So are you ready to read about our secret plant now?

“Venus Flytrap Dionaea muscipula. This bogplant likes much light, place pot in a saucer with always 0,5 cm of water - prefers rainwater - do not apply fertilisier - keep plant cool during winter”.

Actually that seems a lot like nursing Mr Lifecruiser ;-) Except that he doesn’t prefer rainwater and he is my hot radiator during the winter. Wait, maybe I am keeping him cool…? *lol*

Let’s consider this as an experiment for how long this plant will survive. We don’t have much light during the winter, not the right pot with saucer, certainly not collecting rainwater. The last two sounds easy though!

When we bought the plant Mr Lifecruiser were playing with it (no naughty thoughts now ;-), he made it shut the trap’s by sticking his car key….ooops… in the trap’s. At least 5 times. Then I read on the tags following with the plant: “NEVER get the plant to shut the trap’s in an artifical way…..” Uhum…

The woman in the store told us that she had one customer that said that she was feeding her plant with meatballs. I then replied with: Not mine, they are too delicious to share with a plant! So we just agreed about buying ready meatballs in the store for it.

So, what did Mr Lifecruiser do as soon as we came home? Feed the plant! And with what? Sausage! Several trap’s did get dinner. Then I read that you shall NOT feed the plant with meat (some even give it hamburger!), because the plant won’t like it and you risk that it will die.

The traps that did get dinner that day died later…. But I think that was a “death by natural causes”, because I read that they dies after have eaten 3-4 insects and I suppose one piece of sausage was too concentrated for them…

Either that or Mr Lifecruiser is a mean Venus flytrap serie killer!

All this made me wonder, how on earth do they function? I just had to do some research to feed my curiosity. How does it catch the poor victims?

Lifecruisers Venus fly trap
As I thought it’s by the sent and color it draws it’s victims in the trap. Then the plants “feel” the trigger hairs inside the traps being touched, which send an electric impulse through the leaf, setting off the closing reaction. It takes about 1/2 of a second to close the trap and then it expand like a balloon.

If you hover over the picture you can see the plant in large size and you can actually catch a glimpse of the sausage in one of the traps. It stays closed for several days - up to 10 days.

In the store it had catched a big fly in one of the traps. Strange enouge, the trap was open, so I assume that it was finished “sucking the good” out of it. The leaves have an acid like digestive juices and slowly comsume the insect from the inside. When it’s done, it’s spitting out the skeleton - or the official version is that the rain washes it out. I think it’s spitting.

But how do the plant know the difference from the real victims and for example sticks or rain droplets - or car keys? Other things can touch the trigger hairs too. The trap is very loosely closed at first and if it’s a bug, it continues to run around and that will stimulate the trap to close for several days. If it’s not, it won’t get further stimulated and reopen in about a day.

I thought it was a wonderful idea to buy this flytrap, since we now have several plants and from my experiences, with plants comes flower flies. You know these tiny little flies that always annoying you by flying in front of your mouth?

I was hoping that the Venus fly trap will catch them, but now I start to wonder, because I read that if the bug is very small, it will escape. Bummer.

Venus Flytraps can eat other, bigger insects than flies (even small frogs if the plant is big enough!) but they don’t like butterflies or beetles.

Traps seem to close more rapidly on hot days than on cool days, so it will be slower during the winter here. Healthier plants move faster and this one will not be so healthy after a while under our “care”. It can grow without ever eating any insects.

So I guess Mr Lifecruiser can feel rather safe ;-)

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22 Comments on “The Venus Flytrap Story”

    Chana CANADA said:

    :mrgreen: i love your pic..where on earth you found is a post on its own i bet, lol..

    when i was 17 i had my first and last opportunity to see one of these plants in person. i was amazed seeing something so interesting live after all the cartoons..i desperately wanted to stick my finger in…???? like i dint’ really believe what would happen..the caretaker must have read my mind for it kept an eye of me and strictly prohibited me from doing so..of course now you know that i was extra careful with my kids…i always knew that they were like me…ohhh, do sticking your finger in the socket really ahhhhhhhhhhh…lol..:roll:

    Lifecruiser: Yes, the pics are lovely ;-) Ha ha, I can just see you ready giving the finger *lol*

    The Cat AUSTRALIA said:

    Wow ! That is fascinating stuff. I want one now. And I won’t feed it anything !

    Lfiecruiser: Yes, isnt nature grand?

    Sandy UNITED STATES said:

    I love plants and have grown them for years now. Since we have moved to the South Eastern United States it is harder to grown them because it is SO HOT here and the soil is not good. I have always had inside plants but I do not think a venus fly trap would be good since we have two cats. i can just see them getting into one of them and OOOPS!! NOt good!! You have fun with your new plants. Thanks for explaining them though…Sandy

    Lifecruiser: Oooops, we don’t want that, do we? Maybe a bite of the tials or something…. *lol*


    COOL! My boys would be catching bugs all day to feed the trap. Not that we have that many bugs… Okay, maybe in the basement. ;)

    Lifecruiser: Maybe you should put down some plants there and see what happens… *lol* It eats spiders too!

    Alice AUSTRALIA said:

    Wonderful posting. Great information on this most interesting plant, which is also beautiful. Could be a good plant to give the grandchildren although I’m sure they would be tempted to feed it on absolutely everything for a few days, or until it died!

