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

Worms in non-native snake plant from Hillsborough NC
September 17, 2011 - I purchased a snake plant this summer for my screened in porch. I did not repot it and left it in the plastic pot in came it. I was about to repot the plant to bring it in and noticed there are worm...
view the full question and answer

Seeding the banks of a large pond
October 18, 2011 - I have a 2 acre surface pond that is mostly a hard clay bank all around. The water level is way down and I will begin filling it very soon. I need to somehow being affordable, plant something or thing...
view the full question and answer

Using cedar chips as mulch in Wimberley, TX
August 19, 2010 - In TX Hlll Country there is an abundance of wood chips, usually "cedar", which I have used as plant mulch. Since wood chips extract nitrogen to decay, do you consider chips a poor choice as plant m...
view the full question and answer

Season to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle from Fallbrook CA
July 25, 2013 - Would like to know which season would be the best to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle in Fallbrook, CA area? I presently have invading bamboo, which I want to get rid of. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
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