What is the Ideal Soil for Venus Fly Trap?
Venus Fly Traps are plants that require complex processes to nurture, thus here we have what soil to use for Venus Fly traps. If you have a carnivorous plant like a Venus Flytrap in your garden, you must know that it needs a very specific environment for its growth, development, and survival. Further, the soil type and composition you choose for this subtropical wetland plant are quite crucial. In this article, we are here to discuss the same.
The soil for your Venus Flytraps should not only be nutrient and mineral free but should also have excellent drainage. Typically, an amalgamation of sphagnum moss/peat moss with silica sand/perlite forms a perfect choice for it. With these potting mediums, your carnivorous plants are sure to thrive. Let us learn more about what soil to use for Venus Flytrap.
What is the Ideal Soil for Venus Fly Trap?
If you are wondering what kind of soil to use for Venus Flytrap, you need to know a few things about the plant. Such carnivorous plants cannot take up minerals and nutrients from the soil. Therefore, there is no use in planting them in mineral or nutrient-rich soil. You need to find a kind of soil that has nutrient-free and mineral-free components.
Further, this plant needs a constantly humid environment to flourish. Due to this, the kind of soil you choose for it needs to have proper drainage and aeration. Now, this kind of soil is readily available in the market for purchase. If you do not wish to buy ready-to-use soil for your Venus Flytrap, you can always prepare your soil mix.
For an ideal potting medium for Venus Flytraps, you will need only two ingredients – a type of moss along with a draining agent. Sphagnum moss and silica sand are ideal examples of these. If you are wondering how much sphagnum moss to sand you need to make soil for Venus Flytrap, the answer is – 4:1 or 2:1 ratio of sphagnum moss and silica sand. Here are some other recipes for the same:
- 4:1 or 2:1 ratio of peat moss and perlite
- 4:1 or 2:1 ratio of peat moss and silica sand
- 4:1 or 2:1 ratio of sphagnum moss and perlite
When you use any of these recipes to make a carnivorous plant soil mix for your Venus flytrap, you need to be extremely careful with the ratios. A simple rule that you can keep in mind is that the majority of the potting medium needs to be made of a kind of moss. Further, only a fraction of it has to be a draining agent like perlite or silica sand.
In some cases, even a mixture of peat and sphagnum moss together with perlite or sand may work for you, as well. However, doing so does not add much value to the soil mix. Due to this, it is ideal to stick to either peat or sphagnum moss. The draining agent is a must as it will prevent the plant from the risk of rotting.
In case you are planning to skip the draining medium and use only sphagnum moss or peat moss for your Venus Flytrap, you need to be very careful. You need to ensure that the soil remains moist at all times. The ground should not be compressed and drained properly to keep the plant away from root rot. Also, you need to ensure that the ingredients you use to make the potting mix are 100% pure.1
How to Prepare the Soil for Venus Fly Trap?
Now that you know what soil to use for Venus Flytrap, let us move on to our next question “how to prepare the soil for Venus Flytrap?” The steps that you need for the same are pretty simple. Follow the following steps to get the soil ready for potting a Venus Flytrap successfully:
- Firstly, you need to choose your most desired soil recipe, and collect all the raw materials.
- After this, mix them, and add water.
- Lastly, you can carry out Venus Flytrap potting with the soil mix.
All these steps are explained below. Have a look:
Step 1: Choose the Soil Recipe
If you are wondering where to buy soil for Venus Flytraps, you can easily get it in the market or online. Alternatively, it is also super simple to make your potting soil. For it, you simply have to choose a soil recipe. Some of them are:
- Sphagnum moss and silica sandPeat moss and perlite
- Peat moss and silica sand
- Sphagnum moss and perlite
Once you decide which of the raw materials you will be using from them, gather them. All of the four recipes above need to be in the ratio of 4:1 or 2:1. Now that you have everything you need in the desired ratio, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Mix Both the Ingredients and Add Water
Let us say that the ingredients you are using are Sphagnum moss and silica sand in a ratio of 4:1. Now that you have them, you simply need to mix them thoroughly. Use a large container for it. Further, in this mix, start adding water in parts.
