Venus flytraps have captivated the masses for years, but this fascination has led to some misconceptions. One of the most common is that Venus flytraps are flowers, but is a Venus Flytrap a flower or is this a myth?
Venus flytraps are not flowers, but they do display similar features meant to mimic flowers. For instance, the inside of the traps are bright red in color, and the traps release an attractive scent into the air to attract pollinating insects.
Venus Flytraps Mimic Flowering
While the traps themselves aren’t flowers, the plant will flower roughly once a year when given ideal care. Venus flytrap flowers will grow on a tall stem that stretches several inches taller than the rest of the plant.
The flowers are small and white with a yellow-green center. When pollinated, these flowers will form seeds that can be harvested and planted at a later date to produce more plants.
While the flowers of a Venus flytrap can be beautiful, it’s actually best to remove the buds before they bloom when you keep them indoors. Producing flowers uses up a lot of energy and for flytraps that need to catch their food to get nutrients, this can be a real drain.
Flytraps go dormant after flowering and if they aren’t receiving optimal care they can actually die. If you think your plant is getting the proper light, food, and water, and is in an ideal soil mixture, you can let it flower, but just be aware of the risks.
So What Exactly Is A Venus Flytrap?
Venus flytraps are carnivorous plants that thrive in warm boggy areas. Their traps are green on the outside and red on the inside with small hairlike appendages along the outer rim. Each of the traps produces a scent that is undetectable to the human nose, but irresistible to insects.
When an insect enters the flytrap and brushes against several of the hairs, the trap will close, locking the insect inside. Here it will be digested over several days to a week. If a trap accidentally closes on something too large, or something other than a natural prey item, the trap will actually shrivel up and fall off the main plant. It does this to prevent rot from hurting the plant.
It is very important that if you are going to feed your flytrap you only feed them appropriate-sized insects infrequently. Otherwise, you could cause the plant to become stressed or even die.
Due to how parculiar Venus Flytraps are, there are a lot of other questions that get asked about them. We’ve rounded these up below.
Do Venus Flytraps Smell?
This is a common question people ask about flytraps and it’s a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. Venus flytraps do give off a pungent scent, but before crossing them off your wish list or tossing them out of the house, the scent is undetectable to the human nose.
If you find your Venus flytrap is giving off a smell, it’s likely there is something unhealthy going on with your plant. Check the soil for any rotting traps, mold, or fungus. If you don’t see anything, check your roots for rot. The smell is most likely coming from one of those places.
The scent the flytrap gives off is to attract insects to its traps. In their native habitat, these plants aren’t able to absorb many nutrients from the soil, so they have evolved to get their nutrients from digested prey in their traps. This evolution means they are one of the few houseplants that won’t need fertilizer.
If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check our our dedicated article here.
How Often do Venus Flytraps Need to Eat?
If your Venus flytrap is receiving an ideal amount of light, it should be eating roughly every other week. You can feed your plant by giving either live or pre-killed insects with tweezers or small tongs. Be sure that the prey item is roughly ¼ of the size of your plant’s traps and only feed one trap at a time.
Overfeeding can cause your plant to die, so when in doubt, it’s best to underfeed your plant. The minimum amount of feedings for a plant is every 2-3 months. It’s likely that even when you don’t feed your plant it will end up with the occasional bug that has snuck inside the house