11 Causes of an Unhealthy Venus Flytrap

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But there are no additional costs to you.

Venus Flytraps will usually grow healthy as long as you give them insects, water, and lots of sunlight. But sometimes they may need a little extra care.

This article will cover the most common signs and symptoms of an unhealthy Venus flytrap that is not growing well.

I will also cover how to fix these problems and how to prevent the issues before the Venus flytrap becomes unhealthy.  

Healthy vs Unhealthy Venus Fly Trap

How do you tell if your flytrap is living its best life or having a bit of a rough time? Let’s walk through it together.

First off, color is a big deal when deciding if you have a healthy or unhealthy Venus fly trap.

A healthy Venus fly trap should be as green as a fresh summer salad. If it’s going brown? That’s a red flag. This shift is often a sign of poor water quality, inadequate light, or unsuitable soil conditions.

And then there’s the inside of the traps. They’ve got this cool red color that helps them lure in bugs. The redder, the better. If that red’s fading, your flytrap might be trying to tell you something.

The leaves are another thing to watch. They should be standing up, all strong and ready to catch a snack. If they’re wilting? Your flytrap might need more light or a change in temperature.

And speaking of catching snacks, let’s talk trap speed. A healthy flytrap’s got a speedy snap. If the traps aren’t closing up quick or at all, it’s time to troubleshoot.

Now, for keeping your flytrap fighting fit, remember it’s not a regular houseplant. It likes distilled water, low-nutrient soil, and a bunch of sunlight. And don’t go wild with the fertilizer—flytraps prefer the lean cuisine.

And hey, don’t stress about feeding it bugs all the time. It’s a common myth, but your flytrap doesn’t need a constant supply of creepy-crawlies. In fact, too much bug munching can tire out those traps.

Keeping a flytrap healthy takes a bit of effort, but man, is it worth it. These weird and wonderful plants are like a little slice of nature’s wild side, right in your own home.

So, remember, your Venus Flytrap is more than just a plant—it’s a real-life, bug-eating marvel. Show it some love, learn its quirks, and it’ll reward you with a display that’s out of this world.

Let’s get into more details now on the signs and symptoms of healthy and unhealthy Venus flytraps, as well as reasons for sick plants.

Signs of a Healthy Venus Flytrap

The first thing to do is check your for signs of a healthy Venus fly trap daily. You want to see if the stems and leaves are still green and vibrant. 

These are the key signs for how to tell if a Venus flytrap is healthy: 

  • The plant’s colors are clear, bright, vibrant, and healthy.
  • The plant’s stems are upright and strong.
  • Your plant isn’t over-blemished. Venus flytraps should have very few blemishes. The blemishes shouldn’t be big or dark. 
  • The traps are able to open and close firmly on insect prey.
  • The stems and leaves should be bright green and fleshy. 
  • There shouldn’t be any rot or stress to the stem. They should be firm.
  • The traps are maroon or bright red inside. 
Unhealthy Venus Flytrap with Black Trap

Signs of an Unhealthy Venus Flytrap

If your Venus Fly Trap is looking sick and unhealthy, it needs some help. Make sure you take care of it, and give the plant some proper care. 

These are the signs and symptoms to look for that indicate a sick Venus fly trap: 

  • The inside of the trap has faded from its normal red or has turned black. 
  • The plant has yellow and/or brown leaves and stems. Or if there are white leaves and stems. 
  • The plant is losing its bright and vivid green. 
  • The traps do not open and close well. They’re not closing firmly and has trouble moving, or unresponsive.
  • The plant leaves and stems are covered in blemishes. 

Reasons Why Your Venus Flytrap is Unhealthy

Unhealthy Venus Flytraps fade colors, deformed leaves or smell bad. Owners should check the environment around the plants and see if there are any problems.

These are the common reasons why the Venus Flytrap is unhealthy and some ways to help them get better.

1. Poor Water Quality

Make sure you water Venus Flytraps properly, as it is crucial to your plant’s health.Using the wrong type of water source can poison your plants. Distilled water, reverse osmosis, or rainwater are the best sources of water. Don’t use any other kind of water source. 

You should not use tap water, if possible. Tap water contains minerals that could harm your plants. Different cities and municipalities use different types of water. Some areas use hard water while others use soft water. Hard water contains more minerals than soft water. 

Distilled water does not contain any minerals. It’s best to buy distilled water or collect rainwater whenever possible.

If you do want to use tap water, be sure to leave the water out for 24 hours, so the chlorine and other minerals can evaporate and dissipate. That will leave the water as clean as possible before using on the Venus flytrap.

To help revive an unhealthy Venus flytrap that’s due to minerals in the soil from the water, follow these steps to replant with fresh soil: 

  • Remove your plant from the soil before you clean it.
  • Rinse the roots with distilled water to remove the bad quality soil.
  • After rinsing the roots, remove the old soil and clean the pot.
  • Fill the pot with fresh soil. 
  • Make a hole in the soil for your plant and put the plant in. 
  • Water the soil to make sure it’s moist and any excess water drains out of the drainage holes. 

2. Poor Soil Quality

The soil quality also plays a big role in the health of your Venus Flytrap. If your soil isn’t healthy, then your plant won’t grow well. You need good-quality soil for your plants to thrive.

Use more acidic soil, which is darker in color. The pH level of your soil should be between 5.5 and 6.8. This range helps your plants absorb nutrients and water more efficiently. The higher the number, the more alkaline (basic) the soil.