The Sphagnum moss part of the mixture will absorb a lot of water right away. You need to be patient, and keep adding more of it until the entire mix is moist. Once your potting medium is completely saturated with water, it is time to move on to the final step and start the Venus Flytrap potting.
Step 3: Potting for the Venus Flytrap
With the Venus Flytrap potting mixture ready, you simply have to use it to pot the plant now. For it, we have come up with a step-by-step guide. Follow it, and you will be able to plant your Venus Flytrap plant on your own. Have a look:
- Firstly, you need to take the mixed and moist soil that you prepared earlier and put it into a pot that you will be using for the Venus Flytrap.
- Now, with the help of your fingers or a small shovel, you have to set it. While you do so, make sure not to over-compress the ground.
- Another thing that you need to make a note of is that the top level of the soil in the pot should be close to its edge.
- After you have done all this, find a long and slim tool. Use it to make a deep and narrow opening in the soil inside the pot.
- Then, you need to grab your plant. Make sure to do so from the top of the rhizome. Also, hold all the leaves together while doing so.
- Now, introduce the roots of your plant inside the hole, very carefully. You need to set the roots as vertically as possible.
- Once you do so, cover the hole by pushing the surrounding soil towards it. The ground should cover the rhizome area completely so that it is not exposed to sunlight.
- Keep on adding more soil surrounding the plant’s bulb. Make sure to secure the Venus Flytrap in place.
- Once the plant is secure in place, water the top. The pressure from it will help keep the ground in place, and your plant will be all set to start growing strong.
Now, since you have potted the plant again, it may appear weak for a few weeks. During this time, take care of the following things:
- During these weeks, keep the soil moist at all times. The water that you use for this should only be distilled water, reverse osmosis (R.O.) water or rainwater.
- For the first two weeks, do not feed the plant. This is to prevent any risk of causing any strain on the plant and losing leaves.
- You need to provide it with appropriate lighting. It means that if the Venus Flytrap used to have 12 hours of light earlier, continue giving it so.
- Alternatively, if the plant was not given much light earlier (you received it in the mail), slowly introduce it to sunlight. In simple words, you need to avoid abrupt changes in sunlight.
- Also, you need to avoid the use of any fertilizer. Instead, leave your Venus Flytrap alone with enough light and water.2
When do you have to Change the Soil of a Venus Flytrap?
Now that you know what soil to use for Venus Flytrap, let us find out – when to change soil for Venus Flytrap. For most carnivorous plants, the soil they grow in can last for a long time. This is especially true if they are in an optimal state. Despite that, it is a good idea to repot your plant in fresh soil now and then.
Typically, it is recommended to do so once a year. Also, you need to do this at the end of dormancy or when spring arrives if you are looking for the best results. This time is one year as, after it, the soil usually gets compressed, and its drainage capacity is affected. Further, it also starts to become acidic.
While you may not have to schedule repotting at the exact calendar year, it is recommended to do so keeping that time frame in mind. Besides the yearly potting that you may do to freshen up the growing medium, here are some other occasions when you may want to consider doing so. Have a look at them:
- When You Employ a Wrong Water Source
As stated earlier, when you are watering your Venus Flytraps, you need to use distilled, R.O., or rainwater. If you employ the wrong water source, it can end up poisoning and ruining your Venus Flytrap plants. Typically, if you water them using tap water for a long time, you will notice certain changes in them.
Usually, their leaves start turning yellow. Also, you will notice that the potting soil of these plants will start to saturate with unwanted components. In such a case, there is a high chance of mineral burns. If you wish to protect your Venus Flytrap against this, the best option is to take it out of that soil and practice repotting. Also, this time around, make sure to use the right source of water.
