How to care for a venus flytrap at home
In the world there are about 630 species of predatory plants that are forced to supplement their autotrophic nutrition (photosynthesis) by insect fishing. Some of these species are trying to breed as houseplants. Among them, the venus flytrap is most popular. This unusual flower will be discussed in our article.
Botanical description of the plant
A predatory flower is a small herbaceous plant whose leaves grow from a basal rosette. 4–7 of them appear, 3–7 cm long. The stem of the flycatcher is shortened, bulbous. After flowering, traps 8–15 cm long appear on the plant. From the outside, they are green. If the flycatcher receives enough light, the inside of the trap will turn red. The trap itself consists of two wings, which, when hit, the victims slam shut.
Did you know? The Latin name for the venus flytrap is dionaea muscipula. The second word in this phrase is translated as a mousetrap (most likely due to a botanist's mistake). The Russian name is derived from the Roman goddess of love and plants of Venus.
All predatory plants are very moody in leaving. Among them, the flycatcher is the most unpretentious. But still she needs special attention and care. It is very important for her to recreate conditions that are most similar to natural ones.
Accommodation in the house and optimal conditions
When reconstructing the natural habitat of a plant, you must first take care of the lighting. The flycatcher loves light and stably tolerates direct sunlight, but no longer than 4-5 hours a day. Therefore, it is not advisable to put it on the southern window sills. Also, the flower does not like when it is rotated so that it is illuminated from all sides. As a native of the subtropics, the flower loves heat very much.
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The temperature +22 ... + 27 ° С will be comfortable for him, but he will calmly survive if the thermometer column rises to + 35 ° С (for a short time). For the winter period, the temperature must be reduced to + 10 ° C. The plant will tolerate heat well only with regular ventilation. Humidity does not need to be raised for him. A concentration of moisture in the air at a level of 40–70% is enough for him.
Soil and capacity requirements for cultivation
Venus flytrap is used to growing on marshy soil, so it does not need nutritious soil at home. Land should be poor and well-drained. A mixture of high peat and quartz sand or high peat and overflow in the same proportions is suitable as a substrate.
Important! Before mixing peat with sand or overflow these two components must be disinfected (soak and boil in distilled water). Soak for a week.
How to water and fertilize
The root system of a carnivorous plant is not able to process the salts contained in the water. Therefore, it can be watered only with distilled water, passed through reverse osmosis. Water flows into the pan. Overhead irrigation can help reduce soil acidity, as well as soil compaction. The frequency of watering will depend on the season.
In the summer, when the flower actively grows and absorbs moisture, you need to irrigate it often, so that the soil is always moist, but water does not accumulate in the pan. In winter, you need to water a little less. A predatory plant does not need to be fed with fertilizers. It does not absorb nitrogen through the soil, but produces it by eating insects.
- 33% ants;
- 30% of spiders;
- 10% of beetles;
- 10% of grasshoppers;
- 5% flying insects.
Important! If the flower is sick or weak, then it is not recommended to give it live food.
Transplantation is carried out by transshipment from the beginning of spring, when the air temperature outside the window becomes positive. The frequency of the procedure is once a year or two (depending on the age of the plant and how quickly it fills the pot). The transplant must be carried out very carefully so as not to injure the root system and traps. So that in a new pot the flower takes root more quickly, it is watered more often, and the leaves are sprayed. They cease to feed for a while.
Video: how to transplant a venus flytrap in 7 minutes
Dormancy and flowering period
All seasonal features in plant care are associated with a period of dormancy and flowering. Let's start with dormancy, since the quality of flowering depends on how much all the care conditions are met during this period of time. It begins in the fall. Preparation for it is carried out at the end of September: they stop feeding the predator. In mid-October, the flycatcher will begin to transition to a state of rest on its own: it slows down the growth of foliage and traps.
At this time, you need to gradually lower the air temperature to + 10 ° C. Can be moved to a dark place. The soil is kept moist. The resting period lasts 3-4 months. In the spring, when the plant ejects the peduncle, the growing season begins. The flycatcher returns to the light, the temperature in the room rises. The first flowers appear in May-June. Tiny white flowers form corymbose inflorescences.
Did you know? In 1760, the Governor of North Carolina, Arthur Dobbs, wrote a letter to the botanist Peter Collinson, in which, admiring the unusual appearance of the venus flytrap, he described it in detail and noted that he had given the name to the plant Fly trap Sensitive. It is believed that this was the first description of a flower.
They exude a strong aroma. Flowering continues for two weeks. If you plan to propagate the venus flytrap with seeds, then two days after the flowers open, you need to pollinate them. To do this, take a brush and hold it on the pestles and stamens. If you do not plan to reproduce in this way, then it is better to cut the flowers while they are still in buds, since the plant spends a lot of effort to open them.
Reproduction of Dionea
The venus flytrap is propagated, or as it is also called, Dionea, in various ways.
To propagate the flower with a cuttings, it is enough to cut off its leaf, process the cut with root and plant it in a substrate at an angle. The substrate is similar to that for an adult plant. Petiole is covered with a plastic cup and placed in a well-lit place. Here it is until young shoots appear. Most often, it takes about three months. After the plant is transplanted to a permanent place.
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Seeds collected from a pollinated plant can be stored for two days, so they must be planted immediately. Before boarding, they must be soaked, then laid out on a cloth dipped in "Topaz", and tied up. The bundle is packed in a plastic bag and hidden in the refrigerator for 1-1.5 months. Every week they need to be taken out and inspected for mold. If it appeared, then they should be washed with “Topaz”.
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Every day, the seeds must be ventilated, and the condensate wiped. Shoots can appear in 2-3 weeks, and can in a month. Five months after germination, seedlings dive into a new pot. Their root system is necessarily washed with distilled water. If the maturation of seedlings coincides with the beginning of the dormant period, then they need not be disturbed. Transplantation can be done in the spring.
The older the flower, the more it forms daughter bulbs. They can be separated and planted. This is best done during a flytrap transplant and not more than once every three years. It is necessary to separate the bulb very carefully, since its root system is fragile and after an injury takes root in a new place for a long time. It is best to separate the onion with a sharp knife. The cut is preferably treated with fungicide and ground coal.
For this method of reproduction, you need a young peduncle 4-5 cm long. It is planted in a small container filled with peat. The substrate must be wet. The petiole should be buried 10 mm into the soil. On top of it, you need to cover it with a plastic cup to create greenhouse conditions. The greenhouse is regularly ventilated, and the soil is moistened. The rooting process is long.
Diseases and other plant problems
Although the venus flytrap belongs to those plants that feed on insects, sometimes it happens that the insects themselves attack the flower. Most often it is aphids. It attacks traps and causes them to deform. You can cope with it using an insecticidal aerosol. If there is low humidity in the room, then a spider mite can get on the predator. You can destroy it with a double dose of acaricide, reprocessing the plant after 7 days.
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Among the diseases there is a soot fungus, gray rot. They develop in conditions of excessive soil and air humidity. They can be overcome with the help of fungicides. An exotic plant needs special care. Observing all the requirements for content, you can enjoy the unusual appearance of the flower for many years.