So, I got some Venus flytraps today but they didn’t look in the best health so I watered them a bit and got live wax worms. I’ve tried nearly all the heads it will fit in and stimulating the hairs, but nothing is working. Please help :)


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    It requires 2 stimulations of a trigger hair within 35 seconds in order to close a trap of the venus fly trap link about how it works May 2, 2018 at 12:20
  • Petar Petrov You should make this an answer! Amazing...
    – stormy
    May 2, 2018 at 20:48

3 Answers 3


I had a Venus fly trap for years, your specimen looks healthy as far as I can judge. These plants originate from a swamp or bog ecosystem, I think in North or South Carolina, so they like wet feet (they like surplus water in the pot, which is fatal for most houseplants). Also they don't want any minerals in their water, so you'll have to use rain or demineralized (or distilled) water. Usually they will attract bugs themselves, they produce a sweet secretion in their traps, which attracts the right insects (mostly flies, hence the name "Venus fly trap").

I wouldn't try to feed them fat waxworms like in the picture, but try to catch some flying bugs like mosquitoes or flies (they should be still alive and kicking when you feed them to the plant). The trap will only work a few times, after that the trap will be broken (out of order) and the plant will be dependent on new ones to grow, so don't play around with the traps just for fun. They don't need to eat every day, maybe once or twice a month is enough to survive. Don't use fertilizer for this plant, and when you repot the plant use old soil (which is already deprived of minerals and nutrients).

  • They do not need to catch anything to survive. Catching and digesting bugs can be seen as a type of fertilizer for carnivorous plants. It will help them grow bigger and faster, but it's not necessary for their survival.
    – ejderuby
    Jul 16, 2019 at 12:24

Plants know when to stop eating...grins! Our mommies ruined us by feeding us for love more than nutrition. Sometimes just one fly is all a carnivorous plant needs to last a month. I had a snake and one mouse once every few weeks was enough. Ugh. If the snake wasn't hungry the new mouse would be cuddling up with the snake for a long time before the snake ate it...

I would get rid of any worms the plant is not interested in digesting. Allow your plant to get settled in with its new environment, allow consistency, are there drafts? If I got a Venus Flytrap or any of the carnivorous plants I would read up about their natural habitat, their physiology, and try to recreate that for my plant in my home...which has very dry air...so I would probably put it in a terrarium type application with drainage; a pot in a terrarium? I've never grown one, others on this site have. The idea is to get to know your plant learn from your plant. Your success keeping this plant alive depends on your familiarity with the botany, biology and ecosystem requirements of the Venus flytrap. You will be entranced by this oh so weird carnivorous plant! I just took a look at a site that was proclaiming Venus Fly Trap doesn't need humidity...cool. This place was selling these plants and to order off the internet they send you MOSS as well as a whole gallon of distilled water? In the mail? I send that...Venus Fly Trap for sale There is a paragraph below the images talking about this plant and its needs. Also a link to PROFESSIONAL Venus Fly Trap growers...so terrarium they say is out...distilled water is in! Not tap water.

Don't do what mom did...food is not good when there is too much. What have you learned about fertilizer? Insects are 'food' for this plant; fertilizer is NOT food but critical in tiny amounts. Too much food is not good and a little too much fertilizer can mean death. No chemistry with which to perform photosynthesis will eventually kill a plant.

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    Feeding a Venus fly trap too much nitrogen can cause the traps to stop working. The hinge portion gets too thick to move. The traps in your picture look OK, but if you've fed the plant 10-10-10, or whatever, rinse it out of there. May 2, 2018 at 15:11
  • @stormy - You fed live mice to a snake? What a horrible, cruel thing to do. You should be ashamed of yourself.
    – Peter4075
    May 2, 2018 at 17:12
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    @Peter4075 Unfortunately some snakes will refused frozen-thawed food and they still have to eat. Either way, the snake/mouse situation has no bearing on the answer here. May 2, 2018 at 20:43
  • @SnyperBunny The snake and mouse thing did have some bearing about carnivores and ingesting a meal. Snakes might refuse thawed pinkies if they haven't gotten used to eating them. They just don't eat any old thing or all of the time. Have we seen fat snakes or fat Venus Fly trap plants? When we mix human needs with plant or animal needs we get in big trouble. Comparing biology with botany is tenuous.
    – stormy
    May 3, 2018 at 3:17
  • @stormy I meant that discussing the ethics of feeding snakes was unrelated. May 3, 2018 at 15:08

Venus' flytraps bought from big stores commonly are mistreated, so when you buy them it's likely they're unhealthy. That may be why the traps are not functioning.

Carnivorous plants should only be watered with distilled water, rain water, or reverse osmosis (RO) water, and never with tap water or typical bottled water. Also, Venus' flytraps (VFTs) soil must be kept moist, but not soaking, at all times so that they don't dry up. Most people keep their VFT pot in a tray of ~1cm deep water so that they don't need to be watered as often.

Venus' flytraps need as much sun as is physically possible, so keeping them outside sunrise to sunset is best, but they can do well in 6+ hours of direct sunlight. If you just bought the plant, it likely won't be acclimated to that amount of sunlight and will get burnt if you put it outside that long all at once. Put your plant outside for an hour or two, and then each consecutive day add an hour or two until it's outside all day. This will allow the plant to build up a tolerance to the UV rays of the sun.

Also, VFTs can survive and thrive without being fed anything. They will catch their own food, especially if they are outside.

I hope this helps you or someone out there! (I know this question is pretty old at this point...)

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