Q/A #80 - Red Dragon Flytrap Dried Out

May 1, 2023

Q/A #80 - Red Dragon Flytrap Dried Out

I have had the plant about 1 month I put it outside on the deck. This gets full sun. Shade the last couple hours of the day. I kept it in the same container it was shipped in and didn’t change the soil. I have city water and that is what I used to water the plant. I did not use fertilizers or transplant him at all. I live in west Michigan. The temperature when I first got him was mostly mid 20-30°. It did not get below 10° during that time.
(Submitted in April 2021.)

Red Dragon Flytrap

Looking at the photos, the plant is quite dead. ? I'm not sure if the freezing had something to do with that. We've had overnight frosts in the upper 20's here in Oregon around the time the plant was shipped to you, so it was well acclimated for that. 

However, what I see in the photo is that the plant has dried out. The soil is light in color and looks dry. It is also pulling away from the pot, a sign that the soil dried significantly. That alone will kill a Venus Flytrap. The soil needs to be wet at all times since they are bog plants. With any of the bog species such as Sarracenia, Venus Flytraps, and North American sundews, if the soil ever goes completely dry like that, the plants will die. 

If you decide to give carnivorous plants another try at some time, here's some things that can help. First, always make sure there is water in the tray of the plant. It's ok if the tray goes dry for a day, but never allow the soil to go dry. Having some water in the tray is the best way to keep the soil wet at all times.

Second, if you're still having freezing weather, bring your newly acquired plants indoors overnight or until nights are consistently above freezing. A very brief overnight frost probably isn't a big concern, but any plant you get from us or another carnivorous plant vendor this time of year may be at various stages of growth. If hit with too cold of a freeze while in active growth, especially if that freeze is for a few days (which it sounds like that may have been the case), it could damage the new growth. (We mention this in the care sheet that came with your flytrap.)

If plants are up on a deck or bench of some kind, this actually makes the problem worse as opposed to being on the ground. Venus Flytraps are capable of surviving a Michigan winter, but they need to be set up properly to do that. The type of winterization for doing that is often best for groups of plants. We cover winter care extensively in our digital download, the Ultimate Carnivorous Plant Guide for Beginners.

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