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

Growing Loblolly Pines Outside Native Range
April 03, 2014 - I would like a stand of pines on my property but do not know if they will grow in my area. Do you know if the soil in Waelder, Texas will support pines?
view the full question and answer

Re-landscaping in Stephenville, TX.
November 17, 2012 - I prefer native plants. We are re-landsacaping, so I need grass, ground cover, vines and flowers to plant in our back yard. We have many trees and the whole yard is shady. A small area might be con...
view the full question and answer

Soil mixes for green roofs
November 23, 2008 - We are trying to set up a green roof system on our own. What do you suggest for soil? It seems the soils are proprietary and unavailable to individuals.
view the full question and answer

What is composted mulch from Springfield IL
July 01, 2010 - I love the look of hard wood mulch. It is my understanding that this wood mulch that is so readily available in bulk and bags is not "composted mulch". I have been told that this type of mulch pull...
view the full question and answer

What habitat would my Antennaria solitaria like in Red Bank, TN?
October 26, 2010 - I want to know what habitat my mystery plant will like- sun, shade, dry or moist. I think it is an Antennaria solitaria or Little Pussytoes. I got it at a native plant sale here in Chattanooga. It has...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center