If you’re looking for an interesting plant to grow, then the mysterious Venus Flytrap plant (Dionaea muscipula) might be for you! This type of plant isn’t known for its attractiveness. Rather, the Venus Flytrap plant is known for its unique ability to eat meat and protein. This plant’s main diet is insects. The insects provide the protein it needs to maintain healthy growth.
The Venus Flytrap is just one of several carnivorous/insectivorous plants that are known to man.
How Does a Venus Flytrap Plant Work?
The leaves of this plant open up so they have two sides, similar to a clam shell. On the inside of the Venus Flytrap leaves, there are hairs that act like sensors. Anytime something touches the hairs, the two sides of the leaf close shut in a matter of seconds. Even though the Venus Flytrap plant doesn’t have a brain, it knows the difference between food and inedible objects. If the plant has trapped an insect, it closes its leaves tightly. It then releases juices to digest the soft parts of the insect. (Much like the human stomach works.) After several days, when the insect has been “eaten”, the Venus Flytrap Plant reabsorbs its digestive juices. Then, it opens the leaf and waits for the next insect to come along.
If, on the other hand, an inedible object like a stone or a stick lands in the Venus Flytrap’s leaf, it will release it because it doesn’t detect any movement. Likewise, if you place a dead insect on the leaf of this type of plant, it won’t do anything because there’s no movement to stimulate the sensor-hairs on the inside of its leaf.
How To Buy and Grow A Venus Flytrap Plant
This type of carnivorous plant grows wild in certain parts of North and South Carolina. However, people have dug up so many of these plants that they are now considered to be an “endangered species”. So, you can’t just go out and find a Venus Flytrap Plant anymore, dig it up, and take it home. There are laws against this practice!
If you want to grow your own Venus Flytrap Plant, you’ll need to visit a nursery or a greenhouse that stocks the carnivorous plants. If you can’t find a nursery in your area, you can always perform a search on the Internet to find a reputable seller of Venus Flytrap Plant bulbs.
To plant the bulb in a pot or other suitable container, the root end of it gets pointed down into the soil. The best type of soil is a 50-50 mixture of Spaghum Peat Moss and Perlite. Perlite is a volcanic rock. You can purchase Perlite and the Spaghum Peat Moss from your local nursery or greenhouse too. This mixture will provide an acidic, mineral-rich environment for your Venus Flytrap Plant. Plant the bulb so its top is just level with the top of the soil.
To start it out, you can place the pot or container inside another, larger container, then cover most of the top with a piece of clear material such as PlexiglasÃ¢Â?Â¢. This will help your Venus Flytrap Plant get the warmth and humidity it needs to grow. Leaving part of the top of the container open will also provide the fresh air it needs.
Position your Venus Flytrap in the sunlight for a couple hours each day. But, don’t leave it in the sunlight too long or it can get scorched. It also needs some shade. Your Venus Flytrap Plant doesn’t need fertilizer, but it will need a drink of water every other day or so. Keep your carnivorous plant watered so that it’s soil is always moist. Distilled water or rain water works the best for your insect-eating plant.
You’ll also need to keep your Venus Flytrap Plant healthy by feeding it some small insects from time to time. If you use dead insects, you’ll need to wiggle it around inside its leaf in order to stimulate its hairs.