Why Do Venus Flytraps Turn Red?

Not all Venus flytraps exhibit a bright red color inside the traps. When I was getting started growing Venus flytraps, I noticed some of my plants didn’t even show any red; they were just green. So, why do Venus flytraps turn red?

The Venus flytrap characterizes with bright green colors in its leaves and a deep red color inside its traps. Venus flytraps only exhibit bright red colors when they receive an abundance of sunlight and proper care. Also, not all varieties of Venus flytraps display these colors.

Bright red and green colors in your Venus flytrap is a sign of good health. With this guide, we can help you achieve those colors and take your plant to its prime.

How Do Venus Flytraps Turn Red

Venus flytraps are native to South Carolina and North Carolina in the United States. There, they have grown for centuries in moist and nutrient-free soil, receiving plenty of light.

One of the most essential care considerations for Venus flytrap is lighting. The Venus flytrap requires several hours of sunlight to live.

When Venus flytraps undergo a light-starvation period, their colors change. Instead of exhibiting green and red colors, they turn to only green. The red coloring inside the traps is lost.

Why Do Venus Flytraps Turn Green?

Venus flytraps produce their own food through photosynthesis. When Venus flytraps turn entirely green, it is a sign their main focus at that time is light exposure.

Why Should Traps Be Red?

Venus flytraps consume insects to supplement their diet. They attract prey with the red color inside their trap and sweet nectar. Once the photosynthesis requirements are met, then, Venus flytraps can focus on capturing prey.

Achieving the red coloring inside the traps is not impossible.

First, you must fulfill the lighting requirement. Then, you should review all other care considerations. Good lighting is important, but your plant will need several elements to remain healthy. Make sure to explore all aspects, and you will have a happy Venus flytrap!

Venus Flytrap Lighting Requirement

Providing the appropriate amount of light for your Venus flytraps is critical.

Venus flytraps require a lot of sunshine to thrive. Optimally, they should receive 12 hours of light. They can live under indirect sunlight as long as they receive at least a few hours of direct sunlight every day.

There is no limit on how much light Venus flytraps need. For example, if you live in a sunny area with more than 12 hours of light, that will be great for a Venus flytrap.

Venus fly traps are great candidates for windowsills as long as the window has good sun exposure.

Employ Artificial Lighting

It is not always possible to have access to natural light. Some apartments have no windows, or you might live in a commonly dark place. But, that is not a problem for Venus flytrap enthusiasts.

Venus flytrap can be grown with artificial lighting. High output fluorescent lights work well for Venus flytraps. Always pick cool light colors to avoid overheating and place your plants close to the light source.

You can also employ LED plant lights (like these) to grow Venus flytraps. LEDs bring some benefits, for example, they do not heat up, and they consume little electricity. In terms of power, choose 40-50 Watt LED lights.

After a few weeks of proper light exposure, you should start noticing some changes in your Venus flytrap. Some types of Venus flytrap exhibit extremely bright colors others have some mild tones. Still, you should be able to spot some red coloring inside the new trap.

Tip: Balance Light vs Temperature

Sometimes bright and sunny areas can be too hot for Venus flytraps. In the wild, Venus flytraps bear high summer temperatures of about 90-95 F (32-35C). This should be the upper-temperature limit for your plant.

Avoid outdoor areas or windows that heat up over 95F (35C). Improper lighting will weaken your plant, and eventually, it could kill it, but extremely high temperatures can be more dangerous. Direct sunlight with temperatures surpassing 100F (37C) can burn and dry out your plant in a few hours.

Other Venus Flytrap Care Considerations

With appropriate lighting, you will get that burgundy color in the traps; many other factors can affect your plant. Any care mistakes can cause negative color changes in your plant. For example, leaves might turn yellow or start to turn black.

Now that you know how much light your Venus flytrap needs, you can go over this checklist to verify your plant’s setup.

Fertilizer: Venus flytraps are unique in this aspect. Do not fertilize your plant. Fertilizers have nutrients and minerals your plant won’t be able to process.

Water: Venus flytraps need a moist environment. Water your Venus flytrap, so the soil is always humid. Also, you can’t use tap water. Venus flytrap can only be watered with nutrient-free mineral-free water, such as:

  • Rainwater
  • Reverse osmosis water
  • Distilled water

Feeding: Venus flytraps grow healthy when they consume insects or spiders. Place your plant outdoors so it can catch its own prey. Or, feed it yourself if it lives indoors. The feeding process is easy but should be done correctly. Here is a quick guide of how to feed your plant: Venus Flytrap Feeding Procedure.

Indoor Environment: There are no restrictions on growing Venus flytrap indoors. They are great indoor plants! The only challenge usually falls in the lighting requirements. But, remember you can employ artificial lighting.

Soil: Venus flytraps require nutrient-free soil with good drainage. Most growers employ a mix of moss, either long-fibered sphagnum moss and sphagnum peat moss and sand or perlite.

Indoor Living: You can grow Venus flytraps in an indoor environment. Still, you must make sure you can find an indoor area that can fulfill all the other environmental considerations.

Containers: Pick the right plant pot. Ceramic, terracotta, or plastic are suitable materials. An adult Venus flytrap can grow well in a 4 to 5-inch container. Also, make sure the container is at least 5 inches deep.

For a complete Venus Flytrap Care Guide, we have a whole article. Check it out here: Complete Care Guide

Venus Flytrap Varieties and Red Coloring

Not all Venus flytraps are identical. There are several different varieties of Venus flytraps. The majority of these varieties are cultivars. Cultivars do not live in the wild, but humans have bred them.

The color and size of Venus flytraps also depend on genetics. For example, here are some Venus flytrap varieties that exhibit unique green or red coloring.

Akai Ryu or Red Dragon

Akai Ryu or Red Dragon is one of the most famous Venus flytrap cultivars. This variety, as shown in the picture, exhibits a deep red color all around.

The Red Dragon sometimes exhibits some green around the edges of its lobes. Guess what does it mean? You probably got it! Yes, green coloring is a sign of inadequate light exposure.

Red Dragon Venus flytrap
Photo by: Blue Ridge Exotics

Are you interested in learning more about this unique variety? Read this article and find where to buy them: Akai Ryu Guide.

Dionaea Green Dragon

The Green dragon has similar looks to the Red Dragon. However, this variety characterizes by maroon color all around and a green line at the edge of the lobes of the trap.

Dionaea “Justina Davis”

This variety of Venus flytrap is fully green. These plants can never gain the red coloring inside the trap. The Justina Davis Venus flytrap is not the only all-green Venus flytrap. For example, the Dionaea “Gremlin” is a fully-green Venus flytrap clone.

Related Questions

Is it normal to have a mix of green and green and red traps within one plant?

Yes, it has happened to me before. Sometimes the lighting changes, especially if you rely on natural light. Then, some older traps might still exhibit red lobes, while young traps are just green (or vice versa).

Final Thoughts

The color in your Venus flytrap is not as important from a purely aesthetic perspective. Yet, being attentive and detecting color changes can help you keep track of your plant’s health.

A lack of red in the trap lobes is a clear sign that your plant needs better lighting. Yellow coloring can be a sign of over-watering and an increase in black leaves is commonly due to improper feeding procedures.


My name is Nelly, and I am the owner of Venus Flytrap World. Growing carnivorous plants is a unique and rewarding experience. A few years ago, I started growing Venus flytraps and experimenting with other carnivorous plant species. I have done tons of research to perfect my setup and care practices. In this site, I share everything I have learned.

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