A Venus flytrap has several trap-like structures which it uses to hunt its own food. The plant uses sweet-smelling nectar to draw the prey towards the trap. Once the prey lands in the trap and it detects movement, the trap snaps shut and traps the prey. It then secretes digestive juices to digest and assimilate its food.
How many times can a Venus fly trap open and close? However, the lifetime of the trap is not forever. It only closes four or five times before drying out and dying. It is a completely natural process and is not a cause of serious concern.
Since the traps have only a limited lifetime, the traps don’t close if not needed. So, raindrops are unlikely to make it close. Similarly, if it eats anything inorganic which it cannot digest, the plant spits it out within 24 hours. These processes help save the energy of the plant and allow the trap to last longer.
Closure of the trap
Each trap has tiny hair-like outgrowths which can detect the movement inside the trap. So, when an insect lands on it and the structures detect some type of movement, it makes the trap seal shut with lightning speed. Thus, the prey is trapped, and the digestive juices emitted by the plant help turn it into food. After this, the food is assimilated by the Venus flytrap.
However, the juices secrete properly only when the trap seals shut. So, if you force it open or it catches a prey larger than it can handle, the trap may be damaged.
Opening of the trap
The trap only opens once it has completely digested the food. It may take one to several weeks, depending on the type and size of its prey. Once the food is digested, the plant automatically opens back to its original shape.
Precautions to Follow for your Venus Fly Trap
These are the things that you must avoid doing to ensure that the Venus fly trap plant lives longer –
Avoid Touching the Traps – When you are handling or pruning the Venus fly trap plant, avoid touching the trap multiple times as it will activate the trap and cause it to close. Since the trap has only limited energy and lifetime, closing it without purpose shortens the lifetime of the plant.
Provide the Right food – If you are artificially feeding the Venus fly trap plant, only provide it with the feed which is not larger than 1/3rd of the size of the trap. If the insect is too large, the trap won’t seal shut completely and may damage the plant since it cannot assimilate its food.
Avoid Using Force – Never use force to open or close your Venus flytrap. It may severely damage the plant and render it unable to function. Thus, the trap would fall off and die.
Avoid Excessive Artificial Stimulation – Be very careful even if you artificially stimulate the plant to close because the process of closing and opening the trap requires a large amount of energy. Further, since the trap can only close a limited number of times, it may reduce the lifetime of the plant trap.