Big leaved tropical plants

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Venus fly traps - Dionaea muscipula

Venus fly traps are easy to grow insect eating plants. They can be grown from seed or purchased as a growing plant. Like other carnivorous plants the Venus fly trap has a set of exacting but simple growing requirements.

Venus fly traps full of food.

Venus fly trap care

  • A soil mix of 50:50 sphagnum peat moss to lime free sharp sand.
  • Rain water.
  • Full sun.
  • Winter dormancy.

Venus fly traps like a damp soil but not as wet as the North American pitcher plants. They prefer to stand ankle deep. To achieve this they can be grown standing in a saucer of water. If you prefer, use a more decorative container. In this case, care must be taken to empty the container after periods of heavy rain. Alternatively you can drill a hole in the side of the container to act as an overflow. Stand the Venus fly trap on an up-turned ceramic pot or saucer so that the traps stick out of the container.

Diagram showing where to drill holes in a container for carnivorous plants.

  • A represents where you should drill a hole should you wish to grow sarracenia.
  • B represents where you should drill a hole should you wish to grow Venus fly traps.
  • C represents the distance you may have to raise your pot within the container.
  • D is your carnivorous plant of choice.


The Venus fly traps like full sun and a period of winter dormancy. Again like the North American pitcher plant this makes them unsuitable for indoor cultivation.

During their period of winter dormancy many of the traps will begin to fade and turn black. These can easily be removed by pulling them with a long pair of tweezers.

Although these insect eating plants grow quite slowly, re-potting is recommended every couple of years to maintain vitality.

Venus fly traps come from areas experiencing a zone 8 climate and as such can be grown outdoors all year in a zone 9 garden.

Venus fly trap emerging flower buds.
Emerging flower stalks

In early spring flowers begin to appear on your plants. These flowers drain a lot of energy from your plants and should be removed. Leave the flowers if you wish to collect seeds.


Venus fly trap with spider.

Venus fly trap plants are totally self sufficient when it comes to feeding. They eat anything that dares to enter their traps.