Venus Flycatcher, Dionaea muscipula - Care and maintenance, growing at home
Venus flytrap (Latin Dionaea muscipula) is a species of carnivorous plants from the monotypic genus Dionea of the Droseraceae family.
It grows in a humid temperate climate on the Atlantic coast of the United States (Florida, North and South Carolina, New Jersey). Flowering time: May to July.
It is the only species of its kind. Dionea is a perennial herbaceous insectivorous plant with a short underground stem. The stem is a bulbous rhizome. It blooms with white delicate flowers, collected in an inflorescence on a high peduncle. To obtain seeds, flowers must be manually pollinated. Leaves ranging in size from three to seven centimeters, but in varietal large-growing Diones, they are larger, and in miniature ones - even smaller. Also, the size changes depending on the season. It grows in nitrogen-deficient soils such as sphagnum bogs. Lack of nitrogen is the reason for the appearance of traps: insects serve as a source of nitrogen necessary for the synthesis of proteins. The Venus flytrap is a member of a small group of plants capable of fast movement.
The leaves are elongated, at the end a cracker is formed, consisting of two valves along the edges of which there are denticles. Sensitive hairs are located on the surface of these plates, which react to the victim and give the command to collapse the trap. After the trap is closed, juice is released and the digestion process begins, which, depending on the size of the insect, can last from several days to several weeks. Each trap will trigger several times (approximately 4-7 times), and then die off.
By winter, in the coolness, the Venus Flytrap falls into a dormant period, stops its growth, and it seems that it dies or freezes. Dried leaves can be removed and the plant can be carefully watered; in the spring it will grow again.
Benefits of a flycatcher in an apartment
The main advantage of the flycatcher is its unusual appearance. This plant is very original and peculiar, beautiful in its own way. Another advantage is the relatively budgetary price, this amazing plant costs no more than 500 rubles in the central regions of Russia. In Moscow, prices can be higher and depend on a particular store.
The plant is a predator, so if you put it indoors, you can forget about insects, because the flycatcher will eat them. This is another advantage of the flycatcher, that it can feed itself on its own. It will be enough just to water it once a week in the cool season and twice or more on hot days.
Disadvantages of a flycatcher in an apartment
Many people who have had or have a Venus flytrap find it very difficult to care for. With insufficient attention, it can die, therefore, before starting such a plant, it is imperative to study all the intricacies of caring for it.
Venus flytrap also requires special watering. It cannot be watered with tap water, but only with special distilled water, and also maintain a constant level of moisture in the soil. The soil for transplanting also needs a special one, in the usual it simply will not take root.
It is worth noting that the plant hibernates for three to four months. And if during this period it is not placed in a cool room, it will die.
Also, many note that the plant has a disgusting smell.When it catches flies and begins to digest them, the smell spreads throughout the room, which causes some discomfort.
Many breeders note that even with proper care, the plant does not take root in their conditions and dies, or lives, but looks very weak and does not willingly feed on insects. Yes, this really often happens due to the fact that the Venus flytrap is not designed for the climatic conditions of Russia, and in addition, its root system could be damaged during transplantation or during transportation.
How to grow a Venus flytrap at home
Under natural conditions, the Venus flytrap is found only in the eastern United States, but it can be grown at home anywhere in the world. But you definitely need to know that the plant is very whimsical. Experienced botanists recommend growing a flycatcher in an aquarium, this will allow the plant to get enough moisture. Flycatchers must not be placed in the shade or in the open sun. Otherwise, it will die soon. It is best to put it on a window in the eastern part.
If you decide to start growing the Venus flytrap in your own garden, where the plant will provide itself with food or at home, then you must take into account some conditions.
- The plant should be placed in a box, the dimensions of which should not be less than 22 centimeters deep and 32 centimeters wide.
- In addition, the soil (ground) must be covered with moss.
- Place the flytrap box in a place where direct sunlight does not fall.
- In the winter season, it is recommended to move the flower to the basement so that it does not freeze.
If you follow all the recommendations correctly, then the plant will definitely take root and will delight its owner with an unusual appearance and fight against insects.
Before you settle such a plant in your house, you need to carefully study all the points for caring for it. It is imperative to reckon with those conditions that are as close to natural as possible.
