Written by Ivy
Jan 11 2023
Are you unsure whether or not to allow the Venus flytrap plant in your home to flower? On whether letting this plant develop its full flowers will actually benefit or harm it, there are a variety of different perspectives. Expert gardener Madison Moulton discusses the history of this common plant and whether you should allow yours to flower.
Venus flytraps have flowers, right? When venus fly traps emerge from dormancy in the spring, a flower stalk will appear. A lot of resources and energy are required to produce flowers. Due to this, many Venus fly traps do not recover after flowering and perish within a few months.
Let's examine everything you need to know about this unusual and fascinating plant.
Like other carnivores, these plants catch and kill their prey. Any insect or other prey is digested by the plant for its vital nutrients after being captured. Some carnivorous plants even trap and digest small rodents, but different species of carnivorous plants have different methods for capturing their prey.
Evolution has produced carnivorous plants. They first manifested themselves 70 million years ago after undergoing a number of mutations to cope with challenging conditions. Several studies have shown that non-carnivorous plants mutated in different ways due to a lack of nutrients. By making copies of their DNA genomes, they were able to diversify their functions. The DNA of leaves and roots was most significantly altered, allowing them to both capture and absorb nutrients from their prey.
The great success of these mutations caused the original leaf and root genomes to become redundant, and so, they began to disappear. There are numerous species of carnivorous plants as a result of these plants' environmental adaptation and change. Some, like bladderworts, are extremely complex and specialized. Using hidden, trap-door-like bladders (which are mutated leaves), this unassuming carnivore captures its prey.
Others are much simpler, such as Pitcher Plants. The mutated tubed leaves on these plants are smooth and covered in tiny hairs. These vase-like leaves become a trap for tiny insects that they can't escape from. These leaves also have a tendency to collect water, which drowns the prey that has been caught. Pitcher plants and similar plants have been known to occasionally capture small animals in the wild.
The evolution of the Venus flytrap was somewhat unique. They display their mouth-like traps for all to see. These traps are modified leaves that are lined with insect-attracting nectar. Trigger hairs are the tiny, teeth-like growths that you can see lining the edges.
The mouth clamps shut, trapping the inconsiderate insect inside when it touches one of these hairs. The prey is then consumed for about a week by the digestive enzymes that this plant then excretes. After the insect has been consumed, the plant opens its mouth again to lure in more unsuspecting prey.
Venus flytraps are simple to care for indoor plants. Plants that are happy and healthy can endure for many years while fending off insects. After about 2 years, yes, the Venus Flytrap can produce flowers. But, the trap itself is not considered a flower, these flowers are completely separate from the traps.
Like other plants, they produce flowers in order to seed and reproduce, but it's not imperative for their survival. As was previously mentioned, these plants evolved into various distinct species that flourish by following unusual paths.
The flowers pale in comparison to the unusual, fly-eating leaves. Their petals are white and frequently have green veins running through them. The flowers sit on very long, 6-inch stalks, so pollinators can do their job without getting trapped and eaten.
During the spring, a single plant can produce a variety of flowers. These stalks are simple to identify because they differ significantly from modern leafy traps. They pop up in the center of the plant and are thick and cylindrical. The nodes that eventually form on these stalks develop into white flowers.
These flowers are not a prey-attracting device for the Venus Flytrap. In fact, this exact question was recently the subject of a comprehensive study. Many prey samples were taken from Venus flytraps by entomologists, who discovered that very few of the insects were pollinators and very little of the prey contained pollen. In the end, the brightly colored mouths and nectar of this plant are what actually entice their prey. Simply put, its flower is a flower.
A Venus flytrap begins to produce flowers once it reaches maturity, which typically occurs between the ages of 2-4. During the spring, Venus flytraps bloom. Exiting dormancy is typically not too far apart.
Flowers stalks are produced by Venus flytraps as thick, cylindrical structures. The flower stalks eventually grow much taller than the traps and develop into flower bunches.
Although not particularly impressive, the flowers are still attractive. The petals are white and have green veins running through them. A Venus flytrap in full bloom is a rare sight. Most people typically only look to spot the traps. Many people are surprised to learn that Venus flytraps can also produce flowers.
A Venus flytrap will produce several flower stalks when it blooms. Through the same period, not all at once.
Special Care During Flowering
Some owners of Venus flytraps believe that during the flowering period, they require special attention. There are no special care requirements during the flowering season. Just keep taking care of your plant the same way you have been. Although the plant may slow down its growth so that it can concentrate on reproduction, it shouldn't exhibit signs of distress.
So, we've established that the Venus Flytrap can grow flowers. Would it be best to allow this plant to bloom though? Usually, you shouldn't let this plant flower. Check out what to do if you've already reached that stage.
Should I remove them or not?
The gardening community has been quite stirred by these flowers. Many people insist that the stalks be removed because they claim the entire flowering process is fatal to your indoor venus flytrap. Others merely advocate allowing the plant to continue doing what it naturally does, which is catch insects and bloom each spring. Some might even suggest giving the flowering process a little more tender loving care.
New and seasoned owners alike find this to be confusing. The most crucial step in navigating the confusion is to comprehend your plant and its state of health. It then comes down to personal preference.
The flowering process does not kill the Venus Flytrap. However, the energy required to produce flowers is substantial, depleting it for other critical purposes like general growth. Lack of energy can strain a young or ill plant, resulting in slower, stunted growth. It can occasionally cause a Venus Flytrap to pass away.
A flourishing, mature plant will continue to produce flowers throughout the blooming season with no additional maintenance. However, a young or unwell plant may find it difficult to recover once its energy has been devoted to its flowers.
The state of your plant, your experience, and your personal preferences will ultimately determine how you proceed. Cut away the flowers if you don't like them, but keep them if you do.
