Venus Flytrap and Sensitive Plant
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
While it looks like it comes from out of this world, the Venus Flytrap is native to coastal North and South Carolina. It is a carnivorous plant, meaning instead of getting its nutrients from fertilizer and good soil, it gets its vitamins from “eating” bugs. This is a perfect plant for anyone who wants to give a unique gift, or isn’t quite ready for a puppy. 😉
Soil: poor and acidic with good drainage
- No need to add lime or fertilizer(it “catches” its own fertilizer!)
- Regular potting soil is not necessary. Instead, use 1/3 sand and 2/3 sphagnum peat moss to provide the best drainage and moisture retention
Light: happiest in bright light, but can grow in part shade
- Don’t put it in direct sunlight in the summer, as the plant may overheat and wilt.
- If the plant doesn’t show a pink interior or if the leaves are long and spindly, move the plant to a sunnier location.
Water: humid environment and moist soil. We want the environment to be as similar as possible to where they come from!
- While it likes water, don’t let the plant sit in standing water.
- Use rain or distilled water. Tap water is usually too alkaline or may contain too many added minerals.
Feeding: flies and small flying bugs
- This is how the plant is “fertilized,” so one trap per week is enough food. There are two ways to feed a Venus Flytrap: live food or freeze-dried food.
- Live food: This works when the Flytrap is in an enclosed terrarium. Release small flies and watch the trap eat!
- Freeze-dried food: Small, freeze-dried mealworms, cut into 1/3 the size of the trap. The trap needs to close fully in order to digest prey. Prey that is too large may cause the trap to rot or turn black. Digestion starts if the trap’s hairs are triggered after it has closed. Use a toothpick to gently “tickle” the hairs through the gaps after the trap closes over the prey.
Sensitive Plant (mimosa pudica)
The Sensitive Plant is another great houseplant with a bit of personality. It is known for its leaves folding inwards when touched. This plant is native to tropical central America, where it grows as a weed. While it’s fun to watch the leaves curl up after being touched, touching the leaves too often will weaken the plant, and may cause it to die.
- Soil: moist and well-drained. Use a mixture of peat moss and perlite. It should never be soggy! Fertilize regularly- once per week during growing season, once per month during winter. The plant does best with a balanced fertilizer, diluted to half the strength on the label.
- The plant should be protected from the cold. It prefers temperatures above 65°F .
- As the plant grows, support its growth with a trellis, as it likes to crawl/creep.
- Even with the best conditions, it is generally an annual plant. To grow again for next year, collect the seeds by letting the pods dry on the plant and then breaking them open.
Other fun and unusual plants we have:
Know an unusual plant you think we should carry? Let us know!
Stop by McGuckin today to pick up your new friend or ask a Green Vest about what plant is right for you.