The eastern part of the room is most suitable for the flycatcher. It is in this part that the flycatcher will be able to get as much time in the sun as it needs (approximately five hours). If it is not possible to place the plant in the eastern part, then you will have to provide light by artificial means. And in the opposite case, when the sun's rays are too much, then the flower will have to be protected from the sun.
There must be a large amount of water in the soil for the Venus flytrap. It is because of this that the plant is often grown in aquariums, but in this case the plant will definitely need illumination, which can be provided using a conventional incandescent lamp. It is important to maintain a distance of 20 cm, and it should be turned on for 14-16 hours.
Venus flytrap is a plant that is accustomed to swampy areas and for its maintenance it is necessary to increase the level of humidity, but the flycatcher does not tolerate stagnant air. With this in mind, it is necessary to periodically check the room in which the flycatcher is located, but at the same time prevent a draft. In summer, it is best to display the flower at least on the balcony or veranda.
It is important to consider the temperature at which the Venus flytrap will be kept. In summer, the plant loves an air temperature of at least 21 degrees, but not more than 30, and in winter, a temperature that drops below 6 degrees can destroy the plant.
The plant cannot process the trace elements that are contained in tap water, so it should be watered only with special distilled water.
If you follow all the conditions for caring for the Venus flytrap, then it will grow for a long period of time and delight everyone around with its unusual appearance and the fact that it will fight insects indoors. Such a plant is suitable only for those who are ready to take responsibility and fulfill all the requirements.
Original articleand other tips on how to grow a beautiful home garden, read on the websiteMyOrchids .
Who is the Venus flytrap?
The Venus flytrap is named after the Roman goddess of love, Venus. The plant has a very short stem, from which 4 to 7 leaves are drawn. Leaves reach 7 cm in length. From time to time, the flycatcher blooms, after which the traps mentioned at the beginning of the article appear. Usually, a carnivorous plant can be seen in the swamps of the United States, which are very low in nitrogen. Since nitrogen is a very important component for plant growth, the flycatcher has to obtain it from other sources. The amount of nitrogen sufficient for life is contained in the organisms of insects and that is why the plant feeds on them. The flycatcher is especially fond of ants, spiders, beetles, grasshoppers and flying insects like flies.
Fly trapped by a predatory plant
The flycatcher catches its victims with the help of a trap, which is formed from the edge parts of the leaves. There are several hairs on their surface, the touch of which makes the trapping apparatus close. Only for this it is important that at least two hairs are affected - this is necessary so that the trap does not work when water and debris gets in. If a fly lands on the plant and touches the hairs for more than 20 seconds, the trap will slam shut. At the same time, it turns into a kind of stomach, inside which digestion takes place. During its entire life, only about 10 insects fall into the flycatcher's traps.
How do you manage your plants?
Recently, the scientific journal Nature Electronics published an article on how scientists managed to control a flytrap trap using a smartphone. In short, Singaporean scientists led by Professor Xiaodong Chen attached wires to the trap. By supplying electrical discharges, they were able to provoke a collapse of the trap. According to them, 1.5 volts of energy is enough to activate this simple mechanism. The most interesting thing is that they have developed a special iOS application Flytrap Controller for control. It seems that the time of mechanical switches is behind us now it is faster and easier to create a smartphone application for these purposes.
Demonstration of a Venus Flytrap that can be controlled
The researchers used flycatcher traps to create mechanical grips. In the video below, you can see how the plant grabs the wire without any problems and even wraps around a small weight. The video also shows that the technology can be used even with moving objects. That is, scientists have the ability to calculate the exact time when the object will be in the range of the trap. It is believed that this invention could provide an impetus for the creation of larger mechanisms, involving both physics and biology.
Perhaps in the future, this trap will become part of some kind of robot.
In general, hybrids of insects and electronic devices have been around for a long time. Researchers have long realized that instead of creating moving reconnaissance vehicles, they can mate electronics and insects. For example, if scientists need to get to some hard-to-reach place and take air samples, they can install sensors on the back of a bug and send it to the right place. You can also control his movements using electrical stimulation. Earlier, I wrote about a similar invention - American engineers turned locusts into cyborgs capable of searching for explosives. You can read more about this by clicking on the link.
