Adequate lighting is very important to keeping a Dionaea muscipula healthy. During their active growing season, Venus Fly Traps should receive a minimum of 12 hours of light (also known as a 12 hour photoperiod) with a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight, if you're growing your Venus Flytraps outside. In general, the more direct light the plant receives the healthier the plant will be.

The best place to grow Venus Fly Traps is outside year round. If you do this, choose an open area to put your plants in and you won't have to worry about making sure that the plant gets adequate light. They will get all the light that they need. Also, they will catch their own food if they are outside. If you really want to keep your little friend inside, then be sure to place it in a south, east or west facing windowsill that gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Another alternative is to use artificial lighting. Venus Fly Traps can be very successfully grown in terrariums with artificial lighting. You can find many different kinds of expensive "plant" lights at your local nursery or hardware store, but many growers find success with regular fluorescent lights. If you use fluorescent lights, to ensure that the plant gets enough light, keep it within 8 inches of the light. The closer to the light the plant is the better.

Below is a picture of a setup of typical Venus Fly Traps in a terrarium. Notice the fluorescent lights just above the plants. In the photo, the plants are approximately 2 inches from the light.

Adolescent Venus Fly Traps in a terrarium

If you just bought a Venus Fly Trap from the hardware store or other retailer where the plant was receiving very low intensity light and wasn't in direct sunlight at all, then you might want to slowly introduce the plant to direct sunlight or its leaves will probably burn. Start off by giving it an hour or so of direct sunlight for a few days, then increase the exposure to sunlight to a couple hours for a few days and continue to increase the Venus Fly Trap's exposure to sunlight until you can just leave it out in the sun all day. Alternatively, you could just put the plant in direct sunlight right out of the store. All of its leaves will probably burn and turn yellow or brown and then eventually black, but it won't be long before it starts sending out new leaves and these will be acclimated to the sun just fine. However, there is a small risk of killing the plant if you do just throw it out in the sun.

Growing your Venus fly trap indoors

If for some reason you're unable to grow your Venus fly trap outside where it can get all the sunlight and bugs it needs, there are a few options for indoor growers. After growing outdoors, a sunny window that faces south is your next best option. As long as the Venus fly trap receives 4+ hours of direct sunlight in the window, it should grow well. An east or west facing windowsill can work too.

If you live in a basement or in an apartment with only north facing windows, you might have to use artificial lighting to help your plant grow well. Venus fly traps grow great under fluorescent lights. However, the hard part is providing them with a proper dormancy. If grown under fluorescent lights year round with the same amount of light each day and no dormancy period, Venus fly traps will eventually die. People have successfully grown their plants under lights during the summer and then put them in a cool windowsill, unheated porch or garage, or outside (in milder climates) for their winter dormancy.

When choosing a lighting setup for your Venus fly trap, an economical choice is a compact fluorescent bulb. Look for a bulb that's labeled "cool white" or "cool blue" in color temperature. This means that the bulbs will have a color temperature in the 6500 kelvin range, which is ideal for growing. Warmer colors, like those in the 3000 kelvin range, are better suited for flowering. I've seen 200 watt compact fluorescent bulbs with a color temperature of 6500K for sale at $20 including shipping. One bulb like that would work well for a few Venus fly traps. If you want to set up that will allow you to grow more plants, you can purcahse a shop light fixture and T8 bulbs for $10 each at Wal-Mart or other large retail and hardware stores. Again, look for the "cool white" T8 bulbs.

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  • Guest - fly trap lover

    hey just wonering if i keep my fly trap outside does it need 2 b covered up and is it ok if it is with a glass cup????

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  • Guest - shatadroo dutta

    hi i just planted a flytrap seed in kolkata a place near the coast with humid climate for germination i just have a bit of soil and i water my plant every day with distilled water and i have done all irrigation processes and still i water it every day with a spray bottle am i doing the write thing please help me

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  • Guest - Luka

    I just bought my first plant and im really excited to take care of it properly and seeing it grow. The thing is that i live in a "student" apartment and we do have a nice balconi with lots of sun exposure but i just don't trust the other guys that they wont mess with my plant. Im sure they would be sticking in my poor plant all kinds off stuff just to see what happens. Anyways i decided to grow the plant in my room under the artificial light. Now could someone tell me about light bulb. Is this just normal fluorescent light bulb or do i need to find a special fluorescent light bulb for growing plants?? Thank you for your answer and greetings from Europe. :)

    from Center, 1000, Slovenia
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  • Hi Luka,

    Normal fluorescent bulbs will work well for indoor growing, but it is best to use ones with a certain color temperature and with as much wattage output as you can find. For more information, I'd suggest joining the FlytrapCare forums and asking your questions there.

    Good growing to you!

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  • During Winter time do VFT need a lot of direct sunlight or just put them in a shady area as they are hibernating an would not need it. As I have left them in a shady area where no sunlight hits the plants.

    from Rooty Hill NSW, Australia
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  • Guest - Patricia Quillen

    Good morning, I have just bought my first fly trap and I live in New Mexico. I would like to grow my plant outside but I am not sure if it can tolerate the cold. We can get cold here. How much cold can a plant take?

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  • Hi Patricia,

    Venus flytraps can take quite cold temperatures provided that they are well insulated or in a large pot. But it's best to keep them above freezing. For most cultivation purposes, this means moving them indoors in a sunny windowsill or on a heated porch or greenhouse during the winter months.

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  • Guest - Kenneth Sell

    Hi: I bought a terrarium to grow fly traps from seed. They all died, now I have planted a fly trap I bought from florist in same pot. I am now getting green moss, is that going to harm my plants.
    Thanks for help

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  • Guest - zachary florio

    should i feed my plant dead flies and how does the plant do under cold weather ??????

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  • Guest - Chloe

    just wondering if i would be able to grow a plant such as this using nothing more than my south facing window and placing the plant outside in summer and feeding it in winter, i've heard you can feed them pellets or even high protien fish food. just wondering from the sounds of it if you would recommend this lifestyle for the plant as it is defiantly something i would be interested in trying. my main worry would be if it has a long enough photo period in the UK in a south facing window with this alternative feeding regime in winter. if it needed a rest period again this isn't a problem as i could move it into a darker room or into a cupboard
    im just investigating into this plant as i do think it is a really interesting and amazing plant to keep

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