Is my venus fly trap dying?

hope4greenthumbApril 3, 2007

I got a Venus Fly Trap from Walmart a couple of months ago. When I transplanted it, all the traps closed. A few days later, they reopened again. A couple of them turned black so I cut those off. I've had it for a month since I transplanted it and it seems to be doing's just that it hasn't eaten yet. I even put a small fly in one of the traps but it never closed around it. Is this normal?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, lets see. Is this your first carnivorous plant? If so, when you transplanted it, what type of soil did you put it in? What type of water do you use... and what kind of light are you giving it? We'll start there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly Delights

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's likely that you bought a neglected plant in a weakened state and the change in conditions caused it to react. Once in good conditions (lighting, water, soil)it needs to be given time to acclimate.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 4:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, this is my first carnivorous plant. I used regular potting soil when I transplanted it...but I didn't use very much since I only moved it up a half-sized pot. I put it in a terracotta pot with a saucer under it. I put pebbles in the saucer with a little water in them to increase the humidity around the plant. I'm using tap water to water it...but I let it sit out overnight before using it so that hopefully all the chlorine will evaporate. Also, I've got it sitting on the windowsill of a huge southern window. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Uh oh. You are killing it in 3 or 4 different ways.

No ammount of sitting out will purify the tap water enough for a CP. It is possible that the tap water is ok, but it is highly doubtful. Take some to a pet store and have it tested for hardness and metals and that sort of stuff.

Until then, buy a gallon of distilled water and get it ready. Unpot the plant and rinse it THOROUGHLY in the distilled water and get as much soil as possible off of it.

Then take the plant to the new (plastic) pot filled with wet SPHAGNUM peat moss and perlite in it (half and half) and re-plant it.

The pebbles aren't needed in the saucer. Stick the pot in the saucer and keep it filled with 1/4 inch or so of distilled water. The terra cotta pot is ok as long as it is glazed on the outside. Unglazed isn't so hot, but it isn't certain death like the potting soil will be and the tap water will probably be.

I'm not good with what windowsill is good with what. Usually I hear that south and west are the good ones although some prefer the east. I'd go with west if possible to give them as much light as possible.

Then go to the library and see if they have "The Savage Garden" by Peter D'Amato. They can probably get in on interlibrary loan. When (not if) you get hooked on the carnivorous plants, you'll want to get your own copy.

Just remember: Tons of light, purified water (rainwater is okay), sphagnum peat moss/perlite, and constantly wet.

Avoid: tap water and potting soil.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

Terra cotta pot will work, but it's certainly not ideal. Your water is going to evaporate much faster and the plant will dry out quicker...good for cacti (not good for flytraps). Since you have to buy the right water, you probably want to also buy a cheap plastic pot.

Youre current potting soil will kill it. South facing window will be fine. As an experiment, I grew a flytap in an East facing window last year. It survived and grew, but it sort had a sickly light green color. South should be much much better.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok, what they said is right. The water needs to be distilled (avoid spring or drinking water because often times they add salt to them for taste) You can get distilled water, by the gallon in places like walmart or your local grocery store.

Well, you can read everything else they're saying so I don't need to repeat it. What I really wanted to say is, if you kill it, I hope this doesn't ruin your experience and I hope you'll go right out there and get another one. You've got the information now to keep it alive and healthy. (there is more to learn of course but water, light, and soil are the big three for about any plant) Carnivores can be a fun and facinating plant choice and lead to a whole world of new discoveries in plants.

My advice if you should get a new plant, (if this one is too far gone... and that's still IF)is don't repot it. The soil it's growing in has been keeping it alive this long, let it do it's job until you've had some experience repotting other carnivores. (I killed my first fly trap by repotting it and I used the right soil and everything)

I wish you all the luck with your plant and if you have any questions, feel free to email me and/or ask more questions around here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly delights

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

Hello Aracknight,
Hey I just checked out your page. Your lithop needs a lot more light! Cool site though.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Currently I've got him under a shop light, the light is 10 inches above the plant. How close should I be putting it? Thanks for the compliment btw :-)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joeb004(z3/4 MN)

Yeah much closer. They should never grow a stalk like that. When grown with enough light they will always look like little stones. It's growing taller trying to get closer to light. Actually, Lithops are the only plant that I keep in the windowsill all winter to keep the amount of light high.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 5:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Your Venus Flytrap IS dying. People that NEVER read instructions on how to do things are quite annoying. Regular potting soil WRECKS the roots and destroys and burns them. Tap water has tons of salts, and it was raised badly in Wal-Mart, your Venus Flytrap has a 1:10000 chance of living due to the poor care it's received.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 7:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

necifix, having a bad day????

