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Carnivorous Plants/Flowering times of Dionaea muscipula


Heres a dumb question, i saved a cple of flytraps from certain doom from a local Ace Hardware here in morro bay on the central coast of California back in about september or so and they are now starting to send up flower spikes (all three of them @the same exact time) and i was wondering if this was normal or maby they were 1st grown in a controled enviroment and are out of sync with the photoperiod? I plan on cuting them off anyway but will they be ok in the long run? Will they aclimate here ok?and should i cut the spikes of leav em on and see what hapend? It was my bielief that they sent up flowers in the spring. Thanks again for your time and any help provided. Norman C

Hello Norman,

Venus Flytraps flower in spring as you surmised. They can flower a few weeks out of dormancy, usually around March through May. Since this flowering is a result of intensity and daylength of light, they will try to flower whenever they have enough light, after a period of low light, that fool them into spring flowering activity. Go ahead and clip off the flowers after they reach a couple inches in length and ensure that the plants are either in natural sunlight or under very intense (12000 lumens or more at less than a foot distance) artificial light. At this time of year the plants are getting fewer hours of direct light each day and should be getting ready for dormancy. Keep the plants on that schedule. Natural sun is best right now as it will provide the plants with the natural cues they need to adjust themselves to impending cold dormancy. In artificial conditions I have to ensure that I reduce the hours of light they receive by one per week in fall until the plants receive 8 hours of light a day or less. Then I introduce cool weather over the course of a week until the plants are in approximately 40 degree temperatures for the winter and are receiving limited light for several hours a day.

In spring, begin warming the plants up to above 60 degrees and increase the intensity and daylength of light each week until the plants are back in full sunlight all day.


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Christopher Littrell


I am capable of answering questions about the most common carnivorous plants found in cultivation. I have no personal experience with Byblis, Drosophyllum, Aldrovanda, and Heliamphora. I have not cultivated gemmae forming pygmy sundews nor tuberous sundews. For information regarding those aforementioned species, I would suggest contacting other experts. I can answer questions regarding most species of Nepenthes, tropical and temperate Drosera, Mexican Pinguicula, Sarracenias, and Dionaea. I have some limited experience with growing Utricularia, Cephalotus, and Darlingtonia.


I have grown carnivorous plants off and on for about 27 years. I have made the same mistakes and suffered the same mishaps that many growers make as they attempt to separate the myths from the realities of growing these plants. Currently, I am successfully growing a variety of tropical sundews, a Nepenthes, several Venus Flytraps of varying ages, and Sarracenias. I have been successful in stratifying Sarracenia seeds and providing artificial dormancy requirements for my temperate plants when needed.

I hold a Master's degree in Educational Psychology. Over my lifetime, I have constantly read books involving the growing conditions of carnivorous plants. I hope to incorporate the educational aspects involved in psychology with teaching other people how to cultivate carnivorous plants.

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