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Venus Flytrap

Dionaea muscipula

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A highly adored and aesthetically pleasing plant, the Venus flytrap is a unique plant that has sparked interest time and time again. What makes this endangered plant so unique is not only the fact that it is carnivorous, but also the way it looks and how it's traps work. It 'eats' insects and sometimes even small frogs that become trapped in its modified, toothed leaves. If the prey struggles, the trap will close even tighter. Great to grow indoors and in containers, it is easy to grow in light, but not direct sunlight and with distilled or filtered water. It is definitely a great unusual addition to your garden or home.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

When harvesting seed, look for the seed pods to appear after the plant flowers. Cut the seed pods from the plant using sharp scissors. Place or let them drop into a small bowl or cup. Break apart the seed heads to remove the small seeds inside. Spread the seeds on a layer of newspaper and leave them to dry in a well-ventilated area. This will take 2 - 3 days. Store the dried seeds until ready to plant.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds on the surface of your medium of choice. Expect respectable growth in Spring and Summer if temperatures are warm, light levels are good and you water well.
Rhizomes
Reproduces via its rhizome. It never has more than seven leaves. If your plant has more then seven leaves, it has already split off another plant from the mother plant and you can look at the base.

Special features

Indoor plant
Makes an excellent indoor plant but requires more light than it can get on a typical house window sill. It needs a humid environment, so an arid or an air-conditioned room can lead to its death.
Attracts useful insects
It attracts wasps, flies, beetles among others serving as pollinators and prey. These insectivorous plants lure numerous insects including flies, etc. using a sweet smelling nectar.
Pot plant
Great plant to grow in containers. Use a deep tray to keep plant moist long after watering, but also drain to allow roots to breathe in between waterings. Only use filtered or distilled water.
Wet sites
Venus fly traps like being surrounded by water.

Geography

Origin
East Coast of the United States, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Natural climate
Sub-tropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Wet
Soil type
Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
Has been shown to contain naphthoquinones that may have medicinal value.

Personality

Family
Droseraceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
Strong

Problems

Pests include aphids, fungus gnats and flea beetles. Diseases include grey mold and various other fungi.

Companion plants

Pitcher plant, sundew, blue flag iris, yellow flag iris, Louisiana iris, horsetail, sedges, rushes, and other bog plants make good companions for the Venus Flytrap.

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