Carnivorous Plants/VFT Question


I read that article Maiden ( Francois ) wrote where he mentioned feeding the VFT as soon as a trap opens to accelerate growth
I am germinating VFT seeds now from a variety package so I have no idea what will sprout,can I feed the traps a DBW mix when any plant opens its trap?

Hello Dennis,

I have no idea what a DBW mix is unless you are referring to a form of plant food. I typically do not feed my Venus Flytraps often (nor fertilize them at all) as they capture their own prey most of the time. When I do feed them, I use live prey, frozen bloodworms, or occasionally fish food. Be mindful that when feeding dead foods to Venus Flytraps that they will require additional stimulation after initial trapping occurs. This can be most easily done by lightly squeezing the outer surfaces of the trap leaf inward so that the trigger hairs inside rub against the dead food item or each other. If done periodically for a couple of minutes, the trap should enter the narrowing phase and initiate digestion.

A bit of information about Venus Flytraps you may need to consider is that their traps are still a little immature on initial opening and may react slowly when trapping. It is usually best, in my opinion, to wait a couple of days before feeding a newly opened leaf. This may be a bit difficult since seedling Venus Flytraps are very tiny.

In the case of fertilizers, they can be used, but you would need to ensure that you dilute them to 1/8-1/4 solution and make sure that you only get the fertilizer on the leaves, not the soil or roots. The most common fertilizers used for carnivorous plants seem to be orchid fertilizers with an even distribution of nutrients across the board. From my understanding, it is very easy to get this wrong and kill what your trying to grow. Venus Flytraps are unforgiving about fertilizer mistakes. Did I mention, I never fertilize my carnivorous plants, so I may be the wrong perosn to ask this question of.

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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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