can imagine it’s man being so fascinated with the plant that has caused this.
A few myths about the Venus Flytrap are – 1 – Venus Flytraps are swamp plants and need lots of water at all times…. False – they need well drained soil that the roots can easily make there way down to a water table that allows them to take up water as they want it . To much water will kill them.
2- Venus Flytraps need to be fed bugs to survive – False – they will survive with just sunshine for a long time, They will catch bugs when possible, one trap can eat up to 4 bugs before dying off .They cannot eat human food, like hamburger.
3- Venus Flytraps will hurt me or my kids or my pets – False – If you do stick your finger in one it will feel like eyelashes or a feather, also another less- fallen- for myth that has been caused by the movie ” Little Shop of Horrors ” That Flytraps are giant plants is also false, they are actually quite small.