Venus Flytrap Care Instructions
The classic and probably meanest carnivorous plant of all. No other plant on this site has large movable traps that can capture an insect within fractions of a second.
Although it is commonly known as a beginners plant this doesn't apply for tropical climates. A green thumb is recommended. Dionaea is a plant that needs very high light levels. Most growers recommend a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight a day. We are giving a lot more, while shading them with a mild one or two layer shade cloth, to keep temperatures a little lower. If you are not sure how much sun to expose it to, you can give it less, as it might be safer for the plants survival. However, if the new traps are small and green, while the leafs get wider, you will know that they don't have enough light. You can carefully increase the sun exposure weekly until you have found the optimum, because all green plants won't be happy on the long run. Keep in mind though, if you don't give direct sun, you need to grow the plants as bright as possible (no shade cloth, nothing), as they really need lots of light!
Make also sure not to put them to close to stone tiles or walls, as these heat up in the sun and release heat even at night.
It is generally recommended to put them in a tray with rain water - although some people in the tropical climates (us included) grow them without trays, while taking very good care that they will never dry out. If you don't have rain water, you can try destilled water or collect the runoff-water of your aircon.
No need to fertilize or feed them
as they are very good in catching their own prey. Please also don't overfeed them, don't give them insects bigger that half of the trap size - it will cause the trap to rot. Avoid to feed ants (very acidic, can damage the trap) or human foods as in egg, cheese, meat or such. Don't trigger the traps unnecessarily, it will stress the plant, but of course you can show it to your visitors once in a while.
The soil needs to be something soggy as in peat, or coco peat (Ace Hardware) if real peat is not available. Other alternatives are Long Fibered Sphagnum (LFS), but you need to make sure it is not Java moss, as it is sometimes mislabeled. The Java moss is usually sold in hand made plastic bags, while LFS is sold in compressed imported square bricks (Manila: Garden2000). A 90 mm pot will usually do, as big pots tend to create a too stagnant environment for the roots.
They usually require a few months of dormancy (think refrigerator), but so far it is doing very ok for us without since many years. In summer the plants look weaker, but then they are returning to full strength again. If you check on google or youtube for VFT dormancy you will find enough opinions and directions.
What to do after arrival?
FIRST, if you have ordered different clones, please locate the clone numbers (C1, C2 ...) prior to unpacking, as only their containers but not the plants are labeled(!) You can put the plants in a bowl with rain water and soak them for about 30 minutes. If you see some black traps or leaves, you are welcome to cut them off, we often don't have the time to clean them on our packing morning. If you have a hard time planting the plants because the traps are bending down, you can bury the outer traps partially. The white bulb part should be under soil level, but not too deep either, as it can promote root rot. Keep the VFT out of direct sun, until it has grown some healthy leaves (2-3 weeks). Then you can gradually expose it to some direct or filtered sun.
They are good insect catchers, everything up to small frogs is possible!