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 10:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindaflower(7 DFW)

It should be planted in sphagnum moss and of course use distilled water. Lots of light too! I use a 40 compact fluorescent bulb about 8 inches from my plants. It is possible to save it. I saved some from a Walgreen's that looked near death. Don't give up or let people dissuade you.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Uh is it ok to leave your Venus flytrap unattended with a bowl of water in it fOr ten days

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 1:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, but don't put it in too deep a water tray. You want the water level to be below the rhizome or else it can rot. Mine are always in a water tray with about a 1/2 to an inch of water.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 8:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am in South Africa and in the middle of Winter. Summer starts in September. I have not put my VFT's in a cool dark place over winter. Instead I left them where they were last summer - by a south window where they get afternoon sun. My question is, is it too late to put them into hybernation now? Should I just leave them and hybernate them next winter in a cold dark room? This summer they will go outside in the sun and remain there. Please can someone advise about the hybernation.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How cold does it get there in the fall/winter?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Am having a similar issue. I have 4 venus fly traps, and sundew. Up to a few weeks ago it was but now all of them are dying. alot of the leafs turn black and are getting weak. none of the traps are opening and the new leafs are growing very slowly. Some seem to completely stop growing,turn black and die. What should I do ? Its getting enough light, and I have used rain water.
I dont know if I should re-pot them ?

second thing is .. is it possible to grow together with venus flytrap.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is a few more pics to give everyone a better view.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

I used to have one on my patio. I keps it in the same pot i bought it in and had it sitting in a container of shallow water just like it had been at the nursary and just like the guy at the nursary told me to do. It seemed fine and i gave him some flies to eat. Though after a while the leaves started growing bigger then the traps and then little tiny traps would appear on the tops of the leaves but they were so tiny. In the end the pot just looked like it was filled with buffalo grass with tiny traps sitting on the top of it. In the end we had some people over our place and someone spilt beer on it and it died. After that experience i dont think i would get one again. Oh and i also had one of those plants with the tobes that water sits in the bottom of and its sweet smelling and attracts flies that get stuck down in the tube. Well the tubes never got any bigger and i dont think it ever caught a single fly. I think ive given up with carnivorous plants now :( which is a shame coz i think they are really awesome..

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@Da13thUnleashed, I have VFT growing together with sundews, including cape sundews & bunch of burmanii. All your plants look like they are starving of light. have you read from past post that these plants need direct sunlight?

Now the questions, what type of soil are you using? What kind of water are you using? Tap, purified water, or drinking water? But for now they look like they are starving of light.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I Just got it a few days ago, I live in Idaho and it's really cold here right now but I've been putting the plant next to a window every day and putting it under my "Sun light lamp" every night, but it seems like it's dying. It's getting really droopy and the traps won't open back up. I cut some flowers off the other day and it looks like I'm going to have to do it again. I've been watering it with water from the sink that I filtered with a Brita filter then let it sit for 24hrs. The first day I had it I fed it raw hamburger because that's what the people I bough it from told me to do. Does it look like it's dying? Should I just buy another and try again? I ordered some freeze dried flies and a water sprayer but they haven't come yet. And does anyone know a place I can get a cheap plastic container to put it in so that I can keep the humidity up?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Badnews, you purchased your plant from someone who doesn't know carnivorous plants. NEVER feed raw meat to them. Feed them only insects tht could crawl or fly into the traps. Also, you need to use distilled water or collected rainwater for watering.

Put the plant on a window that gets sunlight all day long and it should be fine. You can cut off the top of a soda bottle and put it over the plant or a DIY terrarium. Dollars stores often have small glass bowls that also work.

Lastly, if it dies back, leave it be for a bit. Venus flytraps need to go dormant and they often regrow from their rhizome if they're not too damaged.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The leaves don't even look like a vft. Oh I dunno!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That last post is NOT of a VFT.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:16PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
My huge pitcher from propagation (N. ventrata)
Hi I'm new in this forum and I want to show you my...
Can dead sphagnum turn into live sphagnum?
I'm noticing some green patches in my LFS. Is it live...
Miracle Gro
:/ sigh Miracle Gro..... so it seems that this stuff...
Cloth in pitcher plant
I just wonder, what would happen if a cotton or polyster...
Nepenthes for Beginner
I'm looking to start growing nepenthes. What I've researched...
Sponsored Products
Thomas Lighting Outdoor Lanterns. Covington Wall-Mount 1-Light Outdoor Black Lan
$74.00 | Home Depot
Safavieh Handmade Antiquities Kasadan Olive Green Wool Rug (8' Square)
Progress Lighting Outdoor Lanterns. Prairie Collection Brushed Nickel 1-light Ha
Home Depot
Alabama Crimson Tide Personalized Framed Print
$37.99 | zulily
Berry Toys My First Portable Kitchen Play Set - Pink - BR008-87
$39.99 | Hayneedle
DENY Designs Bianca Green Bright Duvet Cover - 12626-DUWKIN
$199.00 | Hayneedle
Progress Lighting Outdoor Lighting. Low Voltage 13-watt Black Landscape Deckligh
$39.60 | Home Depot
Blue 'My First Year' Frame
$24.99 | zulily
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™