The Venus flytrap is an exotic plant that has caught the likes of several houseplant hobbyists due to the unique traps it uses to catch its prey. The traps respond to stimuli and close shuts as soon as any insect lands inside. The entrapped prey is digested by the plant using digestive juices and assimilated as food. It often takes several weeks, and the traps only open once the food has been digested.
However, once in a while, the traps stay shut and refuse to open for a very long duration. Generally, this means that the trap is digesting its food, and it will only open after the complete digestion is over. In some cases, the trap starts to turn black and may fall off.
How to open a Venus fly trap?
So, let us discuss what we can do to open the traps of the Venus flytrap –
- Avoid using force
- Understand the life cycle
Avoid Using Force
If you see that your Venus flytrap is closed for too long, the first thing you would want to do is try to save it by forcefully opening the traps. If you force it open, you will merely damage the flytrap or make it prone to infections due to the presence of bacteria.
It may also harm the biological mechanisms of the plant and cause irreparable damage. Thus, if you ever want to open the trap by force, it is best to refrain from it because using force will only worsen the problem.
Patience is the key when keeping a plant like the Venus flytrap as the plant takes several weeks to digest its prey. Once the trap shuts, digestive enzymes start to flow inside it to help digest the prey.
So, if it opens the trap, it is highly likely that the digestive juices would start to flow up. Hence, the trap will only open once the digestion process is completed.
If you try to force it to open before the process is complete, the only consequence would be that the trap gets damaged. Thus, it is best to patiently wait for the plant to digest its food if it looks healthy.
Understanding the Life Cycle
However, if you see that the trap turning black, you would likely start to panic. In such a case, it is best to understand the lifecycle of the Venus flytrap. The traps don’t live forever. It generally starts to die after closing a few times. After that, it closes, turns black, and dies off.
It is a natural process, wherein the trap which has become too old to keep catching prey dies off and is replaced by a new healthy trap. Thus, don’t worry if your trap shuts and starts to turn black as it is a natural process of change in the lifecycle of the Venus flytrap.
Hence, we can see that if your Venus flytrap shuts and refuses to open, there is no way to help it open. You can either wait for it to open by itself or fall off naturally.