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Dionaea Characteristics, History, Types, Cultivation, Pests, Diseases

Characteristics of the carnivorous plant Dionaea

The Dionaea muscipula, (most commonly known by the name “Venus Flytrap”), is, without a doubt, the most famous carnivorous plant. They charm their prey using sweet nectar, whenever the insect activates a trigger hair twice, or two hairs in quick succession, an electric charge closes the trap, its interlocking teeth forming a cage. The insect’s constant fights will cause the trap to seal, at which point digestive enzymes will dissolve the victim’s soft tissues. The trap reabsorbs this nutritious soup and, after about a week, renews, using the corpse to attract new visitors.

The single species – Dionaea muscipula – has a very restricted native range, developing only in the seaside swamps of North and South Carolina. Habitat devastation has threatened its survival, and it’s thought to be died out in numerous of its native counties. Well-meaning gardeners have presented the plant to new areas (so-called “exotic” populations), but these energies are foolish and likely to cause more harm than good.



The Venus flytrap is a tiny plant whose structure can be labeled as an ornament of four to seven leaves, which ascend from a short underground stem that is truly a bulb-like thing. Each stem extents an extreme size of about 3 to 10 centimeters, dependent on the time of year; lengthier foliage with robust traps are typically shaped after blossoming. Flytraps that have more than seven leaves are colonies designed by ornaments that have separated underneath the ground.

Care of Dionaea properties
Dionaea is a native of the USA insectivorous plant.

The leaf blade is alienated into two regions: an even, heart-shaped photosynthesis-capable petiole, and a couple of terminal lobes hinged at the midrib, founding the trap which is the true leaf. The higher surface of these lobes contains red anthocyanin stains and its ends stash mucilage. The lobes display fast plant actions, biting shut when motivated by prey. The catching device is stumbled when prey interacts one of the three hair-like trichomes that are found on the upper surface of each of the lobes. The device is so exceedingly specific that it can differentiate between alive prey and non-prey stimuli, such as falling raindrops. The edges of the lobes are fringed by stiff hair-like lumps or cilia, which interlock together and prevent large prey from escaping.

The cavities in the meshwork consent small prey to outflow, seemingly because the benefit that would be gotten from them would be less than the cost of digesting them. If the prey is too small and escapes, the trap will typically renew within 12 hours. If the prey moves around in the trap, it constricts and digestion starts more rapidly.

Swiftness of shutting can differ dependent on the quantity of humidity, light, size of prey, and general growing conditions. The speed with which traps close can be used as an indicator of a plant’s general health. Venus flytraps are not as humidity-dependent as are some other carnivorous plants, such as Nepenthes, Cephalotus, and some Drosera.

Trap Mechanism

The Venus flytrap is one of a very small group of plants capable of rapid movement.

The mechanism by which the trap bites shut includes a complex collaboration between pliability, turgor and growth. The trap only closes when there have been two stimulations of the trigger hairs; this is to evade unintentional activating of the mechanism by powder and other wind-borne remains. In the open the lobes are convex (bent outwards), but in the closed state, the lobes are concave (forming a cavity). It is the fast tossing of this bistable state that closes the trap, but the device by which this happens is still weakly comprehended. When the trigger hairs are roused, an action potential is produced, which spreads transversely the lobes and stimulates cells in the lobes and in the midrib between them.


If the prey is unable to escape, it will remain to rouse the inner surface of the lobes, and this causes an additional growth retort that forces the ends of the lobes together, ultimately shutting the trap hermetically and founding a “stomach” in which digestion happens. Release of the digestive enzymes is controlled by the hormone jasmonic acid, the same hormone that triggers the release of toxins as an anti-herbivore defense mechanism in non-carnivorous plants. Once the digestive glands in the leaf lobes have been activated, digestion is catalyzed by hydrolase enzymes secreted by the glands.

Digestion takes about ten days, after which the prey is compacted to a shell of chitin. The trap then reopens, and is ready for reuse.


The Venus flytrap is established in nitrogen- and phosphorus-poor surroundings, such as swamps and wet grasslands. Small in height and slow-growing, the Venus flytrap bears fire well and depends on periodic burning to suppress its competition. It endures in wet sandy and swampy earths. Although it has been positively relocated and grown in many locations around the world, it is natural only to the coastal quagmires of North and South Carolina in the United States, specifically within a 100-kilometer radius of Wilmington, North Carolina. One such place is North Carolina’s Green Swamp. There also seems to be an adopted population of Venus flytraps in northern Florida as well as an introduced population in western Washington. The nutritious deficiency of the earth is the reason that the plant depends on on such intricate traps: insect prey offer the nitrogen for protein creation that the loam cannot. The Venus flytrap is not a tropical plant and can tolerate mild winters. In fact, Venus flytraps that do not go through a period of winter dormancy will weaken and die after a period of time.

Dionaea Care

dionaea species interested
There is only one species of this plant, the Dionaea muscipula.


Natively, this plant matures in much more exposed locations than what you may think, which receive large amounts of direct sunlight.

Actually, the most direct sunlight they can receive, the better, but only if you can water them with the appropriate methodology. If you can’t do this, find the brightest possible spot you have.

