One of the most natural ways to kill a fly is the use of Venus Flytrap. In this article, we’ve put together a list of Venus flytrap facts for kids. These fun facts about the amazing plant will definitely start a some interesting conversation between you and your kids.
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There are about 500 species of carnivorous plants in the world, and the Venus Flytrap plant is one of them. A carnivorous plant, as the name suggest, feast on other living things; and in the case of the Venus Flytrap, they actually love eating flies.
Interesting Quick Facts About The Venus Fly Trap
- Venus Flytraps are an endangered plant species
- Insects can actually kill the plant by biting it from the back
- They can go up to 2 months without eating
- They remain closed for up to 2 weeks every time they catch something
- They digest the trapped food by producing digestive juices (just like our stomach does)
- The plant can actually die if it trapped a victim that’s too large for it to consume
- When stimulated, a Venus flytrap produces electrical voltage
- After 4 to 6 catches, the trap will usually turn brown and die off
- These plants can actually digest human flesh
- They don’t just trap insects but also small animals
- Despite being a carnivorous plant, they don’t just eat any type of prey
- All the seeds are different and no two Venus Flytrap plants are genetically the same
- Every year, they will go into dormant (asleep, alive but not actively growing) for about 5 months
What do Venus Fly Trap Eat?
They absorb nutrients, mineral and vitamins from the soil and gases in the air; and also get their required nutrients from insects (i.e flies), arachnid (i.e spider or scorpion) and even small animals (i.e frog).
How Does Venus Flytrap Plant Catch Their Food?
The leaves of this plant are hinged and can open and close like a door. The edges of the Venus flytrap’s leaves are lined with Cilia that looks very much like the human eyelashes.
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On the inside, you can see short and firm hairs that act as little sensors that informs the plant when there’s an insect or small animal inside. When a prey comes into contact with a few of the hairs, the hinged leaf will snaps together very quickly, trapping the prey to be ingested.
Once the plant is shut, its cilia mesh will act like a prison cell bar that prevents the trapped insect or animal from escaping. From there the plant will produce a special digestive liquid that breaks down the trapped victim and use it for supplying nutrition to the plant (similar to how our stomach digest food).
If the trapped object is not food, the trap will open and spit the item out after 10 to 12 hours.
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Caring for the Venus Flytrap
Venus flytrap thrives in acidic soil that have poor nutrition content. That said, avoid adding lime or fertilisers to the soil. Also avoid using tap water or mineral water on the plant as tap water is often too alkaline while mineral water may contain too much minerals. Use distilled or collect rain water to be used to water it.
They require good drainage of the soil, hence avoid using regular potting soil. Instead, opt for a mixture of 1/3 sand and 2/3 sphagnum peat moss to give the best drainage while keeping the good moisture retention.
Venus flytraps requires at least 12 hours of sunlight everyday and do best under bright light conditions. That said, avoid placing them direct under the sun during summer especially if they live inside a glass. In artificial lights environment, keep them 5 to 7 inches away from the fluorescent lights source.
To check, see if your Venus flytrap plant has a pink interior color or if it has long and spindly leaves. If that’s the case, they might not be getting enough sunlight. Try keeping the plant in a humid environment and keep the soil moist. That said, avoid letting the plants constantly soak in water.
For Venus flytrap kept in terrarium, be sure to place gravels below the soil to help provide more drainage. With proper care, Venus Flytrap plants can live for a pretty long time.
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The Venus Flytrap Plants are not tropical plants but are actually native to North America. The South and North Carolina shores are the only places on earth where Venus Flytrap grows in the wild. They reproduce just like other plants where the seeds are produced when they are pollinated.
If you are looking to get rid of flies at home, a Venus Flytrap shouldn’t be your main strategy. As mentioned above, they will stay shut for 10 days after catching a prey and the trap will actually fall off after 4 to 6 catches (hence not ideal as a main fly control strategy).
Hope you’ve enjoyed these quick fact about the fascinating Venus flytrap plant. Are you planning to grow one at home? Or have you had any experience with growing at Venus Flytrap? Share with us in the comment section.