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According to statistics, about 390,900 plant species grow on our planet and their number is constantly growing. The fact is that every year scientists discover species that people did not even know existed for a long time.Among these plants there are very strange species: some give off a smelly smell, while others look very much like the helmet of Darth Vader from "Star Wars". You can find out more about unusual plants and look at their photos in this material. Enjoy reading!
Soil for Venus Flycatcher, Dionea
The substrate should be prepared on the basis of sour high-moor peat with an acidity of 3.0-4.0 pH. Perlite, before preparing the substrate, must be soaked in distilled water for one and a half to two weeks, draining and replacing the water 3-4 times a week. The substrate is prepared in a ratio of 2: 1 or 1: 1 (sour peat: perlite). Perlite is very good at allowing water and air to pass through, it also prevents mold from developing. If you do not have the opportunity to prepare such a substrate yourself, you can purchase it from us. You can also add dry sphagnum to the substrate. Sphagnum will help the substrate retain moisture longer and prevent drying out, and it also acts as an antiseptic, disinfecting the soil.
Flowerpot for Venus Flytrap, Dionea
To grow Dionea, you only need to use a plastic pot or glass pot with holes in the bottom so that the water can easily circulate. Planting plants in ceramic, clay pots is prohibited. The basis of the substrate for Dionea is high moor sour peat. Ceramics interacting with such peat releases harmful salts, which have a very detrimental effect on the plant. Therefore, only use plastic or glass pots. The diameter of the plastic pot is 8-9-10-12 cm. Very large pots are not needed, since the root of Dionaea muscipula is not large. The plant only drinks by the roots, it receives all its nutrition through the leaves. The diameter of the glass flowerpot for the florarium is limited only by the size of the plant and your imagination.
Venus Flytrap Lighting, Dionea
Dionaea muscipula is very fond of sunlight. Therefore, the flower pot should be placed on the south window, south balcony, on the south side of the house. In the summer, when the sun becomes very intense, you can make dissected lighting for the plant, that is, use mesh material to cut the sun's rays. To do this, you can use light shading nets, gauze, mosquito nets and the like, otherwise the plant may have burns out of habit, but it gradually adapts itself to the sun's rays, becomes strong and in the second half of summer these nets must be removed. With a lack of light, the leaves of Dionea can stretch excessively, and ultimately the flycatcher can stop growing firecrackers, become exhausted and die. Split sunlight is acceptable, but not shading. At least a plant should receive 4-5 hours of direct sunlight per day and the rest of the day is scattered bright light. But the more time the plant will stand in direct sunlight, the better.
If it is not possible to grow a plant from the south side, then you can supplement the illumination with very bright lamps, daylight or flora, with a power of at least 3500 lumens - full daylight hours - 12-16 hours with a lamp, 8 hours - night, without a lamp. You can find quality lamps for the Venus Flytrap HERE.
Predatory plants do not really like when they are twisted around an axis, so it is advisable to make some kind of mark on the pot with respect to the cardinal direction and try to always adhere to this direction.
Feeding the Predatory Venus Flytrap, Dionea
For any carnivorous plants, insects are fertilizers. In order for the Venus Flycatcher to live and develop well, she does not need to eat so much, only 3-4 insects per year. If there is a desire to feed the plant, then you need to remember that it cannot be overfeeded, because it can become oversaturated with fertilizers from eaten insects. It can only be fed with live insects. The insect must move by stimulating the sensors inside the firecracker. Only in this case will the plant produce an enzyme that will draw out all the useful substances from the insect.In no case should you feed with meat, cottage cheese, etc., the plant will die from this. You need to feed the Venus flytrap no more often than once every 3-4 weeks - only one insect in one cracker! If the plant has caught an insect on its own, violating the feeding schedule, then it is not necessary to select the prey. Prey is usually digested from 2 days to a month, depending on the size and density of the insect. The plant sucks out the necessary nutrients from the insect, but the chitin remains. After the plant has drawn out everything useful from the prey, the firecracker opens and only an insect crackle remains in it. If the insect is very large and did not completely fit into the cracker or there was a very high air temperature at the time of eating, then this cracker may darken, but you should not worry, the plant will still have time to receive nutrition and will grow many new cracker.
