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

Q: Why did my Venus flytrap's leaf get a black spot after I fed it?

Dionaea
Dionaea 'Green Dragon'
A: Wild Venus flytraps can eat just about any bug or insect that falls into their traps. They love eating things. In contrast, cultivated Venus flytrap plants often get black and dead spots on their leaves when they are digesting food. Usually, this dead spot expands until the entire leaf blackens and falls off. This blows.

Wild plants are not as prone to this malady because they are almost always a little more healthy and vigorous than cultivated plants. If you don't believe me, and think that your plants are as healthy as those in the wild, tromp about and look at Venus flytraps in coastal North Carolina. See how tough the little critters look. Then come back and admit I'm right.

But back to your cultivated plant. Sometimes the complicated process of digesting prey is just too much for home-grown Venus flytraps. It takes a lot of energy, and the plant must be healthy to do it correctly. If your plant is not getting lots and lots of light, it will be more prone to blackening leaves. It happens fairly frequently to my cultivated plants, and I'm pretty good at growing them!

This question is very closely related to the two following FAQ entries. Make sure you read them when you finished here.

Page citations: Personal observation.

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Revised: January 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005