I got a Venus Fly Trap a few weeks ago in The Pavilion Garden Centre, Cork. If you haven’t been there, I would recommend it. There is a lovely café and shop as well as the usual gardening equipment and furniture. It’s really nice, and I get to go there quite a bit as it’s between my parents house and my friend, Elma’s house.
The last time I was there, I picked up a Venus Fly Trap. When I first visited my sister, Julie, in New Zealand, she and her then boyfriend (now husband) had one. I thought it was so exotic – I never knew you could grow them at home. I stuck a blade of grass into one of the traps, and it really did snap shut! Although, Julie informed me that it was bad to make the plant close artificially as it wastes its energy.
A Venus Fly Trap is a carnivorous plant, which is native to the East Coast of the United States. It feeds on insects and catches its prey in one of the traps that grow at the end of its leaves. Mine is a bright green colour, but they come in various colours and shapes. These plants love sunlight, so I don’t think Dublin is the best place for them, but I keep mine in a window which gets the sublight every morning and it hasn’t died yet, thankfully.
We are currently in the middle of the growing period (April to October) and there are new leaves and traps arriving all the time. During this time, the plant needs sunlight and water. Venus Fly Traps are native to bogs and swamps, so they like to have moist soil – this is somewhat surprising to me, as I think they look like they belong to the cactus family. Instructions which accompanied the plant was to water it with rainwater and never use a fertiliser. luckily, rainwater is something we practically have on demand here in Ireland, so there is never a shortage.
I’m still waiting for it to ‘trap’ an insect – if it doesn’t catch one of the pesky flies that are buzzing around the place at the moment, I’m going to catch one and feed it to the plant myself!