En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Growing Texas bluebonnets in North Carolina
March 11, 2008 - I live in North Carolina and love the Texas Bluebonnets. Can I create my own mix of soil to be able to grow them here? Soil is basically red clay and icky.
view the full question and answer

Problem with Salvia Mystic Spires in Chesterfield VA
May 30, 2009 - Last August, our local Lowes had these beautiful, unusual blue perennials on the discount rack called "Salvia Mystic Spires". For 50 cents each, they looked terrific, so I bought all they had, about...
view the full question and answer

Gregg's Mistflower stressed in Fredericksburg TX
August 07, 2013 - My Gregg's Mist Flower plants are very stressed. The blooms have turned brown and the leaves are drooping. Plants are receiving moderate sun, partial shade. Do they need daily watering this time o...
view the full question and answer

Growing Evergreen sumac in clay soil of Texas
August 19, 2011 - I'm in need of a fast growing evergreen screening shrub/small tree. I'm considering the Evergreen Sumac but before I go further I need to know if this plant will thrive and remain evergreen in the D...
view the full question and answer

How will my Texas Mountain Laurel survive clay soil?
June 09, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Pants: I live in a new neighborhood (brownfield site) in Central Austin where the developers have put fill in the yards. After not much more than 2 inches of topsoil you encounter fairl...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center