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Question
I live on a bluff above street level approximately 40-50 feet.  I receive both sea breezes in the afternoon and during warm weather wind from the mountains.  Yet, I have a shortage of flying insects.  Very few flies, some tiny gnats but basically my plants can go for months without one catch.  They are outdoors in the open air.  Is there anything I can  provide them to help them grow?  I have various kinds of Venus Flytraps.  King henry, Cupped, Regular.

Answer
When you mention going months without catching anything, is it during the winter months?  If so, plants slow down during winter and often go dormant, so it's not at all necessary for them to catch anything during winter.

In spring and summer, there are usually lots of insects around, and I imagine the wind doesn't blow 24/7 in your area.  The plants also don't need a lot of insects to grow well.  They're just forms of fertilizer.  If your plants aren't growing well or seem stunted, then it's possible they're not catching enough insects.  This concept is important because you shouldn't base whether or not your plants are getting enough insects by how often they capture insects.  Instead, base your decision by the growth of the plant.  If your plants are growing well and producing lots of large leaves and traps, then your plants are doing just fine with the amount they're capturing.

If you think they might be stunted or not as large as they should be given their age and growing conditions, then you can capture insects of your own and give them to your plants.  It doesn't need to be a flying insect.  It could be a crawling insect or even an earthworm.  Make sure the insects are small enough to fit into the traps.  An insect per plant per week or so is usually sufficient for a flytrap.


Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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