A lot of people unfamiliar with Venus flytraps will want to grow them indoors, but this is almost never a good idea. In nature, Venus flytraps grow in part to full sun – the more the better. While the bright light coming in through your window or being emitted from your overhead fluorescent light may seem very bright to you, your plants do not agree. There is a vast difference in the intensity of the full sun outdoors and the brightest window sill. Plants that prefer to grow in full sun, like the Venus flytrap, do not enjoy being indoors. And while they may not die, they won’t be as nearly as healthy as they should be. Remember: grow your Venus flytrap (or any plant) where IT wants to be, not where YOU want it to be.
Always grow your flytrap outside in full sun. So, what do you do if you live in an apartment? The answer: buy grow lights! Even if you have a very bright south-facing window, buy a grow light anyway!
The biggest objection to buying a grow light is that it will ruin the aesthetics of having the plants in the first place. But, trust us, when you see your plants at their full, vibrant vigor and happiness, you’ll realize that a sad, struggling plant without a grow light would be far less pleasing to you.
The second biggest objection is cost. But this isn’t the problem most people think it is. If you shop online, you’ll find overpriced, low quality LED grow lights. or, you’ll find overpriced fluorescent bulbs marketed as grow lights. These are both completely unnecessary. Our advice when shopping for grow lights is A) turn off the computer and get in the car B) DON’T buy “grow” lights that are branded as such. Any fluorescent tube bulbs with a spectrum of 6500 are sufficient. They all have their spectra listed on their packaging. Stay away from compact fluorescent bulbs – the kind that screw into light sockets. Even if their spectrum is good, their intensity usually is not. They just don’t give off enough light. Don’t worry about buying a new fixture for fluorescent tube lights either: You can buy a 4-foot T8 light fixture PLUS two 4-foot T8 6500 spectrum bulbs for a total of $25 at Home Depot. What are you going to do with a 4 foot light fixture, you say? Open up a whole new world of growing any plants you want indoors!
If you do go the grow light route, the only other factor is the light’s distance to the plants. A double bulb fixture shouldn’t be kept more than 8 inches away from your Venus flytrap. If you have two double bulb fixtures, you have more wiggle room. We have found that flytraps growing under a double bulb fixture similar to that described above will express a moderate amount of red in their traps. If you grow them under two fixtures (4 bulbs), then their red coloring will deepen to almost purple – beautiful!
Click here to learn more about flytrap care.