The Little Pot of Horrors!

Many say that the Venus Fly-Trap is one of the most remarkable plants in the world!  If you’re wondering how this carnivorous Carolina native works, take a close look at the small hairs inside the leaf – this is where the feast begins!

The way a Venus Fly-Trap works starts with a series of tiny hairs located near the crease of the leaf (the “jaws”).  Say a lowly insect was to brush against two or more of these hairs.  The leaf will close quickly enough that escape isn’t possible with the hair-like teeth on the edge of the leaf.  Digestive enzymes are secreted through glands on the leaf’s surface that aid in the decomposing of the insect.  The leaf will re-open once the insect has been amply absorbed.

Each leaf can only catch about three insects before it turns black and dies.  If it closes without capturing anything, it can only reopen and close again about seven times.  Many have to resist the temptation to touch these hairs with a small object since teasing the flytrap can result in the leaf dying quicker.

Care tips for the Venus Fly-Trap:

  • Keep these plants in either the full-sun or a very bright and sunny area and make sure their roots are always wet!
  • This plant likes a lot of humidity so it’s good for a terrarium.  If you decide not go this route, you can create a humid environment by misting the leaves.
  • When the flytrap matures, the leaves (traps) will turn black.  Just cut these black traps off and new ones will appear after a few weeks.

Look for the Venus Fly-Trap at Hyams in the Greenhouse!


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