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How Big Do Venus Flytraps Get?

How big do venus flytraps get? 

In this article, we look at the size of venus fly traps and discuss how to take care of them to maximize their growth.

Venus flytraps are carnivorous plants that inhabit subtropical wetlands. They are native to the East Coast of the United States but are grown all over the world by plant enthusiasts.

Venus flytraps are famous for their method of getting the nutrients they need. Their spiny traps spring shut on flies and other small insects when they are triggered by the movement of the insect. The bugs are digested as a source of nitrogen and other trace elements.

The traps will only start excreting digestive juices once the plant has detected movement to make sure that the food it has trapped is worth eating. This prevents the plant from wasting energy on false alarms such as dead leaves.

How Big Do Venus Flytraps Get?

Venus flytraps can grow up to six inches in diameter. A single trap can measure a whopping 1.5 inches on a large plant, giving it plenty of opportunity to catch and trap large insects.

In optimal conditions, venus flytrap may have as many as 20 traps, but it is typical for them to have 4-8 in most cases.

Stages Of Growth

Venus flytraps are easy to germinate in most circumstances. In the northern hemisphere, they usually produce seeds between April and June, and these seeds can then be sprouted in almost any damp medium.

They are slow growers, and you might be surprised to learn that most won’t produce seeds for at least four years, although you may see the carnivorous traps starting to appear shortly after the plant germinates. Most plants will reach a height of about 4 inches in two-four years.

When they are ready to flower, venus flytraps produce tall stems. These are up to a foot high and bear small white flowers. These are cup-shaped and very elegant, with long, delicate petals.

Around six to eight weeks after the plant flowers, the fruiting capsule will release small black seeds, which can be planted.

Venus flytraps also have a dormant stage, which we will cover later.

Venus Fly Trap Soil Mix

Check out this Organic Earth plant soil mix. It’s the perfect soil mix to help your venus fly trap thrive.

Factors That Affect Growth

As with any plant, there are several things that will impact the growth, helping it to either grow well or make it grow more slowly. It’s important to understand the needs of a venus flytrap in order to make sure it is healthy and happy.

Below are the main factors that affect how big a venus flytrap can get.


Like all plants, venus flytraps get their energy from the sun in a process called photosynthesis. The plant digests flies and other small insects to get nutrients that are not available in the surrounding environment.

They mostly use the digested flies and insect bodies as a source of nitrogen and other trace elements. Think of the flies as a fertiliser for the venus flytrap.

Without direct sunlight, a venus flytrap will struggle to grow. If you are growing it indoors, you will need to place it on a warm windowsill that gets direct sunlight for several hours a day.

You can’t grow a venus flytrap without a good source of light; it will have floppy leaves, lose its color, and may die. Venus flytraps can grow in terrariums, as they enjoy the humidity, in which case artificial light may be a good option.

In summer, the light may get too strong, so move your plant away from the window, but still, try to provide a good amount of direct light.

How Big Do Venus Flytraps Get?


Outdoors, venus flytraps take care of all their food requirements for themselves by simply catching small bugs and insects. If your plant is kept indoors, you may need to give them a boost, unless your home is full of flies and bugs for them to catch.

If you choose to feed your plant, we recommend using freeze-dried mealworms, bloodworms or recently killed insects. Do not feed your plant meat or any other human food. Feeding is not required during the winter months when the plant is dormant.

You can do this using a toothpick or a fine pin, gently poking it through the gaps in the closed trap to simulate insect movement. You should only feed venus flytraps insects, and nothing bigger than about 1/3 of the size of the trap.

Venus flytraps don’t need huge amounts of food. On average, a little less than one trap per week is sufficient to keep them going.

Water & Soil

Venus flytraps will likely die if you give them tap water or bottled water. The minerals will build up in the soil, clog up the plant’s roots, and kill it. The best way to water your plant is to leave a little dish outside to collect rainwater and use this to water the plant. Distilled water is also a good alternative for venus fly traps.

Water your venus flytrap from the bottom by standing the pot in a centimeter of water in the summer. This will keep the soil wet, but won’t drown the plant. In winter, you only need to dampen the soil gently; the plant will drink less, especially while dormant, and the liquid will also evaporate more slowly.

Venus flytraps require good drainage and good moisture retention – a tricky mix. You can use sphagnum peat moss mixed with sand (2 peat:1 sand). They do not like lime and don’t need fertilizers in their soil.

Seasonal Dormancy

Every year, for about five months, venus flytraps go dormant. During this time, they don’t need to eat, and they often shrivel back to the stem. Dormancy is often confused with the plant dying.

It’s important for them to go through this stage, which can be triggered by low light, cold temperatures, or dryness. The plants will then use stored energy to re-grow their leaves when the dormancy period ends.

If you are growing a venus flytrap in a terrarium, make sure this dormancy is respected and you don’t force the plant to keep growing all year by providing too much light, moisture, and heat, or it may die.


How big does a venus fly trap grow?

Venus flytraps can grow to about 6 inches in diameter and can have as many as 20 traps on a healthy and vivacious specimen. Most venus flytraps are a little smaller and will only have up to 10 traps. They are extremely slow-growing plants and can live for 20 years if cared for properly.

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Gareth Davies

Hi! I'm Gareth and I own Prickly Plant is the ultimate resource for everything you need to know about looking after your Prickly Plants. With over 10 years of experience selling and looking after plants, I'm passionate about sharing simple & understandable information for everyday people!