Venus Flytrap Habitat

Venus Flytrap USDA Hardiness ZoneThe Venus Flytrap habitat, contrary to popular opinion, is decidedly not tropical. Yes, the native plants are subject to hot and humid weather, but as the folks in the coastal regions of South and North Carolina can attest to, they also get some very cool weather in the winter, including the occasional freezing temperatures and snowfall.

Venus Flytrap native habitat is located in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, with an average annual minimum temperature of 10 to 15 degrees F (-9.5 to 12.2 degrees C). This is hardly tropical. The native Venus Flytrap plant does experience a real winter. And once you understand this, you will be able to grow some pretty incredible plants, because now you understand the unique Venus Flytrap habitat.

Because of the naturally cool winter weather, Venus Flytrap plants to be successful and healthy, do best if they experience a dormant period between late October (Halloween) through late February or early March. During dormancy, the plants do not require either food or light. If you live in a very warm climate such as southern Florida or California, you can induce dormancy by placing the plants into a refrigerator. Just don't let them freeze!

Native Venus Flytrap plants have a habitat that has full sun, good air circulation, and porous, well draining, soil that is nutrient poor. To be successful at growing Venus Flytrap plants, you want to mimic their home habitat as much as possible. And as you can see, trying to grow Venus Flytraps in a terrarium with other tropical plants just isn't a good idea. Instead, try to replicate the climate conditions of the North Carolina Coast, and you will find your plants growing healthy.

For example, a big part of the native Venus Flytrap habitat in North Carolina is light. Lots of light. So don't try to put your new plant on a window sill that only gets a few hours of sunlight a day, or in a dark corner of the room. Give your Venus Flytrap what it really wants - light.

Venus Flytrap plants are native North American plants, not tropical plants. If you live in the continental United States, you can usually raise a Venus Flytrap plant as a potted plant without a humidity dome. They can adapt to low humidity. But they do not adapt to low light (see above). So keep lots of sunlight on the plants.

In summary, the native Venus Flytrap habitat is typical of the coast of North and South Carolina - hot humid summers, cool and even cold winters, lots of sunlight and rain, and well draining soil that is poor in nutrients.

Keep these factors in mind when growing your plants, try to replicate the native habitat of a Venus Flytrap, and you will be successful growing this fascinating plant.

~Mike

28 Responses to Venus Flytrap Habitat

  1. hi my name is Matthew and i need some help with our Venus fly-trap, we bought it two and a half weeks ago and it has 3 green levees poking out at the top and i don’t know if i need to take it out of the clear box or not.
    Please reply asap.

    thanks

    • mikegreen says:

      Matthew,

      Absolutely. Get rid of the clear box/cover. Let your plant breath. It doesn’t need the humidity. It needs moist roots, sun, and DI water before anything else.

      Mike

  2. Jhap says:

    Hi Mike,
    I live in the Philippines, here we have two seasons only, rainy and sunny.
    If I will have a VFT indoors, will it thrive?

    Thank you for your answer

    • mikegreen says:

      Jhap,

      Thanks for the question.

      Don’t really know! But you will find out over time. I do believe that you could probably grow it outside… and at some point in the fall/winter will have to bring it in. Let us know how it goes.

      Mike

    • audi says:

      I think you could inside best. The high humidity may be something to watch.

  3. Brenda says:

    Hi Mike

    Thanks for all the useful info you have been emailing me daily interesting reading and very helpful.

    I live in London England and have brought a VFT about 3 months ago.
    It has flowered it has 3 flowers now it had 4 but one died. It is now got another bud growing.
    My Traps seen to have been feeding well and some have died and I have cut them back i keep it in the garden on a table plenty of sun and light this time of year in England. Usually plenty of rain too but none for a while so using distilled water brought from Halford’s.

    Lots of new baby traps growning too. I want to repot it as it’s in a small plastic pot. I’ve ordered and received carnivorous plant repotting mix is this good enough to use to repot and as it’s flowering should I leave repotting for another time?
    Do you advise me to let it flower or cut these back as I’ve read the flowers take all the energy from the traps?
    What to do??!

    Thanks.

    • mikegreen says:

      Brenda,

      I am glad you are enjoying the growing tips I am sending you by email. Thanks for letting me know that you are getting these and you are enjoying them and finding the tips useful.

      These plants live in a nutrient poor soil, which is why you probably want to not let the plant try to flower. Whenever I see a bud start to grown om my VFT, I immediately cut it off. That would be my recommendation.

      You are growing the plant in lots of sun – which is what these plants need! Kudos to you for doing this!

      And you really can re-pot at any time.

      Hope this helps.

      Mike

  4. Hannah says:

    I put my Venus fly trap outside at 40f degrees and then forgot about it overnight! It got 15 degrees and it looks like the dirt is icy, and the plant is a darker green, will it survive? I was trying to help it go dormant because she just won’t in the house. I put it in the window with it open so she can thaw slowly, is that okay?

    • mikegreen says:

      Opps! It depends on whether the wind was blowing, and how much of a freeze it is. You won’t know until you try to nurse it back to health. If it doesn’t come back, then time to get another..

  5. RAYMOND WILSON says:

    I’m in Northern Ireland, we get annual high temps of around 28c and lows of around -3c. I have a few adult plants from last year, kept them indoors under a grow light. But now I’ve got hundreds of new seedlings, they just germinated about 2 months ago. Will they be okay to leave outside over winter, and do new seedling go through dormancy too?

