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Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Where to Grow: Outdoors. 

Light: Full sun (outdoors). Indoors under very bright lights is possible but definitely not preferred. 

Water: Use distilled/rainwater/reverse osmosis water ONLY. That means NO TAP WATER. The most common cause of a dead Venus flytrap shortly after it is received is the use of tap water. Place the pot in a tray, and fill the tray with about half an inch to an inch of water at all times. In the winter months (see "Dormancy"), keep the soil just a bit damp.

Soil: Use a 50:50 mix of sphagnum peat moss and coarse (#12 silica sand or similar) sand. If sand cannot be found, perlite can also be substituted. Make sure all soil ingredients are free of fertilizers and added minerals. 

Containers: Plastic pots are best. Avoid unglazed terra cotta plants, because they can wick water away from the plants and also leach minerals into the soil.

Feeding: Outdoors, the plants will catch all they need to survive. Larger insects like houseflies, pill bugs, and spiders can also be fed from time to time, including if the plants are indoors. 

Fertilizing: As a general rule, avoid using any fertilizer on flytraps. 

Humidity: Not a concern. 

Dormancy (Winter Care): Venus flytraps go into dormancy in the winter months, generally between October and March. During this time, they may stop growing and look dead. Dormancy is triggered by shorter daylight hours and colder temperatures. In the mid-Atlantic region, plants can overwinter outdoors provided they are either mulched heavily with pine needles/bark (bury the pots under several inches of mulch) or placed into a cold frame. Alternatively, some growers have had success with placing the plants in an unheated garage as long as the plants can still receive some light. Another option is to unpot the plant and put it in the refrigerator over the winter, although this is perhaps the least preferred option. During dormancy, the soil should be kept damp, not very wet. The plants can survive frosts and even some brief freezes. 

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