Venus flytraps are carnivorous plants, essentially known for their unique traps which they use to trap their prey.
The trap consists of two hinged lobes at the end of its leaf. The inner surfaces have hair-like projections called trichomes, which detect and shut the traps when insects come in contact with the projections.
The trap consists of hinged edges with small bristles that prevent the prey from squirming out of its grasp. This type of response is called thigmonasty. However, the traps need to be touched multiple times to shut the trap when there is no prey. It saves the energy of the plant.
What do Venus fly traps eat? The Venus flytrap gets some nutrients from the soil but requires insects and arachnids to supplement its diet. It survives on ants, grasshoppers, beetles, flying insects, etc. It may take the Venus fly trap up to five days to digest an organism and can survive without food for several days.
However, the trick is to provide live insects as the prey must move inside the trap for it to close. So, if you feed it with dead insects, the trap would not close. So, you would have to massage the plant for the trap to close.
How to feed Venus fly trap?
The Venus flytrap has a sweet fragrance to attract flies. So, if you grow your plant outdoors, it will naturally prey on insects and survive successfully. However, if the plant is grown indoors, you need to provide it with bugs and prey. If you feed it with dead bugs, you need to massage the plant to close the trap and enable the plant to digest the food.
If you grow the plant in a closed terrarium, the easiest way is to release the bugs in the space. The venus fly trap attracts the bugs themselves and consumes them.
However, you must be careful about not feeding live flies to the plant as they may damage the plant.
Though the Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant, you should avoid feeding it any form of meat. Be careful about over-feeding the plant, and limit the frequency of feeding to one trap per week. Ideally, the size of the insect should not be more than one-third of the size of the trap.
Ideal Food for Venus Fly Traps
1. Mealworms or Bloodworms
They are small, freeze-dried worms that provide proper nutrition to the plant, and are generally available in gardening stores at cheap rates. Rehydrate them with a few drops of water and pop them into the trap. Use a stick to touch the trigger hair and activate the trap.
These are available both as live bugs and dead bugs. When using a terrarium, chose live bugs as they can easily be trapped by the plant. For indoor plants, it’s best to go for dried bugs and artificial stimulations to shut the trap as live bugs, especially crickets can escape easily.
Thus, these are the types of food that your Venus fly trap needs to grow strong and healthy.