Read more about Venus Flytrap Soil.

3. Lack of Water

Your Venus Flytrap needs constant moisture. Don’t let the soil get too dry.

Monitor the soil with a finger test. Stick your finger a couple of inches into the top of the soil bed and see if it’s dry. If it is dry, water the soil. 

4. Overwatering the Venus Flytrap

The soil of Venus Fly Trap plants should be moist at all times, but not soggy. Sometimes the leaves of the plant turn yellow, this can be due to overwatering.

An excessively wet environment is the optimal environment to grow mold and bacteria, but not for healthy plants. 

Watering too much can damage your Venus Fly Trap. You should use your fingers to check if the soil is damp or not. After checking and it’s too wet, do not water your plant again until the soil is almost dry with your finger.

5. Improperly Feeding the Venus Flytrap

Feeding your Venus Flytrap only once per week is enough. Too often, improper feeding causes your plant to become weak. Your plant may start to wilt or even die.

If the Venus flytrap doesn’t have access to food, it will starve to death. Insects are the main food source for Venus flytraps. They require feeding to continue growing and survive, even though feeding doesn’t need to be regular. 

Some of the common ways that feeding will harm the plant: 

  • Bugs are Too Big – Bugs should only be 1/3 the size of the trap. If the bugs are too big, the trap won’t fully close and it won’t be able to digest the bug. 
  • Overfeeding – Don’t feel all the traps at one time. You only need to feed the Venus flytrap once every 2 to 4 weeks. Learn more about what happens when you Overfeed the Venus Flytrap.
  • Only Feed Proper Food – Only feed the Venus Flytrap bugs and insects that it can fit in its traps. Don’t feed it any human food. 

Read more about How Often You Should Feed the Venus Flytrap.  

Venus Flytrap Eating Fly

6. Venus Flytrap is Suffering From Stress

Improper care, feeding, and environmental conditions will result in the Venus flytrap experiencing stress.

Stress can come from improper feeding or watering, as well as improper light.

Sudden temperature changes can also cause stress. If the Venus flytrap is near a drafty window or door, heat vent, or air conditioning vent, it can cause the plant to show signs of stress.

All the causes on this list of an unhealthy Venus flytrap can cause stress. 

7. Inappropriate Fertilizer

Venus flytraps should be fertilized with light fertilizer, not heavy fertilizers. Too much fertilization can kill the plant. Check to make sure you’re using the fertilizer correctly.

Only use fertilizer during the growing season. When it’s in the winter dormancy period, there’s no need to fertilize or feed. 

You don’t need to use fertilizer generally as long as the plant is able to feed on insects to get nutrients. 

A bug every month can make a big difference in your plant’s life. You can buy dried bugs such as crickets or bloodworms to feed them.

8. Pest Infestation

Pest control is very important when you have plants. You should check them regularly for any problems.

Aphids are insects that suck nutrients out of plants. Use an insecticide spray to get rid of these bugs. Spider mites are tiny parasites that eat away at plants. Use a miticide to stop this problem.

Fungus infections are caused by fungi. You need to identify the symptoms of the disease and then research the appropriate fungicide to get rid of the infection.

9. Root Rot

Overwatering causes root rot in the Venus flytrap. You should avoid overwatering when you grow plants. Even though the plants need water to survive and thrive, if you overwater, then they may get sick.

Root rot is an infection that affects plants with black leaves and/or a rotting smell.

For how to revive a Venus fly trap suffering from root rot, you will need to remove the Venus flytrap for the overwatered soil and replant with fresh soil. 

Learning how to replant a Venus fly trap will help you save many plants in the future.

Read more about the Reasons Venus Flytraps Turn Black.

10. Inadequate Sunlight

Sunlight is essential for healthy Venus flytrap growth. If the sun isn’t shining on the plants, they won’t receive enough energy to grow properly.

The Venus flytrap needs direct sunlight to photosynthesize and grow. It will thrive with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight and 12 hours of bright indirect light.

If you’re growing indoors and there’s a lack of good lighting conditions, you should put the Venus flytrap outdoors during the daytime.That will give the plant the sunlight it needs to stay strong and continue growing. 

When the Venus flytrap is outdoors, it may even get to feed naturally on insects.

Learn more in this in-depth Venus Flytrap Lighting Guide.

11. Extreme Temperatures

The Venus flytrap likes a temperature range from 70° to 95°F when outdoors. Average indoor temperatures in the home will also be good for plants. 

During the winter months while in dormancy, the plant will do fine in temperatures from 35° to 50°F. It can also survive in temperatures below 20°F, but only for a couple of days.

It’s best to bring the plants indoors indoors. Or cover them with plastic wrap to protect them from frost until spring arrives.

Unhealthy Venus Fly Trap Final Thoughts

Keeping the Venus flytrap healthy is easy. You just need to monitor and check for signs of stress and trouble.

Here are other articles that you may be interested in: 

Fast Growing Trees and Plants

Photo of author

Written by:

Amy Walsh
Amy Walsh is a passionate indoor gardener, deeply engrossed in the world of houseplants and herbs. Her apartment is a lush sanctuary of foliage, reflecting her journey from hobbyist to devoted botanist. She's constantly exploring the latest in smart garden technology, eager to share her insights on nurturing green spaces indoors. Alongside her botanical pursuits, Amy enjoys connecting with nature and friends, continually enriching her lifestyle with greenery and growth.

Leave a Comment