Complete Guide to Caring for your Venus Fly Trap: Growing and Basic Care Guide

Mar 18, 2022 | Gro Guide

Want to grow a true carnivorous plant in your own home? Growing a Venus Fly Trap is the perfect plant for you then. The scientific name for this amazing plant is Dionaea muscipula.

Described by Charles Darwin as “the most amazing plant in the world.” This plant will not only bring curiosity and joy to those who see it, but it will also help you get rid of those pesky fruit flies buzzing around your other plants.

The name Venus comes from the Roman Goddess of Love. Its Latin name is derived from the Greek goddess of loves daughter Dione, also meaning mousetrap.

This carnivorous plant only eats small insects, and loves humidity. The leaves are tipped with hinged lobes that snap shut when stimulated. Slowly dissolving and decaying their prey until they have consumed the entire insect.

Sounds very cool right? With the right knowledge and care, you can grow your own for years without any problems.

Venus Fly Trap Monster looking trap

Basic Care for your Venus Fly Trap

When it comes to your Venus Fly Trap, there are a couple very important caring considerations to remember.


This plant loves good lighting. Not direct blasting from all day sun light, but indirect light or lamp lighting will help this plant thrive.

Cartoon of a hungry Venus fly trap
Venus Fly Traps Catching Flies


It is extremely important to keep this plant surrounded by humidity. I honestly cannot emphasis this point enough. If you live in an environment that is dry, like a desert, it will be a little harder for you to maintain this humid environment, but it is possible.

One way to create a humid environment for plants is to have them close together. Placing your plants next to each other will cause the plants to create their own environment. I don’t mean 2-3 plants, I mean 4-8 plants placed together very snug. Then, keep a spay bottle next to the plants, and spray them once to twice a day. This will create a miniature tropical rainforest all the plants there (no succulents) will grow from and thrive.

Another way to create a humid environment is to plant them in a terrarium. This is a great way to control the environment and the lighting of the plants. Just make sure you still occasionally mist them with water, for that rainforest feel. Again, planting your Venus with a couple other plants will help the environment become warm and humid.

The last way I can recommend to create a humid environment without buying a terrarium or having a ton of other plants is to take a 2-liter plastic bottle and cut the bottom off. Place the entire bottle over the plant. Do not replace the cap, throw the cap away, you will not need it.

Venus Fly Traps with insects


Wether you choose to grow your Venus Fly Trap in a terrarium or in a cluster with few other plants, it is important to remember that the soil needs to be acidic. 5-6 pH range is perfect for your plant to thrive from. It is also important to keep in mind this is not an ordinary everyday plant, and does not like regular potting soil or compost.

Remember, all these are very important for the success of your Venus Fly Trap. If just one of these are off, the plant will not be healthy and survive.

Venus Fly Traps that are hungry

Growing a Venus Fly Trap

When you buy your first Venus Fly Tray you should have a lot of question. We went over some basic care instructions for your new plant, now lets dive into growing one.

As we are aware of, you should not plant your Venus Fly Trap in regular potting soil. When it comes time to repot you plant, use a mixture of half sphagnum peat moss ( a very acidic material that hold moisture) and sharp or horticulture sand.

If you are new to working with horticulture sand, take the amount you want to use for this transplant out of the bag. Mix it in a bucket with water. Swirl the new sand with the water and pour off the brownish looking water from the bucket. Do this until the water runs clear, then it is ready to mix with the peat moss.

Wether using direct or indirect sunlight, or fluorescent lighting, it is very important that your plant gets lots of it everyday. We are talking about 8 plus hours a day. One way to tell if the lighting is sufficient is the Venus Fly Trap pods will turn black and die. Before then, it will remain small, and floppy. SO if you see this happen, trouble shoot by adding more lighting. If this happens cut off the black leaves and add more lighting.

In the fall, your Venus Fly Trap will naturally go dormant, stop growing and lose most of it’s leaves. When this happens, it is normal, and expected. Just clip off the dying leaves to help out the plant maintain it’s strength, and move the plant to a cooler area for it’s dormant transition. I have heard some people place the plant in a plastic bag and place it in the fridge. If you decide to do this, just make sure you check on it every couple weeks to make sure the soil is still damp.

One more important growing reminder is to water with distilled water only. Since the plant needs acidic soil to survive, if you water with tap water (which is alkaline due to the minerals,) your plant will not do so well. Remember in basic care I spoke about things your plant will need to survive, and acidic soil is one of them. Do not go through all the work only to be sabotaged by using tap water to hydrate your plant. Go the distance for your plant, and it will grow beautiful and awesome for you.

Venus Eating a Finger

Feeding A Venus Fly Trap

It is fun to watch your carnivorous plant catch it’s prey and watch the circle of life happen right before your eyes. After all, will we really miss any flies or insects from inside our homes?

It is important to note that each leaf can be triggered about 4-6 times before it gets worn out. It will still look green and attractive, but it will not snap anymore. This is why your mom always says “don’t play with it too much.”

If you have spiders or insects for your plant, place only ones about 1/3 the size of the snapper on the leaf. When the plant feels the insect, it only takes a second for the pod to close around it’s prey. But the prey must move a little to trigger this action. So dead insects will not work for this to happen.

Struggling prey needs to move around inside the trap to stimulate the tiny hairs that cause the trap to slowly squeeze tighter. If you have dead prey you want to feed your plant, all you need to do is use a toothpick and gently tease inside the pod. You could also lightly squeeze the closed lobes together with the insect inside, and this will cause the insect to sqwerm and move around.

This process of digestion takes about a week for the pod to finish and reopen. If you want to speed up this procedure, you can use tweezers and snatch out the dead prey casings. For this moisten the tweezers and spray the plant with water. But leaving them alone to finish digestion on their own is the ultimate best practice.

Do not over feed your plant either. 1-3 flies a week is all your plant will need to survive and thrive. Just like any creature, if you over feed it, you will kill it.

Flies being eaten in a Venus fly trap

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