Wintering Venus Flycatcher, Dionea
Dionaea muscipula requires wintering (dormant period). Dionea is a plant of a temperate climate, so the change of seasons is inherent in it by nature. Without this dormant period, the plant will be weak and may die. It is best that wintering takes place on the shortest sunny days (late autumn-winter). You can also navigate by the weather - with the arrival of cold weather, you can prepare for wintering. Up to this point, all these plants can live wonderfully outdoors all season (outdoors, in the yard, on the balcony, on the window). When the temperature drops to +7. +5, it means it's time to winter. This is usually November. We treat the plant with a fungicide so that mold does not form - Fundazol is very suitable. To do this, it is enough to sprinkle the plant and soil intensively from a spray bottle. A pot with a plant without a pallet can be packed in a plastic bag, a zip bag or in a plastic container, it is necessary to leave or make small holes so that a little oxygen comes in. About once every 2 weeks, you need to check the condition of soil moisture and the absence of mold. The potting medium should be slightly damp. Do not dry out under any circumstances. If there is not enough moisture, add some water from above under the root. For wintering, plants can be placed in a cellar, basement, on a glazed balcony, etc. The main condition for wintering is a low temperature ranging from +2 to +7 degrees. Higher temperatures are not suitable, since at high temperatures the vegetation does not slow down in the plant and it does not fully rest. The refrigerator is usually stable at +5, so this is the ideal temperature. Lighting during the wintering period for Dionea is not needed at all, provided the temperature is below +7 ° C. During the rest period, Dioneus can lose all of his opened leaves - this is not scary. The most important thing in a plant is the health of the rhizome (bulb). As soon as she gets into warmth and good lighting, she will begin to dissolve new firecrackers.
The wintering period for a baby is 1.5-4 months, for a teenager - 2.5-4 months, an adult plant hibernates for 3-4 months,
Exit from wintering - as soon as the plant has spent the required period at rest, we take them out in warmth, put them in a tray with water in a bright light and continue to care for them as usual.
Venus Flytrap Transplant, Dionea
The carnivorous plant must be replanted once a year. It is most convenient to do this immediately after the rest period. A transplant is needed in order to renew the soil with the necessary acidity, since over time the soil deoxidizes. If over the past year the plant has given children, then you can plant them in separate pots.
Flowering Venus Flycatcher, Dionea
In spring, the adult Venus Flytrap blooms. In the first year of flowering, it is imperative to cut the peduncle (peduncles) when it is just starting to grow. The first flowering takes too much strength from a young plant, and it may die. Let the plant grow as strong as possible, grow a larger rhizome, and next year the flowering will no longer be so exhausting for Dionea.The next year, the peduncle can be left, but then your plant will not be very large, since flowering and seed formation takes a lot of energy from it. If the peduncle is cut off, then the plant will be powerful with large leaves -
Leaf change at Venus Flycatcher, Dionea
Dionea is constantly changing sheets. Old leaves die off from below, and new ones grow from the center. Leaves that have patted off their cotton reserve also die off. Each leaf-cracker works 4-7 times, after that it dies off. Therefore, you do not need to force the plant to clap firecrackers for fun. When the leaves die off, they turn black and dry out. It is not necessary to cut them off without fail, but you can do this to make the plant look more aesthetically pleasing. It is useful to know that you cannot pull out the blackened leaves, because the leaf can come off with a part of the rhizome, thus it will be damaged and will not give birth to children. The blackened leaves must be cut off, leaving 0.5 cm from the beginning of growth.
Healthy leaf color in Dionaea muscipula can range from completely green to reddening of the "mouth" of the cracker. It depends on the season, lighting, substrate composition and temperature conditions, in some cases on the Dionei variety. The temperature regime in this case is fluctuations in day and night temperatures. The greater the temperature difference, the greater the likelihood of reddening the inside of the firecracker.
Diseases of Venus Flytrap, Dionea
Dionea is constantly in a humid environment, therefore it is susceptible to disease with various types of rot and fungi.
Means for treating Venus Flycatcher, Dionea from parasites and diseases:
- Fitosporin M paste - biofungicide to protect plants from fungal and bacterial diseases.
- Fundazol is a fungicide and disinfectant with a broad spectrum of action against a large number of fungal diseases.
- Aktara is an insecticide of intestinal action. It is very effective against small insects that have settled in the substrate.
If you grow Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) in accordance with the above conditions, then you will have strong healthy plants that will delight you for many years. With proper care, Dionaea muscipula lives for 20-30 years and during this time it multiplies many times.