- If You Notice Rotting at the Root
The next occasion when you may need to carry out the repotting process to change the Venus Flytrap soil is when you notice a root rot in them. Typically, your Venus Flytrap plant will require a moist environment at all times. Despite this, the plant is prone to root rot a lot. It is due to the presence of excessive humidity around them.
This together with the presence of bacteria or fungus usually leads to the problem of root rot. Now, this can easily be prevented by using soil that drains quickly. The use of perlite or sand in the soil mix is the best way to achieve this. Otherwise, the rot can end up eating the whole bulb of the root and killing the plant. When you decide to change the soil of a rotting plant, make sure to extract the rotting section, first.
What Type of Soil Should You Use to Sow Seeds for Venus Flytraps?
After the above section, let us move on to our next question – “how to see seeds in soil for Venus Flytrap?” Also, we need to find out what kind of soil you will need to use for it.
Firstly, you will have to harvest the plant seeds when the seed pods are ripe. For those who are unaware of when this happens, it occurs from August through September.
The exact time frame will depend on the climate in your area. In case you are purchasing the seeds from a nursery, you can ask them about the harvest time. According to us, your Venus Flytrap seeds should not be more than a couple of months old. It is because their viability will reduce after that, especially if they are not refrigerated.
Now, when it comes to sowing these seeds, you will need the ideal soil mix for it. You can use one with 50% peat moss and 50% perlite. Also, your potting soil should be moist. In this soil mix, you can uniformly sprinkle the seeds. The size of the pot matters too. For instance, if you are using a small pinch of these seeds (about 25 seeds), a 4-inch pot is ideal for you.
When you sprinkle your Venus Flytrap seeds evenly over the soil, make sure to also tap them down. Do this very gently to avoid any seed damage. Also, we suggest that you sow all seeds in one pot, and once they germinate, separate them. During this whole process, you can notice the growth of fungal and mold spores.
This happens due to damp conditions that are needed by the seeds. You can easily prevent them with the use of Neem oil or a sulfur-based fungicide spray. Along with this, there are some more things that you should look after. For instance, make sure to keep your pot in standing water. To set up this pot, you can use a tray or a bowl filled with water.
Make sure the water here is low mineral water. Avoid tap water or any other high-mineral source of water. Distilled water, reverse osmosis water, or rainwater are your safest bets. You also have to take care of the temperature. Make sure that it is at 75°. This is to ensure optimal germination. If you can meet all the requirements from soil type to water, your Venus Flytrap seeds will germinate soon.
This may take four to eight weeks depending on the temperature given to the setup. Then, as soon as you notice tiny versions of the adult plant, make sure they get lots of bright sunlight. For this, place these seedlings on a brightly lit windowsill. If it is not there, you can even use strong fluorescent lights instead of natural light.
If you take care of the proper light requirement of the seedlings, they will grow up to 1/8-inch in diameter within a few months. Now that you have grown your Venus flytraps indoors for their first winter, it is time to move them out. This should be done to acclimate them to outdoor growing so that they can get optimal sunlight during spring and summer.
The most ideal time to move out your Flytraps is after the last frost of the year, in May. If we were to give you a brief idea, your Venus Flytraps will be only 1/4 to 1/2 inch tall when the first year of their growth ends. As for their flowering maturity, they need more time for it. Typically, they will reach this stage only by their third season.3
Can you put a Venus Flytrap in regular soil?
No, regular soil is not ideal for a Venus Flytrap. Instead, it will need soil that is poor in nutrition, acidic, stays damp, and has good drainage. A blend of one-third sand/perlite and two-thirds sphagnum/peat moss is the best kind of soil for Venus Flytraps.
Is succulent soil good for Venus Flytraps?
No, succulent soil usually has a high nutrient content. Due to it, the soil is unsuitable for Venus Flytraps. Growing them in such a kind of soil can cause mineral burns in your Flytraps thereby weakening them. Succulent soil can eventually kill your Venus Flytraps. Instead, a nutrient-free soil type is the best solution.