The Venus flytrap is almost certainly the best known of the carnivorous plants in the world. Even among those less fond of botany or gardening, there is practically no one who does not think of one of these plants with the unmistakable toothed claws when talking about carnivorous plants.
It is a plant that is easier to grow than it might seem due to its striking appearance, and it is one of the easiest carnivorous plants to care for. If you want to learn how to take care of the Venus flytrap, join us in this EcologíaVerde article, because here we show you a venus flytrap care guide.
Characteristics of the Venus flytrap
The Dionaea muscipulacall Diana Flytrap in some South American countries and more commonly known as venus flytrapis one of the types of carnivorous plants most emblematic. It is the only species that makes up the genus Dionaea, which has its origin in North Carolina. Here you can discover 9 types of carnivorous plants.
Its leaves, which grow from a buried rhizome, form a rosette with a length that is between 3 cm and 8 cm, which grow horizontally. At the time of flowering in spring, it gives rise to a flower stem that grows from the very center of the plant, which is up to 20 cm tall and has a small, conspicuous white flower at the end. If you like small size plants like this, do not miss this collection of 16 small plants.
There are numerous cultivars of this plant, with different colorations and sizes in the traps, which are its main visual attraction. Also, did you know that with proper care, it can live for more than 20 years? If you want to know more about this fascinating carnivorous plant, read on and learn about its basic care.
The traps of the Venus flytrap and its feeding
The insect traps they are the most distinctive feature of the Venus flytrap, by which many recognize it. These are shaped like a mouth and are made up of two leaves ending in a kind of teeth and with sensitive hairs inside.
When the plant feels pressure inside its traps, it closes them by means of internal water pressure, in a very fast movement lasting a tenth of a second. This, however, puts a lot of stress on the plant, so if it closes without trapping anything, the stress load is very large, so you have to avoid touching the traps of the plant so that they are not closed in vain.
Each trap can be closed about 5 times, after which it will dry out and should be pruned and removed. If nothing is caught when closing, the trap will open again in approximately 12 hours, while if it has caught an insect, it will not open until it has digested its soft parts.
But,what do venus flytrap carnivorous plants eat? They feed on nutrients from the soil and water, like all plants, only they can also catch small insects and digest them to increase their supply of nutrients. They don’t need them, but they will be healthier and stronger if they do.
When a Atramoscas Venus traps a live insectthe movements of this cause the release of the gastric juices of the plant, so put inside an insect already dead will not do no problem. Once digested, after between 2 and 3 days, the plant will have absorbed its assimilable parts, leaving only the exoskeleton in its trap, which should be removed very carefully with tweezers, avoiding touching the trap at all costs so that it does not close .
In this link you will see more information about how carnivorous plants feed.
Location for the Venus Flytrap
These plants appreciate a moderate sun exposurerequiring semi-shade exposure outdoors or indirect incidence indoors, with a window covered by a thin curtain.
If you get used to the plant slowly and progressively, we can slowly give Venus more exposure, until reaching 6-8 hours a day, which are ideal, although always in the morning, before the intense midday sun. If you’re growing her indoors in low light, use a cold bulb that provides at least 13 hours of light at close range.
Watering the Venus flytrap
It’s very important do not water the Venus with tap water due to its high content of lime and other components. always use distilled water, rain collection or osmosis product. You can buy it in most specialized establishments if you have no way of collecting or distilling it yourself.
It is advisable to water the plant by putting a dish with water below container, thus allowing the soil to absorb moisture through the drainage holes. In warm months let the dish water dry for no more than a day or two and replenish it, while in cold months you can give it up to a week of dryness. In dry climates, they may need to be sprayed with water spray.
We recommend you read this other article about When to water the plants.
Substrate and fertilizer
The substrate for this plant needs a very good drainage and a light composition. A mixture with two parts of peat, one of perlite and half a part of sphagnum will be ideal for all its properties. We recommend you read this other post about How to make a substrate for carnivorous plants.
The plant does not need fertilizer, since it extracts the equivalent of the insects it hunts. Outdoors, she will catch them herself in her traps while indoors you may need to help the plant by depositing small live insects like flies in her traps.
Reproduction of the Venus flytrap
The Venus plant can reproduce asexually. separating carefully the suckers of the rhizome. Once unearthed, the separation can be clearly seen, and you will only have to carefully extract them and plant them in a new pot or plot of land, preferably in semi-shade so that they have time to recover from the transplant.
Why is my Venus flytrap turning black?
A black venus flytrap It can be due to several things:
- A trap that has exhausted its useful life will dry out and die naturally, without this meaning anything negative at all.
- If you have exposed your plant to too much sun it will also damage it, so it is possible that it will burn and dry out.
- Another common mistake is watering the plant with running water, which will damage it and can even kill it.
- Applying fertilizer can also damage it and turn it black, since the roots of these plants are very sensitive, and the fertilizer can burn and kill them.
- In addition, in winter these plants lose their leaves, which darken and dry out, which is also normal, although you should never expose them to temperatures below -3ºC, not even occasionally.
Now that you have learned all this about how to take care of a Venus flytrap, here below we leave you a video so that you understand more this information about the care of this plant and, in addition, we encourage you to delve into the world of plants of this type with this another guide on Caring for carnivorous plants.
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