    Lifecruiser: Thanks Alice. Yes, I can see that happening too actually :-) Kids… *lol*


    Maybe they will grow big enough to beg for table scraps..

    Lifecruiser: Yes, that would be neat, our own little, I mean big, pet :-) But wait, there are no table scraps so it will have a very tough life here…. *s*

    roy AUSTRALIA said:

    What a fascinating plant. thanks for the interesting info.

    Lifecruiser: You’re welcome. Yes, isn’t it?

    Gattina BELGIUM said:

    The picture is inspiring ! I am thinking of getting such a plant for my toilet. Pay attention to your fingers when you water it ! I have a more romantic mean to catch flies and other ugly flying or crawling stuff like spiders. My PC Pookie is a wonderful and very efficient insect killer ! and don’t you think that she looks a little nicer than your green false teeth in a pot ?
    By the way, I pondered a text about holiday stress (?) for the Blogging chicks, but apparently I am the only one because even you as a chicken talks about other things than stressful holidays ! :sad:

    Lifecruiser: That could be an economic investment actually. think about it, no one want any drinks any more at your place, because that means that you have to go to the toilet!

    Maybe I should read your post to get some stress? :-O

    Mandy NETHERLANDS said:

    I can’t say I’ve ever heard of anyone feeding their venus fly traps meatballs, or anything else meaty. Oh my goodness.. You know what, I really want one of these plants now, you’ve given me the venus fly trap bug hehe

    Have a great Sunday!

    Lifecruiser: Great, if now everybody could get one and we would get less flies around us ;-)

    Maribeth UNITED STATES said:

    I’m not so good with house type plants. I do so much better with a proper garden, cucumbers, squash, etc. But this is fascinating stuff! :-)

    Lifecruiser: Well, at least different :-)

    Wystful 1 UNITED STATES said:

    When we lived in Arizona we had one huge one in our back yard (now stay away from what you’re thinking!) And when I actually sat down and watched it several times it is ONE fascinating plant….but I’d prefer to call it a creature. It’s more animal to me than plant. Like you said, researching it myself a long time ago I read how it functions and manipulates certain triggers. But, ours took about 4-5 years before it withered and went away.

    But, to be honest…I was more than happy to say bye bye to the bug-eater. It looked too menacing to me.

    Lifecruiser: He he… Well, I can totally get what you mean. It’s kind of alive. It’s our new pet :-) But we don’t have to walk it - or have it sleeping in our bed… ooops, danger warning…. *lol*

    deb UNITED STATES said:

    We bought one last summer but it’s barely surviving right now. I think we starved it :oops:

    Lifecruiser: You’ll never know, maybe it has been secretly eating and that’s why it’s not looking healthy now, like us when we’ve eaten too much :-)

    Wystful 1 UNITED STATES said:

    Well, your ‘juicy’ comment you left in my blog, like I added to yours there, explains the ‘gooey’ stuff on your sticky buns! Now I know the ’secret’.

    Lifecruiser: Oh oh, busted :-)

    Chi UNITED STATES said:

    I thought I had commented to this post this morning…hmmm, I am beginning to think a venus fly trap must have gotten my brain…LOL

    Lifecruiser: Ooooops…. Yours too hah? *lol*

    R'acquel AUSTRALIA said:

    This post made me laugh so much! Especially with the sausage feeding antics. *LMAO* Thank you!

    Lifecruiser: Thank you for that nice comment R’acquel, I’m glad you had some fun :-)

    melissa AUSTRALIA said:

    well .i ‘ve heard every thing now !! :-}
    i kill venus fly traps ..over water ..under feed or is that under water . over feed .
    no matter i kill them . the longest i’ve had one is 6mnths .
    the shortest 3 weeks
    good luck with it !

    Lifecruiser: Thanks, it’s needed. So you’re a venustrap serie killer too ;-) It’s going to be interesting to see how long this one will survive this crazy home..

    martin UNITED KINGDOM said:

    Do they do wife eating size plants? Only joking!

    Like the cartoon, that gave me a laugh!

    Have a great week folks, must dash now!


    Lifecruiser: Hm… I really don’t know it I believe that…. No smoke without a fire ;-) Glad you had a laugh with us Martin!

    Gregg R UNITED STATES said:

    Have you ever seen Little Shop Of Horrors?
    Be very careful what you feed your carnivorous plants. :-O

    Lifecruiser: Yes, I’m kinda worried… *lol*


    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with that crazy cartoon! OUCH! My kids love these plants.

    Lifecruiser: *lol* Yes, I can see that be the ideal plant to give away to kids!


    Very interesting and informative! Thanks Lc!

    Lifecruiser: Your’e welcome :-)

    Frank CANADA said:

    Haha great story and great pics! I like growing carnivorous plants too and my current venus fly trap is flowering! Looking forward to planting the seeds in the spring. I have been tempted into springing the traps on an occasion or two ;)


    Franks last blog post..Venus Fly Traps - Keep Your Carnivorous Plant Thriving

    Barbara UNITED STATES said:

    If the plant is looking bad in November….that is good. It will go dormant from around Thanksgiving til mid February. It will look like it is dying. It needs the dormant period. I love this post. Not boring informative stuff, just a real experience with an awesome plant.

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