Like other plants, Venus' Flytraps gather nutrients from gases in the air and nutrients in the soil. However, they live in poor soil and are healthier if they get nutrients from insects. Carnivorous plants live all over the world but Venus' Flytraps live only in select boggy areas in North and South Carolina. Because of people's fascination with these plants, they collected many of them and they became endangered. Venus' Flytraps today are grown in greenhouses. The leaves of Venus' Flytrap open wide and on them are short, stiff hairs called trigger or sensitive hairs. When anything touches these hairs enough to bend them, the two lobes of the leaves snap shut trapping whatever is inside. The trap will shut in less than a second. The trap doesn't close all of the way at first.
It is thought that it stays open for a few seconds in order to allow very small insects to escape because they wouldn't provide enough food. If an insect is too large it will stick out of the trap. This allows bacteria and molds on the insect to thrive. Eventually the trap turns black, rots and falls off. At the end of the digestive process, which takes from five to twelve days, the trap reabsorbs the digestive fluid and then reopens. The time it takes for the trap to reopen depends on the size of the insect, temperature, the age of the trap, and the number of times it has gone through this process.
The Venus Flytrap is one of the easiest carnivorous plants to grow. If you wish to grow one or more, they have only a few requirements such as, wet roots, high humidity, full sunlight, and poor, acidic soil. It comes shipped to you as a bulb or rhizome. Plant it root side down so that the top of the bulb is even with the soil. A recommended soil mixture is one that contains sphagnum moss and sand. Do not add fertilizer or lime. Your plants will do better if you transplant them into new soil every few years.
After your plant matures, it may produce flowers on a tall stalk far above the leaves. It has to be high above the leaves so insects pollinating the flowers do not get trapped in the leaves. Each flower produces very tiny seeds. They are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Plant the seeds right away or store them in the refrigerator.
If you pinch the flowers off, the leaves will grow more vigorously since growing flowers takes a lot of energy from the plant. The Venus' Flytrap also reproduces via its rhizome. It never has more than seven leaves. If your plant has more then seven leaves, it has already split off another plant from the mother plant. You may want to try pulling a leaf off and replanting it. Eventually, this leaf will die off and a tiny, tiny new plant will emerge.