For whatever reason, it is best to cut the flowers off as soon as they begin to bloom. Take a knife and cut them off at the base. Throughout the spring, you might need to repeat this process several times.
Allowing your Venus flytrap to bloom creates new opportunities for collection growth. Both of its methods of reproduction—using seeds or its stalk—require some effort.
Venus Flytraps don't self-pollinate on their own, so it needs a helping hand. You can tap the stalks gently once the flowers are fully bloomed or rub the plant with an electric toothbrush. By simulating pollinator disturbances, the pollen falls on the stigma, where it germinates, as a result of which.
After a while, the flower will start to wither away, leaving behind seed capsules. After gathering the seeds, put them in a tray that drains well and is filled with soil for carnivorous plants. Put the tray in a sunny area after giving it a good watering. For a few weeks, keep the soil at room temperature and moist. In roughly two months, the seeds should germination and be prepared for transplanting. (Read More: How to Grow Venus Flytraps from Seed)
For this technique, you don't have to let the stalks flower, but they do need to be fairly long.
To start, you need a pot or container filled with sandy, well-draining soil and equipped with lots of drainage holes. Then, snip the stalk of the plant and cut it into sections that are about 3 inches long.
After that, insert the miniature stalks vertically into the container and top with a thin layer of soil. The cuttings can also be positioned in the pot horizontally and gently pressed into the soil. Sprinkle some soil on top of them. The cuttings produce roots after a few short weeks, especially if the container is kept in a high humidity area.
There are some care requirements for Venus fly traps that are different from those for most other plants.
Growing a robust and healthy plant won't be a problem once you know how to take care of a Venus fly trap.
A low-nutrient growing medium with good drainage is needed for venus fly traps. The two best options are peat moss and sphagnum moss.
Perlite can be added as well to improve soil aeration and drainage. Another option is to use a potting mix designed specifically for carnivorous plants – this will yield excellent results.
To keep the roots from sitting in water, place the container in a space with lots of drainage holes. The container should ideally be at least 4 inches deep to provide enough room for root development.
Avoid using unglazed clay pots because they can release minerals into the soil that are poisonous to Venus fly traps.
Watering a Venus fly trap with tap water is one of the biggest mistakes gardeners make.
These plants are especially sensitive to the minerals and chemicals in the water. For your Venus fly trap, it is best to use distilled, reverse osmosis, or rainwater.
In no case should the soil of the Venus fly trap dry out. These plants require consistently moist soil.
A great way to help the soil absorb the right amount of water is to water it from the bottom up. After every watering, always let the container drain completely.
Due to their high light requirements, venus fly traps are better suited to outdoor environments. The ideal amount of time in direct sunlight per day is six to eight hours, but four to six hours should suffice.
A sunny window or a grow light (like this one with four adjustable arms, 10 brightness settings, and three light modes) will be necessary to keep your indoor Venus fly traps. (Read More: Venus Fly Trap Light Requirements - Does It Need Direct Sunlight?)
Venus fly trap foliage can withstand most temperatures. Extremely low temperatures (below zero degrees Fahrenheit) and high temperatures (above 95 degrees Fahrenheit) can harm a plant's roots, though.
Lower soil temperatures can be maintained during the sweltering summer by using a big pot with mulch.
Contrary to popular belief, Venus fly traps are not found in swamps. To avoid mold and fungus growth, they prefer moderate humidity and lots of airflow.
Despite popular belief, Venus fly traps do not require insect prey to survive. They can produce their own energy through photosynthesis, just like all other plants.
Your Venus fly trap needs to eat a few insects each month in order to be in good health.
Your plant should ideally be kept outdoors where it can access food. Venus fly traps don't consume enough insects to be regarded as an effective indoor pest control method.
Use small, soft-bodied insects if you're manually feeding your Venus fly trap.
The larger and outer traps typically die off prior to dormancy. These dead traps and leaves can be removed using sterile scissors.
Trim off any dead foliage as necessary the rest of the year.
A healthy Venus fly trap will sprout one flower stalk when it emerges from dormancy in the spring. Most plants need to be dormant for at least six weeks before they can start to grow flower stalks.
The process of growing flowers consumes a lot of the plant's energy and nutrients. This implies that younger, less robust plants may eventually perish after flowering.
When Venus Flytraps suddenly produce long stalks and white flowers, it can shock their owners. The modified leaf traps that this plant is famous for are the real show stopper, even though mature, healthy plants produce flowers all throughout spring.
When it comes to answering the question of what to do with the flowers, the age and health of your plant are important, but it ultimately boils down to personal choice. Fortunately, there is no shortage of attractive Venus flytraps for those who would prefer to remove the blooms. You can choose from a number of styles with traps that are variously sized and shaped, each sporting a different color.
Your plant may have a shorter period of dormancy if you live in a warmer area with less drastic changes in wintertime temperature and daylight.
This can cause "spring" to come early for your Venus fly traps bloom in the winter.
Venus fly traps don't start blooming until the rhizome is big enough, usually at least 1-2 years old.
Only once a year, in the spring, Venus fly traps will bloom. Every plant produces just one flower stalk.
Your Venus fly trap is a big, healthy plant if it is blooming. Young, unhealthy plants lack the resources necessary to produce flowers.
The Venus fly trap flower has five petals, is small, and is white. One to several flowers will grow on each flower stalk.
It is advised to remove a flower stalk at the base as soon as you notice it growing. This will stop your plant from wasting resources on the flower-growing process.
Many inexperienced growers find that their Venus fly traps die after flowering. The plant must undergo a great deal of stress in order to produce flowers, and it frequently does not recover.
Read More About Venus Flytraps