Building a Venus Flytrap Terrarium

Carnivorous plants are popular additions to plant terrariums or work perfectly fine on their own. This guide will help you in establishing your own Venus flytrap terrarium as well as optimizing living conditions to increase plant size. Other than establishing your Venus flytrap in your home, it does not require much additional care.

There are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind when building the Venus flytrap terrarium which we will discuss below. I would rank this terrarium in the beginner range due to its relatively easy construction and care. At a similar difficulty level we have the sundew terrarium guide. If you want a bit more of a challenge, I’d recommend you take a look at some of our pitcher plant terrarium guides.

Venus Flytrap terrarium


Building your Venus Flytrap terrarium

You’re probably going to want to keep your Venus Flytrap in an enclosed terrarium such as glass or plastic jars or boxes. This will help keep the Venus Flytrap in a humid environment which is what they would experience in their natural habitat. If you live in a naturally humid location you may keep your Venus flytrap exposed to the air.

While you do want to keep things humid, you don’t want an enclosed Venus flytrap terrarium to overheat. If your plant has constant exposure to sunlight it’s recommended that there be some opening to let heat vent. The terrarium should be warm, not hot.

Venus Flytrap terrarium

Here’s a good example.

Soil and water

The soil in your Venus flytrap terrarium should be poor in nutrients, mimicking conditions found in the wild. If you purchased a Venus flytrap plant the soil it came would should suffice and you can simply use that. However if you want to move the plant or are using seeds you should use something such as peat moss or sphagnum moss. Make sure you mix in something such as perlite that will help with draining. You want a 7:3 ratio of peat moss to sand. Do NOT use potting soil.

Also, do NOT fertilize your Venus flytrap. The roots cannot handle it and will simply burn and die. It is especially important to make sure that when mixing your soil that there are not other solids in it such as salt which can also burn and destroy the roots.

This also applies to the water used in the Venus flytrap terrarium. Because of chlorine and the potential of dissolved solids, tapwater is not recommended. Collect your own rainwater (not gutter water! It may be contaminated!) or use distilled. If you absolutely must use tapwater, let it sit for at least 24 hours to allow for the chlorine to dissipate.

Planted Venus flytrap.

Venus flytraps in soil.

Humidity, lighting and temperature

As discussed above, Venus flytraps need lots of humidity to thrive. Unless you live in a humid part of the world, you probably should have an enclosed Venus Flytrap terrarium. To help maintain high humidity, make sure that the soil is constantly dark and moist. Don’t make it soggy though as that will cause the roots to rot.

Venus flytraps also need a lot of light. It is recommended that it receives 12 hours of light a day. Direct sunlight is best and will result in more healthier plants. If you are unable to give your Venus flytrap this much natural sunlight, fluorescent lights will work as well. The temperature of the Venus flytrap terrarium should also be warm. This won’t be a problem if your Venus flyrap terrarium is receiving ample amounts of sunlight but you need to make sure that it doesn’t become hot.

Leaving the top off of the terrarium should allow for some of the heat to escape. If you’re using fluorescent lights as a light source you may want to consider using heat bulbs to increase the temperature for your plants.

Venus flytraps with fluorescent light.

A variety of plants receiving light from fluorescent bulbs.

Maintaining your Venus flytrap terrarium

Some people consider Venus flytraps to be more of a pet than a plant because you need to feed it to keep it healthy. Venus flytraps are unable to absorb certain nutrients from the soil so they eat insects to get things like nitrogen. Dead or alive insects work though live insects are preferred. Just make sure that the trap is large enough to completely engulf the insect.

Do NOT use things like hamburger meat. This will just kill the trap, if not the entire plant. You don’t need to feed your Venus flytrap but don’t expect it to grow very large if you don’t. A trap can only be used about 5 times before it dies. If it was well fed, a new and larger trap will replace it. Keep this in mind before you go about tricking a trap into closing, it is an energy intensive task!

Your Venus flytrap will also flower. Whether or not you decide to let the flower bloom is your choice. Just keep in mind that flowering Venus flytraps will have smaller traps to compensate for having the flower. If you want larger traps, remove the flower stem as soon as possible.

Venus flytrap flower

They are lovely looking flowers though.

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