By Tammy Sons
Venus flytraps are an odd commodity in the plant kingdom since we humans are not normally accustomed to seeing plants engaging in predatory behavior. Because of their animal nature, it is almost like taking care of live pets which is why so many grow Venus flytraps. This only shows that plants are living creatures by not only producing toxins to guard themselves from predators, but also surviving like any other animal out there would. Venus flytraps are great for reducing pests like flies and mosquitoes. If your Venus flytrap has not fed in a while, be sure to feed your carnivorous plants every month. Flies are difficult to catch so try raising maggots if you need to feed your Venus flytraps. Just lay out any piece of meat or poultry and leave it out in the sun for flies to buzz by and lay their eggs. It sounds gross, but it is always a good idea to have a backup in case your plant is not getting enough to eat.
If raising maggots is not something that appeals to you then try buying maggots from your local fishing or hunting markets. Even though Venus flytraps have digestive enzymes to break down solid food, maggots are much easier for your flytraps to digest. To feed your Venus flytraps, try placing your plant outside, when the night air permits it, and turn on your porch lights. The light will attract all sorts of insects, providing a feast for your Venus flytraps. Your Venus flytraps may be predators, but never feed your plants human food and if you have to feed your plants then be very careful with your fingers, especially if you are using tweezers. Their most active months are anywhere from May to October.
To grow Venus flytraps, you need lower quality soil with some form of acidity. Go to your local nursery to get seeds or bulbs, whichever stage you would like to start growing Venus flytraps. Keep Venus flytraps in half shade and half sun light. Only expose developing Venus flytraps to a few hours of direct sunlight. Be sure to prune regularly and cut off dead leaves and stems that may hamper growth. Be sure you are knowledgeable about pruning methods before trimming your plants and be especially careful with tools you use so you don’t harm your Venus flytraps. Water your plants regularly and be sure to keep them from the cold and harsh winds; the winter is usually when they are dormant. Keep them inside during the winter and make sure the temperature in your house is from the mid forties to the early nineties; Venus flytraps generally prefer those temperatures. Venus flytraps are pretty adaptable to most temperatures. Go by the not too hot, not too cold method. Venus Flytraps are interesting plants to grow and require less maintenance than other plants. All they need is the basic elements that plants need to survive and when it comes to food they can pretty much fend for themselves.