You are here:

Carnivorous Plants/Red Flytrap Slow Growth


Red Dragon Flytrap
Red Dragon Flytrap  
I ordered a Red Dragon Flytrap from you a month or two ago, and I have noticed that not many new traps have come up. The traps that were there when I got it are kind of deformed. I assumed they were from the last season. About its slow growth, I may be wrong, but I think there is a flower stalk starting to come up, which I heard robs the energy from Flytraps. Correct me if I'm wrong, though. Thanks!

In this case, it would be helpful to know your location.  Growth rate is related to temperature, so if your temperatures have been cool this spring, you'll need to wait until we reach the warmer summer months.  Typically flytraps are the last of the North American carnivorous plants to emerge from dormancy, so it's not at all unusual if your plant seems slow to grow at this time of the year.  (Technically we are not yet in summer.)

It's a myth that flowers "rob" flytraps of energy.  A better way to think of it is that a plant can choose to spend its energy on flowers or on leaves.  Small, young plants have limited energy, so if they choose to spend their energy on flowers, then they will have less to spend on leaves.  Larger plants will have ample energy, so they can afford to spend energy on flowers and leaves.  As a grower, you can decide if you prefer flowers or leaves.  If you want more leaves quicker in spring, then snip the flower stalk.  If you're patient and want to enjoy the flower in spring and leaves later in summer, keep the flower.  As a rule, as long as you grow the plants in the proper conditions, you don't have to worry about the plant exhausting itself from producing a flower.

As for the deformed traps, they're older leaves from the previous season.  They're just dying off, which is completely natural and unavoidable.  You can snip them off as they deteriorate after new leaves appear.  Otherwise, your plant looks healthy.  You just need to be patient with this naturally slow-growing plant.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sarracenia Northwest


If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

Over 8,800 questions answered since 2005!


Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower!


No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Just the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate
thousands of carnivorous plants each year.

Our focus is to help help growers diagnose a specific plant problem and offer solutions. For example:
  • Why is my sundew not producing dew?
  • Is now a good time to divide my Sarracenia?
  • Why are the traps turning black?
  • What's a good substitute for perlite?
  • Why didn't my seeds germinate?
  • How do you deal with pests?
  • Can you identify this carnivorous plant for me?
We no longer answer general, how-to questions that are already posted on our website or demonstrated in our DVDs. For general plant care, please read our care guides:

For business questions:

Youtube Facebook
Follow us on Youtube and Facebook!

©2016 All rights reserved.