Since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated by carnivorous plants, especially Venus flytraps. But are Venus flytraps alive? Where can you find them?
Venus flytraps are alive, but they are considered an endangered species. They live in the southeast region of the United States. Specifically, Venus flytraps are native to the states of South Carolina and North Carolina. In their natural habitat, Venus flytraps are exposed to sunshine, a humid environment, and poor soil.
Even though the wild population of Venus flytrap has decreased, there is still a substantial population living in their natural habitat. In this blog post, I will share a guide on how to observe Venus flytraps in the wild and how to obtain one for yourself in a responsible manner.
Are Venus Flytraps Alive?
Venus flytraps are a living species of carnivorous plants. They only grow in a particular region of the United States in the states of SouthCarolina and North Carolina. There, they live in two main habitats: Coastal Plains and Sandhills. Venus flytraps do not grow naturally anywhere else in the world.
It is exciting to know wild Venus flytraps exist. However, the reality is not very promising.
The wild population of Venus flytraps has decreased, and now they are considered an endangered species. It is estimated that there is less than 40,000 Venus flytrap remaining in the wild.
In their natural habitat, Venus flytraps are exposed to the following environmental conditions:
- Plenty of sunlight
- Poor soil (no nutrients) with good drainage
- High humidity index
- High temperatures in the summer exceeding 85 F (29 C)
- Low temperature below 35 F (1.5 C)
Why Are Venus Flytraps Endangered?
Many factors have contributed to the decrease of wild Venus flytrap population. These two the most critical factors.
- Poaching: Venus flytraps are beautiful and exotic plants. Many people are interested in owning one. Unfortunately, this has let to a poaching culture where people extract Venus flytraps from the wild. Poaching Venus flytraps is illegal, but many continue this practice. Some do it at an individual level; others have created whole businesses behind their poaching practice.
- Habitat changes: For already several decades, there has been a boom in urbanization in the area. Also, agriculture has expanded to occupy more significant regions. Unfortunately, any development in the region reduces the habitat of Venus flytraps, which only grow in one area.
Where to Find Wild Venus Flytraps
You will only be able to find native Venus flytraps in South Carolina and North Carolina. There, you can find them in the following counties:
North Carolina Counties
- New Hanover
South Carolina Counties
- Horry County
You will be surprised where you find Venus flytraps in the Carolinas. They can be growing in someone’s backyard or even in a golf course.
Pro Tip: To increase the probability of spotting Venus flytraps, keep their scale in mind. Venus flytraps are small plants. Mature Venus flytraps can reach a foot in size, and young ones are only a few inches tall. Look close to the ground and focus on spotting the bright red and green combination.
What to Do When You Encounter Wild Venus Flytraps
Encountering a wild Venus flytrap is a breathtaking experience. Do not waste it. Enjoy the opportunity, but do not harm the plant. Never remove them from their natural habitat. Remember! It is everyone’s responsibility to preserve this fantastic experience.
Also, avoid touching the Venus flytraps and activating the traps. When you touch the inside of the traps, you can enable them and they might close shut.
If you stick your finger in a trap and it closes on you, you will barely feel anything, but the plant will. Venus flytraps spend substantial amounts of energy controlling those traps. That energy should be allocated towards consuming prey or growing.
Finding Venus flytraps in the wild is a perfect photo opportunity. Take all the pictures you want, but leave all nature where it belongs. Venus flytraps that grow at home usually struggle with less exposure to sunshine and exhibit faded colors. Wild Venus flytrap can exhibit a vibrant red and green color, which you can highlight with your camera.
Best Times to Observe Venus Flytraps
Venus flytraps live for many years. And every year, they undergo several changes. Depending on the season you might encounter Venus flytraps with different appearances:
Winter: Every year, Venus flytraps undergo a dormancy period. Their dormancy is analogous to the hibernation period of many animals. During dormancy, Venus flytrap rest for the next year. During that season, Venus flytraps reduce in size; they lose substantial amounts of leaves and stop growing. Winter season is the worst time to observe Venus flytraps. If possible, pick any other season. Once Venus flytraps start dormancy, they experience significant changes and do not reflourish until about three months later.
Spring: Spring is an excellent time to spot Venus flytraps. In late January and early February, Venus flytraps exit the dormancy period and start flourishing. It is like a yearly rebirth. During spring, Venus flytraps undergo a flowering period. During the season, they will produce several flower stalks that end in flower bunches.
I have included a picture of a Venus flytrap flower. The flowers are white and have green veins. Venus flytrap flowers are not particularly impressive. However, it is unique to observe Venus flytrap during flowering. Some people are not even aware that Venus flytraps produce flowers!
Late spring and summer: Late spring and summer are great seasons to observe Venus flytraps. At this time, venus flytraps are down producing flowers, and now their main objective is to grow and develop. The abundance of sunlight during the season intensifies their growth.
How to Get a Venus Flytrap
Never extract Venus flytraps from their natural habitat. Instead, buy Venus flytrap directly from vendors.
You would be surprised by the number of places where you can buy Venus flytraps.
Venus flytraps are grown all over the world in greenhouses, homes, and plant nurseries. Growers breed them and sell them. Some have even developed different varieties of Venus flytraps. These varieties do not grow in the wild, but they are available for purchase.
You can buy Venus flytrap from responsible growers online, in retail stores, and plant nurseries. Due to their popularity, you can find vendors almost anywhere. Here are some suggestions:
You can buy Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants online. Here is a list of some good options:
Remember to only order your plants online if you will be home and keeping an eye in the mail. Shipping live plants cause a strain in them, do not add any extra strain if it is not necessary.
Amazon offers a good selection of Venus flytrap including seed, plants, and potting materials. I have had mostly positive experiences when buying through Amazon. Just keep an eye on the reviews and do some research before you buy.
Local Plant Nursery
Contact local plant nurseries to check on their availability of carnivorous plants. Not all nurseries offer Venus flytraps, but several do. I would suggest calling beforehand to check on availability. Also, ask them about different varieties. Some nurseries offer different types of Venus flytraps that exhibit unique colors, larger sizes, or slightly different traps.
Brick and Mortar Stores
Sometimes large hardware or grocery stores with a gardening section sell Venus flytraps. I have seen Venus flytraps in Walmart, Home Depot, and Ace.
I have mixed feelings about buying plants from these stores. The plants are usually stored in dark shelves without any light or water for weeks. Unfortunately, many of these plants die or exhibit poor conditions.
Advice Before Buying a Venus Flytrap
Do Some Research
Before you buy a Venus flytrap make sure you read a care guide. You can read our complete Venus flytrap Care Guide. Make sure you can fulfill the care considerations of these amazing plants before you guy.
Almost regardless of where you live, you can still provide proper care for Venus flytrap. Even if you live in very different climates to the ones observed in North Carolina and South Carolina, there are alternatives to provide the appropriate lighting, water, and feed.
Buy All the Related Supplies Beforehand
Gather all the necessary supplies before you buy or order a Venus flytrap. The supplies are not expensive or hard to find but will be important when setting your plant at home. For example, you will need a pot, nutrient-free soil, nutrient-free water (distilled, reverse osmosis, or rainwater), and potentially artificial lighting.