venus fly trap
- Position: bright filtered or direct sunlight
- Soil: fertile: a specialist carnivous compost
- Rate of growth: average
- Hardiness: tender (indoors only)
- Current height: approximately 10cm (including pot)
This is a fascinating plant, which will eat flies! Its leaves are modified, so grow to develop spiny traps at their tips. These are red-flushed or green in colour, and are designed to snap shut when an insect (attracted by the plants nectar) sits inside. Tempting as it may be, you should avoid setting off the traps by touching them yourself, as each trap will only activate two to three times before it dies back. These will get replaced, but if the plant does not get the chance to absorb the nutrients from the insect, it may become weakened over time.
- Home care: This carnivorous plant should be watered from below during the growing season. The easiest way to do this is to stand the pot in a saucer that is filled with 1cm of soft water. Ideally the pot and water-filled saucer should be kept on a tray of gravel as this will help keep the humidity high. When the plant is dormant, water only when the compost gets dry, making sure the excess can drain away freely. Pot on in spring using a specialist compost.