By Jackie Carroll
Venus flytraps are enjoyable and entertaining plants. Their needs and growing conditions are quite different from those of other houseplants. Find out what this unique plant needs to stay strong and healthy, and what to do when Venus flytraps are turning black in this article.
By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Carnivorous plants are fun to grow and fascinating to watch and learn about. The Venus fly trap is a moisture loving plant that grows near marshes and bogs but makes a great houseplant. Learn more here.
To get the best results, Venus flytraps should be moved (repotted) annually to help keep the soil fresh. Over time, the potting medium of the pots can become compressed. This makes the growing of new roots difficult.
Venus Fly Trap | www.eagrovision.com
Although Venus Flytrap does not care about being transplanted for most of the year, spring or early summer is the best time to repot these plants.
Note: If your Venus Flytrap is blooming, do not repot it.
It’s also good to move the Venus Fly Trap as soon as you buy it. This is to ensure that the impurities in the nursery water do not remain on the potting soil.
Venus Fly trap needs clean water to grow and thrive (it is best to provide rainwater or filter water!) The planting process after purchase ensures that the potting medium is fine. This is because Venus Flytraps need a specific medium to grow better.
This is the best process to make some perfect soil to grow your Venus Fly Trap!
As mentioned earlier, Venus Fly Traps cannot take fertilizers or minerals or any additives of that sort. You need to choose a peat moss with zero additives.
Check the percentage of peat moss before buying and only buy the one that has 100% peat moss. Otherwise, the additives could even kill your plants.
Let the peat moss soak in distilled water for a while. For this mixture, take five parts peat moss. While the peat moss is soaking, move on to the next step which is to rinse the silica sand.
Make sure the texture of peat moss is a bit muddy but not too dense. Peat moss not only has an amazing water holding capacity, but it also inhibits bacterial growth by creating an acidic environment.
This is much preferred by Venus Fly Traps.
Take about three parts of silica sand and start rinsing it with distillate water. Keep rinsing and draining for quite a few times like four or five times until the water comes off clear and there is no dirt.
Silica sand is great for keeping the soil sandy and giving a quick-draining to the soil.
It also protects the soil and plants from algae, fungi weeds, etc. So, silica sand is great for carnivorous plants especially the Venus Fly Trap.
Rinse perlite in a similar way for multiple times until you see clear water. Now the ratio of perlite and silica should be about 1:1. But more specifically, take two-part perlite for the best result.
Now perlite does the same work as silica sand but perlite is extremely porous and so allows more oxygen in the plant’s root zone enabling more ventilation.
Finally mix the peat moss, silica sand, and perlite gradually until they are completely mixed. The texture will be fluffy and light to touch. Now, you have the perfect soil for carnivorous plants, especially the Venus Fly Trap.
Protected Plant Permits, which allow the sale of properly propagated flytraps, are issued by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS). Andrea Ashby, NCDA&CS’s director of public affairs, encourages private property owners to seek the department’s assistance in relocating the plant.
Because flytraps are a state-listed, rather than federally-listed species, Ashby said there’s no required development checklist including the species for private landowners.
“Where we would get involved with a private landowner is if they wanted to dig the plant up to sell, to share for research purposes or to relocate,” Ashby said.
The free permit would allow property owners to explore these venues, she said. “But, we are also happy to consult with a property owner about relocating state-listed plants if they contact us about that, advising on locations, habitat that best allows the plants to survive and thrive.”
The plants, which Ashby said have a “magical allure,” should be safe in public lands.
“The theory and thought behind [the law change] is when you take plants that are off the public lands, that’s robbing future generations from an opportunity to enjoy those,” she said. “The goal is to protect these unique plants where possible.”
Anyone with tips or information on potential poaching activity of Venus Flytraps, on either private or public lands, is encouraged to call the Wildlife Resources Commission hotline at 1-800-662-7137.
“ I’m grateful for any information I get,” WRC Officer White said.
Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at [email protected]
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