I've had this Venus Flytrap since about 6 months. It was in bloom when I got it (for some reason shops like to sell flowering plants). I read that flowers take a lot of energy from the plant, and since my Flytrap started deteriorating soon, I did cut out the flower, and the flowers that came after it.

Soon the Flytrap died back even more, it grew a few new traps, but then it was mostly gone.

I also read that they can do that in winter, so I didn't worry too much yet, and kept watering it (not too much) and waited.

After a while, it started to grow new leaves, but without traps. If you look very closely, you can see just a hint of a very tiny withered trap at the end of each leaf.

I cannot find any reference to this behavior. Is it normal? Is there something I can do to make it grow real, working traps again?

In comparison, my sundew, which should have a sunny spot as well, was bought at the same time, and seems to be flourishing. It has nice sticky droplets and it catches many fruitflies and other small flies.

The flytrap, withering.

The sundew, doing fine, so it seems.

Thanks in advance for any insights.


Following the advice TeresaMcgH gave in her answer, I've investigated the lighting conditions, and although it is a very bright spot, the plants get hardly any direct sunlight.

I did some reading and apparently the Drosera thrives in lots of direct sunlight as well, and its leaves should be reddish. A Drosera that is mostly green is also a sign of too little light. Since mine was pretty green, I took that as an extra confirmation that Theresa was right.

I've moved both plants to the other side of the house, where they will have direct sunlight for about 5 hours until about 2PM and still a lot of daylight after that.

Let's see what happens...

Update 2: Two weeks later

Well, it seemed that during spring (more light), the stub-traps were already slightly larger, but the first new leaf that unrolled since I moved the plant has grown an actual trap. It's not very big yet, but at least it's a complete trap that actually opened. I've got good hopes for the future! :-)

Two weeks later: new trap

Update 3: Seven weeks after moving

I think I can consider my plant saved! The difference the new spot made is far greater than I could ever imagine, but look at this; A bunch of new traps, a couple of which caught some insects when I put the plant outside during a sunny day. Lots of new traps in the making. Instead of just pale green, the traps have hints of red on the inside and outside.

Seven weeks: a completely new plant

I notice the same effect on the sundew. It's as full as it was before, but it completely changed colour. Now, the weather has been extremely sunny here in the past two months, but still I wouldn't have expected this to have this effect so soon.

Sundew, all red now

I hope the updates don't bug you (this might have been the last one), but I think this case should convince anyone who would have any doubts about the effects of (more) sunlight.

Update 4: Summer's end

I've moved the plants outside a couple of months ago. At first I kept them in the same pots, which worked well and they flourished. But after a while I moved them together to bigger 'pot' of peat. I thought this would make it easier to keep them moist. By that time, both the fly trap and the drosera (Alice Sundew, I'm guessing now) were grown big enough to be divided. In the bottom-right of the picture you can see half of the fly trap. The other half is hiding at center top. The one on the left is a different plant I added later. The drosera is divided and individual rosettes are spread around the bin. I've added some other species as well (drosera binata, drosera albino (?), two types of sarracenia and a nepenthes.

enter image description here

So far they are doing well, and I hope they'll make it through winter. I'm not sure every one of these species can handle frost, so I think I'll move the whole thing indoors before that time. Anyway, it seems like the plants are doing even better outdoors. I'm saving up for a greenhouse, and I guess that will certainly unlock some new possibilities. :)

  • 2
    Glad to hear your plants are doing better!
    – TeresaMcgH
    May 27, 2014 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


Your plant doesn't look like it's happy in the conditions it is growing in. For example, it definitely doesn't look like it is getting enough light.

Here are some tips for coaxing your plant back into healthy condition.

Basically it needs at least 4 hours of sun per day, well drained but moist growing conditions, and it is recommended to water it with rain water or other low mineral water.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer. Maybe you're right about the light. The plant is near the window, but it's getting only a couple of hours of sunlight at the end of the day. Water is fine. I use distilled water. I'll try moving it to another window.
    – GolezTrol
    May 2, 2014 at 22:58
  • I need to ask: is there a way you can tell whether it's light and not something else? Specific things you notice that are caused by lack of light rather than e.g. bad soil, excess of water...
    – GolezTrol
    May 3, 2014 at 4:51
  • 1
    Thanks. After your answer, I've read some more. Although I cannot find other examples of flytraps not growing traps, they do get less light that commonly advised, and the long leaved might indicate that as well. Also, my sundew, which seemed to be doing fine, is very green instead of reddish, which also indicates too little light. I've moved both plants to give them more light, and I've updated the question with these findings as well. If I don't forget, I'll add an update if I notice changes in the plant's health.
    – GolezTrol
    May 3, 2014 at 16:39
  • 1
    Update: I've added a picture of a couple of days ago. The light has done wonders so far. The plant has a couple of small traps now. One of them was closed yesterday. It was empty, but my guess is it was triggered by an insect, because it was open before. Also, the sundew has started to change color. It's much more red than it used to be.
    – GolezTrol
    May 23, 2014 at 12:42

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