I've been reading lots of posts about Venus Fly Traps and wanted to add my story. When I lived in England I bought my first - even though another customer advised against it showing me his bandaged hand and arm!
Anyway, in autumn it died, or so I thought. I threw it out.
Years later I bought another one. I was away from home in autumn and my daughter-in-law looked after my plants
. She desperately tried to keep the VFT alive, but failed. I felt sorry for her and left the dead black thing another week before throwing it out. And it lived!
I had it for years and years. It sat in an ashtray and every morning I watered it (tap water) until it stood in about a 1/4 inch of water. This would be used up by morning. During the day it's active, at night it sleeps, so don't water in the evening.
When a fly is too big and sticks out of the trap, cut off the trap but leave the rest of the leaf.
I never provided flies, I left it to fend for itself. As far as I can remember it only caught and ate about 3 or 4 flies every year.
The traps close at night and open up very early in the morning.
Don't despair in autumn, it turns black and limp but comes back to life soon enough. I never did anything to it in autumn, just left it in its place. Never changed the soil. When the new leaves appear, don't remove the black ones until they've come loose, don't tear them from the plant
And after more than 10 years I just had to see it flower
, and I secretly hoped my plant
would have superpowers and survive. It didn't. It had a beautiful set of flowers
and then it died for good. So, always cut out the flower
stem when it reaches about 3 inches height.
I have immediately bought new ones, 2 this time. Which is what I would recommend if you've never taken care of one. Use one to experiment with and don't do too much to the other. See which treatment works best!
Children love the VFT, don't let them touch the traps all the time. Closing and opening costs the plant
a lot of energy.