    • mikegreen says:

      Raymond, that’s a tough one. I would say try it. But not all. Maybe a few. And cover with mulch or something to keep cold dry wind from dehydrating the plants. But keep the rest inside… my thoughts. Mike

  6. Michael says:

    How well does the Venus fly trap in north and south Carolina

  7. Anton says:

    Any advice on VFT dormancy in central Wyoming. I am new to the hobby and want to keep my plant alive this winter when temperatures could fall to -40 degrees.

    • mikegreen says:

      Anton,

      Wow, -40 deg F in the winter? Burrrr….

      Don’t leave it outside, whatever you do. The VFT plant can take cold temps when dormant, but at those temperatures, for a long period, would undoubtedly kill the plant.

      Do you have a garage that won’t get too cold? Some folks (though I haven’t done this) use a refrigerator.

      Just don’t leave it outside in the dead of winter…

      Mike

      • Anton says:

        Closest thing I have is an uninsulated shed. I initially thought I would recreate it’s soil in the ground using peat moss, silica sand and perlite. And before the hard freeze, I could cover with sphagnum moss, cover with the top of styrofoam cooler and place some rocks on top so it doesn’t fly away in the Wyoming wind. Any snow that may have fallen might also be added insulation.

        • mikegreen says:

          Anton,

          The fun part is, you can TRY different things. And then learn from your experience and adjust as you grow these fascinating plants.

          Let us know how it goes.

          Mike

  8. Danny says:

    Thank you very much for your growing tips Mike they have been very helpful so far in knowing howand what to do in growing my fly trap, I have a question On how I have to start growing seeds Do I just start by putting them on peat moss to get them started growing an add sphagnum moss later , or do I start them on the moss? And thanks again for your tips.

    • mikegreen says:

      Danny, great question on growing Venus Flytrap plants from seeds.

      I would follow to the letter, the instructions provided to you by the grower who shipped you the seeds. Germination of Venus Flytrap seeds can be tricky – the seeds and young plants have to have the right warm temperature, sunlight, and moisture. And you cannot let the seeds and seedlings dry out.

      And as you are already probably aware, growing a mature Venus Flytrap plant from seeds takes 3 to 4 years. It is not a quick process. But if you can master this skill and grow Venus Flytraps from seeds, then you truly have a green thumb.

      Hope this helps.

      Mike

  9. Kath says:

    Thanks Mike, that information is more clear to me now

  10. Kath says:

    Mike, thanks for the information, is really helpfull, i was following the instructions from my seller and he was very wrong about.

    I have one question, I was trying to know the zone where I live to adecuate the environmental variables to my Venus, but in your information says USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, North and South Carolina are near to 7b and 8a, is that correct?

    Thank, your site is really a great sourse of information

    • mikegreen says:

      Thanks Kath for your very nice complement.

      Your question is interesting about the hardiness zone. And remember, the hardiness zone is an indication of the average extreme low temperatures that you can get. The existing hardiness zone map does have sub zones (a and b), but based on information I am seeing, is being revised.

      You can see a great interactive hardiness zone map by the USDA and Oregon State University here: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/#

      Hardiness zone 8b as explained above, means that the low temps can get to the low 20’s and even high to mid-teens (as measured in degrees F). Whether or not it is gets slightly warmer or slightly cooler, the fact is that Venus Flytrap plants, in their native habitat on the coast of North or South Carolina, do get exposed to very cold weather in the winter time. A frost or colder doesn’t wipe the plants out because they are not tropical plants.

      That is really the main point in my blog article, that although the USDA hardiness zones change over time, these plants live in a habitat that is warm and humid in the summer, and that can be rather cold in the winter. These wonderful plants can and do tolerate frost.

      Hope this helps.

      Mike

      • Gretchen says:

        Question: I live in zone 6b. Would my flytraps get chilly enough next to a window, or should I leave them outside and only bring them in if the outside temp falls below 20 F ?

        • mikegreen says:

          Gretchen,

          Thanks for your question. And I believe that you have answered the question yourself. If you live where it gets cold, really cold, and stays really cold (such as zone 6b) you’ve got to protect the plant. Only way to see if it is too chilly in the winter next to the window, is to try it.

          Gardening is about experimentation, patience, and learning.

          Try various things, see what works and what doesn’t, and over time you will become an expert Venus Flytrap gardener!

          Mike

  11. lilliauna says:

    I liked the information about the venus fly trap.

    • mikegreen says:

      Thanks. I trust you found the website useful and informative.

      Mike

      • Richard Harold says:

        Mike,

        I just purchased a Dionaea m. ‘Ginormous’ (Extra Large Division) Deluxe Potted from California Carnivores which is potted in a 3 inch plastic pot. I have it placed on a sunny window sill under a grow light which is on a timer set to mimic sunrise/sunset times. When do you think that I should repot it?

        • mikegreen says:

          Richard,

          This advice is to all plants really.

          I would wait a few days to a week or so. If you just got the plant, it underwent some stress on the trip.

          I would give it some time to get used to the new environment, before you stress the plant again by repotting. If it looks like it is doing well, then leave it alone for awhile.

          You will want eventually to repot the plant. A 3-inch pot will experience more temperature changes and retain less water, and have less room for the roots to grow in, then a bigger pot.

          And great that you are giving it lots of sun. In my interview with Joel Garner, he points out that most Venus Flytrap plants are light starved – they just cannot endure the little light that most people give their house plants, and then their new VFT plant. So kudos in recognizing this and taking steps to give your new Venus Flytrap plant lots of light.

          Mike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *