The Venus Flytrap is a plant most enchanting. Charles Darwin described them as the most wonderful plant in the world. While they are a popular species, the Venus Flytrap can be very difficult to care for. Making a Venus Flytrap Terrarium a greater challenge.
Will Terrarium Work for Venus Flytraps?
We get asked by our readers a lot whether or not a Venus flytrap in a terrarium is a good idea. It seems like Venus flytraps growing in terrariums look super cool. We understand the excitement around putting your Venus flytrap in a terrarium, the problem is we think it is not a very good idea. So, will terrarium work for Venus flytraps? We are going to give you the short answer: No, it will not work for Venus flytraps.
Why Terrariums Are Not the Best Way to Grow Venus Flytraps?
Read the text below to know the explanation why terrariums are not the best way to grow Venus flytraps.
Need to know that Venus flytraps do not thrive in environments with high humidity. Some wetness is fine. But, we have to consider their original habitat and then compare it to the environment we want to make in a terrarium. The Venus flytrap’s native environment consists of open sunny and wet savannas. In other words, an open space with full sunlight and peaty soils. A glass enclosure is not giving the flytrap’s root system enough aeration to survive. Even a terrarium with an open top will resemble too much of a jungle environment. This will work fine for several tropical carnivores, but not Venus Flytraps, and other temperate plants.
Actually, drainage in a terrarium is an issue with most carnivorous plants due to how they evolved. Most carnivores thrive in soil which is really poor in nutrients and minerals. Usually, their nutrients come from their food. Minerals are going to build in the soil over time. If not flushed out with water regularly, will finally burn their roots and also kill them. Terrariums most frequently do not have drainage holes. Thus, there is nowhere for minerals to be flushed out when watered. This will leave many chances for mineral buildup and shortening the lifespan of a Venus flytrap terrarium.
You may still remember when you burn up ants or other bugs by holding a magnifying glass over them under direct sunlight. The same thing can occur to a Venus flytrap in a terrarium. It is true that Venus flytraps love all the direct sunlight they are able to get, but the glass or plastic walls of a terrarium will amplify that heat to deadly amounts. If you live in California, you have several days of over 100 F (38+ C) temperatures. The hottest it got was about 110 F (43 C). Your traps (always outside) survived, but had several burn damages. In our opinion, they are able to tolerate around 100 F for a short period as long as they are watered enough. But if a Venus flytrap terrarium is indoors, the temperature inside it will be able to go way up in direct sunlight.
You have to know that a winter dormancy is very important to a Venus flytrap’s longevity. A terrarium is surely not going to allow for that. Of course, you are able to shorten the period to simulate a seasonal change. However, this is basically a two-part problem with heat. In a terrarium, you will not be able to lower the temperature enough to trigger a winter dormancy. Ideally, you will need temperatures between 50 – 32F (10 – 0 C). It means that you have to abandon the terrarium entirely for around four months out of the year that defeats the whole purpose of having one.
Different needs from other plants
While some carnivores are going to fare excellently in terrariums, these environments will not suit the needs of Venus flytraps. Many people want a diverse collection of carnivores all in one location to admire. They want to put Venus flytraps in a terrarium with tropical pitcher plants, butterworts, and throw in several sundews for good measure. While this will look nice and exotic for several weeks or months, all of those plants have different soil, light, and humidity needs. Throwing them all in one tank will not work for the long term.
How to Make a Venus Flytrap Terrarium?
Here are materials you need to make a Venus Flytrap Terrarium:
- An open, dish-like container.
- Leca or gravel.
- Venus Flytrap potting mix.
- Venus Flytrap plants.
- Hardscape (optional).
- A tweezers/paintbrush.
- A misting bottle.
- Distilled water.
- Artificial grow lights.
Here are steps to make a Venus Flytrap Terrarium:
Step 1: Get Clean
Before you begin, you have to do a quick check on your glassware and materials to make sure they are clean. If you are not sure, please thoroughly clean your glassware, drainage material, and hardscape.
Step 2: Drainage and Substrate Layers
Now, you are able to fill your container with a layer of your drainage component. You will need around an inch or two of this medium to make sure your substrate does not become waterlogged. Then, you are able to pour in your potting mix. You will be able to use a paintbrush to create contours and grooves within your substrate. How much substrate you use depends on the size of your container and the size of your plants. At this step, you are able to add any inorganic hardscape elements for decoration.
Step 3: Plant it
Please grab your misting bottle and lightly spray the substrate until it is moist. This condition allows you to insert your paintbrush’s wooden end to make a space for your Venus Flytraps. Then, you have to take your Venus Flytraps out of their pots. Gently remove the substrate surrounding their roots. Next, you are able to place them into the holes you created with your tweezers. Please use your brush to sweep the soil to the base of the plants to secure them in place.
Step 4: Care Setup
If your Flytraps are not in dormancy, you are able to place your terrarium under artificial grow lights set to high intensity. Please set your lights to remain on 8-10 hours a day. Come winter, or for a period of 4 months a year, if you are in a hot country, you need to move your terrarium somewhere much colder if the plant is to rest properly. During the dormancy period, a much lower level of light is preferable.