En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - November 30, 2013

From: California, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Soils
Title: Care of Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Does the venus flytrap grow better in nitrogen rich soil or in nitrogen poor soil with a diet of insects? Thank you so much for your time!

ANSWER:

According to the instructions for growing Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap) from the International Carnivorous Plant Society, it tolerates almost any soil but grows best in pure sphagnum peat moss or a 1:1 sphagnum:sand mix.  Sphagnum peat moss contains 0.5 to 2.5% nitrogen but doesn't readily release it.  You can read about the nitrogen content (and more information) of peatmoss in Growing Media & Soil Amendment (A Horticultural Curriculum) from the Peat Moss Association.  So, I would say that it will do just fine in nitrogen poor soil.

However, more to the point, I think you should carefully read and follow the instructions in the Growing Dionea muscipula article from the International Carnivorous Plant Society as well as their Check List for Growing Dionea muscipula.  They have very clearly-written instructions for growing and feeding the Venus fly trap.  They are the experts for carnivorous plants!  Indeed, I wish that I had read these instructions some 10 years ago when I received a Venus fly trap as a gift.  It lasted about 3 weeks in my care before it gave up the ghost.

Best of luck with your Venus fly trap!

 

From the Image Gallery


Venus flytrap
Dionaea muscipula

Venus flytrap
Dionaea muscipula

Venus flytrap
Dionaea muscipula

Venus flytrap
Dionaea muscipula

More Soils Questions

Apartment Landscaping
September 13, 2005 - I live in an apartment and have a small patch filled with rocks and an ugly plant I don't know the name of. I want to take out the existing plants and put something else in. It has to be hearty,low m...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Shaded Slope in Philadelphia
April 17, 2015 - I have a small slope along the North side of my house in a suburb of Philadelphia. A small maple tree grows there but most of it gets no sun at all (a large segment is under the tree). I had the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping plant for Austin
September 01, 2011 - Great site! Have gotten lots of ideas. We're about to start construction on a fairly major landscaping project: raised beds/privacy screen. We're at the top of a hill in the Hill Country just wes...
view the full question and answer

Soils for spiderwort from Round Rock TX
August 08, 2013 - We have spiderworts growing naturally in our backyard. We put a large circle around them them with limestone rock (as our beds have) to make their own bed as they clumped in one area. What kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Difference between soil moisture and water use from Austin
February 20, 2012 - In the native plant data base "growing conditions" can you explain the difference between water use and soil moisture?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center