Venus Flytrap - Dionaea muscipula

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Scientific Name
Dionaea muscipula (the fly or mouse trap of the daughter of Dione, aka Aphrodite/Venus)

Common Name
Venus Fly Trap, Venus' Flytrap

Native to wetlands (bogs) in on the East Coast of the US, especially North & South Carolina.

One of the most recognisable plants in the world, the Venus Flytrap is famous for trapping and consuming insects; in its natural habitat, where it is an endangered species, its diet consists mainly of ants, spiders, beetles and grasshoppers, and only the occasional flying insect. It adapted this way to compensate for the poor quality of the boggy soil it grew in this was a more efficient way to get nutrients! The mechanism which closes the trap is cleverly adapted to catch only live, digestible insects; it is triggered to close when two of its sensors are touched within about 20 seconds of each other, and the body temperature and further movement of a live insect trigger digestion. The digestion process takes about ten days, after which the insect is reduced to a husk and the trap reopens. Each trap can only close three times, and needs to digest prey each time to make it worthwhile to do- so don't go poking your fingers into the traps to make them close, and don't feed it dead flies yourself; it might close but not be able to digest it!

Natural sunlight is an essential source of nourishment in the Flytrap's natural habitat; keep it somewhere it gets a few hours of morning or evening sunlight, and in late spring and summer (when night temperatures are above 10°C) it will benefit from being put outside, to get more light and catch its creepy-crawly prey

As it's used to bog conditions, it needs to be sat in soggy soil all the time. Bottom-watering (placing your trap in a tray of water) will help you not to pour the water onto the traps which could accidentally trigger them. Flytraps can be fussy with tap water; rainwater or distilled water is best for them as they are so well adapted to not having nutrients in their water at all!

Like the bogs it originates in, the Flytrap also thrives in a highly humid area. Mist a couple of times a week or introduce a humidity tray to keep it moist and happy!


Use compost designed for carnivorous plants; it should contain almost no nutrients like the soil it has adapted to. They cannot be grown in other soil as the nutrients can burn the roots. Repot every four years or so as the plant grows.

Do not use fertiliser; equally, don't feed your specimen dead insects as they won't trigger digestion and will just waste the plant's energy closing the trap. If you do want to feed it, use live insects such as spiders, flies, mosquitos and even slugs- anything other than insects will kill the trap or even the whole plant. Make sure any insect you feed them is small enough to digest; the biggest it can be is about a third the size of a trap, otherwise, it can't close properly


Tolerant of temperatures from 10-38°C; make sure it has a cooler dormancy period in winter, but not consistently colder than 12°C overnight. Once nighttime temperatures are above 10°C consistently in late spring, the trap can be grown outdoors, and will probably fare better for it!

Yes, but too much nibbling won't be good for pets, small humans or the plant!

Sprouts Top Tips
A dormancy period is really important for Venus Flytraps! Over winter, keep the soil moist but the temperature slightly lower, at about 12°C, overnight- a cool windowsill is ideal- and don't worry about insects as it's used to not having many this time of year. It might look less vibrant in the colder months but this lets it rest and come back in the spring- and makes flowering in early spring more likely!

Did you know?
The Venus Flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, is the only species in the genus Dionaea- there really is nothing else like it!


Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review

Dear upon arrival, most of the plants blackened.