The Venus flytrap.

Without question the most interesting plant in my garden is the Venus flytrap. It’s hard to believe there are actually plants that eat insects.

The last time I had a Venus flytrap was during my high school years. I fed it hamburger meat to try keeping it nourished although one time it did catch a fly. However, I felt so sorry for the fly that I actually used a toothpick to pry apart the plant’s jaws to release its prospective snack. Needless to say, my plant did not last long.

Recently I saw some Venus flytraps for sale at the store where I work and decided to give it another chance. It’s definitely been an ongoing learning experience since.

When I first brought my new plant home, I decided the best place for it was next to the garbage can where there’s plenty of light and bugs. To help attract flies, I placed next to the garbage can a Styrofoam tray that once held raw chicken meat during transport home from the store. For a while it did attract some good sized flies but it also began to stink something horrible, so I ended up throwing the Styrofoam tray away.

I did some research online on caring for Venus flytraps, and the first thing I learned that feeding it hamburger meat isn’t exactly a good idea. I also learned that the one thing I can feed it is blood worms, and it just so happened I had some left over from my days of running an aquarium.

I placed a few dried worms on a plate and then added some water to hydrate them before presenting them on a toothpick to the Venus flytrap. All I had to do was touch them to the hair trigger inside one of the plant’s jaws and they immediately closed. I later learned that I should gently squeeze the jaws to make it think the “bug” inside’s still struggling, so it closes the jaws even tighter. Only then will it finally begin digesting its food.

One more thing I learned about Venus flytraps is that they don’t like the cold. There was a cold front that recently passed through my area that sent temperatures plummeting into the 40s, which is not comfortable for the plant. Now I know to bring it inside if the temperature outside should ever go below 60.

So far my Venus flytrap seems to be doing okay in spite of the rugged path I’ve been on to see to its proper care. The path has since become much smoother, which just might allow my plant to live a long and healthy life.

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