The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: Why isn't my Venus flytrap growing well?

Dionaea
Nice plant!
A: Venus flytraps can languish or die for lots of reasons. So this may seem like an impossible question to answer without examining all the details of a person's cultivation details.

Let me tell you one thing, though---your flytrap is not dying because you aren't feeding it enough. Flytraps can live without any bugs whatsoever!

I think that in nearly all cases, the underlying cause for Venus flytrap death by beginning horticulturists can be traced to inadequate lighting.

If you give Venus flytraps the light they need, they are really resilient little plants. If you skimp on the lighting, they are weak plants. How much lighting do they want? FULL SUN! Bright, full sun that makes you blink the sweat out of your eyes in discomfort. A gently lit windowsill is just too dim for them.

If your Venus flytrap is growing in a "bright windowsill" or terrarium with a single dinky fluorescent light over it, don't be surprised if it starts dying! I have six fluorescent bulbs over my Venus flytraps, about 30 cm (12 inches) over the plants. I've had police visit my house because I was suspected of growing marijuana. That's the kind of lighting intensity your plants need!

Page citations: Rice, B.A. 2006a; personal observation.

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Revised: January 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005