As with all houseplants, if your Venus Flytrap’s previous home was very dark, plan its move to a spot in sunshine gradually, otherwise you risk burning the leaves to a crisp. Start with an hour of exposure a day, then build up over the following week or so.


If growing in direct sunlight, and in all seasons except Winter, it’s very difficult to “over water” this plant, in fact you can quite effortlessly allow it to sit in an inch of water in a drip tray from time to time. This is clearly exceptional news when you need to leave the plant over extensive periods or you’re innately a bit erratic when it comes to spraying your houseplants.

The earth can be permitted to come to be nearly dry during Winter but this must be evaded at all other times. Moist loam, opposed to dry or wet loam, should be a consistent feature for your Venus Flytrap.

Finally, you must not use valve water throughout a long period. If you’re in urgent need, it will be okay on the odd occasion, but Venus Flytraps require pure water every time possible. Valve water encloses salts and other additional minerals which, though valuable to human health, are principally toxic to these plants as they make the water alkaline.

“Pure water” can be saved rain water, distilled or bottled water (it must have come from water sources not running through limestone. If in doubt use rain or distilled instead).


Your plant’s leave can become very crusty while in very dry homes or offices, which can make your plant to look ragged. The finest and easiest method to offer enough humidity to preserve your plant looking vigorous is to use a drip tray and make sure there is water resting in it at least a few times a week. Some of the water will be used by the plant, however similarly some will vaporize generating a small humid micro climate.


You should under no circumstances feed a Venus Flytrap with indoor plant nourishment. It’s not merely pointless but also possibly lethal. Being carnivorous they collect all the nutrients they require from the flies and other small bugs they trap and digest.


Standard room heats are perfect. These plants can also deal effortlessly with manageable frosts; whatever more ample, though, and you might be in trouble, so be cautious if you elect to let it remain outdoors during the Winter dormancy period.


The overall law is that you must look to replant your Dionaea one time a year or once every two years in Spring or Summer. Except if your plant has gotten too large for its current pot, there is no real necessity to upgrading to a different scope, so fundamentally when we are replanting all we are doing is varying and uplifting the “soil” or growing medium it’s been living in.

To start off softly subtract the plant and abandon the timeworn growing medium, pay attention not to harm the roots or stem as you do so. Fill the old (or new) pot using the fresh growing medium and then make a large hole, ample enough to smoothly put the plant into. Once in position give the whole lot a good bathe (don’t use tap water) to settle down everything.

The complicated part is frequently locating appropriate growing medium since you must not use nutrient rich loam such as fertilizer. This plant must grow in nutrient poor loam so if you give it something with fertilizer you will harm the roots and ultimately destroy the plant.

There is lots you can use though typically you must be ready to mix your own “blend”. You might also be capable to buy a ready-made mixture. If you go down this road don’t switch for general purpose products and only purchase visibly marked Venus Flytrap blends.


carnivorous plant Dionaea cares
This plant requires special care for its development.

You may think using Dionaea seed and growing them on is a good way to get more plants for a cheap price, but if you are skilled with Venus Flytraps, the best advice for beginners is don’t.

Propagation can be hit or miss depending on the age of the seeds and they take a very long time to grow and mature. So the recommendation to spread more plants is buy fully mature plants through your local garden nuersery, greenhouses or maybe even gardening websites.

Speed of Growth

Anticipate upright growth in Spring and Summer if temperatures are warm, light levels are good and you water well. Even then these plants tend not to be quick growers.


Regular tallness will only be an inch or so at most, except you have a cultivar which has a more vertical growing pattern. They frequently extent broader than they mature high, at numerous inches transversely.


Flowers are rather common on Venus Flytraps, though they do not actually augment something to the plant’s charm. In its place their existence is basically a ditch on assets and could delay or unfavorably affect foliage and trap manufacture. Some persons like to retain them in place on time-honored and mature plants, others will just cut off the flowering branch once it arises to distract energy back into the rest of the plant.

It’s not all bad news because if you do get flowers, it is a great sign that you likely have a healthy plant and are looking after it well.

Winter Dormancy

Winter dormancy comes for many insectivorous plants, and is good to rest for plenty of plants Winter but it is absolutely vital for Venus Flytraps. You must rest your plant for about three months by offering refrigerated to cold temperatures.

Find an unheated room, preferably one that does get cold such as a portico, conservatory or garage and decrease watering to just once or twice a month to keep the earth soggy (obviously water more or less as needed to avoid the earth being too wet or dry).

Growth will virtually stop entirely, and parts of your plant will darken and die. Do not be distressed as come Spring when things get lighter and warmer, replacement growth will start.

Medical uses

Venus flytrap extract is offered on the market as an herbal remedy, occasionally as the main element of a patent medicine named “Carnivora”. According to the American Cancer Society, these products are encouraged in alternative medicine as a cure for a diversity of human ailments including HIV, Crohn’s disease and skin cancer, but “available scientific evidence does not support the health claims made for Venus flytrap extract”.

If you would like more information on carnivorous plants, I recommend that you read the following articles: